I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by NomDeNett » Sat, 26 Sep 1998 04:00:00



Tommy:

I'm very sorry to hear about your accident!  Keep your chin up. Everyone
makes mistakes.

But DO NOT over-react by going to plastic carboys.  They are vastly inferior
to glass for several reasons:

1.  Plastic Loses its clearness/color over time - glass does not.
2.  Plastic is much more prone to oxidation of the contents (this is
extremely important when bulk aging - less important with "28 day" kits)
3.  And; most importantly: plastic is much harder to clean.

Since the carboys have the must/wine in them much longer than the primary
fermenter; cleaning them becomes much more of a problem.

You will be shocked/surprised by the "muck" which can accumulate in the neck
& at the bottom of a carboy during secondary fermentation &/or aging.

Moreover; it is much harder to properly clean these serious sedimentations
off of plastic than it is to clean them off of glass.  The plastic will tend
to nick & scar during serious cleaning, thereby forming grooves where
bacteria & other nasties can hide.

Stick with glass & be more careful.

Finally; invest in a good plastic wine thief.  They are not only inexpensive
($ 5.00-7.00 US) but are also good for withdrawing/adding wine to the
carboy.  Additionally;  they are excellent for testing your SG while the
wine is in the carboy.

Your hydrometer can be inserted into the thief before inserting the thief
into the mouth of the carboy.  As the wine level rises in the thief the
hydrometer will begin to float & take its reading.

A wine thief is a tool whose value is often greatly underestimated!!  Get
one.

Hope this helps - Keep your chin up - go out tomorrow & buy another carboy &
kit!

-Ed
--
"Wine is sunlight, held together by water..."
 -Louis Pasteur

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Stev » Sat, 26 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Stick to glass, you will  be glad you did.  where are you from?  I am trying
to find people near me  (Georgia) that make wine.  If you know anyone who
works at the hospital, get them to get you some large syringes.
         steve
Quote:

>I am a beginner, and was over e***d about racking to my secondary.
>After acomplishing this, I had filled the GLASS carboy to the rim.
>Since I had to remove about one and a half inches of wine, and didn't
>have a wine thief or turkey baster, I just picked the thing up and
>carried it to the bathroom sink.  Here I proceeded to dump out a
>couple of ounces, and in the process, It slipped out of my hands and
>crashed to the floor.  I can still see the image in slow motion etched
>into my brain.  I had glass everywhere, and five gallons of Cabernet
>Sauvignon on the floor.  I have never done something this dumb in my
>life.  Great lesson for beginners.  Take your time, use sensible
>equiptment, and GLASS carboys are not a toy!

>So....I was thinking of ditching glass and going with the plastics.
>Am I being too overreactive about this?  Does glass really have
>benifits that plastic does not, or does plastic have disadvantages?

>Thanks.  -Tom


 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Kel Rekut » Sat, 26 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Sad tale snipped

Quote:
>So....I was thinking of ditching glass and going with the plastics.
>Am I being too overreactive about this?  Does glass really have
>benifits that plastic does not, or does plastic have disadvantages?

>Thanks.  -Tom

Plastic is really hard to keep clean and sterile, compared to glass.
It will never be as clear as glass, so you can't tell when the wine has
finally cleared.
Other than that, it is just as good and maybe cheaper.

However, plastic carboys can break too.

Go out and replace your glass carboy. When you do, buy  one of those wire
handle things to put on the neck. I use them all the time since I *almost*
dropped a batch.
I keep them on when washing the carboy with the bottle blaster. Holding a
wet carboy upside down is much safer with these inexpensive gadgets.

Cheers!

Kel

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Tomm » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


I am a beginner, and was over e***d about racking to my secondary.
After acomplishing this, I had filled the GLASS carboy to the rim.
Since I had to remove about one and a half inches of wine, and didn't
have a wine thief or turkey baster, I just picked the thing up and
carried it to the bathroom sink.  Here I proceeded to dump out a
couple of ounces, and in the process, It slipped out of my hands and
crashed to the floor.  I can still see the image in slow motion etched
into my brain.  I had glass everywhere, and five gallons of Cabernet
Sauvignon on the floor.  I have never done something this dumb in my
life.  Great lesson for beginners.  Take your time, use sensible
equiptment, and GLASS carboys are not a toy!  

