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View Full Version : Plastic Vs. Glass



tom5head
09-27-2009, 06:14 PM
Okay so my first five batches all used plastic as the primary and glass for all the following rackings. This has left me with quite a few empty 6.5 gallon jugs. Since money doesn't grow on trees is it really a big deal to use plastic for the first few rackings? The biggest potential problem I see is the increased top layer surface area being prone to bacteria growth or too much oxygen exposure...am I wrong? Does it not matter? If there are potential issues what can I do to limit potential issues? Any bad experiences doing this?

I just want to keep spending my money on ingredients so I can keep experimenting. If glass is just for aesthetics I got over that during the first 5 batches.

I am thinking glass is pretty much a must for the long term aging....

I just wanted some real world feedback.

Arcanum
09-27-2009, 09:37 PM
I'm guessing it would probably be ok, at least for a while, as long as you cleaned and sterilized the jugs really well. The problem with plastic is mainly that it's prone to getting scratched up. Those scratches end up as safe havens for bacteria and mold, which can then infect your mead.

akueck
09-27-2009, 10:09 PM
Plastic (depending on which polymer/blend it actually is) can have a very high oxygen permeability. Most buckets are not good for long-term storage of oxygen-sensitive stuff like mead. Better Bottles are the only ones I know of that are supposed to be ok for this use, though they haven't been around enough for a good body of evidence to have come to a practical conclusion.

tom5head
09-29-2009, 07:02 PM
Yeah I'm sure you guys are right. I was just trying to maximize the materials I had on hand. Although it would be more costly to lose a full batch because I tried to save a few bucks. The buckets I have are food grade quality from a brew shop. They're what I use for primary fermentation. ??? Decisions Decisions...

tom5head
09-29-2009, 07:06 PM
HDPE #2

Maybe I'll just use it for racking 1-3 and then drop into glass for long term aging....

akueck
09-30-2009, 12:59 AM
Using plastic for primary is common and a good way to do it. The large opening on buckets makes it easy to stir, take samples, and clean it out at the end. For aging/storage, go with glass.