Author Topic: Carboys and broken glass  (Read 11860 times)

Offline CR

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Carboys and broken glass
« on: March 06, 2010, 10:35:27 AM »
While I  have been planning and now am awaiting the arrival of my SST 14 gallon water jacketed concial  I had reason to questin the sanity of my historical and fortunate experience of using heavy glass carboys.
I only had one break.

But I've read about people having 'em just come apart in their arms while washing and severing tendons nerves and even disabling arms for life.   Half a glass carboy  sliding the sharp edges across your arm trapped underneath it is a fearsome proposition.

Ferarsome  enough to cause me to have done something about it.

I thought about wood frames. I could make some real purdy ones but, I wanted a cheap easy fix that would last as long as I pleased to have it but cost me very little time and cash.  I didn't need beautiful carboy holders made from Bolivian rosewood.  Yah I got some around and it'd be absolutely gorgeous but  why? The yeast have no aesthetic taste. 

So I got some heavy metal window screening in a roll from the BORG.  Armed with a roll of duct tape and a pair of sizzors I cut the screening in little square patches  for the bottoms of the carboys. . Then folded and  pressed and taped them to the bottom of the carboys.  Then some more for the sides taping extensively to assure a non slip application and complete coverage of screen.   Then some more tape to cover up the little poly ends of screening from where I cut it:  and VIOLA  I have carboys that not only make  me feel safer but are demonstrably safer and easier to  get a grip and hold on to, to boot.

If  one cracks on me while I'm cradling it the wire mesh will protect me  enough that I can unburden myself of it all before I suffer harm.

It was cheap, easy, required the skill level of a 4 year old, and took all of an hour.




Offline Beer_Tigger

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 11:49:09 AM »
How about some pictures?
"Let's see if this here beer will help me to stop procrastinating." - my cousin

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 05:31:39 PM »
I got a couple brewhaulers for my last session.  A big difference and they are made in michigan
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline stadelman

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 08:04:50 AM »
Be careful even with a brew hauler.  I had a carboy slip through the straps in a brew hauler.  This wasn't a happy day for me.

Offline CR

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2010, 10:12:33 AM »
the brew hauler won't offer you protection of your carboy breaks.
Nice device though.

All the injuries I've read about  have the user  cradling the carboy in his arms when it breaks.  Half a carboy with broken glass  edges is  heavy and  sharp.  Once it starts falling  it's pretty much  an even shot whether the holder will get hurt.

For years  none of this crossed my mind.

Then Al gore invented the  internet  and all manner of information was suddenly cheap and easy.

The internet has shortened the learning curve on so many things.


Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2010, 07:18:10 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it unless you subject your glass to sudden impact or sudden temperature changes. 
Glass is surprisingly strong stuff. 
Don't do stupid things to it and it will last forever.
If you do do something stupid and get injured, make sure you find a good lawyer who will make the result of your stupid actions appear to be the fault of someone else so you can squeeze enough money out of them to buy one of those brew sculptures advertised on morebeer.com.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline stadelman

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 07:26:00 AM »
Just don't ever, ever make any mistakes when using a glass carboy.  If you can insure that you and everyone (and everything) around you will interact with the glass carboy perfectly, then glass carboys are a perfect choice.

I agree that glass is surprisingly strong.  Especially huge shards that shoot up into your feet after your carboy explodes upon impact.  Yep, it's strong indeed. :)

Offline CR

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010, 04:39:26 PM »
Main guy says (not in the same order):
Quote
Glass is surprisingly strong stuff.

Absolutely~!!   Glass is an amazing material.   Can stop a bullet. Has crush strength like concrete.  It can be flexible or rigid depending on how it's formulated and manufactured.
It is also one material  which is subject to a  literal hoard of manufacturing  "issues" which can load it chalk full of internal stresses and weaknesses.  I used to be involved with a university's  glass blowing component of an art department. I can tell you for sure that glass can be made well or poorly and the end user might never know unless of course it breaks  for no or little reason.

 Glass is also a material that can harbor stress and store it,  building it up without stress relief  in an annealing oven the stresses can cause what appears like a spontaneous failure. The glass doesn't just fall apart for no reason, it's merely that the reasons came and went and only left invisible stresses.   How the glass responds to such stresses is largely a matter of composition and manufacturing. 


Take Carboys as the prefect example:
They are never evenly made. Their wall thickness is all over the map. Heavy spots thin spots you name it,. they have  Air bubbles galore so big you can see 'em from across the room and so small you need a loop or a scope.  Glass carboys (unless you are buying Laboratory glass)  are made usually in fairly primitive conditions so there's not a lot of attention paid to potential failure later on.   here's hot spots and  cold spots  all over the place.  Worse the glass is made from cheaper components, silica that might not be so pure or clean as  Lab glass.  So the presence of contaminants  is guaranteed and can play a role in developing or focusing internal stresses.


Quote
]I wouldn't worry about it unless you subject your glass to sudden impact or sudden temperature changes.

Stretching back to 1982, when I started brewing, I never did worry about it,  until recently.  But then it was only recently that I was exposed to the various accidents people have had with them and that thanks to the internet-S.

I was aware that they could break and that glass has internal stresses  yah, but I entertained a sort of assuredness about my ability to manage such an event.  Having  the advantage of more than fifty years behind me I have seen,  with my own eyes, how things can get out of hand often enough that I no longer  think of myself as I did when I was just a pup thinking I was like made of steel or something.   

At any rate you don't actually have to crack it hard against anything.  All those little thumps and bumps that absolutely do happen are not events with no effect.  While they may not crack the glass they can (often do) impart stress to the glass.  The user just can't dectct it without some  rather sophisticated equipment.

Quote
Don't do stupid things to it and it will last forever.
Well I'm down with the first part but the second is, I think, more a question of odds.

YA know what I'll really be down with? Transparent Aluminum.
If they can make the stuff for cheap I know I'm going to want some stuff made from it.

And if yoy lose you use of an arm or hand you might possibly so what you said.
But it's not the lawyer who does it.  Yah the lawyer has to do his job well but it's the jury who sees this sympathetic guy all crippled maybe his sympathetic family and they just can't turn them away with nothing. 

 



Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 05:41:25 PM »
Be careful even with a brew hauler.  I had a carboy slip through the straps in a brew hauler. 

One trick with brew haulers is to put it on while the carboy is upside down draining the sanitizer.  Much easier to align and tighten it then.   And when carrying a loaded carboy in a hauler, your hands/arms are above the weight, for the most part. 

The part of this thread scaring me is spontaneous combustion when I'm swirling a few ounces of StarSan in my bare arms.  At least I'm holding just the bottom and top and glass would fall away from me, but I'm more aware of the risk now.  Need some chain-mail sleeves to slide on...........

Offline CR

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 12:08:28 PM »
Well  the possibility, however remote,  bothered me sufficiently to take that extra step.
It ain't pretty, it ain't a permanent solution,  and  it ain't classy, but nothing with duct tape ever is any of those.

However, I believe that the screen will serve if  god forbid I get a break while I'm cradling the things.


This is cheap, prettier than duct tape and screening, helps keep your brew at a more even temp,  and might - maybe - be as good as metal screening for protection.
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/4-in-1-carboy-shield-fermwrap.html



« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 12:24:38 PM by CR »

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 03:51:00 PM »
That's genius.  I already have a real one and an extra one from extra foil-bubble wrap I had.  I'll slide that on before swishing.  Thanks. 

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Carboys and broken glass
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 05:27:09 PM »
I noticed right away that you have to double check the brewhauler before each haul.
Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.