This Just in. Big mouth carboy thing. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by psnydez86, Nov 20, 2013.

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  1. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

  2. OddNotion

    OddNotion Zealot (574) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey

    Just to fit in with your concern regarding long term aging here is the one for primary fermentation:
    http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/big-mouth-bubbler-6-5-gallon.html
     
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  3. DrinkSlurm

    DrinkSlurm Poo-Bah (1,767) Oct 3, 2007 New York

    I was just gonna start a thread on this!
    This looks awesome and at a similar price to a standard carboy...
    if I didn't already have 4 better bottles and a bucket, id be in for a 6-gal
     
  4. Grohnke

    Grohnke Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2009 Illinois

    would buy
     
  5. Grohnke

    Grohnke Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2009 Illinois

    wait only glass? boooooooooooo
     
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  6. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

    They already make a plastic one. It's called a bucket!:wink:
     
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  7. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (736) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    So it says "the Big Mouth cap is a twist off. Once you screw the cap on, ITS ON and not coming off until you say so." What happens when a new brewer puts an airlock on a beer that skyrockets on temp and the krausen clogs the airlock? I think I would still go with Better Bottles and buckets. Buckets are still easier to clean, won't break, and the O2 permeability is probably about the same given that the lid is more than likely HDPE like a bucket anyways.
     
  8. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,856) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    Less likely to scratch. More likely to break into a jagged shard that takes your arm off while cleaning.
     
  9. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Zealot (566) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    Ha, I was just going to post this as well. Anyway, I'm not sure...I've really come to like the Better Bottle with a racking adapter. Also, oxyclean seems to do a pretty damn fine job of removing everything without the need to use a scrub brush at all.
     
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  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,352) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    I have read too many horror stories about homebrewers getting nasty gashes from glass carboys breaking. I would strongly recommend that a plastic bucket be used for primary fermentation. If long term storage (a.k.a. secondary fermentation) is absolutely needed, then a better bottle is a safer option.

    Cheers!
     
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  11. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,871) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    Well, I think it's much more likely for a plastic carboy to get scratched than for a glass carboy to remove an arm. But it's a much different type of risk too.

    I wonder if anyone (or everyone together) can name 5 or more people who have been seriously cut by a glass carboy? Or are one or two incidents the source of all the horror stories?

    That said, I use glass carboys, and I handle them as if I expect them to break.
     
  12. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia


    Ditto. I love glass. Infact.. I'm using glass carboys, from WAY back in the day, like back in the day when I was just a child, and my dad tried his hand at homebrewing. They are no less than 15 years old. Damn fine fermenters too.

    I treat them correctly like they'll shatter and I have no issues. I also use better bottles occasionally, and I do have and use buckets for some beers.
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,352) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    BA barfdiggs: “I decided to switch when I was looking at a carboy that was drying, and all of the sudden it literally just shattered. No more glass.”

    BA tfischl:” No- a few shards of glass but nothing too bad. One of my good friends broke a glass carboy while cleaning it and had to have all four fingers on his left hand stitched up. We call the beer 4-Fingers Ale”

    I could include more stories from my simple search of “Carboys Breaking” but I think the above illustrates the point sufficiently.

    Cheers!
     
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  14. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Poo-Bah (2,118) May 21, 2010 Texas

    Kaboom!! :grimacing:

    People are inherently terrible at evaluating risk. They see monsters under the bed where they don't exist, and ignore obvious risks at the same time. They might have a pathological fear of flying, but then drive a car without a seat belt. Perhaps they're dead set against gambling because they don't want to lose money, and would never consider putting five bucks on the pass line at a craps table in a casino, yet they'll buy the $100 extended warranty on a television or other item (virtually always a horrible bet with a hugely negative expected value). People see trends where there are none, and miss the ones that are actually there. People just mostly suck at evaluating data (whether complete or incomplete). It is highly unlikely that the human race will improve on this anytime soon.

