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Better Bottles

After 8 (or is it 9?) years of brewing without incident, I’ve now busted two glass carboys in less than a year. Last night was the worst; I was rocking the carboy to aerate like I’ve done hundreds of times, it slipped on the concrete and then burst open (pic attached for those who want to be horrified: http://pic.twitter.com/SAgwBHXM). I literally had to watch 5 hours of work and $40 of porter ingredients go down the drain, just before I completed the very last step of my brewday.

Yes, I was lax in not setting the carboy on a towel to shake it, as I’ve done before. But still…I think I’m done with glass. What’s the consensus on Better Bottles these days? Are they a good product? Should I invest in the whole ‘system’ and get the dry airlocks and ported carboys and such? Should I go back to buckets? Or should I suck it up, buy another 6.5gal glass carboy and be even more careful?

-Jim

I’ve got both and I far prefer my better bottles, way easier to handle and more durable. Did the same thing last summer with one of my glass carboys, slipped when I was shaking to aerate and watched my finished beer go down the driveway.

I’m not sure the airlocks are worth it, classic s shaped airlocks work well for me and I’ve got a bunch so never felt compelled to change. I do have a couple ported better bottles though and I do love that feature. Makes transferring super quick and don’t have to screw around cleaning up the auto siphon. Also the adjustable ‘dip tube’ portion of the better bottle tap makes it easy to avoid yeast and dry hops when transferring.

I love BBs. I’ve heard the ports are a pain to clean. I see no need to get anything but a plain BB and the cheap stoppers. The orange carboy lids also fit.

Easy to clean - just pull the cotter-pin and pop the valve out for routine maintenance with a full disassembly maybe once a year just to check for leaks and give it a good soak in PBW (which takes an extra five minutes to pull apart and reassemble). Nice thing about the racking valve is that you can drain right to the keg (or to the bottle with a wand stuck in the valve).

At least there was a drain and you didn’t have to sop up the whole mess.

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