View Full Version : source for glass carboys

10-11-2007, 06:52 AM
So far I have bought the 5 gallon glass carboys from the local homebrew store. I pay around $24 for each one.

I really like the idea of "micro brew" type thinking and in keeping everything in 5 gallon glass carboys, no matter how much I grow. I realize much more efficient means can be had, but for now, that's where I'm at.

I checked glass carboys on ebay. Normal price is 20 to 25 for the carboy and another 20 for shipping. Way too much! And nobody seems to have them local to my location.

I believe that if one looks hard enough, long enough, asks the right questions, and even gets lucky...sources can be found. After all, somebody supplies the stores who sell them.

But I have researched every number on my carboy boxes. They are made in Mexico. But a supplier source eludes me.

Does anyone know of a wholesale supplier? One that would cheap enough to order a case/pallet/load of say 50 to 100 bottles?

Anything to point me in the right direction? Thank you.

10-11-2007, 07:12 AM
You're welcome.


"Imported from Mexico or Italy. Sold in BULK. No minimums. 80 pieces per pallet. Quantity discounts apply for 6 or more pallets. Call for details."

I think in that quantity they run $10-11 each.


10-11-2007, 07:50 AM
here in kansas they can be gotten at auctions for 5 to 10 dollars each and at garage sales so you might check around to see if that is the case inyour area

10-11-2007, 08:42 AM
I don't know, but seems like you would be MUCH better off using the adjustable size stainless steel do-whickies. Thats what a guy I know that was starting up was using. He sells bottled, but said (at the time) his strongest market was selling kegs of mead to a few local bars.

Also if your applications fall through with the FEDS, your not stuck with a pallet of carboys and instead have the big tank that can easily be utilized for personal use.

Kegs of sparkling mead are also nice at weddings as a replacement to champagne. Just market to caterers.

Are you thinking to use honey storage tanks as primary fermenters then siphon to glass carboys?. :)

Kelly Livingston
10-11-2007, 09:23 AM
If you aren't stuck on glass, 5 gallon water jugs work great. Many times they can be found for free if you ask water companies for slightly chipped or cracked bottles or I purchased them at HomeDepot and Walmart for 10$ each. And you have the added benefit of carboys not shattering into a millioin pieces should they drop. Did I mention you get good tasting water for free as well? Perhaps to start you first batch with?

10-11-2007, 04:48 PM

I'm a rookie at this but from what I understand plastic water bottles are made of a material that is oxygen permeable and that is undesirable.
The local brew store sells plastic carboys which are made of the right plastic and are light and unbreakable but they're also expensive
I'm sticking with glass


Ben Brewcat
10-11-2007, 07:42 PM
For large numbers I'll be of little help; we got them wholesale from a local container supplier (Denver). Often carboys turn up at farm auctions, Craigslist-ings, etc. Lastly if you know an industry nearby that uses acids, hydrochloric and others are one of the main uses for carboys. I obtained several from the old Rocky Flats plutonium-trigger facility (turned Superfund site). Sometimes you'll find them at a yard sale full of coins :).

10-12-2007, 06:49 PM
I was warned that "Mexican glass" was thin and broke easily. I've never had a carboy break.

Join a homebrew club and keep active. I bought supplies from someone that moved and from someone that had to give up the hobby after he came home late one night from the strip club with his brother...got the great deal cause I replied to his add first.

10-15-2007, 08:04 PM
My 4 five gallon carboy's come from the homebrew store, used. I think they were $8 or $10 each, he was selling them off for someone going to 6.5gallon carboys or downsizing. It might be worth asking nicely if he has or ever gets any used ones. There may be some health regs that don't allow him to openly sell used equipment, so you may have to ask. A town south of us the guy can't sell used, so just sells it for the owner. Heh.

Mine are "mexian glass" and seem fine.

John Gesner
10-16-2007, 12:38 PM
There's a store chain called Olde Time Pottery. It's sort of a home decorating, glassware, crafts kind of place. Kind of like a Big Lots type operation. They had carboys last year for under $10 a piece! And they had pallets of them. Haven't been in there lately, but if you don't have them in your local, I guess that doesn't matter...

