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Brewing Topics => Reviews => Topic started by: unclejack on March 30, 2004, 04:26:26 AM

Title: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: unclejack on March 30, 2004, 04:26:26 AM
Has anyone used any of the plastic Better Bottle Carboy's? I was thinking about using one as a primary fermenter because the valve at the base may make it a bit easier to rack to the secondary. Besides the price, cleaning is a question mark. Scratching the plastic causes me some major concerns with contamination.  I would like to hear from anyone using these new bottles.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: BeerSmith on March 30, 2004, 12:37:24 PM
Hi,
 While I have not tried them myself, the PET plastic is a nice choice if you really want a plastic bottle.

 My only concern would be cleaning (and possibly scratching it with the carboy brush).  My guess is that if you clean the carboy immediately after using it and don't store the beer in it for excessively long periods it would work just fine.

 After all - most of us started with a plastic bucket in the tub anyways!

 I'm a bit surprised at the price - it appears that a glass one is probably cheaper?

Cheers!
Brad
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: unclejack on March 30, 2004, 12:57:22 PM
Thanks Brad.

I think I'll just buy another glass one for the time being until they have been around a bit longer and have a track record.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: r_anglin on June 17, 2004, 12:50:51 PM
I was thinking of purchasing a plastic conical - I know stainless is the way to go - but this price on this new 15gal unit is very good.

Has anyone used one over time - will it hold up if it is taken care of?  Can it even be taken care of?

Thx
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: cj_in_j on June 18, 2004, 05:07:09 PM
Which plastic conical are you thinking of getting? Or are you thinking of the Better Bottle plastic carboy?
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: r_anglin on June 23, 2004, 12:21:16 PM
cj in j - well the one I was interested in is no longer available - It was a 15gal conical w/ stainless drains - my concern is / was how long can a brewer expect a food grade plastic to hold up. I now use brew buckets as a primary, I never let it stay in there for over a week -and it is into the class carboys.  My brew buddy and my self want to step up our production, we make 10 gal batches three times a month and would like to make more at one time.  I know stainless is the way to go, but $1000 and up is a lot to spend.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: cj_in_j on June 23, 2004, 01:53:34 PM
If this is the one you're thinking of, it's nice. I had a small one that I used for several years. The plastic is thin enough that oxygen ingress isn't a problem. The only problem is that the threads are plastic and can get stipped. I had a problem with the plastic nipples they supplied (they leaked), so I switched to stainless, but eventually the only way to get a leakless seal was to use silicone fishtank sealer every time I used it. Not a major problem but a bother nevertheless.
(http://www.mivamall.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000003/f12b.jpg)
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: SAHomeBrew on October 20, 2004, 03:11:43 AM
Check out this place http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_53_146&products_id=2103 I buy a lot of stuff from them (my local place is very limited in equipment, and he's a bit of a jerk). They have the stuff to complete it, it's just not on the web site. Prices are good for local place too. When I move and have the room for it, I'm getting a couple. Free shipping over $60, can save you a bundle!

Another place that has a SS conical for a reasonable price is here http://stpats.com/

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: oa10thunderbolt2 on May 01, 2005, 03:41:32 PM
If you have not yet ordered your BB carboy, I highly recommend it. I have only developed scratches on the outside from handling. I use the standard carboy brush to clean after soaking and it works just fine with no scratches after 12-15 batches. My glass ones are sitting in the back of the closet.

:cheers:

Lee

Quote
Has anyone used any of the plastic Better Bottle Carboy's? I was thinking about using one as a primary fermenter because the valve at the base may make it a bit easier to rack to the secondary. Besides the price, cleaning is a question mark. Scratching the plastic causes me some major concerns with contamination.  I would like to hear from anyone using these new bottles.

Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: jwhite751 on May 27, 2005, 03:46:52 PM
I have been using a Better- Bottle for the past year with good results. It cleans up much easier tham glass. The scum does not seem to stick to the sides. I've had no problem with scratching or odors. The plastic is different from regular water bottles. Two things I have noticed though.
1. Dont pick them up without removing the air-lock. The bottom sags and will draw the liquid from the air-lock.
2. It's not really worth the extra cost to get the pre-drilled one. The attachments are not cheap, and it wont drain nearly as fast as a siphon hose. You can buy the basic bottle without the drain hole.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: jorrocks on September 02, 2007, 08:06:10 PM
Have nothing but good things to say about Better Bottles.  They clean up well - usually just a soak in oxy-clean.  Once I used a wash cloth - stuck it in the bottle and shook the heck out of it to get a few bits of gunk on the sides.  Very light and no risk of glass shards cutting you open! 
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: Thaumaturgist on September 14, 2007, 07:22:12 AM
I agree...  IMHO better bottles are a very good way to go.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: mr_beer on November 24, 2008, 07:09:55 AM
BB are easy to clean and as another poster pointed out they will deform a little.

The big advantage is that they are safe.  If you slip or stumble with a glass carboy it can break into very dangerous shards.  Ask a local brewer who had 43 stitches in his hand/arm.

I am replacing all of my glass over time with BB products. 
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: kgs on May 25, 2009, 12:56:47 PM
I own two 3-gallon Better Bottle carboys and one 6-gallon BB carboy, and they are great. In addition to being safer, they are much lighter. They clean up well with Oxy-Clean, warm water, and if need be a washcloth (stuff it in there and shake up the carboy).
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: MaltLicker on May 26, 2009, 06:19:16 AM
A friend and I won BB in a comp raffle and he had his first idumped-batch infection ever after the BB bottom flexed and sucked water out of his airlock.  He said some people recommended (after the fact) putting a ball under the bottom, and using alcohol in airlocks to prevent that problem.  But with the increase in glass carboy prices, they now seem a good option for primary ferm. 
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: UselessBrewing on May 26, 2009, 07:18:55 AM
I only use glass... ;D

Cheers

Preston
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: NE-Brewer on June 01, 2009, 01:46:50 PM
I have a total of 14 carboys (been making wine from my vineyard for years).
All but 5 are glass. I was a "glass-only" person for a long time especially for long term ageing of wine (1-2 years in carboys).
After ageing and ageing and ageing, suffering heart attacks, and arthritis, I now would rather work with Better Bottles only.
With the Mexican glass carboy maker no longer exporting to the US and European glass carboys being twice the price, I think more people will try the Better Bottles.
I love those BBs!!
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: SOGOAK on June 30, 2009, 09:05:42 PM
I use glass for everything but long lagering.  I am further turned off from spigots after finding black mold in my bottle bucket spigot. Really-i'd just asoon siphon. 

Otherwise bettle bottles are supposed to be good.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: Parkerlewis7 on March 02, 2011, 12:16:16 PM
I use BB exclusively.  I can say that I have not had a problem with any of them.  I have two 5 gals and went to buy a 6gal today.  Clean up is easy and I have not noticed any scratching on the occasions that I have used the brush on them.  i especially love using them as my primary since they sell a cap that makes using pvc for a blow off tube easy.  I wouldn't bother with the ported bottle though as the racking valve and equipment is kind of expensive.  An auto-siphon is just as easy and much cheaper.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: Jafo28 on April 22, 2011, 10:16:42 PM
I've got two 6 gallon better bottles and love them. I purchased the first after breaking a glass carboy. For clean up I soak overnight with PBW then rinse with my bottle cleaner sink attachment, comes clean very easily.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: ChrisNH on June 16, 2011, 10:42:20 AM
I have used a 6 gallon BB for several batches now. Previously I have used both 5 and 7 gallon glass as well as plastic buckets.

Pros:

1. Lightweight. Makes it easy to store, easy to carry, easy to wash, and reduces weight of filled fermenter when placed on a shelf or when agitating.

2. Durable/Safe. No fear of breaking. I have two toddlers, carboy glass is not something we want to deal with.

3. Clear. Unlike a bucket which has the above properties, one can observe fermentation. I like watching yeast floc.

4. It can be written on with marker. This allows you to put volume markings on. I calibrated it from 3-5.5 in QT markings.


Cons:

1. Flexible. It will suck air. Even if you grab the neck the bottom will flex and still suck air.

2. 6 gallons is one gallon too small for a fermenter, IMHO.

3. Its very easy to shove a #10 stopper fully into the bottle neck. Ask me how I know. (use a crochet hook to retrieve..)

