Carboys on Concrete?

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NoSnob

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What does conventional winemaking wisdom say about storing wine in carboys on concrete? I seem to recall inferences about not doing it, but do not know the basis for it. Would this be the same for a ceramic tile floor?
NS
 

FTC Wines

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I too keep my carboys , both glass & plastic on a tile on concrete slab floor. Currently temp is 67*, winter is 62*, basement is under ground on 3 sides. I ferment in the mid floor bathroom which runs 72-78*, I worry sometimes about breaking a carboy when moving the glass ones, but have been storing on the floor for 4 yrs. & no problems. Roy
 

Runningwolf

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I would never keep glass carboys on concrete. With full carboys the temp of cold concrete is going to transfer to the must. Each time you set the carboy down on the concrete you are jarring it and eventually you could be inducing a crack. Plus there is that time you try to gently set it down on the floor and it hits harder then you intended...oops. I use a large entry way floor mat for storage and heavy rubber mats for my work area.
 

tonyt

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I think the biggest concern would be the risk of breaking a glass carboy filled with wine. It's very hard to move glass around, up and down on ceramic tile. My winemaking area is the Morning Room, tile floor, lots of daylight, not ideal. So each carboy is sitting on it's own huge beach towel, then the towel is wrapped around the carboy like a turban. So I can drag them easily and safely around the floor and never set them on the hard surface. I vacuum rack so I never have to lift a full carboy. I also believe that the tile floor moderates the room temperature during the day. My wife is having a party in a few weeks and I have been informed that my army of Whirling Dervishes would have to disappear for a day. Arghhh!
 

Tom

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Since I ferment and age in 2 rooms in the house all are sitting on a rug.
 

winemaker_3352

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Since I ferment and age in 2 rooms in the house all are sitting on a rug.
Yeah i do something similar as well - i have an old section of carpet from when we built the house - i just double that over and I set my carboys on that.
 

ffemt128

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When sitting on the concrete floor, the carboys have a piece of carpet padding under them. I have about 8-10 milk crates that I try to store the empties in. It makes it alot easier to lift and less chance of dropping with the crate handles.


All the full ones are on one of 2 benches.
 

ibglowin

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Concrete like ceramic tile is very unforgiving. Its only a matter of time till something bad happens...... :(
 

almargita

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Currently have 5 full carboys sitting on the floor on a folded moving quilt in the laundry room. Used to be on a small table until I read about the colapse of a table here a few weeks ago. Better to be safe than sorry.......
Al
 

NoSnob

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Sounds like several think tile/concrete is unforgiving and may increase the chance of accidents.
I have 2 carboys on my ceramic tile floor, both out of the home traffic path. My house is kept at 78 in summer and I would prefer wine to be kept considerably cooler after fermentation is complete. It seems to me that the carboy may get a few degrees cooler by being on the ceramic tile floor, as opposed to sitting on a piece of wood which would insulate the cool floor temperature somewhat. Whaddyathink?
NS
 

Runningwolf

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I understand what you're doing and why you're doing it. If you're willing to accept the risk, go for it.

Worst case scenario; Carboy drops and breaks busting a tile, red wine over the entire room of grout. Major Artery is severed and after days in the hospital you released in wife's custody. After third week of being home with wife you find out you are really in Hell. Two months later wine aroma still lingers as you hobble around the house. And then the unknowingly final death wish..you ask your wife for a new carboy for Christmas.:w
 

Julie

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Everyone has given you very good advice, don't take the chance. You may have not had an accident so far but that does not mean that you won't. There is a lot of time and expense that goes into winemaking, don't take the chance, it is something that you will regret.
 

NoSnob

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Thanks for all your advice.
Apparently the risk of breakage is the major consideration. There's no need to move my carboys in aging now, but as they are moved to a higher location to work with them I think it best that I arrange some kind of floor protection, probably carpet and/or wood..
NS
 

MHSKIBUM

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Every election there's a candidate who isn't running again or has signs too damaged to reuse. It's bad PR to send signs to landfill. You can get a lifetime supply of them from a single call. They work perfectly as cushions for your carboys.
 

Jim Welch

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Glass is very brittle and concrete (or tile) is very hard, not a good combination.
I know a fellow homebrewer had a carboy basically explode in his hands while carrying it, he said he didin't hit it on anything it just spontaneously blew apart full of beer. He used one of those webbing strap carboy haulers to carry it from his fermentation chamber across the room where he had a somewhat high shelf he would place the carboy on in preperation to rack the beer off the yeast cake. Set it down and got his hand under it and as he lifted it it came apart.
He had terrible cuts, had to have surgery on one of his hands, many stitches on both. He was out of work for several weeks at least, it was a long time ago. He, and I, believe there were microscopic stress cracks in the carboy because he said he always closely inspected them after cleaning to be sure they were spotless and believes he'd have seen a crack.
I stopped using my carboys after that, switched to better bottles and then to fermenting in sanke kegs. My carboys collected dust until I got into winemaking and I went and bought real milk crates, not the lightweight things one may see at walmart or similar stores.
I use super crates now from farmplast, a company in NJ that manufactures them. They are rated for 250 Lbs but I am so scared of breaking carboys that I am considering making some kind of reinforcing bottoms out of thin plywood for them.
I know this is nearly the worst case scenario and it is another expense but once bitten twice shy and I wasn't even the one bitten but saw what it did to my friend.
I know I'm just a stranger to whoever reads this but please trust me when I say you DO NOT want to experience (or even see) the wounds I saw!
 

BernardSmith

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Even pseudo milk crates work well. A six gallon carboy should weigh over 50 lbs when full (8 gallons of liquid plus the weight of the glass) and these crates can easily hold 60 lbs or more I generally store all my carboys in crates and only move them when filled using the crates and I work on a lino covered concrete basement. But as Jim Welch acknowledged: flying shattered glass does the same kind of (lethal) damage as shrapnel.
 
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