Carboy's Or Fermenting Buckets? Why Use One Over The Other? Carboy

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DU99

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why is it a hassle..cleaning use napisan overnight,fermenting using some glad wrap,dispensing easy
 

CONNOR BREWARE

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The carboy gives great viewing but its dangerous, I still wouldn't do without it.
My fermenters, plastic, are great as well and move around easily. But of course they are plastic and have bigger openings and more areas to clean.

Both have a place for my brews.
 

manticle

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Glass:

Suitable for long term aging
Easier to clean/sanitise (or at keast more stable - get an infection in plastic and it's better to throw it away than risk it again)
Transparent

Plastic:

Cheap
Replaceable (because it's cheap)
Usually comes with taps or the means to attach one.
Copes with boiling water and being dropped

Both have merits and I have and use both for different beers/purposes. Anything that requires ageing gets racked from plastic to glass.
 

Blueweb

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Du99 what I'm trying to ask is what are the advantages of using a carboy over a fermenting bucket?
 

jakethesnake559

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Hi Bluewebbrewer,

I like using glass carboys because you can see exactly what's happening during fermentation.
To clean you can just soak with Five Star PBW or any other cleaner...make sure you rinse it well.
Without a tap, you will have to syphon to get the beer out.

So if you aren't comfortable with syphoning, go the plastic type.
But you mention bucket, so you are probably planning to syphon anyway?

My 2c worth :) ...but both will ferment beer.
 

Blueweb

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I actually use a coopers fermenting bucket with a spigot tap so no need for syphoning, I was just curious because I have only ever seen and used the fermenting buckets and was checking out a YouTube vid and one was being used so I did a bit of research and found out what they were, also a lot of people use them for secondary fermentation?
 

pk.sax

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Plastic buckets/drums etc are not impervious to air penetration.

So, 2 things happen. Long term storage in those will cause beer to stale. That's easy to imagine.
Also, storing under pressure in them long term will be ineffective due to the carbonation loss through porous plastic walls.

Besides that, glass is far easier to clean without risking scratches.

This means beer kept for longer aging/secondary is preferably kept in glass/steel. Also, beer brewed with more than just brewers yeast is also preferably brewed in glass as it can be more effectively sanitised than plastic can be.

Rest is aesthetics.
 

jakub76

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Plastic is porous, glass carboys are not. Air (and therefor oxygen) permeates plastic.

Plastic scratches easier than glass. Bacteria like Brett- or Pedio- can live inside those scratches, or even in the pores of the plastic. So glass is easier to sanitize.

Obviously there are logistical reasons that make plastic fermenters more practical - cost, weight, ease of cleaning, bounciness etc.

I have always used plastic with good results though most agree it should be retired every few years or if you find you have a run of infections (touch wood).
 

Blueweb

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Ok so glass seems like the logical step if you are worried about infection?! So 316 stainless sheet metal sounds like it would be perfect to make a fermenter! Lucky I'm a boilermaker lads! Think I'll have to add a sheet of stainless to my next job order!

But in all seriousness it sounds like plastic is just fine for me as an amateur hobby brewer at the moment.
 

pk.sax

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Absolutely is. Dam boilermakers! Access to all that stuff... n bling n skills!

Look towards steel or glass only when you decide to brew Belgians that have souring bacteria or any high gravity beers that need aging in bulk. Then again, rather spend that money on steel corny kegs!
 

felten

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You can get the best of both worlds with a betterbottle (if you believe their advertising), but they can be pricey. Their tap setup comes separately, and other accessories, but IIRC it costs more to buy the tap than the fermenter itself.

I have one myself, but its not drilled for a tap.
 

QldKev

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To me, who never want to age my beer long term in a fermenter, the main difference is plastic can get tiny scratches easily which allow bad crap to grow and cause issues with infections. But I have never used a glass carboy due to the price. Anytime I think any one of my fermenters look scanky / scratched internally I just chuck it and get a new one. Under $20 for the Bunnings fermenter, it is wort less than the wort we are putting into it.

Side note, anyone see Bunnings now have square 30L drums with the large round opening, they are only just a bit taller, and still under $20. When ever I need to replace mine these are the new puppies.

QldKev
 

katzke

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But I have never used a glass carboy due to the price. Under $20 for the Bunnings fermenter, it is wort less than the wort we are putting into it.

QldKev
Have never paid more then that in UD$ for any of mine. I have a small one that worked great for a Barley Wine that I talked someone in to making. I have lots in the 5 gallon (20 liter?) size and one large one that is 6.5 gallons. I had so many of the 5 gallon ones that I gave one away as a raffle prize. All of the 5 gallon ones I have are old water bottles that have turned blue with age. I also have one fermenting bucket that I use as well as a bottling bucket that I have fermented in. I like glass, just dont trust plastic. It is not natural.

I bet I have a better chance finding used carboys in second hand stores, as there must be more floating around in the USA. You should be able to find old water bottles unless you never used them.
 

DUANNE

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Side note, anyone see Bunnings now have square 30L drums with the large round opening, they are only just a bit taller, and still under $20. When ever I need to replace mine these are the new puppies.

QldKev

thats what i use as a hlt. just put a couple of kettle elements in and it works a treat.
 

Blueweb

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ok so if i do my fermentaton is my plastic fermenter and then tranffer my beer into one of my kegs i can rest and age it in them yes??? i am also seriously considering trying to make a munich dunkel so a carboy would be better for aging that style of beer???

thanks heaps for all ur tips and all this great info guys its helping me out in so many ways.
 
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I use demijohns, so far I have broken two- one was thermal shock and the other I rolled in the bath and the seam cracked (now I place a towel down before emptying it whilst cleaning).

Being able to watch what goes on during fermentation is totally worth it.
 

Wimmig

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I like carboys. Using a better bottle at the moment. Thinking of going to glass soon, if i do i'll order a holder for each of the glass carboys, using a milkcrate at the moment. Transfer is only easy, quickest i've gotten down to is 15mins from bottle to keg, sealed with co2 and rinsed off.

The big thick transfer silicone hose, and a SS racking cane makes it simple. Does anybody make some kind of risers, so i can stack 2 milkcrates with carboys in them?
 

Blueweb

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demijohn's are just bigger versions of carboys right? i can definitly see the advantages of the carboys and demijohns but unless ur a serious all grain brewer i dont see them being any better then a plastic fermentaion bucket with a spigot tap, for me as a partial grain brewer im still leaning toward me good old plastic fermenter. im only fairly new to the sport lads so any and all info is greatly appricated.
 

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