    I suspect the vast quantities of people who have been horribly maimed by carboys (in a situation so tragic it almost eclipses the sinking of the Titanic) is probably one or two guys who drank too much while brewing, then tried to move a wet carboy, whilst wearing flip-flops on a rainy day, carrying up a hill, with a piece of BBQ chicken in their hand, trying to avoid that trick step to the backdoor of the double-wide.... :rolling_eyes:

    I know of zero people who have been injured by glass carboy breakage. Tho way back in the daze of our early youth, back when coke used to come in those glass quart bottles, my brother dropped one directly on his toe on concrete, while it was still full and closed. Broke his toe AND exploded like a bomb went off (well, it sorta did). Glass and coke everywhere. I think my mom cut herself cleaning up the mess. Those things were dangerous! Does this count? :rolling_eyes:

    Of course taking precautions for the actual risk of injury (or even just risk of a huge mess) is appropriate. Get the handle, but don't rely on the handle alone when it's full. Pick it up from the bottom and make sure it's dry and your hands are dry. Someone's probably already invented some sort of carrying device that would be optimal (I'm too lazy to look tho, I mostly use my carboy for bottling). I believe they fit very nicely into a milk crate, (which is close to what I use, a big sturdy plastic box) to carry it when full.
     
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  15. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    I have some of these (Speidels) and really like them (Top is very wide and easy to clean the insides, plus the actual volume is several gallons bigger than each quoted size). Glass carboys scare the shit out of me after I had several of them break, one in a seemingly spontaneous fashion (see JackHorzempa's above post).

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,871) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    I own 3 or 4 of these...
    http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/...-hauler.html?gclid=CL_M0NTY9LoCFag7OgodmEQAfA
     
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  17. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    I have not personally gotten hurt, but could have, in an incident with a carboy. And the way the accident occurred, neither handle nor extra carry straps would have changed the outcome, as the carboy bumped against the edge of a plastic tub, inside of which I was cleaning it.

    But good news! I wasn't drunk and I wasn't being excessively careless. Also, I was a little lucky.

    I still use glass for extended conditioning of sours, as I cannot afford more barrels, yet.
     
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  18. WeaponTheyFear

    WeaponTheyFear Aspirant (213) Mar 9, 2008 Connecticut

    I can tell you I know the exact same numbers of homebrewers who have been seriously cut by a glass carboy and infected beer due to scratches in a plastic carboy.
     
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  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,352) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    s
    Thank you for your post.

    You made mention of: “Also, I was a little lucky.” Every once in a while the bread falls butter side up but this is not something we can control.

    It seems to me that people who have never experienced any catastrophic issues with glass carboys are bold to post about things but all it takes is one unlucky accident to cause some serious damage. I think it is irresponsible of those folks to belittle to potential of a serious accidents using glass carboys.

    Cheers!
     
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  20. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    When my wife heard the crash, surprisingly I didn't start yelling and cursing. Actually, I was a little in shock, looking back on it. Because she heard the glass breaking but didn't hear me, she came downstairs, saw the shards of glass surrounding me for about 2-3 feet, and immediately said, "Goddamn! Are you SURE you're o.k.???"

    I had to have her get some bags to pick up glass shards just so I could move again. And much of it broke into the tub, not outside of it.

    As I was contemplating brewing my first sour beer soon, I decided that wooden barrels were not so expensive, after all.
     
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,352) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Thank you for sharing more details about your incident (and I am glad that you did not have any serious injuries).

    I have read many stories that when the carboy breaks it breaks in a large number of shards (which needless to say can create a lot of human damage). I suppose we could achieve a metric of more stories to meet the mark of 5 (or whatever) stories but do you think that is necessary?

    Cheers!
     
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  22. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    I only have a "friend of an acquaintance" story as far as actual injuries go, but here's the notable part: that guy? he doesn't brew anymore. And I was told he went on long-term disability from his job.

    I only heard that one second hand, as I mentioned, and well after my close call. Did I mention I love my 10 gallon wooden barrel?
     
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  23. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

  24. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia


    How is it irresponsible?

    They offer the glass carboys, if they were so damn deadly, people would run them off the market? Accidents will happen, period. You can drop a full bucket on your foot and break toes. You can bump into your burners and burn yourself, or someone else. Hell, people could burn their houses down brewing beer inside even. Scalding burns from a boil over.. You name it, and it could happen.

    If glass is so easy to break, I know people have shattered glass hydrometers. So we all start to advocate plastic hydrometers, because the fear of shattering glass inside your beer or all over the floor?

    Shit happens. Just because you or someone has had an accident doesn't mean EVERYONE will have the same outcome, but to say that people are irresponsible because they like their glass and haven't had an issue or known someone will an issue is silly.

    I haven't seen anyone break a glass carboy, haven't done one myself. They are heavy, can be slippery, but if you move slow, steady and are cognizant to the dangers of an accident, then you've got it all going for you to be safe.
     
