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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: flbrewer on February 11, 2014, 06:55:39 PM

Title: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: flbrewer on February 11, 2014, 06:55:39 PM
I've decided to change fermentor methods and use my carboy as a huge paperweight.
What are you using outside of this? Looking into various plastic alternatives (buckets, Speidel, etc) and would like a spigot and BPA free. Thanks!


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Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: denny on February 11, 2014, 06:58:33 PM
I use buckets.  I know there are people who love the better bottles, but other than being unbreakable, they have all the other drawbacks that the carboy design has. 
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Jimmy K on February 11, 2014, 07:00:19 PM
I use buckets.  I know there are people who love the better bottles, but other than being unbreakable, they have all the other drawbacks that the carboy design has.
And they have a built in handle!
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: theDarkSide on February 11, 2014, 07:00:55 PM
I do love my better bottles, but they are way too expensive if you want a spigot and racking arm. 
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 11, 2014, 07:07:09 PM
I use buckets.  I know there are people who love the better bottles, but other than being unbreakable, they have all the other drawbacks that the carboy design has.
And they have a built in handle!

+1.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: flbrewer on February 11, 2014, 07:16:50 PM

I use buckets.  I know there are people who love the better bottles, but other than being unbreakable, they have all the other drawbacks that the carboy design has.
Which buckets?


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Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Titanium Brewing on February 11, 2014, 07:21:41 PM
Maybe take a look at the SS Brew Bucket.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Stevie on February 11, 2014, 07:22:34 PM
I like my better bottles, but also like buckets.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 11, 2014, 07:33:03 PM
Maybe if I was starting over I'd do buckets, but the spigots kind of creep me out.  Too many places for crud to hide.

I like my Better Bottles.  Just like a carboy, only better. 
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Stevie on February 11, 2014, 07:53:42 PM
Maybe if I was starting over I'd do buckets, but the spigots kind of creep me out.  Too many places for crud to hide.

I like my Better Bottles.  Just like a carboy, only better.

Buckets don't need to have spigots. I never trusted them either but for bottling. Over the years I have had a dozen or so spigot free buckets.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 11, 2014, 07:57:09 PM
Maybe if I was starting over I'd do buckets, but the spigots kind of creep me out.  Too many places for crud to hide.

I like my Better Bottles.  Just like a carboy, only better.

Buckets don't need to have spigots. I never trusted them either but for bottling. Over the years I have had a dozen or so spigot free buckets.

Mine don't have spigots, or I wouldn't like them either.  I just use plain 8 gallon wine fermenter buckets. Plenty o' headspace  :

http://www.amazon.com/7-9-Gallon-plastic-fermentor-lid/dp/B0064O8ZVC
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Jeff M on February 11, 2014, 08:02:33 PM
Most of the items ive had with stock plastic spigots have leaking issues.  I no longer use spigots, just a racking cane and some tubing and knowing not to splash:)
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: In The Sand on February 11, 2014, 08:28:05 PM
I have 1 glass carboy and 5 better bottle plastic carboys.  I choose the plastic.  Never used buckets so I can't say anything about them.  I just like to see my beer without having to take the lid off.  I use a ported carboy cap when kegging so only CO2 touches the beer.  I don't bottle.  That pretty much sums me up I guess.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 11, 2014, 08:36:49 PM
Maybe if I was starting over I'd do buckets, but the spigots kind of creep me out.  Too many places for crud to hide.

I like my Better Bottles.  Just like a carboy, only better.

Buckets don't need to have spigots. I never trusted them either but for bottling. Over the years I have had a dozen or so spigot free buckets.

Right. I get that. I only mentioned it because the op is looking for something with a spigot.

You can also get Better Bottles with spigots. Mine do not have any.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Stevie on February 11, 2014, 08:38:24 PM
Maybe if I was starting over I'd do buckets, but the spigots kind of creep me out.  Too many places for crud to hide.

I like my Better Bottles.  Just like a carboy, only better.