So....I was thinking of ditching glass and going with the plastics.
Am I being too overreactive about this?  Does glass really have
benifits that plastic does not, or does plastic have disadvantages?

Thanks.  -Tom

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by baiz.. » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Tommy,
Bummer.  Sorry to hear that you lost some of you investment in the
hobby.  Don't worry it's all part of the learning curve. Sometimes
accidents just happen.  

There are carboy handles that go around the neck.  I used to use them
but snapped the neck off of a carboy once when I relied on it too much.
I had to come up another solution, so sometimes (when I remember) I put
*** bands salvaged from our daily newpaper around the neck of a
carboy. It adds a little gripping power and helps me manhandle five
gallons around without too much concern.  They don't last very long but
they don't have to. Just keep your hands dry.  

Best of luck with the next batch,

Basilio

Quote:

> I am a beginner, and was over e***d about racking to my secondary.
> After acomplishing this, I had filled the GLASS carboy to the rim.
> Since I had to remove about one and a half inches of wine, and didn't
> have a wine thief or turkey baster, I just picked the thing up and
> carried it to the bathroom sink.  Here I proceeded to dump out a
> couple of ounces, and in the process, It slipped out of my hands and
> crashed to the floor.  I can still see the image in slow motion etched
> into my brain.  I had glass everywhere, and five gallons of Cabernet
> Sauvignon on the floor.  I have never done something this dumb in my
> life.  Great lesson for beginners.  Take your time, use sensible
> equiptment, and GLASS carboys are not a toy!

> So....I was thinking of ditching glass and going with the plastics.
> Am I being too overreactive about this?  Does glass really have
> benifits that plastic does not, or does plastic have disadvantages?

> Thanks.  -Tom

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Paul Jean Jr » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Sorry for you loss Tom, lucky for you a toe, leg or worse was not lost.
Its a little late but a straw would have done the trick or tilting the
carboy with a glass up against the lip woul have caught the spill.

My winemaking mentor with 30 years experience was carrying two empty glass
carboys (one under each arm) and to get through a doorway, he turned
sideways but one carboy hit the door jamb and banged into the other and
both broke. 180 gazillion stitches later he was in shock over the fact
that the glass shards had neetly cut through his forearms and trunk sides
(did I say he was bare chested at the time?) and nearly severed both
arteries in his forearms (did I say he was also a doctor?). Did I say he
is no longer my mentor?

Glass is the best but start in plastic for the first month (including 7-10
days in promary) and rack into glass for the bulk ageing and clarifying.
Finally, NEVER CARRY FULL GLASS CARBOYS appart from what happened to you
I've seen the bottom fall out of a couple.

Paul Jean Jr.
Publisher, Getting Started in Winemaking by JE Underhill

Quote:

> I am a beginner, and was over e***d about racking to my secondary.
> After acomplishing this, I had filled the GLASS carboy to the rim.
> Since I had to remove about one and a half inches of wine, and didn't
> have a wine thief or turkey baster, I just picked the thing up and
> carried it to the bathroom sink.  Here I proceeded to dump out a
> couple of ounces, and in the process, It slipped out of my hands and
> crashed to the floor.  I can still see the image in slow motion etched
> into my brain.  I had glass everywhere, and five gallons of Cabernet
> Sauvignon on the floor.  I have never done something this dumb in my
> life.  Great lesson for beginners.  Take your time, use sensible
> equiptment, and GLASS carboys are not a toy!

> So....I was thinking of ditching glass and going with the plastics.
> Am I being too overreactive about this?  Does glass really have
> benifits that plastic does not, or does plastic have disadvantages?

