The Exploding Carboy Club...

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

eschatz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
3,427
Reaction score
53
Location
Terre Haute, IN
So I finally got in the club...

I was brewing about an hour ago and I went to move a 6.5 gal carboy off of the counter. It was filled with Idophor and water, I was filled with beer, it slipped out of my hands and created a tidal wave of glass and sanitary solution. :eek: I stood motionless for a moment and upon realizing I wasn't hurt I let out a string of expletives. :(

Anyone else in the Exploding Carboy Club? :mad:
 

Dr Vorlauf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Messages
534
Reaction score
2
Location
Lehigh Valley,PA
It is a good thing you weren't hurt. How much of a mess did the iodophore make ?

I had a glass carboy break just from the weight of the beer it contained sloshing around.

I only use glass now for wine. Better bottles are just ... better.
 

EdWort

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
11,894
Reaction score
446
Location
Bee Cave, Texas
Bummer. I see a Better Bottle in your future. I'm glad no one was hurt and you did not lose any beer! With a Better Bottle you could actually save most of you beer if the same were to happen.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP6ZEenvRho]YouTube - Better Bottle Experiment[/ame]
 

lamarguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,652
Reaction score
33
Location
Austin, TX
Honestly, I don't understand why people still use glass. I think a lot of bad advice floats around the homebrewing community, especially with regard to people advocating the use of large glass containers. I mean, from a practical standpoint, the risk of using large glass containers is way too high to justify it's use in homebrewing.

HDPE and PET are the clear winners for economical homebrewing. But, if you've got the extra cash lying around, stainless steel can't be beat.

To the OP, I'm glad to hear you weren't injured during the incident. :)
 

Gordie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Messages
381
Reaction score
33
Location
Healdsburg, CA
Glad to hear you didn't get hurt.

After messing around with wet, full carboys one too many times and wondering how I've live this long without dropping one, I just sold them all and ferment in kegs now.
 

D2T

Brew Monkey
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
3
Location
Morristown, NJ
I still use glass and haven't had any problems. But I also don't drink much while I'm brewing, have handles for all my carboys (before that, milk crate), make sure not to fill them with hot liquid, etc. I think they're relatively safe if the proper precautions are taken.

Now, having said that... a better bottle is obviously "safer".

The only real misgiving I have with going plastic is that I've had one or two times where I've racked out of a carboy and then gotten lazy :drunk: and not cleaned the carboy for a few days. Bad practice, I know! But when it's sitting in the basement it's easy to forget sometimes... It's only happened once or twice, but I'd be afraid plastic would stain/smell/something given the same treatment. Even so, I'm still considering better bottles for future carboy purchases.
 

WhirlingBastard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
58
Reaction score
1
Location
Michigan
Also glad you were not hurt.

I am a part of this club. First dark beer I every brewed went all over my basement carpet. When I dropped it I just stood there in aww. As you said, once I realized that I was not hurt I used every profound word I new. Not making any sense at all. Once I was done I went up stairs grabbed a brew and the shop vac.

I do think a small (SMALL) portion must be blamed on the amount of drinking I had done while brewing that night. :drunk:

My basement still has that wonderful hint of beer in the air which my SWMBO is not that fond of. The worst part is every time she goes downstairs and sees the stain I get a little comment.

I am now in the process of converting over to plastic. Enjoy the picture.

IMG_3251_1.jpg
 

Loweface

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
1,037
Reaction score
11
Location
Limerick, Ireland
Can we get a new picture of that mess however long ago that happened?

Or did you replace the carpet?
 

balto charlie

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 17, 2005
Messages
889
Reaction score
45
Location
Md
wow, glad you did cut your feet off. This is one of my fears. I always dry my hands, think(don't FU), then pick it up. I am in the process of designing a room in the basement where I can brew outside on the back porch, transfer the cooled wort to the basement through a looooong hose into a glass carboy on a high shelf, below this carboy is the eventual secondary and below this will be keg. If this works I will never have to pick up a full glass carboy again. If not then I will go to SS kegs for fementing. Charlie
 

EdWort

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
11,894
Reaction score
446
Location
Bee Cave, Texas
The worst part is every time she goes downstairs and sees the stain I get a little comment.
She doesn't say "And here's where we found the body" does she? :D

I think that aroma was just you marking your territory. :cross:
 

DutchK9

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
368
Reaction score
2
Location
Springfield, Illinois
I am a member of that club. Mine was a brand new 5 gallon carboy which I even had in a milk crate. How can it break you might ask? Well my ******* drove over it with my jeep when I was moving it out of the garage to clear the area for brewing. Luckily not too long afterwards I found a brewer who was getting out of the business and got six 6 1/2 gallons carboys and a ton of other stuff for cheap cheap cheap!
 

TeleTwanger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
693
Reaction score
6
I never had a problem with glass. I also never had a problem mowing my lawn, or using a chain saw, or weed wacking either.
 

GearBeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
727
Reaction score
4
Location
Clarkston, MI
That's just sad and ugly. I'm a stickler for glass because I'm lazy and like to leave things dirty for days or even a week or more. That and glass is just cool. However, I am very, very careful with my carboys. I do not use those handles (I just bought two carboys that have stress-flaking on the necks from those stupid things); I use a nylon brew hauler instead. It folds up small, provides two handles, and is relatively soft.
 

