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Broken Carboy !!

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jburtner

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Anyone have and good broken carboy stories?

Last day or so I thought I smelled wine in the house when I came home.... I knew I should have gone down to the wine cellar to check it out...

Last weekend I racked and degassed a 6g carboy of WE Eclipse Chardonnay.... I had already cleared it substantially and added oak. I also added a bag full of dried apricots and topped it up....... Was really looking forward to this wine...

This morning I go down there to check in on my babies and there is wine all over the floor - My chardonnay has about 1/2 gallon left... Pretty sure that I had checked it several times since last weekend...

Further inspection shows a large crack in the bottom...

No idea how that happened !

My headspace eliminator had been losing vacuum over a couple days so I also put an airlock on it last weekend to better monitor for any activity...

Anyone else have this or similar ? How do you safely dispose of a cracked carboy ?

Cheers,
johann
 

cintipam

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So sorry to hear of this. I had something similar happen about 6 months back. 5 gallons of Pinot grigio that was just ready to bottle. I had damp hands from sanitizing and dropped an empty 2.5 gallon carboy on the full 5 gallon one. 5 gallon broke almost at the middle and I had a PG river cascading over the side of the wheeled rack it was sitting on. I was lucky and the smaller carboy did not break, and I had no injuries at all. Hubby came and helped me clean it up. We put all broken glass into an empty juice bucket that had held wine grape juice. We taped it shut well, and wrote broken glass in big letters on the side in dark sharpie to warn anybody who was thinking of repurposing it on trash day.

The room smelled wonderful for a couple days. I did leave a couple fans going to make sure it dried out well.

Pam in cinti
 

bkisel

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Had a 6 23L Italian carboy slip out of my hands while it was being washed. Only fell a few inches into the kitchen sink but that was enough to shatter the carboy and inflict a small cut to my hand as I tried to catch the carboy.

I did have a 1.5 liter bottle (or was it two?) slide off a shelf in the basement. Months after the incident and clean up I'd find a glass shard here or there - a cruel reminder of the wine loss months earlier.
 
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cintipam

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Bill, I made a shaped mat for my sink out of about 4 layers of that shelf liner rubber sewn together with thin fishing line. It drapes well over the front lip of the sink, extends over the bottom and up both sides. I only use that when cleaning carboys but I keep a couple plastic liners in the sink all the time. Got those from Dollar Tree. The older I get the more I try to prevent accidents. When I was in my 20's I sliced open 3 fingers while trying to wash out my coffee cup. That taught me to let stuff drop, not try to catch it. But prevention is something I work on all the time.

Pam in cinti
 

Stevelaz

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You guys should look into getting better bottles or the vintage house pet carboy! I have been using them since i started this hobby a few years ago. I have a few 6 and 3 gallon ones and love them! Very light and easy to clean and move full. Empties are so light you can juggle em..lol. I also have a 3 and 5 gallon glass and they are no comparison. I only use them (glass ones) as last resort...

Only problem is that yous that have the all in one wine pump will not be able to use the pump with em... Thats the only thing holding me back on getting the pump...
 

bkisel

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Bill, I made a shaped mat for my sink out of about 4 layers of that shelf liner rubber sewn together with thin fishing line. It drapes well over the front lip of the sink, extends over the bottom and up both sides. I only use that when cleaning carboys but I keep a couple plastic liners in the sink all the time. Got those from Dollar Tree. The older I get the more I try to prevent accidents. When I was in my 20's I sliced open 3 fingers while trying to wash out my coffee cup. That taught me to let stuff drop, not try to catch it. But prevention is something I work on all the time.

Pam in cinti
I'm a lot more careful now when cleaning my two remaining glass carboys. I now use a folded bath towel on the counter edge which helps but what you described sounds a whole lot better.
 

bkisel

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You guys should look into getting better bottles or the vintage house pet carboy! I have been using them since i started this hobby a few years ago. I have a few 6 and 3 gallon ones and love them! Very light and easy to clean and move full. Empties are so light you can juggle em..lol. I also have a 3 and 5 gallon glass and they are no comparison. I only use them (glass ones) as last resort...

Only problem is that yous that have the all in one wine pump will not be able to use the pump with em... Thats the only thing holding me back on getting the pump...
I hear you! I've got five plastic 6 gallon carboys in addition to my two, remaining, glass carboys. I actually do prefer the plastic over the glass but I keep and use the glass carboys for vacuum degassing.
 

vacuumpumpman

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I found out that I make sure to do the following to prevent any issues -

The carboys are dry prior to transporting them -

a milk crate helps to move them around and protects them from bumping them

a padded floor surface - (not plain concrete ) foam or padding

a carboy handle to help balance , while cleaning them

I use a hose from the sink and fill up the carboy only 1 gallon and use the carboy cleaner to clean the inside. This goes for the same as sanitizing - so I do not have to lift a full carboy of liquid.

