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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: frochild on May 18, 2011, 05:45:33 AM

Title: Cracked Carboy
Post by: frochild on May 18, 2011, 05:45:33 AM
Hello everyone,   

I made a terrible mistake tonight.   I put very hot liquid into my carboy.  Guess what happened ... it cracked.  Normally I have 2-3 gallons of cold water in the carboy, but to make a long story short there was too much wort to do this.  Thank god I have a second carboy. Thinking the crack did not go all the way through  (there was no signs of leaking) I went ahead and racked it to a second carboy.  Between the cleaning of my extra equipment and the difficulty siphoning the wort with whole raspberries in it ( and wanting to do it slowly to allow it to cool off a bit during the racking), about 1/2 hour passed.  In that time no noticeable leaking occurred.  But by the end, it was apparent that the crack went all the way through as there were chucks attached to the crack on the inside with a couple of trickle traces on the outside in a few spots.  My friend and I felt there really was no reason to worry in regards to glass being in the wort itself. Yet being a bit on the OCD side, I wanted to ask you guys what you thought about this.  Should I toss the wort?
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: euge on May 18, 2011, 05:53:30 AM
No. It'll be fine.

Yet another minus for glass. :-\
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: frochild on May 18, 2011, 05:55:28 AM
I'd post a pic, but I am not a member of flicker or anything else.  I suppose I can though if you guys think it would make a difference.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: tschmidlin on May 18, 2011, 06:09:43 AM
Some glass in the wort?  No big deal, your biggest worry is spilling.  Ferment in the second one and toss the cracked carboy.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: frochild on May 18, 2011, 06:17:30 AM
Thanks guys I appreciate the vote of confidence.  I am not that worried.  I was just so very relieved that I was able to save the beer.  Now I am going to have to wait an eternity for the wort to cool to acceptable temps.   

Cheers
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: tschmidlin on May 18, 2011, 06:19:52 AM
Put some clean foil over the top and leave it overnight.  How are you controlling your fermentation temps?  That same method should help drop the temp faster and have it ready for you in the morning.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: frochild on May 18, 2011, 06:33:29 AM
Well when it comes to ales I just brew it in a closet on the first floor.  During the winter, fall, and spring this generally allows little variation in temp (although each beer might have a different fermentation temp ... i like to think it provides variety).  In the summer my or someone's basement is usually warm and stable enough.   With my lagers, I have been blessed with a basement floor that keeps everything at 53 degrees during fall, spring, winter.   I have yet to purchase a refrigerator to allow me to bring my lagers to like 33 degrees or to to be able to lager in the summer.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: punatic on May 18, 2011, 08:16:26 AM
Some glass in the wort?  No big deal, your biggest worry is spilling.  Ferment in the second one and toss the cracked carboy turn the cracked carboy into a terrarium
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: frochild on May 18, 2011, 08:21:36 AM
 It's integrity is severely compromised.  In fact, I duct taped it just to bring it out to the curb.  But that is a great idea, perhaps it will work.  For now it seems like it will not break.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: Jimmy K on May 19, 2011, 01:57:50 PM
Even if there were some glass shards in there, they are denser than everything else and should sink to the bottom quickly. That means they'd be below the yeast and trub and not in danger of being syphoned out. If you want to be competely safe though, wrap some sanitized gauze/mesh/hop bag around the bottom of the syphon when you transfer for kegging or bottling.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: richardt on May 19, 2011, 04:47:21 PM
Yet another reason to just go with plastic brew buckets (with or without spigots--I personally like the spigots, even on my primary fermentors--makes racking ridiculously easy).  Safety, ease and convenience of cleaning, transfering, lifting and storing fermentors, and low cost are all good reasons for considering plastic buckets.

Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: morticaixavier on May 19, 2011, 05:11:56 PM
Yet another reason to just go with plastic brew buckets (with or without spigots--I personally like the spigots, even on my primary fermentors--makes racking ridiculously easy).  Safety, ease and convenience of cleaning, transfering, lifting and storing fermentors, and low cost are all good reasons for considering plastic buckets.



