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Plastic Carboys vs Glass Carboys

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pwrose

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What are the draw backs to using plastic carboys for wine?
Why is glass the only thing the homebrew stores sell?


PW
 

Tom

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If full picking it up will squeeze the BB and may make a mess. If using a VAC to degas it will suck in the sides in a BB.
BB is cheaper and lighter than glass
Just a few..
 

pwrose

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I was thinking of using the water jugs as a secondary, even if it is a one time use and toss. I have access to many 5 gallon water jugs that were used just once and not returned. I figure if I plan ahead and set it up as a secondary and put it up high enough I can rack it into the next carboy without having to move it around then they would be ok. I just didn't know if there was any reason for not using a plastic carboy.

What about these plastic buckets that are used as a primary, why would one be able to use a plastic bucket and not a plastic carboy. <- ok so that was thinking out loud.

PW
 

cpfan

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pwrose:

The best known brand of plastic carboy is the Better Bottle (may be the only one now) . Water cooler jugs are not made of the same plastic and are different. Personally I will use a BB but not a water cooler jug. Look in the equipment section you should find several discussions on this.

BTW, how do you know the water cooler jug was used just once? Delivered to you and never returned perhaps but probably used several times before that.

Steve
 

djrockinsteve

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The Better Bottles are made so that your wine will not pickup the plastic flavor or allow air to flow thru.

Plastic buckets for a primary are okay and even as a secondary if the time is brief.

BB around here are only a few bucks cheaper than 5 gallon glass. I'll choose glass over a BB. That's me. Plastic can scratch easier than glass which can harbor bacteria.

On the flip side BB don't break if you bump them together like glass. Haven't had that happen to me....... knock on wood!
 

ashappar

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I have 4 of the BB 3 Gallon carboys. I like the square shape, and they are really easy to clean. Seems easier to clean than my glass carboys. never had a problem with smell retention between batches, off flavors or oxidizing while waiting for the wine to clear. gotta be careful when picking them up full; just slide your hand under the bottom and put your other hand on the neck. I haven't used them for long term bulk aging, but I've had wine in them for two months at a time waiting to clear or bottle.
 

myakkagldwngr

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I recently bought my first glass 6 gallon carboy and wish I could buy nothing but glass.
But truth is, I can order 2 - 6.5 gallons BB's for the same price as 1 - 6 gallon glass.
My only thought is, what about using them for long term aging?
I'm finally getting to the point, I'm not drinking what I'm making as fast as I'm making it.
So can a BB handle a finished product sitting in it for several months.
If they weren't so expensive to ship, I would buy a couple 15 gallon demijohns for again my strawberry and blackberry.
 

Tom

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I don't see why not. I just have glass and both have advantages over each other.
 

St Allie

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I've stored wine in the water bottle plastic carboys for months and months with no off flavour issues at all.

it was all I had to hand at the time.. I'd do it again.

Allie
 

e-wine

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They sell spirits in plastic bottles and they sell wine in plastic bags (box wine.) When Nike advertised their products as "PVC Free", it was aimed at the final disposal of the product and not some risk while in use. After all, blood/plasma is stored in flexible PVC and drinking water passes though rigid PVC on the way to the tap. By tradition, I prefer glass but I would use plastic if that was what I had available. Do be aware of the original intent of the plastic container since some additives in the plastic can vary per application.

e-wine
 

pwrose

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I dont know that they haven't been used more than once in the sense of what was done with them before they were purchased by us. However I know when they are purchsed here they are used once and not returned. To be honest I don't know why they don't return them, but the truck stops by every thursday and takes off some where around 25 jugs of water drops them at the door and never picks up any bottles. Once a month we have someone that stops in and picks up as many jugs that we have, and if anyone wants one they say to take them home with us to get rid of them. Its the politics that I could care less about but that is the way they do it here.

So I think I will be grabbing a couple more of these jugs/carboys within the next few days. What do you suppose is the best way to clean/purify them.
1. Hot water bath until ready to use then another bath with k-meta or other sanitizing solution.
2. Sanitize and store with a lid on them and not have to clean again later.
3. Leave them alone and only sanitize when they are needed.

What do you think.
 

Tom

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I dont know that they haven't been used more than once in the sense of what was done with them before they were purchased by us. However I know when they are purchsed here they are used once and not returned. To be honest I don't know why they don't return them, but the truck stops by every thursday and takes off some where around 25 jugs of water drops them at the door and never picks up any bottles. Once a month we have someone that stops in and picks up as many jugs that we have, and if anyone wants one they say to take them home with us to get rid of them. Its the politics that I could care less about but that is the way they do it here.

So I think I will be grabbing a couple more of these jugs/carboys within the next few days. What do you suppose is the best way to clean/purify them.
1. Hot water bath until ready to use then another bath with k-meta or other sanitizing solution.
2. Sanitize and store with a lid on them and not have to clean again later.
3. Leave them alone and only sanitize when they are needed.

What do you think.
1 I would not use hot water. That may deform them.
2 I see no reason to keep sanitizer in for a long period.
3 I would leave them be and then sanitize when needed

If these are water bottles I would not use for aging as this was discussed here before. Reason is Oxygen can pass thru over time.
 
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pwrose

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Sounds good to me,, I will just use them for primary and secondary ferm and store longer term in glass. 30-90 days should be ok in the plastic right?

Thanks Tom for the quick response, I had just gone to see if there were any bottles available, and picked up two of them and put them in the car.
 

Tom

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For me 30 days max in a plastic water bottle. Now in a BB thats different.
 

cpfan

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Sounds good to me,, I will just use them for primary and secondary ferm and store longer term in glass. 30-90 days should be ok in the plastic right?
A 5 US gallon primary. How much must do you plan to put in one? Anything over maybe 3 gallons will stand a chance of frothing up out the top.

Steve
 

pwrose

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I will keep that in mind, most of the time I only make 2-3 gallons of each wine, however this skeeter pee might turn out to need many more larger batches, and will require me to spend the money and get the larger vessels for making it in.
 

cpfan

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I will keep that in mind, most of the time I only make 2-3 gallons of each wine, however this skeeter pee might turn out to need many more larger batches, and will require me to spend the money and get the larger vessels for making it in.
Get a 7.9 US gallon primary with lid, and it will be good for everything up to 6 US gallons. I really do not recommend the use of a carboy (or water jug) as a primary.

Steve
 

Dugger

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If these are water bottles I would not use for aging as this was discussed here before. Reason is Oxygen can pass thru over time.
I wonder about this fear of oxygen passing through the plastic over time - we praise the micro-oxygenation of barrels and corks, but condemn the same thing through plastic. I know nothing about the science behind this and perhaps the rate of oxygenation is a problem but who knows?
On the other hand potential leaching is a whole other concern and for this reason I will stay with glass.
 

St Allie

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On the other hand potential leaching is a whole other concern and for this reason I will stay with glass.
I'm not sure I agree with this.

Since, as a society, we use so many different plastic products as containers for foods and beverages, plus aluminium, tin cans and cardboard ( not to mention the pesticides, artificial additives and colourings on and in the food products).. the potential for leaching has to be considered in a broader sense.

As alcohol is basically treated as a poison by your body anyway. I think some comments, could be deemed, a very short sighted speculation on water jugs. Especially as we don't know the rate of oxygenation.. or leaching..or... if it is happening at all.

just my opinion,


Allie
 

pwrose

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I wonder about this fear of oxygen passing through the plastic over time - we praise the micro-oxygenation of barrels and corks, but condemn the same thing through plastic.

This is a good point, I think Allie covers the leaching thing well but what about the commit Dugger made about the corks and barrels.
 
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