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Old 10-16-2006, 07:38 PM   #1
ochocki
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Default Plastic vs Glass for primary fermentation?

So I have read all over the internet that glass is pretty much universally better than plastic. I am looking to get a system set up where I have one primary fermentor and 2 secondary fermentors basically for faster brewing. I know for sure that i want a couple of carboys for my secondary's but for my primary I am still unsure. It is much cheaper to go with say a 7+ gallon bucket and with all that extra space blow off is much less of a concern. My concern lies in sanitation issues, typically how long can I use a plastic bucket before sanitation issues begin to occur, scatches for example?

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Old 10-16-2006, 07:41 PM   #2
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I've been using the same three plastic buckets for 7 years. No problems.

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Old 10-16-2006, 07:57 PM   #3
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I too just started getting "into" this hobby and went through the same kind of questions. After brewing a couple of batches, I'm glad I went plastic for the primary. Why? Plastic is WAY easier to clean up. Most of nasties will reside in your primary phase. Secondaries serve for basically clearing up your brew and they don't get as dirty. You may have some slight trub in the bottom, but can be easily cleaned up in the sink with some hot water. I'm glad I went with plastic for the primary. At least I got something right.

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:08 PM   #4
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I use a pail also, although Im new to home brewing I Have been making wine forever. My local wine store sells disposible bags that fit in your pail. I used these for many batches of wine and for both batches of beer I have made. You dont have to sanitize the bags because they a hermetically sealed and are sanitary. They are also very inexpensive, I get three for a dollar. It has been worth it. Take my advice with a grain of salt, its what I choose but it might not be right for you.

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:13 PM   #5
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I like glass. You have to be very careful with plastic because it can scratch. You have to be careful with glass because it can break. Glass isn't hard to clean if you have a brush - it's actually quite easy.

I also like to see the fermentation process - you can't do that with buckets. It's a pretty amazing thing to watch

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:13 PM   #6
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I use plastic for all my brewing needs. A 7.9 gallon primary bucket with a lid and spigot and 5 gallon Better Bottles for secondary fermentations. Racking from a bucket is as easy as spraying some Star San on the spigot a few times in 10 minutes, hooking up a hose and opening the valve. Better Bottles don't break and they are much easier to clean and my back loves them very very very much!

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:24 PM   #7
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I think that's the main reason i want a glass primary, I really want to see the fermentation process, i think it's so cool looking.

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:39 PM   #8
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There are things called Better Bottles that are made of transparent plastic (and they have spigots on them, too). Lots of people like those bottles.

Anyway, there is no clear-cut, black-n-white answer to the question of which is better (plastic or glass). There are benefits to both materials, so it just depends on what you want out of your fermenter.

-walker

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:45 PM   #9
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I use a plastic bucket for primary but am thinking of switching to glass as the plastic can scratch if you're not careful.

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Old 10-16-2006, 08:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ochocki
I think that's the main reason i want a glass primary, I really want to see the fermentation process, i think it's so cool looking.
Remember you can get a Better Bottle 6 gal primary and still watch the process. I would have to guess my 6 gal Better Bottle weighs less than a pound.
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