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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Glass vs Plastic
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:41 AM   #11
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The one thing that is cool about this whole thing is that I dont need to buy everything at once. I could start with one carboy and an airlock and buy the other stuff as I need it, right? Oh, and a gravity reader.


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Old 11-18-2012, 12:44 AM   #12
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There is only about a 5 buck difference between the plastic and the glass at my local shop (Brewmaster warehouse). May as well just get the glass.


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Old 11-18-2012, 12:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GeorgiaTiger View Post
Im a complete newb and am planning on doing my first batch of red wine using Welch's grape concentrate. I have been doing a lot of research and am wondering if it really makes a difference between glass and plastic carboys? I want to do this right so figured I would ask here!

Thanks guys!
I've been using Better Bottle (plastic) carboys for over 3 years now and only have good things to say about them. I still have glass carboys but do not use them and will eventually phase them out of service.

Broken glass will ruin your day.

Anyone know about 1 gallon Better Bottles?? I still make country wines using 1 gallon glass and would like to convert.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:51 AM   #14
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There is only about a 5 buck difference between the plastic and the glass at my local shop (Brewmaster warehouse). May as well just get the glass.
I LOVE my Better Bottles! I have them in 3, 5, and 6 gallon sizes. I will never buy another glass carboy. I'm pretty small (135 pounds, maybe, soaking wet) and even empty glass carboys are pretty heavy. Full, they are downright dangerous.

The keys to winemaking are having the wine appropriately topped up, and not using thin or non-food safe plastic. I love the idea of glass, and have only broken about three carboys in 20 years, but one of my friends dropped a 6 gallon carboy into the sink and nearly severed her thumb (the ER sewed most of it back on) and since then I've been using the Better Bottles more and more.

I still have, I don't know, a couple dozen glass carboys. But I'm hoping to replace them with Better Bottles as I have the chance.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by KBentley57
... What they are referring to is the primary fermentation period, that last only a few weeks.... Once that stage has subsided, you will rack into a glass carboy to ferment to completion, and to let clear.
KB is correct that you can in fact use a food grade bucket for your primary fermenter. This gives your yeast a better surface area for access to oxygen, plus makes it easier for you to stir, press down any floating fruit, etc. BUT, I have never had a wine in primary fermenter for weeks, typically no more than ten days. I use my SG to guide me. So I am confused on that point. And I know there is a big difference between primary container and primary ferment....many people get confused with two words: primary and secondary. Container vs ferment?

Overall, it is a matter of choice if you choose to transfer to secondary container made of glass or BetterBottle type container. Will say this...if you plan to use a vacuum system for racking or bottling you will need a classic glass carboy. BetterBottles were not an option at all times...not quite clear when they came onto the scene but I know with their arrival many people returned to winemaking simply because the glass carboys in the 5-6 gallon range were too hard to handle. But, it is clearly an individual choice. And you will get a lot of feedback about when to transfer, etc...but if you can be sure to do some independent reading, like Jack Keller's website which was starting educational platform, http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/ ... and these which I recommend to the members of an amateur group I started one year ago:
1. http://www.homebrewit.com/winebook.pdf
2. http://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/conten...ory=Winemaking
3. http://www.honeycreek.us/
4. http://www.scribd.com/doc/8235475/eB...nd-Beer-Making
5. http://www.scribd.com/doc/37045332/How-to-Make-Wine
** if websites no longer valid I was not aware, sorry** and my deepest apologies for being long winded. We all want you to be successful with your endeavors, and to enjoy it too. ...Sara
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:44 AM   #16
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better bottle is craptastic ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww dirty plastic vs clean glass hmmmmmm ill choose glass and idiots not aloud in my wine room
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:22 AM   #17
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Honda tell us how you really fee about plastic<gg>, Mike
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:29 PM   #18
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Got beer in some glass ones right now, but I bought a couple 6 gallon better bottles on the 2 for 1 sale from NB recently. A bit nervous about them but looking fwd to trying. They are made of a plastic that is suppose to keep oxygen out, just like glass. Lighter weight, need to be careful cleaning so you dont scratch the plastic. Carboy brush not advised. Going to try one with a cider, low foam compared to beer, should be less cleaning to do. I figure they will be good for aging meads, wines, secondary for beer, etc so that the primary fermentation mess is left in a glass carboy that can handle a good scrubbing.
Plastic vs glass is a personal thing, as witnessed to the posts above.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #19
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So I CAN use plastic for making and fermenting? Im confused...kbently says it needs to age in glass...is he talking about once its done and bottled? I would definitely use glass bottles.
People are happy to do the first few weeks to a month in plastic buckets, but then they transfer to glass(or a better bottle) to let it clear and age a bit before bottling.

Better bottles and plastic are, confusingly, not interchangeable. Although BBs are made of plastic, they're specially designed to be oxygen impermeable and are the next best thing to glass.
'Plastic' as in plain ol' plastic implies that it's not been designed for brewing and will be oxygen permeable over months.

Better bottles are fine for aging wine, and if I lived where they were available (and did big batches) I'd use one over a massive glass carboy, which can be dangerous.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:19 PM   #20
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There will always be arguments over aging in plastic. The glass fanatics worry about gas permeability and leaching chemicals.

I personally think that Better Bottles are impermeable enough, will not leach chemicals and are WAY SAFER!

Look up the threads of serious injuries and even death due to broken glass carboys. I would not take a glass carboy - even free!


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