PET vs Glass - primary, secondary and aging

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Eric W

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Hello,

I know this topic can be highly debated but I come for some direction based on this groups experience.I am new to making wine by myself (have assisted making wine with family for 20 years) My family has always used glass carboys for secondary and aging and plastic for primary. Now that I’m venturing out on my own and buying my own supplies im debating based on cost and safety to go with all plastic.

The cost savings is most significant to me because I need to buy 15 of them.

The gentleman at the local supply store told me that the plastic let’s too much oxygen in and it would be a concern for secondary and aging. There are articles that go back and forth which makes it all more confusing. I am not using a vacuum to transfer (gravity, manual siphon) so that’s not a concern.

please let me know if you have used all plastic verses glass and if there was a difference in the outcome. Any suggestions based off experience are welcomed and appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Eric
 

cmason1957

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Assuming you are using plastic carboys, like a Better Bottle and not the water bottle type plastic carboys you can get at Wally World and elsewhere (these are much thinner than better bottle type), there should be little if any difference between them and glass as far as oxygen permeability. I have used plastic ones in the past, but since I now always transfer using a vacuum system only use glass and never noticed any differences between the two.
 

Eric W

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Assuming you are using plastic carboys, like a Better Bottle and not the water bottle type plastic carboys you can get at Wally World and elsewhere (these are much thinner than better bottle type), there should be little if any difference between them and glass as far as oxygen permeability. I have used plastic ones in the past, but since I now always transfer using a vacuum system only use glass and never noticed any differences between the two.
Thank you very much for the quick reply. Yes, the plastic (PET) from MoreWine. That makes me feel much better and a huge cost savings for sure.
I went “big” with my juice purchase which comes in October so every little bit helps.

Im leaning towards the PET if the taste and quality are not jeopardized.
 
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Ajmassa

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Congrats on branching off solo! I did exactly the same as you- helping the fam my entire life then going on my own. But I started small while gradually scaling up volume, equipment, juice->grapes over a few years. 15 is a lot of gravity siphon racking. However this isn’t the cheapest hobby & I definitely feel your pain.

If siphoning becomes a hassle down the road just make a mental note- there are some amazing little pump systems out there that won’t break the bank at all. Use it for racking (also removing co2 as a byproduct) and makes bottling a breeze. Plus there’s an accessory kit so you can use with PET’s as well. Good luck
 
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Eric W

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Congrats on branching off solo! I did exactly the same as you- helping the fam my entire life then going on my own. But I started small while gradually scaling up volume, equipment, juice->grapes over a few years. 15 is a lot of gravity siphon racking. However this isn’t the cheapest hobby & I definitely feel your pain.

If siphoning becomes a hassle down the road just make a mental note- there are some amazing little pump systems out there that won’t break the bank at all. Use it for racking (also removing co2 as a byproduct) and makes bottling a breeze. Plus there’s an accessory kit so you can use with PET’s as well. Good luck
Thank you very much! Yes, much agreed on this not being an inexpensive hobby.

I’m excited to give this a whirl on my own and looking forward to sharing with friends and family.

I’ll look into the pump system at some point as well.

appreciate the pointers and encouragement.

Eric
 

hounddawg

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when i first began, I've aged up to 2 years in plastic, and the wine was fine, either is OK to me, now just food for thought, www.packingoptionsdirect.com sells premium Italian carboys that are thicker than standard Italian carboys, I own both,,, as long as you spend at least $149 , you get free shipping so 6 gallon glass carboys are $34 each to your door, i bough 15 or so a few months back,
Dawg
 

Rice_Guy

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I have experimented with several forms of carboy, we at home need a variable capacity for three or five gallons. ,,,, opinions
* glass is assumed to have no oxygen transmission and is inert to most chemicals, it is the gold standard, our risk is basically sloppy technique as the air lock dries out or we hit it with something.
* stainless, BEAUTIFUL, used extensively in the factory, STRONG resists fork lifts, excellent chemical resistance to wine and good to cleaners. The floating lid with vinyl gasket is the main risk
* HDPE (Flextank) strong so it makes good large to intermediate size tanks. Oxygen transmission rate 50 to 3000 (cm3 per square meter per day), useful for micro-oxidation, FDA approved and used for shipping pallet size bulk material where surface area is minimized
* PET close to glass in quality, transparent which aids in lees separation, FDA approved for foods, oxygen transmission 1.8 to 7.7 (cm3 per square meter per day)
* EVOH (wine bags) flexible so lees can be mixed back in, FDA approved, used for long term storage of foods as filtered wine, oxygen transmission rate 0.5 to 0.8
* coextruded plastics/ plastics with deposited coatings as silicon or aluminum, best of both worlds since materials are layered to provide barriers to different types of molecules as oxygen and water vapor and chemicals, FDA approved, flexible so lees can be mixed back in, used for long term food packages, doesn’t recycle since materials can’t separate, oxygen transmission 0.01 to .1
* polyethylene (ex milk jug) oxygen transmission rate 8000, useful for micro-oxidation, FDA approved

