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View Full Version : Where to find equipment (carboys) locally?



passingby
06-11-2006, 03:31 PM
Hello

I'm looking to start my first 1 gallon batch of JAO (well, my first batch of anything ever) and I have assembled all of the supplies that the recipe requires except for the 1 gallon carboy. Now, I've seen plenty of sites online where I could order these, but I was wondering if someone could guide me to place where I could get one locally. And yes, I've already looked/asked around and there are unfortunately no brewshops anywhere close enough that I wouldn't just be better off ordering online. :(

I will probably want to move to different/larger/more batches in the near-future as well, so anyplace where I could buy sizes other than 1 gallon carboys would be appreciated, too.

Thanks!

lostnbronx
06-11-2006, 05:29 PM
Passingby,

Welcome to the Forums!

I use Carlo Rossi 4 liter wine jugs. They're cheap, you drink the wine, and then you ferment in them. 4 liters is close enough to 1 gallon that you don't need to alter any recipes to use it. Some people get these, and then get 1 gallon glass apple juice jugs; they primary in the 4 liter jugs, and then rack into the slightly smaller 1 gallon jugs.

Again, welcome!

-David

passingby
06-11-2006, 06:17 PM
Thank you! I plan to stick around for quite a while. Perhaps I'll even become experienced to share some advice some day. ;D

Anyway, I will have to look for the wine jugs next time, although I don't recall ever seeing any wine being sold in such large containers around here. (Is the actual wine any good, btw? :P)

As for the glass apple juice jugs, I haven't been able to find them. I've actually been looking for some glass juice/milk jugs, but all I have been able to find have been plastic (like the 1 gallon milk jugs).

I do remember seeing some supermarkets that had Oberweiss products in glass jugs, but they seemed like they were smaller than 1 gallon if my memory is correct.

I'll keep an eye out, but just in case, any other suggestions would be great, too. Thanks.

lostnbronx
06-11-2006, 06:43 PM
Anyway, I will have to look for the wine jugs next time, although I don't recall ever seeing any wine being sold in such large containers around here. (Is the actual wine any good, btw? :P)


As a rule, no.

I like to get fruitier blushes and whites in this size jug, and make LOTS of wine coolers. They are quite refreshing in this form. Also, since the wine isn't exactly noteworthy, and it's the jug you're really after anyway, you can always pour or syphon off the wine into smaller santized containers, like 2 liter soda bottles, and drink them at your leasure. They'll last a few months like this in the fridge if you fill them to the top to minimize headspace. And if you can't find a wine you can choke down, make a deal with a friend -- go halfsies on a jug of wine your friend likes, give the wine itself to the friend, and keep the bottle.

Some folks go to local restaurants, like The Olive Garden or whatever, and ask for bottles. The restaurants' cheaper table wines are probably just jug wine, and they throw out the bottles when they're done (these days, a lot of wines come in boxes too, though). Bars do the same. If you DO find a source like this, get as many jugs as you can -- once you start in this hobby, it can become a passion very quickly!

Good luck and please post about your mead making progress once you get started.

-David

GrantLee63
06-11-2006, 08:04 PM
Yep, free is the best - either a restaurant or even perhaps a beer / wine / liquor shop that may have one or two empties laying around.

I've been pretty fortunate .... I put the word out at work that I'm into making mead and I have several of my colleauges collecting bottles for me. In the past 6 weeks I've gotten over 60 750 ml wine bottles, 30 1500 ml wine bottles, and 72 empty Grolsch bottles ! But alas, no empty jugs :(. But then again, I never ASKED for those !

Of course, as soon as the 45+ gallons of various meads that I've made have matured, I will be expected to reciprocate and give a few back filled up ! But I suppose that's all part of this hobby / passion anyway ..... isn't it ?

Johnnybladers
06-11-2006, 09:07 PM
There happens to be a china/glass(Reading China and Glass) place near me that sells 5 gallon carboys. Since they aren't a homebrew type shop, they call them water jugs ("they're great to put coins in") instead of carboys. Some sort of glassware shop might be worth checking out.
Jon

Maelduin
06-11-2006, 10:22 PM
Have found five gallon carboys at Old Time Pottery.

Good luck,

Michael

buttrfly
06-12-2006, 02:02 PM
gallon apple juice jugs. and I just bought brew equipment from a fellow grad student who is moving on - and moving into a small apartment with no room to brew.

Dan McFeeley
06-12-2006, 04:55 PM
The 4.5 liter jug wines also make nice carboys.

Now here's an odd thought -- wonder if you could
pick up one those bag wines, wash thoroughly
when emptied, then fill with honey must and
attach the spigot end to an airlock. ::)

passingby
06-15-2006, 07:02 PM
Thanks for all of the responses!
Yes, free is better (of course ;D) and I will have to look around for ways to find equipment for free, but for now I have gone ahead and will be attempting JAO in one of these Oberweiss glass containers (couldn't find any large jugs of wine or juice at my neighborhood grocery, I will probably look around at a larger store enxt time). Hopefully it will be fine.

