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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: jds357 on February 17, 2014, 03:48:45 AM

Title: Carboy Disaster
Post by: jds357 on February 17, 2014, 03:48:45 AM
I had a really sweet double batch brew day lined up yesterday; a coffee stout and IPA.  It was my first double batch on my Brew Magic so I was pretty pumped.  The morning was enjoyable after I resolved a stuck mash.  After hitting all my numbers and successfully finishing out the coffee stout I began the IPA.  I love IPAs and I love coffee so I was particularly excited about this batch.  It was one of the smoothest brews I've ever done.  What a great day!  I had just cooled and transferred over 12 gallons of a gigantic beer into two 6.5 gal. carboys.  I moved one carboy into my fermentation cellar (my closet)  ;) and picked up the other one to put it in its home as well.  I walked closer to my closet ready to pitch the yeast and clean up.  As I bent over to set the carboy down, I clipped the side of the one already on the ground.  This shattered the bottom of the one I was holding, spilling 6.5 precious gallons all over my carpet.  The one I grazed shattered too.  Blood and wort EVERYWHERE.  Have you ever seen 13 gallons of wort on carpet?!  I wish I could un-see it!!!  I just finished shampooing the carpet for the 5th time and I think I have another couple times on the horizon tomorrow...  Don't worry... the coffee stout survived and is happily fermenting  8) 

What's your worst brewing mishap? 

Jonathan
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: el_capitan on February 17, 2014, 07:21:30 AM
Jeez - that sounds like about the worst way ever to end a brewday.  Are you ok?   :o
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 17, 2014, 12:27:30 PM
Ouch!  I hope you are alright.  This is why I use plastic primaries.  I have not broken a glass fermenter, but I lost a 10 gallon batch once to a pedio/acetobacter infection that arose from the plastic and aging too long in the plastic primary.  I have now gone to separate vessels dedicated to sours and others that are dedicated to ales and lagers that are not sour, so I have avoided that issue since then.

Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: beersk on February 17, 2014, 02:15:16 PM
Holy sh*t, what a terrible way to end what sounded like an awesome brew day! I hope you're okay. I used glass carboys for years, but just recently switched to fermenting in kegs. No more worries about breaking fermenters.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: klickitat jim on February 17, 2014, 02:24:46 PM
It's amazing more people aren't maimed or killed by carboys. When something you're carrying breaks or slips its a natural reaction to grab harder, trying not to drop it. The heavier the thing is the more violent the reflex. Glad you weren't hurt too bad.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: erockrph on February 17, 2014, 03:10:17 PM
Damn. I think it's time to retire my one glass carboy for holding emergency drinking water or some other "prepper"-type use. These types of stories scare the crap out of me. Glad you survived!
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 17, 2014, 03:34:57 PM
Been there, done that.  Got about a dozen stitches from my broken carboy. Couldn't wait to buy some buckets .      ;)
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 17, 2014, 03:41:36 PM
It definitely seems like I am reading more of the stories over the past few months although I am reading fewer homebrewing forums on a regular basis.

It's exactly why I never got into glass carboys. I have to transport by fermentors from the kitchen downstairs to the fermentation space upstairs (and back down for bottling) and the idea of carrying a wet, slippery glass carboy up and down the stairs sounds dangerous. Not just for cuts but having the carboy slip out of my hands and knock me off balance and down the stairs. No thanks, I'll just rely on my bucket and the two better bottles I have to move up and down the stairs once a year (for sours). The only glass fermentors I have are five liter jugs that come with a handle built in. Fortunately I haven't broken any of those.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: HobsonDrake on February 17, 2014, 04:04:27 PM
I am wondering if it has something to do with the way the glass is made now days. You hear stories of Pyrex exploding because the new formula is different then years ago. Wondering if the same could be said for carboys?
For those that have had disasters from broken carboy, was it a newer one or older? IS there such a thing as an old carboy, or are there no old carboys because they don't live forever?
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: denny on February 17, 2014, 04:13:55 PM
I had a really sweet double batch brew day lined up yesterday; a coffee stout and IPA.  It was my first double batch on my Brew Magic so I was pretty pumped.  The morning was enjoyable after I resolved a stuck mash.  After hitting all my numbers and successfully finishing out the coffee stout I began the IPA.  I love IPAs and I love coffee so I was particularly excited about this batch.  It was one of the smoothest brews I've ever done.  What a great day!  I had just cooled and transferred over 12 gallons of a gigantic beer into two 6.5 gal. carboys.  I moved one carboy into my fermentation cellar (my closet)  ;) and picked up the other one to put it in its home as well.  I walked closer to my closet ready to pitch the yeast and clean up.  As I bent over to set the carboy down, I clipped the side of the one already on the ground.  This shattered the bottom of the one I was holding, spilling 6.5 precious gallons all over my carpet.  The one I grazed shattered too.  Blood and wort EVERYWHERE.  Have you ever seen 13 gallons of wort on carpet?!  I wish I could un-see it!!!  I just finished shampooing the carpet for the 5th time and I think I have another couple times on the horizon tomorrow...  Don't worry... the coffee stout survived and is happily fermenting  8) 

What's your worst brewing mishap? 

Jonathan

Mine is almost exactly like yours, except both carboys broke.  I started using buckets and never looked back.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: chumley on February 17, 2014, 04:19:49 PM
I banged a 5 gallon carboy filled with 9% abv Imperial Stout in August with Nesco roaster lid, that caused an inch square hole to open up right where the side of the carboy starts to curve up to the neck.  If I was smart, I would have let the beer drain to the point where the beer level was below the hole, but I panicked and tried to lift it up to a counter to start siphoning it into a keg. That caused the entire glass structure to fail.