Buckets don't need to have spigots. I never trusted them either but for bottling. Over the years I have had a dozen or so spigot free buckets.

Right. I get that. I only mentioned it because the op is looking for something with a spigot.

You can also get Better Bottles with spigots. Mine do not have any.

Ahh... I stand corrected. I know plenty of people that love their better bottle spigots, but I am too scared.

Irrational? maybe.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 11, 2014, 08:58:48 PM

Ahh... I stand corrected.

I did write my initial response as though all buckets have spigots...

I'm not sure if. Have any without. Maybe one. But I really only use buckets for sanitizing.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: duboman on February 11, 2014, 09:02:37 PM
I use the 6.5 gallon ale pales and some from True brew, they're great, I have one with a spigot for the occasional bottled batch, the rest none.

I also have a 5 and 6 gallon better bottle but rarely use them, buckets have handles and are much easier to clean!
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: morticaixavier on February 11, 2014, 09:05:42 PM

I use buckets.  I know there are people who love the better bottles, but other than being unbreakable, they have all the other drawbacks that the carboy design has.
Which buckets?


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any food grade plastic bucket should work. If you look around at deli's and the like they will often have a surfeit of plastic food buckets in varying sizes they would be glad to let you have for free. some of them might smell of pickles which would be a problem but with a good soak in PBW/oxyclean or Bleach you should be able to get them clean.

I am lazy and buy 'brew buckets' or 'ale pails' with predrilled lids.

I prefer buckets because they are the easiest to clean. I go with no spigot due to concerns with sanitation (not that I actually even had an infection that I could trace to bucket spigots, just because I have seen gunk in there I could not get out) and because it's easier to stack them empty without.

Not being able to see the beer actually is a plus for me because it encourages me to just forget about the beer once it's in the fermenter. I don't need to be messing around with it while it's working and the fact that I would have to pull the lid to peek encourages me to leave well enough alone.

one minor point, if you have the choice I would get the lids that are drilled for a big stopper rather than the little gromet. I find the gromet seizes to the airlock and it is difficult to get them apart. also with the larger airlock hole you can just pop the stopper and stick a thief or siphon tube right in there without removing the lid.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: beersk on February 11, 2014, 09:19:04 PM
Maybe take a look at the SS Brew Bucket.
If you can get one. They look sweet. I ferment in stainless now, 4 gallon batches in 5 gallon ball lock kegs. I don't like plastic and glass is dangerous. I handle my carboys suuuuuper carefully and never really had any close calls, but I'd just rather ferment in something that is going to last me a life time without worry.
Quote from: morticaixavier
Not being able to see the beer actually is a plus for me because it encourages me to just forget about the beer once it's in the fermenter. I don't need to be messing around with it while it's working and the fact that I would have to pull the lid to peek encourages me to leave well enough alone.
This is true for me, as well.
Quote from: morticaixavier
one minor point, if you have the choice I would get the lids that are drilled for a big stopper rather than the little gromet. I find the gromet seizes to the airlock and it is difficult to get them apart. also with the larger airlock hole you can just pop the stopper and stick a thief or siphon tube right in there without removing the lid.
That's a good point. You could even modify the stopper so you could start the siphon with co2 like the orange caps for carboys.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: weithman5 on February 11, 2014, 09:27:22 PM
i use buckets. various sizes. some spigots some not. i have added spigots because i am not scared of my sanitation process. as mentioned, check delis. we have an olive oil/basalmic vinegar store that gets products in 3 gallon buckets that he ends up throwing. i have a half dozen of them.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Pinski on February 11, 2014, 10:54:37 PM
I love my carboys.  I hate cleaning them.  I hate doing laundry too, but not enough to go full-on Weazeltoe. Kilts are just a gateway you know.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Scot (one T) on February 11, 2014, 11:52:58 PM
I've accumulated too many carboys over the years to change.  I've broken 1 in 12 years.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Titanium Brewing on February 12, 2014, 09:59:46 PM
To Beersk,

Morebeer is taking pre-orders on them. I signed up for mine yesterday. Of course I have no idea when it may arrive.

http://morebeer.com/category/ss-brewing-technologies-fermenters.html
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 12, 2014, 10:54:17 PM
I've accumulated too many carboys over the years to change.  I've broken 1 in 12 years.

