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Old 12-19-2007, 03:34 AM   #1
Dec 2007
Posts: 29

I made a batch of Ed's AW (like everyone else on the planet apparently). It's in about it's second week and going strong. Great bubbles, great color, great smell.
I'm quite excited about it.

Here's the thing though.... My local brew shop (Steinbarts, Portland, OR) told me I could get a five gallon water bottle at the store, use the water for my mead (which I did) then use the bottle as a carboy for my apfelwein. Which i did.

Now I'm reading all over this forum that using these bottles is just about the stupidest thing you could do. And yes, it's number 7 recycling. Well, it's probably too late I guess..

I'm torn between thinking that everyone here is way overreacting and the guys at my very well respected local shop didn't give me bad advice...
And the idea that everyone here is right and my very well respected local shop just screwed me over with this advice.

You sort of see my dilemma..

Assuming that this is a horrible situation I'm wondering if it's possible to transfer my AW at this stage to another fermenter or if I should just ride it out and hope for the best with lesson learned for the future. If It's possible to do a transfer what would be the plan? Can I do it just like racking? Do I leave the stuff on the bottom alone or should I schlorp it up? Is this just a stupid idea all around?

Any advice would be helpful.

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Old 12-19-2007, 03:53 AM   #2
Sep 2007
Posts: 102
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Here's the thing with Homebrewing or even men in general, its called you should have got what I got, and then you have to get something better.

You are going to get replies, like mine stating water bottles work fine, and replies stating that the end of the world is coming and you might as well toss it since you did not use XYZ.

Is glass/better bottle better, probably, but I find that controlling the termperature of the fermentation certainly is a factor, but I have not seen an issue with the minute amount of oxygen that might diffuse at the molecular level though this sort of plastic. I personally would not worry about it, and no disrespect is intended to those of you who might reply with "Your screwed you should have got Glass, should have bought a BMW, should have bought this house then, as that is mans nature".

Disclaimer - had several home brews as of this posting! :-)

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Old 12-19-2007, 08:15 AM   #3
Dec 2007
Posts: 14

My guess would be lower quality plastic would be problematic if you're making something like a red wine that could be bulk aged for 6 months to a year. Maybe over that long a time enough oxygen might seep through to cause problems. Alpfelwein is, what? 4 weeks? You should probably be fine, but I admit I've never brewed the stuff so i could be full of ****. Hopefully this week i'll have my first batch going.

I'd probably leave it along until primary is done. Racking to a secondary is always a good idea, though, so maybe once it's done you should do that.

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Old 12-19-2007, 08:39 AM   #4
May 2007
Posts: 4,474
Liked 27 Times on 25 Posts

Above all, don't panic. Don't even worry.

No, a number 7 water bottle is not an ideal fermenting vessel. But if it makes you feel any better, I've made three batches of Apfelwein in a 13 year old plastic Arrowhead water bottle, and they all came out spectacular. Earlier tonight, I kegged a batch that had been sitting in that bottle since mid-September...tastes great! I originally pressed it into service because my glass carboys were all full of beer. What the heck, I was just risking a few bottles of juice, right? Now it's my dedicated Apfelwein bottle, and I have no immediate plans to upgrade it. In fact, it already contains a new batch.

So leave your Apfelwein where it is, it's in no immediate danger. For your next batch you may want to consider a better bottle or glass carboy. Or not.

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Old 12-19-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
Dec 2007
Posts: 29

Thanks guys. I had a feeling I shouldn't worry too much about it.
It's hard not to though being new to the hobby and seeing things in wikis and in messages proclaiming gloom and doom.

I'll go back to watching my bubbles dance in peace now.

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Old 12-24-2007, 06:55 PM   #6
Dec 2007
north Georgia
Posts: 1,327
Liked 9 Times on 6 Posts

The bubbles are DANCING?! The whole thing is RUINED! Throw it out! Give away your equipment! Sell your possesions and tear your clothes! It is the END! We are ALL DOOMED!!!

....sorry... i could not resist! Merry Christmas!
Reformation Brewery: We went professional
Obsessing over: starting a local brewery (hence I am not here much these days!), Pickles, my wife, 3 year old and 6 year old
Reading: fall of giants by ken follett
Building: gardens, recipes, and trailer mounted smoker/ wood pizza oven

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