NEVER add hot water to a carboy - the temperature change can break the glass or cause stress cracks within the carboy

Yes I broke a carboy - years back because - I was in a hurry and did not take the time to dry it off properly before handling it. LESSON LEARNED
 
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Sage

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No idea if this was a factor, but I rejected and would not buy some Chinese carboys at the local wine supply. They had what looked like a mould seam that had been ground flat. It still looked like a crack to me and I would not buy them. I've never seen that on an Italian carboy. I'm not sure why, but the store doesn't carry those anymore.

I put in a lot of windows as a contractor and any window with the smallest chip or defect would fail sooner or later. I figured the same on any glass and I don't want 5-6 gallons of hard work on the floor. My buddy had a failure and never figured out why either.
 

Tnuscan

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Adding the bag of apricots, may have stopped up the neck of the carboy to cause the pressure needed to crack it.
 

jburtner

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One thing I don't like about the carboy's is that they're glass and dangerous. Good idea to inspect for leaks and cracks regularly - every time you finish with one and right before you use it again...

I'm very careful and paranoid with these things so not sure how it happened or if it developed/grew at some point whilst in-service.

I might go as far as getting a headspace eliminator for every carboy so even if empty I can put a slight vacuum on it while storing and will easily see if there are any air leaks...

I noted that this carboy full of the chardonnay had a headspace eliminator and the bulb kept puffing up every couple days at a certain point... Next time I see that symptom I will also check for cracks...

I don't think the apricots clogged the neck because they were always on the bottom - I was expecting a little more fermentation activity though...

Cheers!
-johann
 

opus345

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Bill, I made a shaped mat for my sink out of about 4 layers of that shelf liner rubber sewn together with thin fishing line. It drapes well over the front lip of the sink, extends over the bottom and up both sides. I only use that when cleaning carboys but I keep a couple plastic liners in the sink all the time. Got those from Dollar Tree. The older I get the more I try to prevent accidents. When I was in my 20's I sliced open 3 fingers while trying to wash out my coffee cup. That taught me to let stuff drop, not try to catch it. But prevention is something I work on all the time.

Pam in cinti
Any pictures? I think I'm doing something like that, but would like to compare notes. Thanks.

Opus
 

JohnT

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In my early days, we crushed outside in my garage. While picking up a full carboy, I had one fella unknowingly put his hand on a yellow-jacket. He lifted the carboy to his midsection, got stung, and let go of it as a reflex action. The carboy dropped onto the concrete garage floor, shattered, and the wine quickly spread out all over the floor. No recovery possible!

They are ungainly when full. I started encasing them in wood. Since then, Have never had one break.

Untitled.jpg
 

bkisel

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...

They are ungainly when full. I started encasing them in wood. Since then, Have never had one break.
Those crates look sturdily built. Nice!. Could you post a picture showing the crate's bottom?
 

dcbrown73

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The crates seem like they would make the carboys even more heavy and unwieldy. I see the upside in them though.

Currently, I use a small dolly to move my carboys around and brewhaulers to pick them up.

The dolly I use



Brewhauler



That said, I'm in an apartment right now on the 5th floor. I certainly hope I never have this happen while i'm in the apartment. I'm sure my neighbors below do too! (though I believe my floors are concrete under the carpet)
 

JohnT

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The wood weighs next to nothing and provides a variety of excellent hand holds. They also allow me to stack the carboys (when empty) on their sides 4 or 5 high.
 

dcbrown73

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The wood weighs next to nothing and provides a variety of excellent hand holds. They also allow me to stack the carboys (when empty) on their sides 4 or 5 high.
How dare you have empty carboys! That's outright blasphemy! :sh
 

JohnT

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They are empty, yes. I now only use them to hold runoff from the tanks and to do test runs.
 
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terroirdejeroir

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You guys should look into getting better bottles or the vintage house pet carboy! I have been using them since i started this hobby a few years ago. I have a few 6 and 3 gallon ones and love them! Very light and easy to clean and move full. Empties are so light you can juggle em..lol. I also have a 3 and 5 gallon glass and they are no comparison. I only use them (glass ones) as last resort...

Only problem is that yous that have the all in one wine pump will not be able to use the pump with em... Thats the only thing holding me back on getting the pump...
For the other end of the spectrum, I have a Better Bottle that I use as a last resort only. I would rather deal with glass and have my AIO. If I hadn't discovered the AIO I would have given up winemaking long ago.

Of course, I have made over 400 gallons of wine without a carboy mishap (knocks wood)...
 

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