Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: nomadicvagabond on October 19, 2010, 04:02:39 AM

Title: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: nomadicvagabond on October 19, 2010, 04:02:39 AM
I want to move away from using buckets for fermentation mainly, so that I can see what is happening inside the vessel.  I'm 95% sure that I'd rather use Better Bottles instead of glass carboys for a number of reasons, but I'm just a little unsure of stoppers and airlocks.  So, I guess that I have three questions:

1 - If you use Better Bottles what would you recommend for a stopper/airlock setup?  What have you found that works the best?
2 - Do the  carboy caps  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/siphoning-equipment/racking-canes/3-5-6-gall-carboy-cap-orange.html) fit if i wanted to use those to start a siphon, a la the video at that link?
3 - Has anyone tried and have feedback on the  Reusable Ported Closure  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/better-bottle-reusable-ported-closure.html) and the  Dry Trap  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/better-bottle-dry-trap-for-reuseable-closure.html) instead of a bung and airlock?

There's a whole lot of questioning right there, help on any of that would be great.  Thanks

--Scotty
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: chezteth on October 19, 2010, 05:53:40 AM
I want to move away from using buckets for fermentation mainly, so that I can see what is happening inside the vessel.  I'm 95% sure that I'd rather use Better Bottles instead of glass carboys for a number of reasons, but I'm just a little unsure of stoppers and airlocks.  So, I guess that I have three questions:

1 - If you use Better Bottles what would you recommend for a stopper/airlock setup?  What have you found that works the best?
2 - Do the  carboy caps  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/siphoning-equipment/racking-canes/3-5-6-gall-carboy-cap-orange.html) fit if i wanted to use those to start a siphon, a la the video at that link?
3 - Has anyone tried and have feedback on the  Reusable Ported Closure  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/better-bottle-reusable-ported-closure.html) and the  Dry Trap  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/better-bottle-dry-trap-for-reuseable-closure.html) instead of a bung and airlock?

There's a whole lot of questioning right there, help on any of that would be great.  Thanks

--Scotty

I have 3 better bottles and really like them.  I use a #10 Drilled Rubber Stopper with an airlock with them.  I have used the carboy caps for blowoff but not for starting a siphon.  They seem to fit reasonably well but I'm not sure the fit is tight enough to start a siphon.  You would have to try it out for yourself.  I have not used the ported closure so I can't help you there. 
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: tygo on October 19, 2010, 11:17:52 AM

2 - Do the  carboy caps  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/siphoning-equipment/racking-canes/3-5-6-gall-carboy-cap-orange.html) fit if i wanted to use those to start a siphon, a la the video at that link?


I've used one on a six gallon better bottle to transfer that way.  It works.  I presume it would work on a five gallon as well but I haven't actually used it for that yet.  I have one of these:  

http://morebeer.com/view_product/18872//Sterile_Siphon_Starter_-_For_5_and_6_Gallon_Carboys
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: theDarkSide on October 19, 2010, 12:40:23 PM
I use the Better Bottles with the carboy cap but I've never done the siphon.  I've seen people put a rubber o-ring on the neck to make the carboy cap sit tighter, as well as using packing tape.

In my opinion, the dry tap and all the other accessories for the BB are just too expensive ( spigot, racking arm, ported BB, etc. ). 
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: dak0415 on October 19, 2010, 12:53:05 PM
Use a 2-1/2" worm clamp around the carboy cap if needed although mine seem to fit properly as long as I don't put more than 2 lbs of CO2 pressure into the bottle.(No siphon, CO2 push)
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: narvin on October 19, 2010, 01:47:00 PM
The orange carboy caps work... sometimes.  I used to use carboys, so I have a bunch laying around.  Some fit tight enough that you get airlock bubbling, and some don't.  For primary, it doesn't really matter, but I want my secondary (if I do one) to be airtight.

I think the carboy caps are just made poorly.  The ones that fit are noticeably narrower/shorter... go to you LHBS and try to find the smalles one you see.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: tumarkin on October 19, 2010, 02:59:37 PM
Since y'all are obviously using Better Bottles, let me shift the thread a bit. I've been thinking about starting to use them, but one thing concerns me. Some of my older carboys have scratch marks right at the top (where the stopper goes) from the handles of wire carboy brushes. I solved that problem by sliding plastic tubing over the handle to protect against scratches. This became a non-issue for me after I started using PBW to soak carboys.