So I just bought a couple of plastic bucket fermenters and although I asked for without spigots I got with. it made me wonder if, after the initial vigourous mernetation was done, If I gave it a little swirl just to kick the yeast up again and then let it settle at a 45 degree angle with the spigot down if I could not just open it for a bit to dump my yeast. I would have to build a little cradle for it so it could set at that angle but...
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: tschmidlin on May 19, 2011, 05:52:00 PM
As long as it's not so full that it is spilling out the top, you should be able to get some of it out.  How much depends on the spigot position of course.  But why swirl after fermentation, if you build the stand/cradle let it ferment and settle right there.

mernetation
One of the most interesting typos I've seen. ;D
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: richardt on May 19, 2011, 06:33:54 PM
An ..."initial vigourous mernetation", no less. :o
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: richardt on May 19, 2011, 06:59:18 PM
Back on topic.  I don't swirl or try to dump trub/yeast from the spigot.  

If I were to do anything, I'd try to swirl and tip/store the bucket so that the spigot is on the high side (moving the trub/yeast away from the spigot) during chilling. Tipping the bucket so the spigot is on the low side runs the risk of undue pressure on the spigot--I've had a few (incompletely) crack along the bulkhead portion and begin to leak--thankfully no significant loss of beer occurred, but I can see a situation where a complete crack in the bulkhead portion of the plastic spigot would cause you to lose the entire batch and make a horrible mess.  Use the rubber washers on both sides (ideally) and hand tighten, but don't over tighten.  Some spigots are better quality than others (e.g., better plastics)--some even allow you to attach a bottling wand directly to the spigot and some have plastic barbs that allow you to attach a tube.  The later tend to be more inferior plastics that will easily crack (especially when cold--i.e., 34 F) if you are too rough with attaching a tube to the spigot.  On these more fragile types of spigots, I recommend that "every action have an equal and opposite action" in order to attach the tube onto the spigot, i.e., push the spigot onto the tube as much as you are pushing the tube onto the spigot--net force on the bulkhead of the spigot is zero.

I take the 3-piece air lock off carefully (if you leave it on, you'll suck in the vodka or sanitizer solution) and place a plastic shot glass or plastic solo cup upside down over the airlock hole in the lid to prevent any airborne bacteria or yeast from potentially contaminating the beer.  It also allows air pressure equalization during transfer.  I then take the chilled fermentor bucket right out of the fridge and set it up on the counter.

I rack straight from the spigot (slow speed recommended)--don't open full blast if possible--keep the "suction" effect to a minimum in order not to disturb the yeast/trub cake.  You may get a chunk of yeast that has collected in the spigot initially, but it clears quite rapidly.   I often collect the first half cup of beer/yeast/trub out of the spigot for FG readings anyway--then it is on to transferring clear beer into the keg or bottling bucket.  Use a hose to minimize oxygen exposure of the finished beer-- place the bottom of the hose in the recipient bucket or keg.

At the end of transferring, I can harvest the top layer of the slurry into a mason jar or bottle.  After I get a 1/2 to 3/4ths of a mason jar's worth, I stop.  The rest gets dumped out unless I plan to rack another beer right onto the yeast cake within a week or two.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: punatic on May 19, 2011, 07:25:57 PM
As long as it's not so full that it is spilling out the top, you should be able to get some of it out.  How much depends on the spigot position of course.  But why swirl after fermentation, if you build the stand/cradle let it ferment and settle right there.

mernetation
One of the most interesting typos I've seen. ;D

Isn't mermentation what happened to Harry Potter when he ate the gillyweed?
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: morticaixavier on May 19, 2011, 07:47:18 PM
gillyweed porter hmmm.

I was thinking the swirl and settle so that the initial FERMENTATION doesn't overflow as easily. after krausen has dropped you should be left with an extra couple of inches of bucket to work with in terms of tipping. But the concern about the spigot failing and dumping beer all over the ground kind of takes the air out of my sails I must say.
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: rabid_dingo on May 24, 2011, 02:00:15 AM
gillyweed porter Potter hmmm.

I was thinking the swirl and settle so that the initial FERMENTATION doesn't overflow as easily. after krausen has dropped you should be left with an extra couple of inches of bucket to work with in terms of tipping. But the concern about the spigot failing and dumping beer all over the ground kind of takes the air out of my sails I must say.

Another fun typo...
Title: Re: Cracked Carboy
Post by: punatic on May 24, 2011, 02:24:03 AM
You've never had a gillyweed porter?  10x better than butterbeer!

Are you a muggle?   ???