Cpt_Kirks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
3,704
Reaction score
60
Location
Lakeland TN
Mine was years ago.

I think I must have set it down hard and created a hairline crack.

I filled it with wort and picked it up to move it.

The ENTIRE BOTTOM came off in one piece. WHOOOOOSH!

That was a fun, sticky mess to clean up...

:(
 

givemaboot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
69
Reaction score
1
Location
Uniontown
I also belong to this club. I dropped a beutiful Kolsh all over my garage!:mad:\ I now carry my carboy's in a plastic milk crate. I load them up and move them with ou fear!
 

StunnedMonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2008
Messages
1,133
Reaction score
25
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
I've never broken one, but I've retired my 6.5 gallon glass carboys in favor of Better Bottles. I brew in the garage and ferment in the basement, and carrying a full 6.5 gallon glass carboy down the stairs is treacherous indeed.

I do still use a 5 gallon glass carboy as a secondary though. I don't really secondary very often, but when I do it's usually for an extended period, and I like the ideal of glass for that. It doesn't need to travel up and down the stairs though.
 

Skins_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
6
Location
Silver Spring, MD.
From that exploding carboy website.....

Poole said:
Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum, but not the site. I've been homebrewing for about a year now and I have to say that it's my favorite hobby. I wanted to share my latest experience: Last monday morning I had just rinsed out my 6.5 gal glass carboy from my last batch and was carrying it up my back steps (concrete) when I stumbled and fell. The bottle broke and my hand came down on it. When I turned my hand over to check for injuries, I watched blood pulse out. Obviously I went to the ER and they sewed me back together and referred me to a plastic surgeon. It ends up that I cut the nerves to my thumb and index finger (no feeling in either) and they will do surgery to sew them back together next week. What am I doing during the wait? Why, brewing beer of course! I went back and bought 2 more carboys (in case one breaks) and have brewed two more batches this week. The moral of the story is this: Be careful with the glass, and if you start to fall, forget the carboy and save yourself. I just thought I would share my experience. I hope I can contribute to this forum as much as it has already enlightened me.
I have read that before, but maybe I missed this one. Why on earth would you ever go out and buy more carboys after injuring yourself like that?!? I dunno, maybe I am just a whimp. If that happened to me every glass carboy I owned would be on CL. I might actually get rid of the one I own now and switch to BB because of this refresher.
 
OP
eschatz

eschatz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
3,427
Reaction score
53
Location
Terre Haute, IN
I'm not getting rid of my glass but in the future I will only buy plastic? :D
 

Austin_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Messages
867
Reaction score
36
Location
Nashville, TN
The moral of the story is this: Be careful with the glass, and if you start to fall, forget the carboy and save yourself
My grandfather started a glass business that my dad still runs today. I've been handling glass since starting working there when I was 12 and I have a few scars to show for it. I was reminded of this nearly every week by my dad. He always told me that a piece of glass is much cheaper than any injury. If it feels like it's going, let it go and jump out of the way. I have seen some bad accidents in my time there. I give glass the respect it deserves. One hand on the bottom and one hand on the neck seems to work fine for me. I don't trust the handles.
 

Beards Brews

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
233
Reaction score
1
Location
Northeast Georgia
I'm not getting rid of my glass but in the future I will only buy plastic? :D
When I gravity checked my glass carboy I got rid of the only glass I had. I started picking up carboys about the time they doubled in price, so better bottles were high on my list anyway.
 

Wables

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
313
Reaction score
143
Location
Duluth, MN
I had a 6 gallon slip out of my hands as I was dumping the star-san out. I tried to catch it on the way down, and it broke on the concrete floor in my hands. Luckily the only injury was a 1/4" x 1/8" piece of the outer layer of skin shaved off of a finger. It really got me thinking about my brewing process. I brew in the garage and ferment in the basement, and carrying full glass carboys is a PITA. I didn't want to pony up the cash for 4 better bottles, as I was in the process of moving from 10 to 20 gallon batches. I ended up buying food grade 6 1/2 gallon buckets (Ale Pails). They are soooo much easier to carry around than carboys. I still secondary in glass, but as those break I will probably replace them with better bottles.

:off:On a side note, I am currently using a 5 gallon drinking water bottle as a back-up carboy. There is a batch of Ed's Haus Ale in it right now. I have never noticed oxitation from it, but I have also never left beer in it for more than 2 weeks.
 

