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Chipped Carboy, fixable?

Ok so my carboy brush broke two of my carboys. I guess from the bristles being smashed in the closet, it left a more exposed piece of metal on the corner of the brush, which chipped my carboy after a couple swipes with it. I had to buy another one for brew day. I was kind of thinking it was partly due to the carboy being pretty old, and I tried to gently brush the new one to clean it once I had finished my last batch, and it chipped it almost instantly. So now I have two 6.5 gallon carboys with tiny holes in them. Is this repairable or no?

If the hole is all the way through I would replace them for sure. Even if they are not I would consider tossing them especially if they are fragile enough to break easily. Next time might not be a little chip.

I’d try returning the new one. Maybe get a new brush. Last thing you want is 5gallons if beer on the floor. I hate glass carboys. Replace it with something unbreakable


Don’t gamble with chipped or cracked glass carboys. Not worth the trip to the E.R.

If you haven’t done so yet, get yourself some carboy haulers, or milk crates to move them around in (not sure if milk crate fits 6.5 gallon).

A friend of mine broke two 14 gallon glass demi-johns with his carboy brush. He ended up using zip ties to hold a scrub pad to the end of the brush, and hasn’t had a problem since.

I use them stupid things for wine and sours only. The milk crate works great. For everyday brewing I just use buckets. I’d by a conical if I only brewed one at a time but I generally have 2 or 3 going at once. Never broken one knock on wood

The Stainless steel fermenter bucket is my choice… All the advantages of SS, not the cost of an actual conical… And not a bad price… seeing as how it should be the last one you’ll need to buy! Sneezles61

Throw them away and get buckets. Not worth the risk of losing beer or ingesting glass chips.

The only thing that has me using my 6.5 gallon glass carboy is pushing the beer to a purged keg with C02. Not sure how well that would work with a bucket? Or even a Big Mouth Bubbler( I have the older ones) and they seal ok with a lot of keglube, but with higher pressure??

Yea I know my bucket lids leak even during fermentation. No way they’d hold under pressure. You could get those gamma lids. They have a gasket and top that screws on I think. I feel like someone on here was pushing from buckets with CO2. @WMNoob, maybe?

Consensus seems to be pretty clear… not worth the risk. Thanks for the advice. I bought a plastic bucket on here to ferment in till I figure out if I want to fork out the extra money for stainless steel or go back to glass. Thanks!


I push from BMBs not buckets. I imagine it’d be tough trying to hold bucket lids on to get 'em started. I’d toss the chipped glass. I have a pristine one that is last to be used. It’s number 6 in the line so it rarely gets used. All the rest are plastic plus one bucket.

Not quite sure how glass carboys became a thing in brewing. I know it’s a holdover from wine making. The wine carboys in my brewing store are covered with wicker and have handles that would make more sense for brewing I guess with handles and something to block the light.

That was “how it was done” when I started. I have to admit though my very first fermenter was a plastic Mr. Beer with a screw top lid and a spigot. That seems to have made a comeback. Not the Mr. Beer, clear plastic fermenters with a spigot.

Still have a couple of 6.5s and a bunch of 5 gallon glass carboys but the SS conical and buckets get the most use.

I have broken one carboy and it was from bumping another one into it while it was on the floor. It kind of imploded. Part of the top collapsed into the bottom. Not really hard to clean up. i just pick it up and put it into a cardboard box the shop vacked (vacced?) up the rest.

I know guys used to Crocks or water cooler bottles also.

I tried a water cooler bottle from a big box store years ago. Used the water in it to brew then the (plastic) bottle to ferment in. First try went great. Second use was infected. Took the bottle back for the deposit and never did that again.

I have a few carboys in a corner collecting dust. Stopped using them when I lightly bumped one against a granite counter top and it fell apart in my hands. Luckily no injuries but we’ve seen the horror stories posted in here in the past. I seem to find one reason or another to visit the ER every year. Don’t need to slice myself open with a failing carboy. Buckets work fine.

I would toss it out. Even a chip. It became a weakspot. Might end up with a crack. And lots of cleaning up. You might want to look at speidel fermentors. Nice product

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I had to resurrect this since we’re talking about containers: I brew in TRASH CANS!

I still prefer to ferment in glass carboys. I know that one day I’ll break one and I’ll hear at least a dozen voices in my head saying “WE TOLD YOU SO!!!”. I do have a couple of plastic fermentation buckets that I use mainly for cleaning and sanitizing. I do occasionally ferment in them but don’t do so often because I fear what might be growing in the scratches on the inside of the plastic buckets. The scratches are small (probably from nesting them together when storing) but when does a small scratch I shouldn’t care about become big enough that I should care?

When using glass carboys and especially during the clean up at the end of a brew day, it pays to have not over indulged…As much as I enjoy a beer or three during brewing, I have a healthy respect for glass. Drunky Monkey brewing and slippery soapy heavy carboys are a bad combo.

Perhaps I will go to a conical down the road but right now I am using glass because I like the results with low oxygen transfers, and that is what I have. Pale ales and IPAs are much better with this approach. My plastic BMBs are the oldest version and there probably is a hack to replace those terrible lids but I’m getting good results with glass…as long as I keep a death grip on those glass carboys.

I still will use the BMBs with beers to be bottled.

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