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Better Bottle Carboy

ChrisNH

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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



 

crabbs

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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 .
 

MaltLicker

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crabbs said:
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. 
 

dharalson

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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
 

luthierzan

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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
 

rrogerstwo

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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.
 

chrismcnally

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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.

 

beercheer4me

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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
 

dirigo

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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.
 

dharalson

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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
 

Ilovebeer

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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. 
 

beercheer4me

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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
 
M

maddspoiler

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.
 

MaltLicker

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piper55 said:
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.
 
M

maddspoiler

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.
 

MaltLicker

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http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=12929

generic PET on sale at austin
 
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