Starter Equipment Kits

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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keeblerman1214
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Starter Equipment Kits

Post by keeblerman1214 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:35 pm

Is it necessary for a first time brewer to get a starter kit w/ glass carboys instead of the basic kit w/ the 'ale pales'? Does the glass make any difference in the beer quality?

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bfabre
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glass carboy's

Post by bfabre » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:55 pm

All I have is glass. I have been told that plastic is good too but, and the is always a but. Plastic is porous and can retain the flavors of past brews. Not to mention it can discolor.
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billvelek
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Try plastic buckets

Post by billvelek » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:24 am

I've heard that there was only one manufacturer of glass carboys supplying the U.S. -- from somewhere in Mexico -- and that they are no longer in business; I have no idea how much of that is true or what impact it will have. I've heard rumors that glass carboys are rising in price as a result. Consequently, folks are looking for alternatives, with the side benefit that they are safer.

Just a suggestion, but especially if you are just starting out and are perhaps not completely sure that you will continue with homebrewing, I'd suggest trying plastic buckets for a few brews, and then compare prices between the plastic carboys and glass carboys and consider whether it would be worth paying a bit more for the plastic. They have the advantage of having a valve on the side to make racking easier.

As for all the concerns about scratches in the plastic harboring bacteria, I haven't had problems for what I use my buckets for -- to transfer wort. If I were going to ferment inside them, though, I would probably fill them with boiling water and let them soak that way for about 15 minutes. Surely between that and some chemical sanitizer, they should be completely safe.

Cheers.

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Legman
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Re: Starter Equipment Kits

Post by Legman » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:30 am

keeblerman1214 wrote:Is it necessary for a first time brewer to get a starter kit w/ glass carboys instead of the basic kit w/ the 'ale pales'? Does the glass make any difference in the beer quality?
Ahhhhhhhh, the age old question, plastic bucket or glass carboy?:roll:

There's really nothing wrong with either one. It is mainly a personal preference with pros and cons for both. But the main thing is that they both will do the same job. You will not notice any difference in you brews from one fermenter to the other.

I have used both glass carboys and plastic buckets. I prefer the plastic bucket. They're cheap to buy and/or replace, light weight and easier to clean. I also don't buy the plastic harboring bacteria story. I've never heard of anyone actually having that problem. But you always hear folks bring that up, probably just because they were told that by someone else. And why would it get scratched??? You shouldn't be cleaning any of your brewing equipment with anything abrasive at all!
Glass carboys can be expensive and a little harder to clean. They can also be dangerous. They are much heavier than plastic and can easily slip from you hands and send glass flying everywhere. But handled properly, they can be just fine.....and you get to see what's going on inside while the yeast works it's magic.:P

If I were you, I would start with the plastic bucket. It's cheap and it'll get you started brewing. Later on, spend a little money on a glass carboy and give it a try. That's just my 2 cents.

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keeblerman1214
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Post by keeblerman1214 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:13 am

Thanks for all of the use responses

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Starter Kits/plastic buckets, versus glass carboys

Post by slimsparty » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:13 pm

I agree with comments.

I learned to brew with a friend who had the carboys, so I emulated his set up. I have heard horror stories about breakage. I bought the expensive handles too since I have to schlep my brews to the basement.

I still wanted a couple ale pales for racking, bottling, sanitizer baths, and to recieve grain from my maltmill.

I got a true brew kit for like $60 that had most of what I needed. I also bought the JET carboy and bottle washer-good $10 spent.

The Floating thermometer and a proper hydrometer flask.

I also think reusable nylon bags are good too.

The carboy pros are:
Transparent to see progress-although you have to keep them dark-duh...
supposedly better sealed system

Otherwise the buckets do everything else.

I have made 4 batches so far. 1 grand slam, 1 that was fouled by sanitizer being sucked into the carboy by the blow off, 1 aging for tasting this weekend, and 1 in primary.

I was in a brew shop last week and the guy was saying that the mexican carboy co is gone and the new ones are french with that waffle dimple patter and more $$$. Hopefully, I don't need any more.

chils
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Re: Starter Equipment Kits

Post by chils » Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:00 pm

Legman wrote:
keeblerman1214 wrote:Is it necessary for a first time brewer to get a starter kit w/ glass carboys instead of the basic kit w/ the 'ale pales'? Does the glass make any difference in the beer quality?
Ahhhhhhhh, the age old question, plastic bucket or glass carboy?:roll:

There's really nothing wrong with either one. It is mainly a personal preference with pros and cons for both. But the main thing is that they both will do the same job. You will not notice any difference in you brews from one fermenter to the other.

I have used both glass carboys and plastic buckets. I prefer the plastic bucket. They're cheap to buy and/or replace, light weight and easier to clean. I also don't buy the plastic harboring bacteria story. I've never heard of anyone actually having that problem. But you always hear folks bring that up, probably just because they were told that by someone else. And why would it get scratched??? You shouldn't be cleaning any of your brewing equipment with anything abrasive at all!
Glass carboys can be expensive and a little harder to clean. They can also be dangerous. They are much heavier than plastic and can easily slip from you hands and send glass flying everywhere. But handled properly, they can be just fine.....and you get to see what's going on inside while the yeast works it's magic.:P

If I were you, I would start with the plastic bucket. It's cheap and it'll get you started brewing.
I fully agree w/ Legman.I have thought long and hard about going to glass but w/ a bad back and the broken carboy horror stories I have stuck w/ plastic buckets.I looked into the plastic conical fermenters and the manufacturer says that scratches harboring bugs is mostly a myth. They reccomend 1. Do nothing about scratches in plastic. 2. use a blade and file the scratch down.And pour 180F water down the sides of the fermenter to sanitize it.Makes me feel a little safer to use my plastic buckets.Oh yeah, I store my buckets full of bleach water and it takes care of any stains or odors before my next batch.

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Post by G-E-R-M-A-N » Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:55 am

There is one thing everybody has forgotten about here as an alternative, Better bottles. They are plastic PET plastic carboys. I know several have used them with success.

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bfabre
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Post by bfabre » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:59 pm

They are plastic PET plastic
I just purchased one of the Better Bottles to do my own test. We will see!!! I had stopped using my carboys soon after my first repl to this question and have been only using my buckets with great success.
"B"

yaturaz
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try them out

Post by yaturaz » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:41 am

I have used glass, better bottles, and the bucket and I haven't had any differences in the quality of the beer. I do prefer the bucket, because it is much easier to use and a lot easier to clean. I plan on making a SS conical pretty soon and I think that is going to be the best :)

I found some really cheap very old arrowhead 5 gal glass carboys at thrift store for under $10 and that is cheaper then what I paid for my better bottle and my bucket shipped. If you are serious about brewing I would give them all a try and see which one you like better.

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