I sold mine.  It was liberating.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: tommymorris on February 12, 2014, 10:56:54 PM

To Beersk,

Morebeer is taking pre-orders on them. I signed up for mine yesterday. Of course I have no idea when it may arrive.

http://morebeer.com/category/ss-brewing-technologies-fermenters.html


What justifies the extra expense for this fermenter? It looks great. It has great bling factor. Stainless is nice. The lid coming completely off is nice.   The conical shape is interesting but the conical is not ported so you cannot evacuate the yeast. The valve to run off the beer at the bottom is cool but I would worry about it being too close to the trub to be useful (although maybe you could partially evacuate the yeast if the trub was too high).

Anyway having just spent $60 for a Speidel I don't have much room to talk since I could get everything a Speidel has for half the price with a 7.9 gallon bucket.

Just wondering.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: euge on February 12, 2014, 11:21:21 PM
Spigots are fine if you use the right ones. And keep them clean just like everything else. I trust my processes. It's not like we are doing abdominal surgery; and the surgeons only sanitize the patient with a topical application.

Good on ya for getting rid of the glass. I'll take one anecdotal injury over 10 "never had a problem" type statements.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: duboman on February 13, 2014, 12:46:14 AM

Spigots are fine if you use the right ones. And keep them clean just like everything else. I trust my processes. It's not like we are doing abdominal surgery; and the surgeons only sanitize the patient with a topical application.

Good on ya for getting rid of the glass. I'll take one anecdotal injury over 10 "never had a problem" type statements.
+1
My spigot just unscrews and pops apart into two easily cleanable pieces.

As well, I've read enough horror stories of broken glass car boys and emergency room visits to keep me away from them, kids in the house and everything else it's just not worth it to me
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: beersk on February 13, 2014, 04:21:46 PM
To Beersk,

Morebeer is taking pre-orders on them. I signed up for mine yesterday. Of course I have no idea when it may arrive.

http://morebeer.com/category/ss-brewing-technologies-fermenters.html
Thanks. I'll have to consider that. Someday...
For now, I brew 4 gallon all grain batches inside on the stove and ferment in kegs. Works out pretty well. I like a fermenter you can rely on to last a lifetime. The Brew Bucket would probably be that.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: denny on February 13, 2014, 04:29:26 PM

I use buckets.  I know there are people who love the better bottles, but other than being unbreakable, they have all the other drawbacks that the carboy design has.
Which buckets?


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Just HDPE 7 gal. buckets I buy at the LHBS.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Siamese Moose on February 13, 2014, 07:51:49 PM
There's no price listed yet, but Blichamnn has the Cornical coming out:
(http://www.blichmannengineering.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/Cornical%20with%20Conical%20Bottom.jpg?itok=jM-HouyN)(http://www.blichmannengineering.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/Cornical%20with%20Standard%20Bottom.jpg?itok=A8sza8jZ)

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/new-innovations-coming-soon (http://www.blichmannengineering.com/new-innovations-coming-soon)

Cornicaltm MODULAR KEGGING AND FERMENTING SYSTEM

The next innovation coming off our workstations is a revolutionary NEW PATENT PENDING Cornicaltm MODULAR KEGGING AND FERMENTING SYSTEM.  Built with a Corny keg at its core, we've integrated an exchangable bottom to allow you to ferment with our conical bottom, then flip it over, switch to a standard keg bottom, and you're ready to carbonate and dispense!  The beauty of this system is the elimination of transferring the beer and also the competitive price!  The keg body is Italian made on modern automated machinery - no inferior welds like other imports.  The conical bottom is one piece and made right here at home!  We'll be in production this summer - check back for updates!!!
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Pinski on February 13, 2014, 08:29:55 PM
There's no price listed yet, but Blichamnn has the Cornical coming out:
(http://www.blichmannengineering.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/Cornical%20with%20Conical%20Bottom.jpg?itok=jM-HouyN)(http://www.blichmannengineering.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/Cornical%20with%20Standard%20Bottom.jpg?itok=A8sza8jZ)

