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micro cracks in carboys

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deboard

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I recently noticed a very small hairline crack in the bottom of one of my glass carboys. So I have been examining each one as I empty it, and so far I've found 3 with cracks. There is one that I definitely wouldn't use again as the crack starts one side and goes all the way across. The others are not nearly so large, just a hairline kind of crack that took me a while to even notice.

So, what's the chances of failure on these carboys with the hairline cracks? I had to use one to rack last weekend, but I placed it in my basement for aging anyways, if it lets loose the worst thing will be some shop vac cleanup since it's unfinished. (and lost wine of course, which will be a tragedy)

I don't remember hitting any of these hard while sitting them down, in fact I am usually overly cautious, but I did sit them in the basement on the concrete with nothing underneath, so maybe that's what did it. I placed three layers of cardboard there now where I put them.

I think I may try a better bottle and see how I like it.
 

Wade E

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Id be pretty scared with any cracks in a full carboy, one little tap by accident could be a big mess and harm.
 

deboard

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Me too, I'm definitely going to phase them out of use as I can replace them. And the ones with cracks will be relegated to basement use only until they are replaced. My normal winemaking area is carpeted, and my wife might just kill me if one let loose on the carpet.

I'm going to buy a better bottle next week to rack my Syrah, I figure I'll be able to tell if I like them or not with that batch. I'll also be even more cautious with my remaining glass carboys.
 

Runningwolf

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I have a big floor mat to sit my empty carboys on. I also have rubber floor mats around my wine making area and sink so I have no fear of sitting them down.
 

Tom

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I would not use them again. Just not worth it
 

djrockinsteve

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Place them into a 6 gallon bucket (I get these with my juice), they fit perfectly. You can use them without fear of losing your wine. This will suffice until you replace them.

Sad to hear that you have several cracks.
 

Dugger

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Are you sure they are cracks? Many carboys I have seen have a crack like seam across the bottom that at first glance looks like a crack but actually is not. Look at them closely.
 

HammerOne

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I have 2 5gal carboys that I thought had cracks accross the bottom but after close inspection, the cracks (or what I thought) were the same. I think it is a manufacturing defect. They are the ones made in Mexico after all.
 

xanxer82

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Crack kills
Rubber shop mats are your best friend.
 

deboard

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I was hoping that was the case as well, I see the seam, which is a little wider than the crack, and the crack is not parallel to it. The worst one actually has what is probably a tiny impact chip and a crack radiating out from it.

I'm definitely not using them again, but it's going to be hard to let go of them. When you start the hobby, it seems like more carboys is what you always want, so getting rid of one will be hard. And I have at least 3 to replace now. I inspected the full ones in my closet, and I didn't see any cracks, but they're so hard to see I can't be sure until I get them empty.
 

jeepingchick

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oh man what a loss!!! i think id cry!! good idea about the rubber mats, gonna have to go get me some!
 

Runningwolf

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We all like pictures so I thought I would share this with you. Below are the rubber mats I use in my bottle washing area. The mats are about 3x3' and you can join as many as you want together. Pictured are two of them. They are less than 20.00 a piece at Lowes and Home Depot. The white things are 6" couplings that I use as carboy dryers and the handles on the carboys do no interfere. The box is just where I throw the dreaded labels.



This picture is in front of one of my wine making tables. You can see two more rubber mats. The carboys are sitting on a large entry way mat also found at the same two places. I have no fear of setting my carboys downs (just banging together). Those are all empty carboys I am harvesting for the bountiful fruits about to come forth this fall. The orange bucket I picked up today at Home Depot for about 2.25. This is going to be my new corkadore and I can start using the one I have as a primary bucket again! Additionally, if you do buy these rubber mats it is best to keep them outside for about two weeks. They have a very strong rubber smell that will fill your basement. Two weeks outside and you're good to go!

 

Wade E

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Nice layout there Dan. Does that also dble as your cadio work ouyt area? :)
 

Runningwolf

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Nice layout there Dan. Does that also dble as your cadio work ouyt area? :)
:slpDon't you dare ever say that in front of my wife (you'd be her best friend..agggg). She is exercising and losing and I am drinking and gaining..LOL. Sheeeesh I really do have to get the bike and Kayaks out and start exercising again. :sm
 

deboard

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Very nice setup there, my work area is not nearly that big, I do most racking in the laundry room upstairs, so my wife probably wouldn't tolerate the mats there very well permanently, but carrying around one probably would work. I have two places that I store full carboys, in an upstairs closet for fermentation, which is carpeted, and then I usually move them to the basement for long term aging. In the basement I could definitely leave the mats there, I'll have to look for them. Right now I stacked three layers of cardboard and placed them on top.
 

deboard

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OK, so I bought two 3 gallon better bottles today, and the local store did not have the better bottle closures (which are expensive anyways). I found one of these:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/winemaking/wine-equipment/wine-fermenting-equipment/wine-carboy-accessories/3-5-6-gall-carboy-cap-orange.html

there, and it fits pretty tightly over the top.

For those of you who use the better bottles, will this work? What do you use? The better bottle opening is a lot larger than a standard carboy it seems.
 

JohnT

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I have dozens of carboys and some of them over 10 years old, and have never had any of them crack the way you describe.

One thing that I havve done is to fashion a crate around each bottle. This provides a wooden bottom for the bottle to rest upon. Will include a picture in a later post.


Is it possible that you are setting them down too hard when full?
 

deboard

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Most likely I was rougher with them than I remember. I'm going to be extra careful from now on. I don't remember any particular time that I hit the bottom of any of them extra hard, but I must have hit it hard enough.
 

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