Stratotankard

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
644
Reaction score
7
Location
Little Rock
I've had bad luck lately with glass, but thankfully not my carboys. I tripped over my cay while moving a glass topped table in July and ended with 4 stitches and some nerve damage in my right hand. Last week I took a wonderful roasted squash with brown sugar and pecan glaze out of my oven and set the Pyrex baking dish on my stove top when it exploded (the dish, not the squash). For a small dish it sure made a big mess. I'm still finding bits of glass dust and the kitchen is now a no bare feet zone until I'm sure we;ve got it all. The squash was a total loss. :(

I don't pick up my carboys if they have anything in them any more. A skate board works nicely to move them from the kitchen to the closet.
 

lamarguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,652
Reaction score
33
Location
Austin, TX
I started off several years ago with glass carboys. Then, one of my friends decided to start brewing and ordered a Cooper's brew kit. I liked the fermenter design so much that I ordered three of them (just the fermenter, not the entire kit). :)

 

damrass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
1
Location
Conway, AR, USA
Never broken one, thank god. Brew Haulers are great, but I do need to replace all my glass carboys with BBs.

Glad the OP didn't get hurt.

Bummer. I see a Better Bottle in your future. I'm glad no one was hurt and you did not lose any beer! With a Better Bottle you could actually save most of you beer if the same were to happen.

YouTube - Better Bottle Experiment
I wonder how oxidized that saved beer would be. ;)
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
62,016
Reaction score
6,919
I don't pick up my carboys if they have anything in them any more. A skate board works nicely to move them from the kitchen to the closet.
I'd be worried about it slipping off the carboy too easily.

I'm not getting rid of my glass but in the future I will only buy plastic? :D
Same here. I currently only have a 5 gallon glass, and a 6.5 gallon glass. I plan on only buying Better Bottles in the future, in less I find a great deal on glass. Then using the 5G glass for secondaries that don't need any transportting, and stuff like apfelwein and Johns Ancient Orange Mead that I can throw together in in the basement and not have to move the full carboys.
 

par383

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2007
Messages
69
Reaction score
2
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I don't carry it just by the handle when it's full. Other hand underneath to keep all the stress off the neck.
I never thought about putting the stress on the neck, but after hearing all of these horror stories, it looks like a carrier is next on my list of homebrew purchases!
 

Donasay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
13
Location
Boston
I started off several years ago with glass carboys. Then, one of my friends decided to start brewing and ordered a Cooper's brew kit. I liked the fermenter design so much that I ordered three of them (just the fermenter, not the entire kit). :)

Where do you get these in the states? I see them online at australian stores, but I can never seem to find them at any stores in the US. If you know of anywhere that sells them, let me know.
 

lamarguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,652
Reaction score
33
Location
Austin, TX
Where do you get these in the states? I see them online at australian stores, but I can never seem to find them at any stores in the US. If you know of anywhere that sells them, let me know.
Ya, those Aussies are famous for limiting access to their better products, like the Pontiac G8. :D

Cascadia Importers is the US distributor for Coopers brand products. I ordered several of their fermenters back in late '06 for $25 a piece + shipping. You can call them at 888-588-9262 M-F 9am to 5pm, Pacific Standard Time.

Just ask to purchase the 30 liter fermenter, lid, and tap/spigot kit. They will sell the parts individually or as a complete kit (which you don't want).
 

smizak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
1,831
Reaction score
120
Location
Buffalo, NY
I want to switch to Better Bottles, but the 6 gal size is a deal breaker for me. I always put 5.5 gallons into my fermenter, then siphon just 5 gal out for the bottling bucket(cleaner beer).

Half gallon headspace ain't gonna cut it, and I hate the idea of dealing with a blowoff tube or Fermcap, etc...

I have a system down with my glass. I NEVER touch the carboys with my barehands. Leather work gloves on my brew-bench, handles on any empty carboy, brew-hauler for lifting straight up or down, heavy duty plastic commercial milkcrates for carrying ANYWHERE, full or empty. I have a hose and table setup near the basement sink so I can siphon out any amount of liquid out of the carboys, like when they're full of oxiclean. I only turn them over when there as empty as possible, again wearing gloves and using the carboy handle to keep as much of my hands off of the glass as possible.

If they make a bigger Better Bottle, I'll buy it in an instant.
 

lamarguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
1,652
Reaction score
33
Location
Austin, TX
Yeah, I really wish they had a 6.5 gallon...
If it helps, the Cooper's brand fermenter is [ame="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=30+liters+to+gallons&btnG=Search"]30 liters = 7.92516157 US gallons[/ame].
 

zman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Messages
2,632
Reaction score
21
Location
Denver.
Well that does it I am going to put up a sign in the Kitchen/Brewhouse:
Always...ALways...ALWAYS!!! Dry hands before handling a glass carboy...lol. I actually got one of those Brew Haulers as well and it is a great way to lift a carboy. I also like the milk crate idea. I modified a flat furniture dolly so that it will hold a Keggle as well as a Carboy. It is an easy way to get the Keggle from the front or back porch into the kitchen.
 

Stratotankard

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
644
Reaction score
7
Location
Little Rock
Where do you get these in the states? I see them online at australian stores, but I can never seem to find them at any stores in the US. If you know of anywhere that sells them, let me know.
My wife bought mine off their website (Coopers Homebrew Beer | Home Beer Brewing Kit | Beer Making | Beer Kit) I believe. I love the fermenter, but cleaning the top of the inside (where it curves in)can get tedious. I've had great experiences with the company as well. They sent me a new spigot for the fermenter for free, after I was an idiot and ran mine through the garbage disposal.
 
Top