Do y'all have any issues with scratches (from whatever source) in the Better Bottles? I love that they're non-breakable, & thus solve the safety issues of glass carboys. But what about scratching or other long-term issues?
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: theDarkSide on October 19, 2010, 03:05:12 PM
No brushes ever on BB.  I usually do an extended Oxiclean ( or PBW ) soak and then rinse them out thoroughly to clean them.

Others have stated that they have used BB for extended periods of time without any oxidation issues.  The longest I've gone has been 4 weeks...no problems.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: Slowbrew on October 19, 2010, 03:09:36 PM
I haven't noticed any scratching issues. 
I use the orange caps to start a siphon with no issues.
I've been using the large Universal Carboy bungs for my BBs and they work great.
And last but not least, I have never sprung for the options, so no help there.

Paul
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 21, 2010, 09:51:23 PM
Do y'all have any issues with scratches (from whatever source) in the Better Bottles? I love that they're non-breakable, & thus solve the safety issues of glass carboys. But what about scratching or other long-term issues?


The way to avoid this is to wrap a cloth around your bottle brush.  I use an old sleeve from a long sleeve shirt.  Voila- no scratching.

My first BB has some scratches from brushing (before I knew better) but they have not been an issue except for perhaps once recently.  I think there were other problems going on, as I've since used the bottle for two additional batches with no issues.  Perhaps three... I cannot recollect.

I've been using the orange carboy caps for many year on my BB with no issues.  Siphon just fine.  Ferment fine.  Age fine, though typically if I am aging in a carboy I will transfer to glass.  Unless I get lazy.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: tumarkin on October 21, 2010, 10:26:01 PM
Ferment fine.  Age fine, though typically if I am aging in a carboy I will transfer to glass.  Unless I get lazy.

Aging in the BB has been another question for me in contemplating moving to BB. I don't see a problem for beer, but I have concerns about leaving meads in them for more extended bulk aging. Have any of you left beer or mead for extended periods? any oxidation?
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: Joe Sr. on October 22, 2010, 01:48:54 AM
I've gone for a month, maybe two.  Not beyond that.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: tygo on October 22, 2010, 01:42:29 PM
I've got one that's been in there for about 5 months so far and has another 7 months to go.  Just sampled it the other day and it tastes fine.  I left the wee heavy I'm drinking now in there for about four months with no problems.  My LHBS guy said he had a cider in one for a year and it was fine.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: tumarkin on October 22, 2010, 02:43:35 PM
thanks for the info. I guess I'll just get one or two & give em a try to see what I think. Glad that the price of glass carboys has gone up so much - I'll be able to recoup a big part of the cost of getting some BB by selling some of my old glass.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: kgs on October 23, 2010, 03:54:24 AM
I love BB. I don't think I'd be able to brew (except in buckets) without them; I'm a small older female and it would just be too much. Oxyclean (I use Safeway's brand) cleans these right up. Treat them carefully and lift from the bottom, not the neck (this is also true for glass) and they will last for ages.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: richardt on October 23, 2010, 06:02:58 PM
If you've ever seen how quick and deep glass cuts, or would like to avoid the experience altogether, you'll want plastic buckets ($) or Better Bottles ($$) or Stainless Steel Corny's or Fermeters ($$$). 

I like the lighter weight of the plastic buckets and BB's--lifting and transfers are easier.  I always put the airlock on last (e.g., after the bucket or BB is in the fermentation fridge) to prevent sucking the fluid within the airlock into the fermeter.  The airlock is always first to be removed before transfering or moving the bucket or BB from the fridge.  The BB has the advantage of allowing one to watch the mesmerizing fermentation process.

Cleaning:  No brushes on plastic buckets or BB;  Just hot water, oxyclean soaks, and wipe off with a yellow sponge (no scouring pad).  My first BB has scratches on it from having used a carboy brush on it during my unenlightened days--I have noted no ill effects on any subsequnt beer batches from the scratches so long as normal santitation measures are followed.

Title: Re: Better Bottle Stoppers and Dry Traps
Post by: cosmo on November 02, 2010, 04:35:24 PM
Warning: Don't use the Better Bottle snap-on handle without the solid BB stopper.  The plastic of the bottle without the hard stopper in it will deform and the handle will pop off.  I started using rubber stoppers and dropped the carboy a couple times before I realized this is a problem.  The handle is nice, but just be sure the BB stopper is in there when using it.