> Thanks.  -Tom

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Tam Thomps » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


If it makes you feel better, this has happened to me at least
once in the eight years I've been brewing beer.
(It's never happened to any of my wines, but then I've
only been doing winemaking for two years---give me time!  ;-)  )
A few things I do now to help prevent this:
  1.  I don't carry carboys when I'm tipsy.
  2.  I towel off the carboy to make sure it's dry.  Wet ones
      can slip out of your hands more easily.
  3.  I make sure there's no water on any vinyl or tile floors
      that I will traverse.  
This past week I saw a carboy sling at Austin Homebrew Supply
(Austin, Texas, USA).  It consisted of some 1" thick webbing
riveted together to make a good, sturdy sling with handles.
You might be able to make one.  
Don't feel too bad--it happens to the best of us.  :-)

              Tam


Quote:

>I am a beginner, and was over e***d about racking to my secondary.
>After acomplishing this, I had filled the GLASS carboy to the rim.
>Since I had to remove about one and a half inches of wine, and didn't
>have a wine thief or turkey baster, I just picked the thing up and
>carried it to the bathroom sink.  Here I proceeded to dump out a
>couple of ounces, and in the process, It slipped out of my hands and
>crashed to the floor.  I can still see the image in slow motion etched
>into my brain.  I had glass everywhere, and five gallons of Cabernet
>Sauvignon on the floor.  I have never done something this dumb in my
>life.  Great lesson for beginners.  Take your time, use sensible
>equiptment, and GLASS carboys are not a toy!  

>So....I was thinking of ditching glass and going with the plastics.
>Am I being too overreactive about this?  Does glass really have
>benifits that plastic does not, or does plastic have disadvantages?

>Thanks.  -Tom

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Tam Thomps » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


OH! And I forgot to add:
Even given the risks of dropping carboys, I still use them rather
than plastic buckets.  Plastic is just too permeable, and far
too likely to impart some of itself and its taste into my beers
and wines.  Glass doesn't do that.  
Yep, my recommendation is to stick with glass.
Another alternative, if you could find it, would be some sort
of stainless steel vessel, like commercial brewers use.
Actually, though, for winemaking, you'd want to use oak barrels,
and then we're talking REAL money, as well as an unholy pain to
clean out.  

                     Hope this helps!
                            Tam


Quote:

>I am a beginner, and was over e***d about racking to my secondary.
>After acomplishing this, I had filled the GLASS carboy to the rim.
>Since I had to remove about one and a half inches of wine, and didn't
>have a wine thief or turkey baster, I just picked the thing up and
>carried it to the bathroom sink.  Here I proceeded to dump out a
>couple of ounces, and in the process, It slipped out of my hands and
>crashed to the floor.  I can still see the image in slow motion etched
>into my brain.  I had glass everywhere, and five gallons of Cabernet
>Sauvignon on the floor.  I have never done something this dumb in my
>life.  Great lesson for beginners.  Take your time, use sensible
>equiptment, and GLASS carboys are not a toy!  

>So....I was thinking of ditching glass and going with the plastics.
>Am I being too overreactive about this?  Does glass really have
>benifits that plastic does not, or does plastic have disadvantages?

>Thanks.  -Tom

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by To » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Thanks for the interesting and informative responses.  I went out
today and bought another glass carboy, and a wine thief.  I haven't
decided on whether to buy concentrate of fresh though.  Being in
Northwest Ark, there isn't much variety.  I hear there is a grower
close buy who has a ton of rose colored concords, but I am wary of the
SG level.  Also, I don't have a press which might make the squeezing
of 35 pounds of grapes impossible.  Any ideas on homeade pressing
techniques?  Plus, is there a concentrate of Sherry strength out
there?   -Tom
 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Brian Lundee » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> Finally, NEVER CARRY FULL GLASS CARBOYS appart from what happened to you
> I've seen the bottom fall out of a couple.

