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All-Stainless Steel Primary or Secondary Fermenters/Glass or Plastic Carboys?

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FentonCellars

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Hi -

Does anyone have any All-Stainless Steel Primary or Secondary Fermenters? I'm seeing this in a catalog for $499.90. Yes, this is pretty expensive, but they ARE nice! If only I won the lottery! :D

Almost everyone I know has glass carboys. Anyone have plastic carobys? I've seen a product called "Better Bottle" that is plastic and is oderless and virtually impermeable plastic which allows for months without oxidation. These have spouts near the bottom for easy draining.

Anyone using plastic buckets? I've seen this, and almost got it with the basic wine making package, but I opted for the deluxe package of both 5 gallons and 6 gallon carboy's being glass. Any pros/cons of the plastic buckets other then a nice handle?
 
C

Caplan

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If only I could justify stainless steel fermenters to 'Mrs.Caplan'!

A lot of people rate 'better bottles' but I've never really looked into them - I don't have a problem with my glass carboys (for secondary/aging) so I have no need to look into replacing them.

I always use a plastic brew bucket for primary. Easy to clean (especially with fruit pieces in brews) and no problems with 'blow offs' unlike carboys.
 

smurfe

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I use the plastic buckets. Love them. Easy to clean and move around. I have one Better Bottle Carboy. I can take it or leave it. Glass is cheaper ans I don't have to worry about scratching it up with my Mix-Stir when degassing. The price they gig you for that racking spout is outrageous and doesn't work that good. They are OK but not all of that.

Smurfe :)
 

MUMBA

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ss

i have 2 stainless steel 1/2 barrels they are great the lid with the bladder so you can raise or lower them to the wine and they dont break when you drop them
 

FentonCellars

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Mumba - Do you have a picture of your setup? I would love to see what you have!
 

phantom

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Owner of Better Bottles

My complete secondary setup is Better Bottles. For secondary and aging, glass or plastic have pretty much the same problems. For racking, bottling, and storage, I love my setup. For racking and bottling, I've got a spigot at the bottom of the carboy. You can point the nozzle above the lees(or trub), and start the flow. No worrying about breaking siphon, or messing with a racking cane. For storage, since they weigh practically nothing, you can stick them on high shelves, out of the way, and you don't have to worry about a 10-15# hunk of glass crashing down when you try to get it. For washing, you don't have to worry about cracking glass if you let a wet carboy slip loose, and the plastic is easier to hold onto anyways.

Yes, they are a lot more expensive than the glass carboys, but if you break a glass carboy, you have shards of glass everywhere, and you're out a carboy. If you break a Better Bottle, you pick up the plastic, remove the spigot and reuse the stopper and airlock on your next one.
 

MUMBA

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i dont have a pic but as soon as i take one i will post it
 

zeppelin9899

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I am thinking about trying some bigger batches, i have an old 15 gallon beer keg i havent used in a year or so, it had old beer in it so it smelled pretty bad when i released the pressure and took out the stem. does anyone see a problem with using this keg for making wine as long as i clean it out well with a bleach solution?
 

cpfan

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zeppelin9899:

If it's a stainless keg, don't soak in chlorine as I understand that chlorine will eventually eat thru the s/s.

You could give it a try.

Steve
 

zeppelin9899

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when you say do not soak it, is it ok to clean it with a 1tbsp to 1 gallon solution of chlorine bleach? as long as i dont leave it in their too long? it wont produce any wierd chemicals or anything that will taint my wine when i use it will it? thanks for the answer by the way.
 

Wine Maker

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I don't like using chlorine bleach for any of my equipment. I use "One-Step" cleaner and potassium metabisuphite. If you do use bleach use the unscented kind, scrub with your brush and then rinse a few times. I don't recommend soaking the equipment in bleach for any length of time.
 

maditonto

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I use 15 gallon S.S. beer keg as a fermenter.

I use 15 gallon S.S. beer keg as a fermenter.

I removed the pressure valve in the top center. A size 10.5 stopper fits the hole.
I also drilled a one inch hole about 5 inches from the center hole to aid in cleaning.
I produce about 13 gallons of wine using this fermenter.
 

Wine Snob

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Trying to decide myself...

I've got an assortment of glass. 3 gal, 5 and 6.5. Weight has started to become an issue for me I have to admit. I also got scared Sh*tless when I read about a guy who basicly shattered his right foot. Yeah the carboy slipped. Been brewing for about 20 years and I can tell you they have slipped with me too. Just lucked out I guess. Well, you know what they say about luck. So at any rate.... got a PET bottle today... 3 gal that I'm going to use as a primary. Making some wine at work this Friday and thought that it woudl be MUCH easier to carry around (YES MY FRIENDS :D READ IT AND WEAP.... AT WORK :eek: ). Going to do a 2 gal batch.
 
H

Helen

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Love that glass

It's hard for me to imagine that you could keep wine in a secondary fermentation container made of plastic for very long without getting some plastic taste. I think about the plastic water bottles which definitely impart a flavor to the water. A short time seems fine, but I haven't tried using plastic secondary fermentation containers for that reason. I'm curious about it though. Has anyone ever used the commercial type of plastic bottles like those that Culligan delivers water in? If so, how long? And was there a flavor difference in the wine? I've got a bunch of those, but have been reluctant to try using them.

So, if there are any brave experimenters out there, let me know your results.

Thanks much.
 

cpfan

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Helen:

I have talked to some people who say that the water jugs work great. I'm not sure how long they keep the wine in them.

Over the last few years, I have seen at least three plastic bottles designed as wine/beer carboys. I have used two of these types in a Ferment on Premises. These days the best known is the Better Bottle, which I have not used. I did not notice any problems with the taste of the wine.

Personally I might use a plastic carboy initially, but would stick to glass for longer periods, ie bulk aging. The plastic carboys are definitely lighter and less breakable. But I would not use the water bottles.

I guess this is one of those personal preference things. To mis-quote what was said somewhere else, "if you ask 3 or 4 winemakers, you'll get 5 or 6 or more answers".

Steve
 

bruno

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I saw some 3 gallon bottled water plastic containers for sale in Wal-Marts. Do you think these would work?
 

cpfan

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Bruno:

I'm sure that some people would find them satisfactory. I probably would not. As I said in my previous post (#15), it's personal preference.

Steve
 
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