4. Clear. One must be careful of sunlight.

Comments

1. Keep your full BB in a milk crate so that it does not flex when carried.

2. One can use an S type airlock which will not suck airlock fluid in like a bell type lock will.

3. Always attach a blow-off tube. I tend to have 5-5.5 gallons and unless my fermentation is very slow I will always get blow-off. Not a big deal.

4. Like a previous poster, I just soak my carboy overnight in PBW and rinse. No brush, no scratch, no problem.

If you want a lightweight, safe, easy to store carboy these are fantastic.

If a 7 gallon bottle was put on the market I would buy it in a heart beat.

Chris



Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: crabbs on July 13, 2011, 05:05:33 PM
Absolutely love them .i have switched all of my primaries .bought 4 of them.they are lighter to haul worry free to clean i just soak them in pbw,or some bleach water for a day or two then shake .they come clean easily,easy to aerate too no worries about breakin one.almost lost a finger on the glass one just tapped it and it shattered may have had too much hot water in it at the time.one thing to keep in mind is that  it is easy to suck the airlock in if you squeeze to hard .
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: MaltLicker on July 13, 2011, 07:46:25 PM
one thing to keep in mind is that  it is easy to suck the airlock in if you squeeze to hard .


Yep - Friend lost a batch to infection when it sucked the airlock dry of water, just from picking it up and the bottom flexed........use StarSan or vodka or such. 
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: dharalson on August 12, 2011, 11:15:32 AM
I have been using the BB 6 gal for several years.  I use a flanged stopper and I keep a supply of 00 or 000 stoppers (I don't remember which size) to plug the hole in the big stopper before I move them.

David
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: luthierzan on August 29, 2011, 09:19:04 PM
I use only BB. I have 3. I have been using for three years. the insides look as new as when I bought them. The secret is to not let your carboy brush near them. How do you clean them then you ask? Answer is in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMNsqTBW55s
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: rrogerstwo on November 14, 2011, 08:29:19 PM
I have six Better Bottle carboy's, 3 six gallon and 3 five gallon. I have never had any problems with them, they are easy to clean and maintain. I use their airlocks and valves. I also use their PET lined tubing to rack from one to another. Racking is super easy using their valves. Slide the tubing into the valves, open the valves and gravity takes care of the rest. Check out their web site as it shows three ways to transfer from one to another without exposing beer to oxygen.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: chrismcnally on January 26, 2012, 11:18:27 AM
I can tell you it is so much easier for me to lift up and drop down a 6 gallon Better Bottle carboy than a 6 gallon glass one. The weight difference is not trivial.  I won't be buying any more glass carboys. 

My 6 gallon glass carboy broke when I was sanitizing it.  I was glad that it was not full of beer, but  it was full of sanitizer and made a huge mess. I was not injured. The glass pieces were  large and sharp enough to cause some serious damage.

I'm using better bottles now and I prefer them. I usually clean with a PWB soak and then rinse.  PBW is expensive, but I re-use it to clean a few items at once. I have not tried oxy clean, but if I can find it I will since it sounds like a good alternative.  I also like the idea of throwing in a cloth and shaking too, great idea. I find that if I lay them on their side they dry in a day or two.  My glass carboys dry much faster.

I always put StarSan in my airlock so if it gets in the beer it should be just fine.  If you do that then you won't have the bottom suck problem.

As you may know, glass is best for aging beer, like a sour that might take a year, but otherwise for your everyday brewing I think you will be happy with the Better Bottle.

Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: beercheer4me on January 26, 2012, 07:08:15 PM
Here is my reply ,, it's simple there is not a choice better bottles are the choice, I brew once a month , 10 gallons ,,,,,the reason is simple I just a love brewing all the clones out there GumBall Head and Alpha King are my choices right now. With Bells Two hearted and Flanders porter, New Holland Milk Stout.

Back to BB , go two their web site read the cleaning , do not use a brush they are simple to clean ,I use  oxy-clean.
 
About half a scoop at a time for 24 hours to 36 ,then repeat first step again and each time when I empty it down to the bottom rim , shake it , shake it , then rinse with RO water then cover with paper towel and rubber band lay it on its side and the next day drain remaining water out.
I have turn my garage into a mini brewery , if I live in Indy I would enter into contest but really have not gone their yet I guess due to laziness , and not knowing where to sent the beer to competion's.

