Glass Carboy Injury Poll

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by VikeMan, Nov 21, 2013.


Describe your personal experience with glass carboys in brewing

Poll closed Nov 28, 2013.
  1. I have never used a glass carboy

  2. I have used one or more glass carboys, but have never been cut by one

  3. I have been cut by a broken glass carboy, with at least one injury requiring stitches

    0 vote(s)
  4. I have been cut by a broken glass carboy, but the injury(s) did not require stitches

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  1. VikeMan

    VikeMan Grand Pooh-Bah (3,043) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Let's do a bit of statistical sampling. I think there are hundreds of lurkers on this forum. Please read the choices carefully and chime in.
    Eriktheipaman likes this.
  2. BumpkinBrewer

    BumpkinBrewer Pundit (993) Jan 6, 2010 Massachusetts

    Why do I feel like something bad is going to happen when I transfer a Tripel later this week.
  3. cwehr13

    cwehr13 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2011 Illinois

    Never been injured by a carboy, needles to say I will now on my next batch.
    SFACRKnight, dunix and PapaGoose03 like this.
  4. MADhombrewer

    MADhombrewer Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2008 Oregon

    I voted for northern brewer hops. Thanks.

    Wait, wrong poll. Damn.
  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Grand Pooh-Bah (3,043) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    FTW. For some reason, that response, coming from your avatar, made me spew my Mountain Dew.
    jmw, jbakajust1 and MADhombrewer like this.
  6. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    Out of convenience I mostly use buckets unless I need the extra room during multiple brew days, or if I'm aging something for a few months.

    Having read some horror stories on hbt I still clean my glass carboy by filling it half way with oxiclean solution and shaking the hell out of it while cradling it in my arms. I figure it's only dangerous if I drop it. However, if it ever broke and I survived I probably wouldn't buy another one.
  7. alanforbeer

    alanforbeer Crusader (419) Jan 29, 2011 South Carolina

    Never had any issues with glass carboys. I use brew haulers, and I try to wear gloves when moving carboys around.

    I did have a growler mysteriously explode on me once, but the only injury was to my soul...the growler was full of Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #7.
    PortLargo likes this.
  8. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I've yet to use glass as a fermentation vessel but plan on getting some big mouth carboys this holiday season. I've done 30+ batches pretty much all in buckets. Are buckets easy to clean? Yes. Am I making micro scratches as I clean them after every batch begging wild yeast and bacteria to take residence ? Probably. Is using buckets over and over again starting to worry me from a sanitation standpoint? Yes. I understand the risks that go along with these large glass jugs and can't wait to clean the krausen off one of these bad boys with something real abrasive that I could never use on a plastic bucket.
  9. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Pooh-Bah (2,502) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Downside of "traditional" carboys is they suck ass at trying to clean them. I have some brushes, and a keg cleaner that pumps cleaner in them and it's pretty much easy as hell now. If you wait around and get dried on krausen that is what sucks.
    psnydez86 likes this.
  10. sjverla

    sjverla Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2008 Massachusetts

    I have one glass carboy. I do use it sometimes, but I'm terrified when I do. I'm currently working on expanding my collection of buckets.
    inchrisin likes this.
  11. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    My only criticism, and it is a small one, is that you are not going to reach anybody who got hurt badly, who then sold off the rest of his equipment and found another hobby.

    As a long time motorcyclist, I know people who have gotten hurt badly and with only one exception, they got out of motorcycling and found another hobby. And I only see them outside of motorcycle related events now.

    The one exception was a former racer, who still rides, only exclusively on the street now.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  12. Pegli

    Pegli Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2006 Rhode Island

    I've been cut by glass beer bottles quite a few times...
  13. VikeMan

    VikeMan Grand Pooh-Bah (3,043) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Me too. Well, once. I once had a case of LHBS bought bottles where an alarmingly high percentage of them decided to break the second time they were used (while removing caps).
  14. pweis909

    pweis909 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,176) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Really? A poll? Seems like you are taking this farther than it needs to go. Can't we vote about stouts instead?
  15. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    This whole glass carboy discussion is going off the rails. The fact is that if a glass carboy breaks, the potential to cause serious injury is great. In fact, I'd wager that shards are created nearly 100% of the time when they do break. How often they break isn't particularly quantifiable, in a useful way, especially with a small sampling from this site.

    Anyway, it's a simple issue. Either you believe the risk of injury is too great, or not.

    I still use glass, but sparingly. I am concerned about injury, so I am very careful with them.
    Grohnke and billandsuz like this.
  16. Marshall_ofmcap

    Marshall_ofmcap Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2013 Colorado

    I would use glass if i had it, maybe a petition to northern brewer to start making a safety glass fermentor if it is that big of an issue. i have done far more dangerous things then use glass carboys; like go outside in my neighborhood after dark. and drive on the snow
  17. Marshall_ofmcap

    Marshall_ofmcap Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2013 Colorado

    every time you vote, you vote for AMERICA, USA USA USA
    jsullivan02130 likes this.
  18. Brewski

    Brewski Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I have never been cut by a glass carboy. However, the liquid fermented in them has caused quite a few injuries.:stuck_out_tongue:
    AlCaponeJunior and telejunkie like this.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,181) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    “The fact is that if a glass carboy breaks, the potential to cause serious injury is great.”

    In Systems Engineering a ‘tool’ called a Risk Matrix is used the qualify risk. If the severity of an event is significant (great injury requiring a trip to the emergency room) then even if the probability of occurrence is low there is a high risk. Below is an example of this Risk Matrix. For the combination of the probability of a carboy breaking being unlikely but the severity being significant then the risk is considered to be high. If you chose to assess that the probability of a carboy breaking is possible then the risk is extreme.


  20. pweis909

    pweis909 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,176) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I just google searched images using "Broken Carboy Injury." Some fairly grisly looking cut hands and feet and one guy with his leg immobilized showed up in the search. Of course, all the people who were killed by broken carboys were unavailable for a selfie.

    Worth noting: there was one broken Better Bottle. And... a Vikeman avatar!
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