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Old 09-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #1
Sep 2012
Fayetteville, New York
Posts: 1

My uncle makes wine in a plastic drum then after it stops working and he kills the yeast he transfers the wine to 6 gal glass carboys with airlocks and has it age and cure in the carboys. As he needs wine to drink after its ready he fills bottles from the carboys. He said never to use plastic carboys. I want to start making his wine and plastic 6 gal carboys are cheaper. Is glass better or is plastic just as good for this.

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #2
May 2011
Ithaca, NY
Posts: 424
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

If you're going to be aging it for awhile then glass is better. The reason why is oxygen will pass through the plastic over time and during the aging you can end up oxidizing the wine. Glass doesn't allow oxygen to pass through.

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
sweetcell's Avatar
Jan 2012
Rockville, MD
Posts: 4,960
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there are dozens, if not hundreds, of plastic vs glass threads that point out the pluses and minuses of each type of fermenter. use the search function to look them up. suggestion: use the google search instead of the default search by clicking the "down arrow" beside the word search at the top of the page.

people are tired of this debate so you probably won't get many replies here... it's all been said before.
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Carbing: Citra DIPA, 3724 saison, 2 blends of a rye sour: ECY20 + ECY34, local sour cherry kriek #2, brett'ed Belgian blond on raspberries
Aging: sour blond on second-use cherries, English Barleywine (half on brett), 3726 saison w/ brett x2 (dregs mix & Lochristi), sour cherry mead, acerglyn, and a few other sours...

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Old 09-14-2012, 09:10 PM   #4
Mar 2012
spokane, wa
Posts: 1,971
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plastic must bucket because leaving the lid loose makes the beginning stages easy.

then glass or stainless because its in it for a long time.

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Old 09-15-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
Sep 2011
Posts: 1,174
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When using a plastic carboy as a secondary or for storage it should ONLY be the type that are marked PETE (or PET) ... this is to avoid chemicals leaching into the wine from the plastic.
This designation is found on the bottom of the carboy or jug with the word PETE or PET under a little triangle made of arrows with the number "1" in the triangle. (example on this page ... )
These PETE carboys can include various ones from brewers/vinters stores, Absopure and elsewhere.

When it comes to storing wine etc, the closure (the airlock or stopper) is particularly important. The closure is much more likely to allow unwanted oxygen than the carboy itself.

Here's some info on a specialty closure system .. the Better Bottles system which includes the carboy and closure. This is a particularly good system for longer term storage.
Info at ...

Better Bottles has an informative website as well.

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Old 09-17-2012, 04:10 AM   #6
Jan 2012
Pella, IA
Posts: 702
Liked 25 Times on 25 Posts

you can use plastic if you want, I use glass but as long as you are just using your carboy for clearing purposes then it doesnt really matter.

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Old 09-18-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
Dec 2011
Meriden, CT
Posts: 1,276
Liked 88 Times on 76 Posts

New vs. new plastic is cheaper than glass but there are a lot of used glass carboys out there cheaper than anything new and as long as its not chipped or cracked glass can be cleaned like new.

Mark F in Central CT
Amateur Cider Maker

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