All in all,
there are commercial food packages with low OTR which are interesting for the home wine maker and I am surprised that more vendors aren’t entering this market, example 2019 winemaker magazine had a metalized pallet size fermentation vessel but not the five or ten gallon size.
 

Eric W

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when i first began, I've aged up to 2 years in plastic, and the wine was fine, either is OK to me, now just food for thought, www.packingoptionsdirect.com sells premium Italian carboys that are thicker than standard Italian carboys, I own both,,, as long as you spend at least $149 , you get free shipping so 6 gallon glass carboys are $34 each to your door, i bough 15 or so a few months back,
Dawg
Thank you very much for the information and the link for the carboys. I’m happy to hear that you had a positive aging your wine for two years in PET. That’s exactly the confirmation I was looking for!
Thank you,
Eric
 

Eric W

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I have experimented with several forms of carboy, we at home need a variable capacity for three or five gallons. ,,,, opinions
* glass is assumed to have no oxygen transmission and is inert to most chemicals, it is the gold standard, our risk is basically sloppy technique as the air lock dries out or we hit it with something.
* stainless, BEAUTIFUL, used extensively in the factory, STRONG resists fork lifts, excellent chemical resistance to wine and good to cleaners. The floating lid with vinyl gasket is the main risk
* HDPE (Flextank) strong so it makes good large to intermediate size tanks. Oxygen transmission rate 50 to 3000 (cm3 per square meter per day), useful for micro-oxidation, FDA approved and used for shipping pallet size bulk material where surface area is minimized
* PET close to glass in quality, transparent which aids in lees separation, FDA approved for foods, oxygen transmission 1.8 to 7.7 (cm3 per square meter per day)
* EVOH (wine bags) flexible so lees can be mixed back in, FDA approved, used for long term storage of foods as filtered wine, oxygen transmission rate 0.5 to 0.8
* coextruded plastics/ plastics with deposited coatings as silicon or aluminum, best of both worlds since materials are layered to provide barriers to different types of molecules as oxygen and water vapor and chemicals, FDA approved, flexible so lees can be mixed back in, used for long term food packages, doesn’t recycle since materials can’t separate, oxygen transmission 0.01 to .1
* polyethylene (ex milk jug) oxygen transmission rate 8000, useful for micro-oxidation, FDA approved

All in all,
there are commercial food packages with low OTR which are interesting for the home wine maker and I am surprised that more vendors aren’t entering this market, example 2019 winemaker magazine had a metalized pallet size fermentation vessel but not the five or ten gallon size.
Thank you for the extensive information and comparison of the different materials. I’m feeling pretty sold on going with PET at this point. I just watched a video comparison between glass and PET and the overall outcome was that PET will work just fine with a few additional perks. They are lightweight which aids in easy storage, supposedly just about as impermeable to oxygen as glass and safer to handle.

thank you,

Eric
 

larsnpmi

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when i first began, I've aged up to 2 years in plastic, and the wine was fine, either is OK to me, now just food for thought, www.packingoptionsdirect.com sells premium Italian carboys that are thicker than standard Italian carboys, I own both,,, as long as you spend at least $149 , you get free shipping so 6 gallon glass carboys are $34 each to your door, i bough 15 or so a few months back,
Dawg
That’s www.packagingoptionsdirect.com
 

bstnh1

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PET, whether Better Bottle or Vintage Shoppe, work just fine for secondary and aging. Oxygen permeability for PET, while not absolute zero, is virtually negligible. I prefer and have always used PET rather than glass for cost, weight and safety reasons.
 

hounddawg

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Eric W

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Thank you all for your help and direction. Pulled the trigger today and bought 15 of the PET carboys - 6 gallon so I should be good to go. These coupled with a few large Speidel Fermenters for primary and I’m feeling prepared. Scored the carboys for $25 a piece so I am content.

Appreciate the support.

Eric
 

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