> Paul Jean Jr.
> Publisher, Getting Started in Winemaking by JE Underhill

WHAT!? What do you do, use a pump for all your wine transfers so that your
carboy never has to leave the safety of the floor? Sorry, I don't agree with
that advice at all. I'm not saying pick up your 5 gallons of wine and do a
little jig down the street, but let's not be paranoid either. The problem you
cite is a rare occurence and almost certainly resulted from mistreatment of
the carboy. My advice is to care for your carboy properly by following a few
simple rules.

Never buy a used carboy. You have no idea what the previous owner did to it.

Never wash with hot water. Thermal shock will weaken the glass and eventually
it will fail. I have found that filling the carboy with warm water and some
dishwasher detergent removes even the worst gunk (beer krausen) without any
scrubbing. Rinse several times with warm water and let dry or store with
sulfite solution.

Do not knock it against any hard object, such as another carboy or the
concrete floor. 1" insulation sheets (that blue stuff) make a great base to
sit carboys on. Wrap some bubble wrap around the glass as a shock absorber if
need be.

Don't use carboy handles. Make sure the glass and your hands are completely
dry, wrap one hand firmly around the neck and place your other hand under the
base and lift with your legs (that's more for the health of your back than the
carboy). Make sure the floor is not slippery or cluttered with objects and
walk in a purposeful but unhurried manner to your destination. Place it down
gently.

Never pass a full carboy to another person. I can't imagine why you would want
to do this, but just don't.

None of this will matter if you are simply unlucky enough to acquire a carboy
with a manufacturing defect but frankly, you can't go through life worrying
about lightning strikes or meteor collisions.

Brian

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by baiz.. » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Gee, I forgot to mention one other thing I do to make my carboy hauling
a bit easier. Commercial grade milk crates fit five gallon carboys very
well and have handles as well.  I use them to transport bottles from
room to room.

Contact a local dairy or distributor to buy some, the ones available at
the local department store are generally too lightweight.  iR you can
make something similar out of wood.

basilio

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by Rilo » Sun, 27 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:
>There are carboy handles that go around the neck.  I used to use them
>but snapped the neck off of a carboy once when I relied on it too much.
>I had to come up another solution

I didn't know those handles would break the necks.  Do you think this kind
of thing happens alot?  I don't have any but thought about getting some.

rilo

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by TomS » Mon, 28 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Stick with glass.  Use a plastic lug (they make them in a size that just
fits) to carry them around.  Don't pick them up without the carrier when
they're full, or the bottom could fall out.  Don't try to pour from a
carboy;  use either a turkey baster or a racking tube to transfer the
contents.

Tom S

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by baiz.. » Mon, 28 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Quote:

> >There are carboy handles that go around the neck.  I used to use them
> >but snapped the neck off of a carboy once when I relied on it too much.
> >I had to come up another solution

> I didn't know those handles would break the necks.  Do you think this kind
> of thing happens alot?  I don't have any but thought about getting some.

> rilo

Rilo,
Well, it's happened to me but once.  I grabbed the handle and didn't
support the bottom of the carboy enough with the other hand.  Darn thing
snapped right off. If you use the handle to maintain a grip on the
carboy and carry the majority of the weight with your other arm I think
you'll be fine.  

Has anyone else snapped a neck with those handles?

Basilio

 
 
 

I feel like an IDIOT. My ill fated wine...

Post by DOUG EVAN » Mon, 28 Sep 1998 04:00:00


I've been told if you tighten the handles too much the neck will shatter..
I always tell my customers not rely on them as a carrying handle but to
always use two hands.  I did have a customer drop a carboy, where if he was
using a carboy handle it would not have happened.  For $3.50 he could saved
fifty dollars worth of grapes.

--
Doug Evans
VinBrew Supply
740/756-4314

Quote:

>>There are carboy handles that go around the neck.  I used to use them
>>but snapped the neck off of a carboy once when I relied on it too much.
>>I had to come up another solution

>I didn't know those handles would break the necks.  Do you think this kind
>of thing happens alot?  I don't have any but thought about getting some.

>rilo