Carboy exploded

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MoneyGuy

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I had a client in my office today who makes wine. She says the bottom blew off of a carboy and there were 30 litres of red wine all over the hardwood floor. She was a week from finishing the wine. I have no other details. I've heard of a back window in a car explosing without being touched and was told that can happen due to a small flaw in the glass. Anyone heard of it happening with a carboy?
 

Minnesotamaker

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My guess is that she is washing her carboys with hot water. I tell my students to NEVER use water that's significantly different than the temperature of the glass. Cold water in cold glass, room temp water in room temp glass, warm water in warm glass. Temperature fractures happen along the base line of the carboy because this is where the glass transitions from thick base glass to thin side glass. Putting hot water into a cool carboy causes the glass to expand as it warms up. The thin glass warms quickly while the thick glass warms slowly. The difference in expansion rates causes a failure in the structure of the glass that isn't often initially apparent. It usually pop later when the carboy is full of wine and the pressure of the contents slowly work on the stress line.
 

Runningwolf

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My guess is that she is washing her carboys with hot water. I tell my students to NEVER use water that's significantly different than the temperature of the glass. Cold water in cold glass, room temp water in room temp glass, warm water in warm glass. Temperature fractures happen along the base line of the carboy because this is where the glass transitions from thick base glass to thin side glass. Putting hot water into a cool carboy causes the glass to expand as it warms up. The thin glass warms quickly while the thick glass warms slowly. The difference in expansion rates causes a failure in the structure of the glass that isn't often initially apparent. It usually pop later when the carboy is full of wine and the pressure of the contents slowly work on the stress line.
Lon, I have one of those jet spray wands they sell for washing carboys and I always use the hottest water I can. :slp Hummm, now you tell me! Thanks for the lesson and going forward I will remember this, hot water 101!
 

djrockinsteve

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I now use (thanks to Lon) warm soapy water. There re so many thingswe do and take for granted that we don't think of the consequences until it's too late.

All flags at half staff for the lost wine.
 

countrygirl

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well, glad to know i've been doing right without knowing, lol.
we have an outside hot water faucet and when i take my carboys outside to empty the lees, i then put the carboy under the hot water faucet, but since it takes so long for the hot water to get there, i let the water run until it gets hot, so therefore using lukewarm water, lol.
 

Green Mountains

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I'll keep this in mind too. I use a laundry sink in the basement and never really gave thought of temp.

Thanks for the lesson Lon.
 

mxsteve625

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Man, I too have been turning up the water heater and using the hottest water I can with a jet wash...AND I HAVE WINE IN THESE CARBOY'S.

We learn something new everyday don't we.
 

Wade E

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I learned this lesson long ago when I found 4 - 6 gallon carboys at my dump. As I was pulling them out of my car trunk my son who was 4 at the time was right behind me and after I put one down and was getting another he moved it about 3 feet, right where I turned around and placed another and they both shattered on contact!!!!! :( Man was I pissed at him as I know have 2 carboys left out of 4 and I had a ton of glass to pick up in my driveway! Now, I have 2 carboys that need cleaning, I filled them both with hot water and some bleach and left them to sit for about 2 hours. When I came home the countertop was wet and the level of one of the carboys was down about 1/2 a gallon. I carefully examined and discovered a new crack in it which I knew had to be from the temp change so I had to carefully rack all that bleach/water out into the sink a few feet away. So out of 4 carboys free I ended up with 1 and a lot of broken glass! :(
 

jet

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Rapid temp changes stress the glass. You might get by with it for years, but a ding you don't really think about may create a flaw that will fail the next time you shock the glass.
 

robie

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From the description, it doesn't sound like hot anything was involved. Sounds like the wine was just setting there and the bottom blew out of the carboy. Maybe she had just set the carboy down on a surface, which was at a drastically different temperature or something.

Could there have been a lot of CO2 gas pressure inside the carboy or a large temperature change from when wine was placed inside carboy? Seems like the bung would have blown out first, even without an airlock in place.

Not enough info for me to understand what the circumstances were.
 
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