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Old 08-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #1
KENfromMI
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Default Plastic or glass primary for wine?

Just curious, the guy that I get my fresh juice from says never let your wine touch plastic. My homebrew guy says plastic is fine for the first month especially making kit wines (which I'm not) and I noticed kit wine videos use the plastic pails. Anyone have anything more then an opinion on this? Has anyone had good luck or bad luck starting in plastic? I have both but want to double my wine this fall and am deciding what sizes of carboys etc to invest in. Thanks in advance, Ken

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Old 08-14-2008, 01:51 PM   #2
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It depends on the plastic!

I always primary in an "ale pail"- that's usually about 3-5 days or so. It's fine, and it makes it easy to stir and remove fruit, etc. Then, I rack to glass and keep it in glass until it's bottled. I bought some Better Bottles, and they can be used for wine, but I use them mostly for beer or short term storage. If I know I'll be racking a wine very soon, I'll use the BB for secondary. My reading has always shown that the BBs are fine for wines, but it just doesn't seem "right" to me to leave it in plastic for long periods of time, like for bulk aging.

This isn't based on any kind of fact at all- just what feels right to me. I don't know if "never let your wine touch plastic" is based on any kind of scientific basis- what does he use for racking canes/airlocks/tubing? I mean, you could get a stainless steel racking cane, I guess, and vinyl/silicone tubing, but I even use a big plastic spoon for stirring so I can't imagine going completely plastic-less.

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Old 08-14-2008, 02:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, He's a older Italian guy who owns an awesome wine making operation in Detroit. Gets fresh grapes and pressed juice from Lodi CA $49 for 5 gallons and even imports juices from Italy $60-$90 for 6 gallons. I took it for him to mean as the fermenter, he uses all wooden barrels when he makes wines for customers. They also recommend letting the wild yeast do it's thing and not racking until 1 month from primary, maybe thats why he doesn't want it started in plastic. Ken

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Old 08-14-2008, 02:13 PM   #4
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I was just in Cap N Cork last night, and they had a batch of wine going in a plastic bucket...and a lot of equipment kits for wines are just slightly larger than the ones we use for beers...so you gotta figure it's really one of those preference issues, like it is for beer.

I'm really interested in this guy you mentioned, I'd like to meet him. Is he on the east side?

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Old 08-14-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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Just look at the soft drink bottling industry!

Is it only me...or do sodas really not taste as good as they use to years ago?

Especially Dr. Pepper's!

Now that practically everything comes in plastic, even #1 PET plastic, they all have 'Use by -' dates on them.

This has to mean, at the very least, that oxygen is penetrating the bottle!

At the very worst, one day we may find out what even the very best, FDA approved, plastics of today, have been doing to our bodies over the years.

However, pick up one of the little 6 ounce Cokes that still come in glass bottles...can you find a 'Use by -' date on it?

'Nuf said!

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Old 08-14-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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I'm a big believer in plastic primaries for all my wines, meads, and beers. I have several pails in a variety of sizes and the advantages are many:

Light, inexpensive
unbreakable
easy to add and remove ingredients
easy to stir
much more convenient for degassing
easy to attach a spigot for ease in racking
removable lid for (semi) open fermentation if desired
easy to clean
no off flavors or aromas if properly cleaned and sanitized (avoid scratching though)
did I say inexpensive?

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:44 PM   #7
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Revvy, I thought I read not to advertise on here so I didnt mention his name. He's on Fort ST where Oakwood dead ends close to Dearborn. It's called the california wine grapes company, husband and wife run the place, old warehouse, has thousands of gallons (or so it seems) going for customers who prefer him to make it for them. Really cool place and real friendly people and compared to kits or juice buckets on the net he cant be beat.

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Old 08-14-2008, 07:47 PM   #8
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Pogo I agree with glass as well even though I haven't had a soda pop in 4yrs (by choice) I do remember the glass was much better. I also shop in the Latino Markets in SouthWest Detroit and saw a big sign reading "We have Mexican Coca Cola" I asked if the glass bottles were the only difference and they said that Mexican coca cola is still made with real sugar and not all the high fructose garbage. Almost made me want to break my 4yr abstinence lol, Ken

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:38 PM   #9
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I know commercial wine and mead makers who use the larger 55 gallon plastic barrels for storing and bulk aging their products and I also know that larger wineries use the really large square plastic totes for the same reason. I don't understand why someone would make a comment like that. Never is a pretty strong word to use.

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