I went to an auction about 5 years ago that had 14 carboys in an old barn. I got them for $50 along with some other misc winemaking supplies. Auctions rock.

10-16-2007, 12:49 PM
I obtained several from the old Rocky Flats plutonium-trigger facility (turned Superfund site).

Ben, do your meads glow in the dark?:eek:


10-16-2007, 05:57 PM
Glass IS pretty, and nice to look @, but 5 Gallon Stainless is much more durable and easily obtained in a used / reconditioinable state. It is available through home brew supply stores and can be found if you can locate a coke/pepsi/7up bottling facility that routinely disgards the old ones. Even seem'um in junk yards still half full of said soda syrup. It is even possible to get smaller volume stainless in 2.5 or 3 gallon size. I've also heard that the best mead is more than 7 years old before you start to consume. Don't want glass hangin' around for that long!!

Ben Brewcat
10-16-2007, 06:14 PM
Ben, do your meads glow in the dark?:eek:

Only through my third eye ;)

I love cornies (cornelius kegs described above) for aging mead. Bang 'em around, easy to take samples, you can even rack from one to another, first purged of air with CO2, with no air contact. Also a semisweet mead, carbonated and served on draft, absolutely MAKES a party. Great wedding present!

10-17-2007, 02:03 PM
Can you use a cornelius keg as secondary fermenter, or just for storing the finished product?

IIRC, our local brew store wants around $100 for a reconditioned one. Glass is definately cheaper.

Ben Brewcat
10-17-2007, 09:00 PM
They're great as secondary fermenters. Note: not as primaries! The gas post can be rigged so as to function as an airlock in a number of ways. I either use a gas disconnect with only a two-foot tube which ends in a jar of sanitizer next to the keg, or 3/8" siphon hose clamps (or even friction-fits) over the threads that the posts would screw onto; that tube ends in said sanitizer. Poor man's airlock. You needed to replace your nasty old plastic siphon tubing anyway, right? :D

Then, depending on your preference, the long dip tube (liquid side) can be cut a couple inches short so it doesn't pick up lees when racking. Or you can just suck the lees up first, discard, and the rest of the keg racks clean (though really goopy yeast can make this one a LOT less slick).

Either way, kegs are great. Fill them with water after sanitizing (or use no-rinse sanitizer), then push the water out with CO2. When all the water's gone, you have a perfectly purged keg (no atmosphere or airborne bugs, just inert CO2). Now if you rack mead into it (in through the out line so it fills gently from the bottom) with the pressure relief open, your mead sneaks in without ever seeing air. Roll it down the basement stairs, LABEL the durn thing :rolleyes: and forget for a year. Or five.

Want to taste? Take a reading? Well put a couple pounds CO2 on it, sanitize the posts, and drain just as much as you need. Never "opened" the keg.

Did I mention I love corny kegs :o?

BTW $100?! That's WAY too much, at least if it's just a keg. Maybe brand-new. I'd look for like $45. Ebay sometimes has good deals. They're not made in large production anymore with soda companies having entirely (almost) switched to syrup-and-gas setups, so get them while they're still around and in good shape. Oddly the other people who really use them are painters and window-washers.

Be aware too that a small number of them, used on agricultural locations, have been used for pesticide/herbicide or fertilizer or who knows what. They're stainless, so if unpitted you can clean them, but boy I'd do a good job if I used one of those for something I was going to serve to my family!

10-19-2007, 03:19 AM
I bought my kegs and dispensing equipment here and always got good prices, good equipment, reasonable shipping rates (watch out for shipping rates on Ebay!) and good advice. http://www.rcbequip.com/index2.ivnu

10-25-2007, 06:28 PM
One of the biggest wine and homebrew wholesalers in the country is Crosby and Baker Ltd.
They have offices in Westport, MA, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City. The supply ingredients and equipment to homebrewers as well as brewpubs and some microbreweries. They don't usually sell to individuals, but they may tell you who is a dealer in your area. With the cooperation of the dealer, there may be a way to get good prices on a large quantity of stuff.

Schooner Fred