Glass vs Plastic Carboy
A couple weeks back I dropped my 6.5 gallon glass carboy on my garage floor. Luckily for me it was empty, but sad none-the-less. I had just finished sanitizing the carboy to use and had it upside down on my starsan bucket dripping back into the bucket. I walk away and 10 seconds later, CRASH! I had shattered glass all over my floor. After tweeting about the breakage, I got several suggestions about trying plastic Carboys. While seeing the obvious advantage of weight, I couldn’t see any other advantages of plastic.
Regardless, I decided to give them a try, the Better Bottles were my choice. I was not about to go back to plastic buckets. What I liked about the Better Bottles, the cost. They are about $12 cheaper. They weigh much less then glass. They are also BPA-free, DEHP-free, and plasticizer-free. They are great reasons to use the Better Bottle. My concern was scratching. What I read, avoid using hard bristle brushes, I even went so far as to buy the Carboy Cleaner.
I have used my 2 Better Bottles about 6 times and I’m going to switch back to glass. Before my 6.5 gal glass carboy broke, I’d used it for about 100-150 batches of beer if not more and never had an issue. With the better bottles I couldn’t get them clean, the Krausen would stick to the bottle and the Carboy Cleaner couldn’t quite get the film off. Since I couldn’t use my bristle brush to clean them it became a huge pain in the butt. To further my plight the Carboy Cleaner scratched the hell out of the inside of the Better Bottle. While that is not the fault of the Better Bottle. It did show me how fragile the plastic really was when the Carboy Cleaner did get to the end of its useable life. It basically killed my Better Bottle. Had I been using the glass when that happened I’d still be able to use my carboy.
Not to completely disparage the Better Bottle, it was easy to move and as advertised, it didn’t add any off flavors to my beer.
I’m going to stick to my glass carboys, the plastic is just not for me or my process. I’d love to hear about your experiences both good and bad with Plastic Carboys.