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Plastic for Secondary?

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Hey guys...not to drag this back up but it seems to be a pretty "timeless" debate. I ran out of one gallon glass carboys and had an empty one gallon juice container from the store...happens to be plastic. I racked a gallon of grape wine from fruit into it as a secondary (I'm just waiting for it to clear, its not bubbling anymore) The jug is pretty sturdy plastic, don't know offhand what the number in the recycle triangle is...but I figured because it had juice in it it has to be food grade plastic so it would be ok. Think it'll be ok? I'd hate for it to taste like plastic after all my hard work and patience!

I was just going to leave it in there for a month and rotate it as another container when I need to rack a gallon...but if anyone thinks it'll be bad I will just pick up some more glass ones.
 
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smurfe

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You should be just fine. You don't want to leave it in there for months but for a month, you should be A-OK. I have used the water cooler plastic carboys for short term fermentation and storage plenty of times with no ill results. I wouldn't bulk age in one but I am still not convinced there would be anything wrong with that. Remember that many of the "Must Do's" in this hobby were created by the manufacturers to get you to buy more stuff from them. The biggest is You kit wine should be drank within "x" months.

One point to remember. Many grades of plastic are oxygen permeable. Yes, there may have been a fruit juice in the jug on the shelf of the store but remember there are preservatives in most of these juices to protect them. Many of the juices that are all natural with no preservatives will come in a glass container. If your wine has proper sulfite levels you should be fine. If not, you may want to make sure the levels are fine or look toward a glass alternative.
 

myakkagldwngr

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As I'm building my supply list during a very terrible economy I am using some plastic water bottles for secondary and short term storage, till bottling. So I guess I'll find out over the coming years what works and what doesn't.
I do want to increase my glass carboy stock, but that will take time.
But I agree, many to do's are just a ploy to get you to spend money. I would much rather talk and listen to someone here that has many years of experience before I listened to a salesman at the store.
 

Sacalait

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I've been using plastic secondary fermentation and bulk storage since I got started in this hobby 20yrs ago. I don't bulk store any wine past 6 months be it plastic or glass but that's just "my" method. Never have I had an issue with plastic whether it be taste or oxidation. If you add sulfite to your bulk stored wine every other month you should be fine.
 
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Thank you for the input! It is a gallon batch and I added a crushed campden tablet when I put the whole thing together at the beginning on Sept 12th or 13th...so should that be enough? When should I add another? It isn't clear enough to bottle so I was going to look at it in a month or so and see if I should wait longer or maybe try a clarifying additive...
 

Wade E

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You should add another when fermentation is complete as those sulfites from the beginning get depleted very fast during fermentation with all the action. I always add sulfite and sorbate (even if not sweetening cause ts also has anti-microbial characteristics) right when fermenation is done.
 
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Thank you, good to know...if I add sorbate now do I need to add again if I am sweetening before bottling?

Sorry I've officially derailed this thread :)
 

Wade E

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No, sorbate is added once! Sulfites on the other hand should be added about every 3 months or when needed if you check with test kit.
 

Leanne

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I've used all manner of plastics as long as they are food grade. To be honest, I've never had a problem with them.
Does nobody here use freecycle to get their equipment?
 

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