What is wrong with the Big Mouth Bubbler
For my first blog post I want to talk about the Big Mouth Bubbler. If you don't know what this is let’s take a look. The Big Mouth Bubbler is a plastic fermentor, with a large opening at the top unlike a glass carboy, but not as big as a bucket.
I have been getting a lot of messages on youtube and facebook about this product. I'm not sure how long they have been out or how many design changes have happened to the Big Mouth Bubbler, but I know they have had some.
In 2016 I purchased a Big Mouth Bubbler and did a Product Preview of it. The one I have has a lid that has threads on the inside then the bottle has the threads on the outside. The only issue I have had is the bung size. I did not have the right bung for the lid - the one I was using was too big. With the wrong bung I would not get bubbles in my air lock.
Once I put up my Product Review of this I found out that they had switched the design. If you go to Northern Brewer or Midwest Supply you will see they changed the lid! The lid now has ribbed silicone rings. I am sure they test this stuff before they send it out to the public, but why would you put silicone ribbed rings on something like this. Have they not made a batch of beer and put it in a glass carboy and stuck a bung in it? That bung will pop out almost every time unless both surfaces are 100% dry! I have been in design and round testing for over 20 years and the one thing you want to do is test everything. From the Northern Brewer website on the 6.5 gallon plastic fermentor a NB rep said the following "The universal lids can have a tendency to work too good”; as the pressure of CO2 pushes up on the larger lid. Some brewers are finding that drying the lid after sanitizing will keep the lid sealed, others are finding that small weight is helpful."(response from NB November 21 2016). This is the same thing that happens on glass carboys all the time why would they make a lid like this? Why would they want you to put a small weight on it? It’s not a good design at all.
If anyone has one of the new Big Mouth Bubblers with this lid and it’s less than a year old I would send it back. Take that money and go buy some buckets. You are almost always going to have a seal on a bucket and for the price you can buy 2 or 3 buckets for $30. The quality on a bucket to me is just fine - in today's world the material is going to be fine. If you are going to age your beer for over 6 months I would go with glass.
What are your thoughts on the Big Mouth Bubblers? Do you like that you had to find ways to keep the lid on? Do you think this should be fixed?