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Which fermentor?

Just landed a NB gift card, and want a new fermentor. I have a bucket, a glass carboy, and a narrow neck bubbler. Soaking the bubbler for two days now, I really like the idea of the big mouth. I saw the thread about the plastic BMB, but Dave has me thinking glass. Anyone have the glass Big Mouth? Any good?

How much is on the gift card?

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/blic ... tings.html

I know Dave will disagree with me, but I’ve fermented for years in plastic and made great beer. I’ve only had 2 unintentional infections or so, and those were likely more from oversampling than anything (and yes, I reused the buckets afterward, after a 48 hour soak in Oxy).

I’d vote for a plastic big mouth.

I have a couple glass carboys both of which were given to me for free and I almost never use them. I would never buy anything made of glass. They’re heavy and dangerous. I respect Dave, but I think his adamance against plastic is unfounded. The worst case scenario with plastic is you throw out your bucket because it may be the cause of infections and lose a couple bucks. The worst case scenario with a glass carboy is you slice yourself open and need to go to the emergency room for stitches and are out $30+. There are plenty people here on the boards who have brewed hundreds of batches in plastic with no infections.

That is until you slip into the inescapable vortex of sour brewing…

Fair enough. Actually, I’m really liking the punted bottom and volume marks on the plastic… I just like the no fuss scrubability of glass. Then again, I guess the point of the big mouth is that it’s easier to clean anyway.

I’ll have to think about this a while. I haven’t had a glass accident… yet… but I do have a disturbing matte finish on my fermenting bucket that gives me pause. I can’t say I’ve seen any infections due to it, but it does make me wonder if I’m doing the best I can for the beer.

I had a glass accident with a carboy 2 weeks ago. I had to go to the minute clinic and get 3 stitches in on one of my toes. Since my deductible hasn’t been met, I had to pay $60. That’s almost 2 BMBs right there! I brew with plastic.

That is until you slip into the inescapable vortex of sour brewing…[/quote]
I’ve got a bucket that is dedicated to long-term aging for lambic. No need for glass with that either. In fact, real traditionalists would use barrels, not glass or SS.

Been using the same two buckets for most fermentations for 6 years now, and the only infections I’ve had were a couple due to unsanitized fruit additions. Also used one for a lactic fermentation of a Berliner Wiess. Just clean them out afterwards, sanitize well and nothing carries over to the next brew.

Plastic makes a lot of sense for this application.

Stainless steel is REALLY the way to go, fellas :wink:

So the obvious answer is go with whatever suits your own needs and budget. There’s more than one way to brew a beer! I currently use glass carboys, and yes, they are heavy and no fun cleaning. If I wasn’t such a utilitarian I’d ditch my glass carboys and go for some shiny, new plastic Big Mouth Bubblers. But I already have something that works, so there’s no point in want trumping need…

I have a glass big mouth and use it all the time…damn thing is pretty heavy full :slight_smile: I got it as a gift before the plastic ones came out and if I were to get one now it would be the plastic one. I have all my glass carboys in milk crates as well to make it easier to handle them. I have one bucket and I don’t like there seal on it so I don’t use it, I also hate trying to get the top off the buckets and getting the bubbler into the hole, almost always pushes the rubber seal out.

Get the plastic BM… IMO.

I like buckets the best. They have handles, they are light, safe, and easy to clean.

I don’t have that much experience, so I may change my mind. I do have a plastic big mouth which is nice, but I really prefer having the handle.

Wow… I feel so… alone. Oh well. :slight_smile:

Everything has its place. If you make wine (I make a lot of wine) then you’ll need glass.

I’ve run the full circuit now on fermenters, and I’m actually back to the plastic bucket. For now.

Yes, I have a 10 gal SS fermenter (ever carry one down into the basement?)…
I sold my 20 gal SS conical…
I have > 10 glass carboys of varying sizes…
I have two 6 gal BB…
I just ordered a big mouth to be delivered today (NB 72 hour sale people!)…

…and I got one bucket.

I’m with ya Dave! I like glass. Easy to clean and sanitize with no worries of harboring nasties. Yea they’re heavy when full. I have a handle and a couple of brewhauler harnesses.

I also have one bucket that I use when needed but yea the lid doesn’t seal up and I hate not being able to see in. Cheap entertainment like a lava lamp! :smiley:

I just placed an order with Midwest because they had the 2 free bubblers deal going. They’re not the big mouth ones so we’ll see if I’m able to get them clean without using the carboy brush…but hey they’re free. If I don’t like them I’ll give them away.

The regular bubbler is my main fermenter. To clean it just dump what you can out. Add about half gallon of water and shake it up. Dump that out and repeat a couple of times. That will leave you with just the caked on stuff. Put a scoop or less of oxyclean in there (Or PBW if you are rich) and fill it up with warm water. Let it sit for about 4-6 hours and it will just magically be clean. Dump and rinse and you’re good to go.

The regular bubbler is my main fermenter. To clean it just dump what you can out. Add about half gallon of water and shake it up. Dump that out and repeat a couple of times. That will leave you with just the caked on stuff. Put a scoop or less of oxyclean in there (Or PBW if you are rich) and fill it up with warm water. Let it sit for about 4-6 hours and it will just magically be clean. Dump and rinse and you’re good to go.[/quote]
Kewl…pretty much what I do with my glass ones except I sometimes hit the yeast/trub sludge line with the brush before filling with oxy.

That is until you slip into the inescapable vortex of sour brewing…[/quote]

You don’t need glass for sour brewing

Nope, I use plastic for wine too. Bucket for primary fermentation, then PET jugs for aging before bottling.

There is a trade-off involved when it comes to wine. The sediment tends to get disturbed more when I move the flexible plastic jugs prior to racking than it did in glass carboys, but that just means I need to let is sit a bit longer between the two operations. Let it sit still for an hour instead of 30 minutes.

I’ve made very good wine in plastic. And many good beers, meads, and ciders. I’ve made very good sour beers in plastic.

But then I’ve also made a lot of very bad sour beers in plastic, which were not supposed to be sour at all.

That’s really my story, in a nutshell.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]
Nope, I use plastic for wine too. Bucket for primary fermentation, then PET jugs for aging before bottling.[/quote]

With that procedure, I do not agree sir, but that’s ok we don’t have to. I know some people who do the same. I believe it’s a matter of personal preference that glass is more suited for wine. I’ll lay a wine down for a couple of years at times, and I don’t want a plastic jug holding my work.

That does not mitigate my gravitation back to bucketed primaries though. I really feel that it is the way to go, whether a new or experienced brewer. It’s just simple.

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