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  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,352) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    My post was: "I think it is irresponsible of those folks to belittle the potential of a serious accidents using glass carboys." and I stand by that statement.

    Cheers!
     
  26. ultravista

    ultravista Initiate (76) Dec 11, 2010 Nevada

    The Big Mouth Bubbler looks very interesting.
     
  27. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Where are people belittling the POTENTIAL of an accident? I'd like to think, and from reading here, people understand and respect the potential for an accident. All I see is people digging for stories to try and prove their stance on plastic and glass.

    If glass wasn't a superior vessel for homebrew, then we'd all have the choice of cheap plastic or expensive stainless steel. No point in preaching gloom and doom of glass, it's a choice everyone can make on their own.

    This new wide mouth glass carboy fixes issues with carboys being tough to clean. I think it's pretty interesting myself, but not a needed item.
     
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  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,352) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    " than for a glass carboy to remove an arm."
     
  29. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia


    ??? Where did a glass carboy remove an arm?
     
  30. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Zealot (566) Feb 6, 2013 Minnesota

    Mine ripped as well, the stitching where everything comes together was just garbage. My wife is a bit crafty, and sewed it back together, much better than before. It's really strong now...but I wouldn't use one again without having my wife "fix" it.
     
  31. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,856) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    I didn't expect my comment about broken glass to be this explosive and sort of regret saying it, or at least regret the way I said it, because I was being a bit flippant. I don't want to get too preachy and will keep things short. There are real dangers, and there are probably some brewing benefits too. Make your own decisions, but if you go with glass, be aware of the risk and do use caution.
     
  32. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia


    I think there was another guy on here, or maybe on HBT that had issues with one. Dropped his carboy out of the bottom, but he lucky didn't have any issues with a lost batch, or breaking is carboy.. Or even cutting his arm off.

    Bought it from the same LHBS I use, made me wonder if it was a shitty batch.
     
  33. Ilanko

    Ilanko Initiate (147) Aug 3, 2012 New York

    I like it , very handy, easy to clean and you can measure gravity buy leave the hydrometer in it.
     
  34. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (863) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia


    Don't leave your hydro in the fermenter. Terrible idea.
     
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  35. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (526) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

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  36. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,871) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    So far I haven't seen a single name of a catastrophic victim, let alone 5.

    I believe there is potential. But I believe it's small, approaching miniscule when the equipment is handled properly.

    As an american, How do you feel about the risks and consequences of Mad Cow Disease?
     
  37. Monsone

    Monsone Aspirant (222) Jun 5, 2006 Illinois

    https://www.google.com/search?q=bro...qFJyJ3JAe-rgagI&ved=0CC4QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=641
    ^^^^^
    Proof there is more than just a couple instances. Those pictures are from 3 seconds of research.
    ^^^^^

    There is risk involved with working with glass. We can all agree that the maximum amount of damage that a glass carboy can do to the human body is much more than the maximum that a bucket or better bottle can do.

    Each option has it's pros and cons. This is a choice every homebrewer must weigh the risks and rewards on and make their own decision. I know I use plastic because if I had to go to the emergency room for stitches, my wife would put an end to my hobby. Also, I have seen no evidence that glass makes superior beers.

    I will say that when I speak to homebrew noobs starting out I recommend starting with buckets, if only because it gives one less thing to worry about.

    There is some definite passion out there when it comes to glass. But I will also state that Homebrew culture tends to pretty frugal (glass lasts til you break it which could be forever) and not very risk adverse (we will cut, weld, plumb, electrify things that we don't always have the skill to do).
     
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  38. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Another great thing about these is that I'm not gonna worry about doing fermentations with brewers yeast, wild yeast, and bacteria in the same fermenter as these are gonna be supper easy to clean compared to traditional carboys and buckets.
     
  39. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,856) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
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    If you go through the Basic Brewing radio archives, I believe you come across at least one letter from someone who required an emergency room visit. I'm pretty sure you will find similar letters from different people in the BYO and/or Zymurgy letters section. Or else I am just imagining this. Sometimes I think my life is one big Truman Show, so maybe this thing about glass being fragile and sharp is just something people are making up to see how I'll react.
     
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,352) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Thanks for your post. There are over ten photographs of people showing the stiches they received from accidents of a broken carboy. Needless to say but not everybody is going to take a picture of their injury and also take the next step to post it on the internet.

    Cheers!
     
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