That's it you will enjoy the weight factor, and the easy of shaking them to clean them, also I like the fact that you can siphon in the center of the bottom hump to keep yeast and trub,hops out.
I have four 6.5 gallon class carboy one that I will trade for four 6 gallon better bottles one if some one like the glass ones ,
I cut my hand also cleaning then and should have gone to get stitches but it just a super clean cut and with butter fly strips and a lot of patience cleaning the cuts that I got.
Also here is something to think about when you use oxy-clean if you have dirty glasses from the dishwasher stains them I put them in a tote to clean them back to new again
And if you ever leave oxyclean in the carboy to long its will leave bumps  and built up don't freak out take and pour vinegar in the carboy and shake it will dissolve it in just a few seconds of shaking
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: dirigo on April 24, 2012, 11:44:51 PM
Just bottled my first brew. The kit I bought came with 2 buckets and a 5 gal. BB. and assorted pieces. I noticed the flexing when I rinsed out the BB. I had it full to the lip. Picked it up and it gained some space. I set it down and it gushed out onto the floor. Figured it would do what happened to MaltLiker's buddy (suck airlock juice) so I bought a solid bung for when I move it. Just take out the bung airlock and all (careful not to suck juice if it's water) and put the sterilized solid bung in. Make your move. No air in. No air out. If you need to put the airlock back in, just spritz the bung with some Star-san before you put it carefully back in. Worked for me.
   P.S. Saw a sponge bottle brush for BB's on some site on the web. May be you can find it .
   Good brew to you.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: dharalson on May 15, 2012, 05:24:40 PM
I brought a small handful of the really small (#000) stoppers.  I use the Carboy Bunk and keep a small stopper stuck in the channel around the edge.  When I move the BB, I pull out the airlock and insert the 000 stopper.  Works great, no problems with sucking air.

David
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: Ilovebeer on August 03, 2012, 08:20:17 PM
I read about a guy almost cutting his hand off in a glass carboy accident. The next day, my friend was shaking one with cleaner and it slipped out of his hands and when it hit it was like an explosion, big shards of glass flying fast and far, thankfully away from us. The next day I ordered two BB but hung onto my glass because I was afraid of scratches, etc. But I have used the BB almost exclusively for about a year and a half and have had zero problems. I am more careful not to let the metal part of the carboy brush to touch the side, and I quit using my powered carboy cleaner although it might be OK. Visually, it gets very clean without a lot of effort. I don't have the hole in the side because I use CO2 to transfer. I have one of their air locks but I end up connecting a hose to it and putting it into a bottle of water so I can see the rate of bubbles. I could see it for a very long secondary where you might let the ferm lock run dry, but otherwise not sure it is worth the investment. I have sold my glass and will never go back. I don't know how many time I nearly dropped the glass and I don't want to lose a lot of blood for it. 
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: piper55 on August 05, 2012, 01:36:07 PM
 Am I wrong or is a better bottle just a water jug?
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: beercheer4me on August 05, 2012, 08:30:16 PM
Go to the BB site and read the cleaning , instructions ,, I cut my thumb where I sure have had stiches but the cut was so clean that I was super glue
(non toxic ) and got lucky and it healed nicely I still have glass and want to sell them but everyone in my brew club going to BB because they seen what happen to me
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: maddspoiler on August 07, 2012, 07:37:18 PM
Wow old thread.

Just tried a barelywine we made that was fermented and aged in BBs. Sat for like 6 months in the Secondary. Aging in them is no problem. The beer tasted just fine and the bottle cleaned up easy even after sitting that long.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: MaltLicker on August 09, 2012, 07:13:43 AM
Am I wrong or is a better bottle just a water jug?

Certainly similar.  BB may be slightly different type of plastic to reduce permeability, etc.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: maddspoiler on August 10, 2012, 05:47:32 AM
Its a PET bottle. I do not believe normal Plastic "Culligan Man" bottles are made of PET but could be wrong. BBs are cheap around 25 bucks for a 6 gallon.
Title: Re: Better Bottle Carboy
Post by: MaltLicker on August 10, 2012, 09:53:02 AM
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=12929

generic PET on sale at austin