Luke’s Life

The Brew Hauler that wouldn’t Haul

Posted in Uncategorized by lrobison on May 24, 2010

I recently decided to venture into the world of lager brewing after making several successful ale recipes.  I have a top loading kegerator that I am converting to a two chamber serving and brewing configuration, but was worried about getting my 5 gallon carboy in and out of the fridge because of the lack of handles.  Last night, while buying the Edelbock, I decided to buy the Brew Hauler to help me lift it in and out.  I went home and started brewing.  After a nice afternoon of brewing (boy that wort smelled good) I was ready to eat a late dinner.  My roommate was pulling the steaks off the grill and I had just cooled the wort.  I picked up the carboy using my new Brew Hauler and started walking to the brewing closet.

I hadn’t taken more than five careful steps when I felt a slight tearing or slipping of nylon.  Before I could react the carboy promptly exploded on our tile floor.  Pieces of glass were thrown clear across the kitchen and my delicious Edelbock rushed to every corner of the floor.  Sticky green hop-scented water filled every nook and cranny beneath my fridge, under cabinets, and slowly expanded into the dining room.  Luckily everything it touched was tile, and after a few hours of furious mopping our floor is only slightly sticky.  We went to bed exhausted.

Begining construction of the second chamber.This morning I examined the Brew Hauler.  There were no visible rips, tears, or even so much as a frayed thread.  The carboy had simply slipped out from the Brew Hauler Harness.  I think this disturbed me more than if it had broken.  I had carefully ensured that none of the straps were twisted, tightened down the clip harness, and carefully tested it when empty.  The Brew Hauler didn’t break, it is simply a faulty design.  Maybe it was the bit of wort that spilled around the neck of the carboy and moistened the straps– I don’t know.  All I know is that now I’m out a carboy, out a $40 batch of beer, and out the entire 8 hours of my day that I spent producing and then cleaning what ended up being the stickiest floor polish I’ve ever used.Brew Hauler

I felt cheated.  I had bought a $15 Brew Hauler, and it destroyed $75 worth of beer and equipment.  Even worse, when I asked AHS about being refunded the cost of the carboy and the beer I was told I needed to write an email to the owner.  I may not be a seasoned Austin brewer, but I do feel like AHS is my friendly neighborhood beer store.  I recognize most of the employees, and since my friends bought me a starter kit from AHS almost a year ago, I’ve brewed 5 AHS recipes, the most recent (besides the ill fated Edelbock) being the Sunny Oats Ale.  I purchased all the beer lines and CO2 equipment for my four tap kegerator from AHS, and always found their advice to be accurate and helpful.

UPDATE

Austin Homebrew Supply’s owner replied to my email within two days and was very understanding.  He’s generously offered to replace both the carboy and the Edelbock kit so I get get on with brewing this next weekend.  Once again all is well in the world.  I think this time I might get a plastic carboy.

info@austinhomebrew.co

8 Responses

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  1. Tony said, on May 25, 2010 at 11:35

    I understand your frustration, but if you can’t be sure the carrier was faulty, I don’t see why the company would be on the hook for your carboy. A refund or replacement carrier would be in order, but not a new carboy.

  2. g-lover said, on May 25, 2010 at 15:12

    I would be upset too, but not being there as a calm outside observer I can’t ascertain why the system failed or what/who is exactly at fault.

    I will say this, you’re lucky to not have had to make a hospital trip so that’s one positive out of this ugly affair.

    I don’t know how doable this is for you but I’ve started fermenting in 5 gallon soda kegs. Go to a hardware store, pick up some stainless steel braided washer/dryer hoses, they’re maybe $4 a pop. Cut the ends off and pull out the vinyl tube, think Chinese finger traps as you do this. Crimp or fold over one end, bring out your ‘out’ tube and slip the mesh on. Now you have a fine SS mesh filter. Take off the ‘in’ post, put a rubber stopper on with a vinyl hose for a blow off system.

    Your fermenter/still usable keg w/ a filter is stainless steel, shatter proof, light proof, and air proof. To rack the beer, screw the post on, use a out to out jumper and use CO2 to push the beer to the next keg. In fact, fill the next keg with CO2 and your beer never touches air until you pour it.

    Just an idea, might cost you $8 tops on a keg you already own instead of $40 for a new glass one.

    G-Lover w/ the Foam Rangers

  3. nuxx.net blog » The Brew Hauler said, on January 16, 2012 at 19:46

    […] and I suspect it’ll work well after that. While looking up info on the product I did find this report of it not working right for one person, but I suspect that they didn’t have it set up quite right, resulting in the carboy sliding […]

  4. CileyMirus said, on October 21, 2013 at 18:37

    If you want something stronger than a brewhauler but also blocks light and makes pouring, moving, storing, washing and brewing in glass carboys easier you should check out http://www.carboy.net I have 2 of these covers and I cant imagine brewing without one at this point.

    • monosource said, on October 22, 2013 at 13:00

      I’ve switched to using BetterBottle (http://www.better-bottle.com) and have been very happy. Two years later and They still clean out good as new.

      Luke

      • CileyMirus said, on October 23, 2013 at 12:38

        Plastic jugs still dont have handles or block light. The side handles are great for sloshing water/oxyclean around vigorously. The top handles make moving my full carboys around and getting them up on the counter top so much easier. I really like the index card pocket so I can write down dates and gravity readings without loosing them. These things are indestructible. Not trying to sell you one, I just really like mine!

  5. Monty said, on October 29, 2013 at 21:30

    Carboy.net has great covers with strong handles. I just got mine off their site for 22$, nice grab!

  6. mosleybond5257 said, on April 8, 2016 at 6:00

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