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Old 02-08-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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I have an abundance of food grade plastic buckets and a relative shortage of glass carboys. My question then, is how long can beer/mead be left in a food grade plastic bucket? I am considering using one of my buckets as a secondary for mead, but am concerned about the time it would sit in one of the buckets.

 
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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I think if you can get a seal on it with an airlock, it wouldn't be much different from glass. I'd say you can treat it like you would a glass carboy for all intensive purposes.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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You should not do long term aging in plastic buckets. They do allow some oxygen transfer into the fermenter. Its not a big deal short term, but I wouldn't age a mead in plastic.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderwig View Post
You should not do long term aging in plastic buckets. They do allow some oxygen transfer into the fermenter. Its not a big deal short term, but I wouldn't age a mead in plastic.
Agreed-- don't AGE in plastic or you'll get some oxidation. But you probably want to age them in bottles, anyways. If you are just clearing it in a secondary tank for 2-4 weeks, it should be fine.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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Not to mention aging something that like for very long would most likely make it difficult to get the smell off the palstic to use for something different.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:48 PM   #6
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I've been fermenting exclusively in plastic for almost 2 years. The buckets will wear out eventually- small cracks and scratches will form and the nasties can/will settle in. I've incorporated boiling water sterilization techniques which works... But IMO if you get an infection in plastic it is better to retire that piece of equipment rather than attempt to rescue it.

Other than that they are fantastic for primary fermentation- and are a damn sight safer than glass. I've read many a testimonial on the dangers of slippery carboys and a few too many homebrews on brew-day that resulted in a trip to the emergency room.

Sigh... That being said plastic secondary for a couple of weeks shouldn't hurt. Long term aging? No.

 
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
Not to mention aging something that like for very long would most likely make it difficult to get the smell off the palstic to use for something different.
Here, Here. I can vouch for this. I made 2 gallons of Garlic wine (if you wanna know why read some cooking books) and for the life of me I cannot get teh smell out of the plastic bucket that I fermented it in. The plastic will, over a long period of time, take on the aroma of what is sitting in it. Theres no way I want my wine or beer smelling like Garlic so it got chucked out.

 
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