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hawktrap74

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hey guys i was wondering if it was alright to use a plastic carboy as a sec ferm? also what is the dif between using glass or plastic?
 

Tophe

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plastic is more pourous than glass. More of a chance of contamination than glass, and glass is easier to clean. Are you using like a gordon water bottle? The biggest thing i would worry about is getting it clean. Lots of them have textured plastic that would be hard to get clean. It will probably work for you, but I recommend buying a glass one if you plan on brewing alot.
 

Janx

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Plastic is best used for the primary if at all. Oxygen can permeate plastic. Since the beer spends longer in the secondary, and you don't want oxygen in the beer at that point, plastic is less desirable.

Also it's definitely harder to clean. Cheers! :D
 

smorris

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While the plastic is more permeable to oxygen, the amount would be of no consequence. You are dealing with molecules of oxygen, the container is also somewhat pressurized which should negate the permeability. I'd have to do the partial pressures math to be 100% sure, and I'm too tired right now. ;)
 

Janx

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Hmm...is the container really partly pressurized? It seems to me the pressure is able to freely escape out the airlock, thus leaving the pressure internal to the carboy the same as the external pressure. But, hey, I'm no rocket scientist.

I agree that as long as you're not making a beer that needs much aging and will be drunk young, oxygen is not a big factor.
 

rightwingnut

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But wouldn't the pressure of fermentation escape through the pores as well as the airlock? The pressure should be uniform throughout...I can't see any oxygen getting in...???
 

Janx

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Well, in the secondary, the beer usually settles down and isn't offgassing very much at all. I think what you say is very true in the primary, but once fermentation is essentially over, I think you run a greater risk of oxidation.

At least that's always what I have understood.
 

Tony

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Just wondering...Since secondaries are used for longer times, and the beer is left in there much longer, if plastic secondaries are used, is there any chances of off flavors coming from the plastic itself? I mean, I know these are food grade, but does plastic acually degrade at all or pick up residue in its pores?
 

NUCC98

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Tony said:
Just wondering...Since secondaries are used for longer times, and the beer is left in there much longer, if plastic secondaries are used, is there any chances of off flavors coming from the plastic itself? I mean, I know these are food grade, but does plastic acually degrade at all or pick up residue in its pores?
I'm thinking "yes".....I use glass for secondaries, and haven't had any issues. My primary brew bucket, on the other hand, is slowly convincing me to buy a 6 gal. carboy for primary fermenting. I was hesitating on using soap on it, but maybe if I rinse it out really well.....
 

Janx

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No soap! Never soap on brew gear!

As far as plastic giving a plastic-y taste, anything is possible with plastics. They offgas a lot of crazy stuff. I think fermenting in glass or stainless is clearly better, but a lot of people starting out need to use plastic until they get the bug and buy proper fermenters ;)
 

NUCC98

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Janx said:
No soap! Never soap on brew gear!

As far as plastic giving a plastic-y taste, anything is possible with plastics. They offgas a lot of crazy stuff. I think fermenting in glass or stainless is clearly better, but a lot of people starting out need to use plastic until they get the bug and buy proper fermenters ;)
It's not really a plastic taste at all.....My brew bucket seems to be retaining all the wonderful smells of past batches....I'm fearing these will transfer to subsequent batches in the future.....
 

bikebryan

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rightwingnut said:
But wouldn't the pressure of fermentation escape through the pores as well as the airlock? The pressure should be uniform throughout...I can't see any oxygen getting in...???
No. Pressure will take the least resistant method of escape. Why go through the rigid matrix of glass/plastic when it can much more easily escape through the liquid in the airlock?
 

SwAMi75

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NUCC98 said:
It's not really a plastic taste at all.....My brew bucket seems to be retaining all the wonderful smells of past batches....I'm fearing these will transfer to subsequent batches in the future.....
I've found soaking them in a bleach/water soultion will kill the smell very effectively, but man, be careful not to use much bleach and rinse very well. I'll use maybe 3/4 teaspoon bleach for 2-2.5 gallons water.

I do this immediately after transferring so my primary has a few days to completely dry before its next use.

Sam
 
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