My only concern (well, more accurately, concerns) is that eyeing it, it seems like it is not truly a gallon, and also it is shaped a little differently. It's cross-section is not circuilar but kind of a rectangular-ish oval. If I put in a full orange (cut in slices as per the instruction saying to follow the instructions to the T!) it seems like they would pretty much cover and crowd the entire surface of the must. Would this be a problem?

Off topic-====
What kind of airlocks does everyone use?
Any particular pros and cons to the "S" and three-piece airlocks?

Thanks again for all of the advice/your collective wisdom!

GntlKnght
06-15-2006, 07:19 PM
Personally, I've had great luck with Apple juice bottles. I look for them in the natural foods section of my grocery store to find them (Kroger here) and they have a nice size neck. I recommend buying two. Drink the first gallon and ferment the second as a cyser! Tasty treat!!!

Good luck!

passingby
06-16-2006, 08:14 PM
Argh! Foiled again....

So, you know how I have been suspicious as to whether the glass jug I got was truly 1 gallon, well I did a crude measurement (fill and pour into a different juice container of "known" fluid volume capacity) and it turns out that while my suspicions were correct, they were way off: it is only half a gallon!

Should I try JAO anyway? Half the honey, half an orange, everything about the same? Or is that going to throw it off? Or, is it that half a gallon is too small that there is pretty much no adjustment that will really make it work well?

Oh, and I guess this is completely off topic (though it is my topic =P) Maybe I should post a new one instead of just hijacking (my) topic and using it as my personal "Help me" form. :P

(On that note, what are the opinions regarding using "raw" honey? It says it contains pollen. Does that mean I should really boil or pasteurize the honey? Or does it not matter?

lostnbronx
06-17-2006, 03:13 AM
Passingby,

Wait until you can lay your hands on a 1 gallon bottle: all the fruit that sinks to the bottom in JAO means that there's a good amount of mead which you can't get at when racking -- at least, not without stirring up the sediment. You'll end up with only a pint or so for all your troubles if you go with a 1/2 gallon. That's hardly worth it.

As for raw honey, you shouldn't have any problems if you follow basic sanitation techniques. No need to boil or heat things up.

Good luck!

-David

JayH
06-17-2006, 03:33 AM
If you have a Whole Foods Market in your area look there, they are in most of the states plus Canada and the UK. I needed some more jugs for a yeast experiment I want to do so I bought 5 gallons of organic apple juice. They give you a case discount if you buy 4 gallons or more. This made the jugs cheaper than buying them at the brew supply store, plus I now have 6 gallons of apple cyser going.


Cheers
Jay

lostnbronx
06-17-2006, 01:55 PM
Alternatively, you can try one of those 1 gallon plastic Gatorade or Arizona Ice Tea jugs -- or, really, any 1 gallon plastic juice jug. Glass is usually better than plastic, but it'll work, and it doesn't sound like you're having any luck otherwise.

-David

passingby
06-18-2006, 12:54 AM
Thanks for the replies (not just one, but two from David ;D)
Glad I came here just now because I was just about to throw caution to the wind and see what I get out of a 1/2 gallon batch. I just started making my must (dissolved all the honey and came here while waiting for its temp to come back down), but from what you both have said, I think I will maybe just let that must sit for a bit and run out to check somewhere else (there are a couple places I haven't made it to yet) and if all else fails maybe settle on a plastic jug (there are gallon size Gatorade/Arizona Ice Tea jugs? Never seen those before either :o See, learn something new everyday..).

lostnbronx
06-18-2006, 01:02 AM
Passingby,

Not to be a smart@$$, but where do you live that doesn't have anything in gallon size containers? Lilliput? :D

-David

passingby
06-19-2006, 11:34 PM
Not to be a smart@$$, but where do you live that doesn't have anything in gallon size containers? Lilliput? :D


Haha. I can see why.. but Lilliput? really? lol

On that note, however, I finally did manage to find some glass 1 gallon jugs of juice! They were hiding out at a local natural foods market that I don't make it out to much. The organic apple juice it contained isn't bad either and I'll probably go get another gallon so I can finally start a 1-gallon batch of JAO and will take GntlKnght's suggestion and start a batch of cyser according to this recipe (http://www.gotmead.com/component/option,com_pccookbook/page,viewrecipe/cat_id,4/recipe_id,25/).

Alas, I feel this thread coming to an end. A successful one with my discovery of a local place to find 1-gallon carboys with all of your help of course (although by now I could've ordered online and started ;D). Now all I have to do is reorder new bungs to replace the ones I have now with ones that will fit this new jug :P.

Thanks for all the help everyone, and perhaps now I will be able to post a new topic... one that is actually about making mead. :)

JayH
06-20-2006, 02:47 AM
One last note, most apple juice jugs seem to use #8 stoppers.


Cheers
Jay

passingby
06-20-2006, 02:21 PM
One last note, most apple juice jugs seem to use #8 stoppers.


Yep. That is the case with mine. So, gonna get a couple of those, and... well we'll see if I get to use the #6.5's that I now have lying around not doing anything useful.

Cargirl
09-10-2006, 03:43 PM
One last note, most apple juice jugs seem to use #8 stoppers.


Cheers
Jay


Thank you! I was sitting here wondering just that. I just ordered some stoppers. They were out of #7s so they sent me a #8. Fortuitous, eh? I'm off to get apple juice. :sign4: