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can anyone tell me what the go is with carboys? :huh:

..."the go.." ??? ....umm what kinda info u thinkin of?

glass/plastic, size/price, where do u get'm, ...... ??

basically "the go" is to fill'em with 'wort'n yeast, fit airlock n let'em rip!! :p

but I assume you do have some as yet unanswered questions .....
please be a bit more specific , ...someone'll soon helpya to launch your adventure into the brotherhood/(sisterhood..?) of Alchemy that is brewing! :D
Welcome to the board guys!!

It seems carboys vs. plastic is a bit of a personal preference. Most starter kits come with plastic, as they are ceahper and easier to use.

Plastic fermenters have a tap at the bottonm that allow for easy bottling/racking, while carboy's have to be siphoned into another bottling container.

From what I hear, Carboy's are harder to clean (glass) but you have the benifit of seeing how your brew is going.

Carboy's have the 'fragile' factor, which can be a big concern!

As I'm only new to brewing (the reason why I set the forum up) I have only used plastic, I would be interested in hearing from some other more experienced members to see what they think.....
I have a glass fermenter well that's what I call it, whether the real is a carboy or not I'm not so sure but anyway.

They are a real bugger to clean, the top is rather small where you can place a bung (rubber thing) and the airlock. The worst part about is the cleaning as you can't get your hands in there and scrub away.

On the bright side you can see all the crap sitting on the bottom and you know it's ready to be bottled without actually needing to take a hydrometer reading.

I use 2x 30L Plastic fermenters and 1x 25L Glass fermenter which I use for racking into a keg.
cool thats pretty much what i thought, think i'll stick with the plastic barrel that i've got :)

Lots of North Americans use glass carboys and swear by them. I use plastic food grade HDPE buckets and they work fine.

Plastic, easy to clean, never had a problem.

Wouldn't the glass be fragile?

What about heat issues? (Adding NEAR boiling water to NEAR cold glass scares me)
Yes, lots of North Americans use glass carboys. Go to any North American brewing list and follow a discussion of glass vs plastic and you'll read arguments about how plastic allows oxygen to permeate over time. Maybe this is an issue for longterm conditioning (don't ask me how long - haven't a clue and it may not matter anyway). However I've had brews in plastic secondary for a couple of months with no ill effects - or at least none that I've tasted.

A side by side comparison maybe useful - same batch split between plastic and glass - long term storage and then a taste test.

Glass is good for watching whats happening. However you can always see the process in miniature by watching a yeast starter in a clear container.

And yes - I wouldn't want to cart around a full glass carboy - bad enough lifting and moving a full plastic bucket .

Another argument I just remembered is that plastic gets scratched and that these scratches can harbour bacteria that might affect the beer. I'm yet to see any evidence of this and I've brewed a lot of batches in plastic. My current plastic fermenters are a few years old and I'm not looking at replacing them any time soon.

I can certainly vouch for carrying a full glass carboy, especially bad if your grip isn't the best and it starts slipping.

I am going to stick with the plastic fermenters, I had to make a customised box to suit the carboy but nevertheless if I chose to do wine it could come in handy.
Not so long ago I saw both a blueberry and an apricot mead being fermented in glass carbouys. They were definite lava lamp contenders, especially after I put a torch behind them. Light Show!


Yes I was wondering again about carboys after watching a recent starter. I'd grabbed a fair sized glob of yeast from a primary for a starter and it really went to town - even more entertaining than my regular starters (must have been the amount of yeast). Anyway, I can only imagine the entertainment value of a carboy going full throttle.

I use the small glass carboys (1 gallon?) to make my mead in. I do worry about the long term oxygen permeation thats a possibility with plastic, and mead is a long slow process.

The other good thing about the small glass carboys is that they are good for making experimental batches with. Like starting with the same basic wort/kit and instead of doing one big brew, you can do 3-4 little brews and modify each of them slightly (a dry hop here, a light malt there....).

I've never had a problem cleaning them though???? Nothing seems to stick to the glass...

Saw some 5 litre glass jars the other day at a hospitality store - maybe good for something or other related to brewing.


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