The cuts on my leg were minor, and it was in the basement next to the floor drain, so clean up was easy.  But dang....how come it couldn't have been a pale ale or a brown ale, instead of Imperial Stout?  :-[
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: jds357 on February 17, 2014, 04:28:15 PM
Yeah I'm ok guys... Just super sad about my lost wort, cash, and time. (In that order)  Both of the ones that exploded were brand new.  This is the first time anything like this has ever happened to me during the three years I've been homebrewing.  This incident has made me want to switch to stainless steel for sure!   

Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: duboman on February 17, 2014, 05:47:08 PM
Glad to hear you're ok, sorry to hear about the lost beers though...
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: leejoreilly on February 17, 2014, 05:48:11 PM
To paraphrase: "There are two kinds of glass carboy users; those who've broken one, and those who will."
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: denny on February 17, 2014, 08:38:40 PM
To paraphrase: "There are two kinds of glass carboy users; those who've broken one, and those who will."

Ya beat me to it, Lee!
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: dannyjed on February 17, 2014, 11:44:31 PM
My buddy broke a carboy awhile ago and sliced his hand open...now I have his 7 carboys and only use them occasionally like my blueberry wine and my first sour.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 17, 2014, 11:53:53 PM
I am wondering if it has something to do with the way the glass is made now days. You hear stories of Pyrex exploding because the new formula is different then years ago. Wondering if the same could be said for carboys?


I wonder this too. I went close to 15 years never breaking one, and within 2 or 3 years broke two, neither of which was dropped or hit with something. I didn't notice a crack in either, although I'm assuming there had to be very small cracks in both cases. No wort over 68F max ever went into either, usually cooler. When one of those things break apart, you stand there in shock looking at the huge mess before you realize you're bleeding everywhere. Not worth it for me.

Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: denny on February 18, 2014, 12:05:42 AM
I am wondering if it has something to do with the way the glass is made now days. You hear stories of Pyrex exploding because the new formula is different then years ago. Wondering if the same could be said for carboys?


I wonder this too. I went close to 15 years never breaking one, and within 2 or 3 years broke two, neither of which was dropped or hit with something. I didn't notice a crack in either, although I'm assuming there had to be very small cracks in both cases. No wort over 68F max ever went into either, usually cooler. When one of those things break apart, you stand there in shock looking at the huge mess before you realize you're bleeding everywhere. Not worth it for me.

Well, I broke mine at least 12 years ago, maybe 14, so I don't think it's anything new.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: klickitat jim on February 18, 2014, 12:43:13 AM
I wonder how many we don't hear about because their widow doesn't know his forum password?
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: Alewyfe on February 18, 2014, 12:52:28 AM
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: Jeff M on February 18, 2014, 01:15:34 AM
Ive heard that the mexican carboys are a poorer quality then the italian made counterparts, i wonder if this could have something to do with it?
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: euge on February 18, 2014, 01:20:41 AM
I am glad you made out with minor injuries. Wish it was unscathed!

(steps up on box with thumbs hooked in suspenders)

Looking back just can't believe that I used to pick up a full slippery glass carboy and shake the sh!t out of it. And you can bet I had a few too while brewing...

And an accident is always a freak occurrence. Not like something you expect or can respond to or control in any way. When dealing with a glass carboy there is the option not to use them. Choosing otherwise, that's the decision that forks a person off from a path of safety onto a road to injury. :(
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: klickitat jim on February 18, 2014, 01:45:30 AM
I also wear gloves when shaking quart jars (like yeast rinsing)
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: Pinski on February 18, 2014, 01:58:00 AM
Dang, that is a terrible way to end a brew day. Glad your OK? Sounds like you didn't make it unscathed.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: majorvices on February 18, 2014, 02:37:12 AM
The last carboy I broke (years ago) was on the vinyl floor in my basement. I was running to catch the phone, slipped and slid into it gashing my leg fairly deeply, but ultimately not anythings serious. But it COULD have been an artery.

And then I started thinking "what if one of my kids comes running down here and falls into one hands first"...

Really dangerous and fragile things. Keep them put away safe or, better yet, don't use them. U actually rarely use them but coincidentally put 5 gallons of beer in a carboy just last week for the first time in a while. But I was very mindful of handling and storing.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: Joe Sr. on February 18, 2014, 02:47:55 AM
I cracked one in 20 years (recently) if you discount the one that broke in storage somehow.

It was having the kids nearby when or cracked that ended it for me.

There are too many affordable plastic solutions to take the risk.


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Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: phytenphyre on February 20, 2014, 01:41:02 PM
Wowser, looks like I going to buy some better bottles or buckets...or something.  I have to 2 glass carboys, I don't need a trip to the ER.
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: epic1856 on February 20, 2014, 05:36:27 PM
I sold all but 1 carboy about a month ago.

This Happened,

(http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h114/epic1856/nexus4/IMG_20140110_000858_zpsb59cgt3c.jpg)

Resulted in This;

(http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h114/epic1856/nexus4/IMG_20140109_232835_zpsafdhit5p.jpg)
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 20, 2014, 05:41:15 PM
Really sorry to see that. I got 12 stitches after breaking a carboy, so I sympathize. Glad it wasn't worse. FWIW plastic works just fine, I use it exlusively now. Wish ya better luck !
Title: Re: Carboy Disaster
Post by: chezteth on February 20, 2014, 05:58:01 PM
I'm glad you're OK. I had a similar incident last summer. The only difference was the carboy I was moving was empty and fell on a full carboy. It occurred in the garage so cleanup wasn't terrible. I have since started using more buckets and better bottles for primary.

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