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Soyala_Amaya
03-27-2011, 12:09 AM
Basically...yeah, the title. I stumbled across a plastic carboy which is about 19 dollars instead of 30 or more for a glass one and am now looking for opinions and information. Anyone use one? Are the openings the same size as my glass carboy so I can still use my rubber stoppers? Any cons?

tweak'e
03-27-2011, 12:48 AM
depends on type and how the plastic is made.
better bottles is the only one i personally know of that is ok to use. other plastics are just to porus and will taint the mead.

Chevette Girl
03-27-2011, 02:44 AM
I have one large plastic wine carboy but the plastic is only translucent, not transparent, which I don't like at all. I believe the Better Bottles are clear. I've been using glass for the most part, it's heavy though and if you aren't careful you can get hurt if you break one. I do use plastic 1-gal water bottles for fermenting when I run out of glass jugs and I haven't had any problem with them. although I did end up getting bigger stoppers to fit them. A good wash (or soak, if it's really bad) with the pink cleanser takes any residual flavours right out.

Regarding stopper size, I ended up getting an assortment of stoppers in sizes from 6 to 9 because every make of glass carboy was slightly different, of my 8 or 10 three-gallon carboys I think most take 6 or 6-1/2 and a few take 7, of my 5 gal carboys, most take 7 and a few take 7-1/2 or 8 and one takes 6, all my 1-gal glass jugs take 6, my primary fermenters are mostly 7 with one or two larger ones, and I got a couple 9's for the plastic water jugs. The plastic carboy takes an 8... but at least stoppers are pretty cheap at $2 each.

The one con I have found using plastic is that they aren't rigid enough, so that when you pick them up and move them around, the bottom tends to bow out and they suck in a lot of air through the airlock, and if you're trying to avoid oxidation in an aging wine, it's not ideal.

mmclean
03-27-2011, 09:43 AM
This is the carboy (http://morewinemaking.com/view_product/6531/103206/Plastic_Carboy_-_6_Gallon_) that I use. I would never use glass or Better Bottle.

akueck
03-27-2011, 02:00 PM
Your link is the same thing as a Better Bottle, perhaps just without the brand name. ;)

mmclean
03-27-2011, 02:47 PM
Your link is the same thing as a Better Bottle, perhaps just without the brand name. ;)

No it's not. :)

Better Bottle (http://www.better-bottle.com/)

fatbloke
03-27-2011, 05:29 PM
No it's not. :)

Better Bottle (http://www.better-bottle.com/)
I suspect that akueck was just alluding to the similarity. Hell they might even be made in the same place, just with different moulds.....

Either way, it is basically the same. Just no label and a slightly different shape.....

Me, I use mainly glass, but also have a few water cooler bottles, that also take the better bottle sized stoppers - the main difference being that the better bottle "type" fermenter is made from P.E.T. and the water cooler bottles are polycarbonate.

Irrespective, I'm happy to ferment in them, but certainly wouldn't age in them. Only glass for that.....

S'pose it's down to the individual choice....

regards

fatbloke

oldwhiskers
03-27-2011, 06:35 PM
I weighed the pros and cons of using the glass carboy or better bottle and decided that in my case, I was going to go with the 6-gallon better bottle. I ordered the deluxe kit from Northern Brewer with the better bottle and the floor corker as well as two extra 6-gallon better bottles.

TheAlchemist
03-27-2011, 09:51 PM
I have a better bottle, myself. I'm a lightweight, and didn't relish the thought of lifting a glass carboy and...perhaps...having it slip.

Soyala_Amaya
03-27-2011, 10:22 PM
If you could find a good regular water bottle that would be alright to age in, what do you do about the handle fatbloke? I've looked at the water bottles, nice and cheap, but I keep staring at the handle and wondering what if something got stuck in there? And how do I properly clean the handle?

Chevette Girl
03-28-2011, 01:27 AM
If you could find a good regular water bottle that would be alright to age in, what do you do about the handle fatbloke? I've looked at the water bottles, nice and cheap, but I keep staring at the handle and wondering what if something got stuck in there? And how do I properly clean the handle?

I think I've seen 3-gal water bottles without handles. However, if all you can find does have the molded handle, well, I keep a package of plain old kiddies craft kit pipecleaners around for those hard to reach places, just fold the end over so the metal can't scratch the plastic... make a chain of them to get wherever you need to go...

JayH
03-28-2011, 04:13 AM
For better bottles (and I would assume anything made of PET) it is recommended that you use something like a weak solution of PBW and Agitate it like made to clean the bottle.

Extreme exposure to things like PBW though can cause environmental stress fractures in the PET. So instead of allowing it to soak for a long time, just use a small amount of water and PBW and shake it like mad.

mmclean
03-28-2011, 10:02 AM
I suspect that akueck was just alluding to the similarity. Hell they might even be made in the same place, just with different moulds.....

Either way, it is basically the same. Just no label and a slightly different shape.....



Sorry Fatbloke. No way, no how. Just because two items are made of the same material, doesn't mean they are the same thing.

Better Bottles are cheap, thin and flexible.

My plasic carboy from morewine is as thick as a glass carboy and just as rigid. Better than glass because it's unbreakable.

Chevette Girl
03-28-2011, 05:12 PM
My plasic carboy from morewine is as thick as a glass carboy and just as rigid. Better than glass because it's unbreakable.

Ooh, cool, didn't realize they were that thick. I may look into them next time I need to replace one of my big glass carboys!

... although I suspect if you drop it full, it WILL break. But it's still magnitudes less likely to shatter on you than glass.

akueck
03-29-2011, 01:12 AM
My plasic carboy from morewine is as thick as a glass carboy and just as rigid. Better than glass because it's unbreakable.

Cool, I'll have to look into those. ;D

mmclean
03-29-2011, 12:59 PM
... although I suspect if you drop it full, it WILL break. But it's still magnitudes less likely to shatter on you than glass.

From the MOREWINE website:


Made from PET food-grade plastic, it will not break - even when full of water (we have tested this ourselves and it is true - the bottle just bounces even when dropped from 6 feet off the ground!)

Just don't be lifting a full 6 gallon carboy up over your head and you should be fine. ;D

Braxton
03-29-2011, 01:50 PM
For what its worth, I like the better bottles a lot. I've aged wine in one for up to 9 months or so and it did very well. Never tried the harder ones that mmclean refers to there.

ash
03-29-2011, 03:50 PM
Basically...yeah, the title. I stumbled across a plastic carboy which is about 19 dollars instead of 30 or more for a glass one and am now looking for opinions and information. Anyone use one? Are the openings the same size as my glass carboy so I can still use my rubber stoppers? Any cons?


just make sure its food grade plastic, or the smell and taste will suck

Chevette Girl
03-29-2011, 10:51 PM
Just don't be lifting a full 6 gallon carboy up over your head and you should be fine. ;D

Dayyyum! Must look into these magical creatures!

wildoates
03-29-2011, 11:09 PM
I've got plenty of carboys, but that does sound good!

Soyala_Amaya
03-30-2011, 12:06 AM
I know the weight was one reason I was looking at the plastic ones for. That and someone else (I forget who) posted about having a bad dream and drop kicking his glass carboy. Those are expensive and I was pissed enough when I dropped my hydrometer...I can't even think how awful busting 6 gallons of glass and mead on the floor would be.