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/new-innovations-coming-soon (http://www.blichmannengineering.com/new-innovations-coming-soon)

Cornicaltm MODULAR KEGGING AND FERMENTING SYSTEM

The next innovation coming off our workstations is a revolutionary NEW PATENT PENDING Cornicaltm MODULAR KEGGING AND FERMENTING SYSTEM.  Built with a Corny keg at its core, we've integrated an exchangable bottom to allow you to ferment with our conical bottom, then flip it over, switch to a standard keg bottom, and you're ready to carbonate and dispense!  The beauty of this system is the elimination of transferring the beer and also the competitive price!  The keg body is Italian made on modern automated machinery - no inferior welds like other imports.  The conical bottom is one piece and made right here at home!  We'll be in production this summer - check back for updates!!!


It's not April 1st is it?

Sooo, how do you go about removing the conical piece without stirring up the yeast or dumping your beer.  I'm not "seeing" the vision.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: morticaixavier on February 13, 2014, 08:35:48 PM
There's no price listed yet, but Blichamnn has the Cornical coming out:
(http://www.blichmannengineering.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/Cornical%20with%20Conical%20Bottom.jpg?itok=jM-HouyN)(http://www.blichmannengineering.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/Cornical%20with%20Standard%20Bottom.jpg?itok=A8sza8jZ)

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/new-innovations-coming-soon (http://www.blichmannengineering.com/new-innovations-coming-soon)

Cornicaltm MODULAR KEGGING AND FERMENTING SYSTEM

The next innovation coming off our workstations is a revolutionary NEW PATENT PENDING Cornicaltm MODULAR KEGGING AND FERMENTING SYSTEM.  Built with a Corny keg at its core, we've integrated an exchangable bottom to allow you to ferment with our conical bottom, then flip it over, switch to a standard keg bottom, and you're ready to carbonate and dispense!  The beauty of this system is the elimination of transferring the beer and also the competitive price!  The keg body is Italian made on modern automated machinery - no inferior welds like other imports.  The conical bottom is one piece and made right here at home!  We'll be in production this summer - check back for updates!!!


It's not April 1st is it?

Sooo, how do you go about removing the conical piece without stirring up the yeast or dumping your beer.  I'm not "seeing" the vision.

I would guess the idea is to dump the yeast from the bottom of the conical part (I am assuming there is a bottom dump valve), then turn the whole thing upside down, swap the bottom section and turn it right side up again.

it seems to me though that even with the cone you wouldn't gain enough headspace to actually ferment a 5 gallon batch in it.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 13, 2014, 08:38:30 PM
My thoughts too. Ideally with the cone on you'd get ~ 6.5 gallons capacity to give room for headspace, but I dunno.   ???
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Pinski on February 13, 2014, 08:45:12 PM
You're probably right Jonathan.  I don't know, I bet for the price they'll ask for this it makes an even better case for me to support the BruGear Kickstarter and order the damn 14 gal. conical already.  Anyone mind if I rationalize.  ;)
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 13, 2014, 08:50:53 PM
I know buckets are cheaper, but I think my BBs only cost like $20 each or so.  Not a lot of bling factor, but they're in my basement which ain't so fancy anyway.  Unless you like washing machines and furnaces and stuff like that.

I just don't see the point in a convertible keg fermenter.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Stevie on February 13, 2014, 10:21:01 PM
That cornical is just weird. Considering it uses an italian keg, price will be $250 minimum.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: euge on February 13, 2014, 10:31:47 PM
My 7.9 gallon buckets were $30 but after six years... that's $5 a year each and going down. And see no need to replace them.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 14, 2014, 12:06:41 AM
My 7.9 gallon buckets were $30 but after six years... that's $5 a year each and going down. And see no need to replace them.

+1.  They're not glamorous. They just have a ton of headspace and work.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 14, 2014, 03:11:16 PM
So you have to flip the keg over to switch out the bottom, open it up to air and the flip it back over? Sounds like the kind of oxidation most of us would rather avoid.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Pinski on February 14, 2014, 03:35:14 PM
So you have to flip the keg over to switch out the bottom, open it up to air and the flip it back over? Sounds like the kind of oxidation most of us would rather avoid.

+1 Kinda negates a key benefit of fermenting in corny.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: coolman26 on February 15, 2014, 05:32:55 PM
I bought some really nice 9 gallon buckets from brewmasters warehouse in Ga.  they are opaque and work great.  Carboys are just an absolute PIA.  I used to fear infections coming from the plastic.  Only infections I've had came from not cleaning the bottling spigot years ago. 
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: erockrph on February 16, 2014, 05:02:00 AM
I still use the glass carboy that came with my starter kit, but everything else goes into plastic. I generally use buckets for primaries and Better Bottles for secondaries (I.e., sours and meads).

I don't use spigots on my fermenters, but I feel pretty confident in my cleaning process for my bottling bucket. I have two spigots. After I bottle a batch I swap out the spigots and throw the dirty one in the bucket when I do my PBW soak. End result is a squeaky clean spigot and my bucket is ready to go for next time.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: euge on February 16, 2014, 07:23:40 AM
I'd avoid the standard bottling spigot and go for the fermenting type. Those clumsy bottling spigots I've had the dismay of using have all failed at some point and certainly harbored bacteria.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 16, 2014, 02:37:42 PM
I'd avoid the standard bottling spigot and go for the fermenting type. Those clumsy bottling spigots I've had the dismay of using have all failed at some point and certainly harbored bacteria.

+1
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: Slowbrew on February 16, 2014, 02:51:06 PM
My first thought when I saw the drawing was it's a solution looking for a problem. 

For thing you would need to replace all you existing kegs for ease of use.  Second, how long will it take to damage that large (I assume) o-ring that makes the seal?

I've sort of moved through my "gadgets for the sake of gadgets" phase and I think having good practices will get you farther than new things like this.

For good measure.  GET OFF MY LAWN!

Opinions of an old.   ;D

Paul
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: denny on February 16, 2014, 05:05:11 PM
For good measure.  GET OFF MY LAWN!

Opinions of an old.   ;D

Paul

Thank you, on behalf of all of us old farts!
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 16, 2014, 05:33:50 PM
For good measure.  GET OFF MY LAWN!

Opinions of an old.   ;D

Paul

Thank you, on behalf of all of us old farts!

+1  !     I've added a few gadgets over the years, but on the whole I've simplified my inventory and process. I'd like to have the $$$ back I've dumped on "gadgets for gadgets sake" over the years. HEY YOU KIDS, OFF..............  :D
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: euge on February 16, 2014, 05:39:15 PM
Hey I got my curmudgeon on. 8)

And that traffic cone blocking my driveway has only been stolen once. ;D

Damn kids.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: jskiles on March 20, 2014, 08:38:52 PM
I went from buckets to better bottles and more recently to glass carboys.  I love the extra bit of headspace and the ability to do a wild beer and not dedicate a peice of equipment to it.
Title: Re: Ditching the glass carboy...
Post by: micsager on March 20, 2014, 09:36:14 PM
I ditched my glass carboys after listening to brewstrong about the end of primary/secondary fermentation.  And never went back.  With my small commercial operation, I know have 5, 1bbl conicals, but for the first year I still used buckets.  So many, I had to find a better source, if you like buckets, try this:

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-16969/Pails/7-Gallon-Plastic-Pail

And the lid is less than $2.00

I have about 40 of them for the taking if any of you are ever in Port Angeles, WA.