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ibwahooka
12-15-2009, 08:32 PM
Which one would you prefer for wine kits?

Glass carboy or better bottle? and why??

wildoates
12-15-2009, 08:58 PM
I say glass only because that's what I have. They're heavy as heck, but I just envision having the mead geyser out if I give a better bottle a squeeze. :)

ibwahooka
12-15-2009, 09:14 PM
I say glass only because that's what I have. They're heavy as heck, but I just envision having the mead geyser out if I give a better bottle a squeeze. :)

I don't plan to use the better bottle for my mead. I gifted out some wine from a wine kit and got an overwhelming response, so I thought I would make more this year and wanted to use a better bottle for the winekit.

Kee
12-15-2009, 11:00 PM
I only have glass, but I got into mead right before the glass plant in Mexico went out of business so glass was still reasonably priced. I don't want to use the plastic because I just don't trust it yet. I figure I'm good with glass until my last carboy breaks.

ZachR
12-15-2009, 11:10 PM
Better Bottle.

They are lighter and easier to carry, and you don't have to worry about severed arteries or tendons, spontaneous breakage, or thermal shock.

Do a quick Google search on "broken carboy" and you will find some horror stories that might steer you away from glass. This website (http://brewing.lustreking.com/articles/brokencarboys.html) came up as one of the first results, and it is a short compilation of scary carboy stories.

I have read about people dropping full Better Bottles and having the thing bounce without losing the batch.

Glass is great from a purist standpoint, but there are definitely inherent risks and dangers.

jonalexdeval
12-15-2009, 11:20 PM
I don't know... for bulk aging probably glass. Sometimes I swear that when I put my nose in my better bottle it smells funny. Maybe that's just my imagination though.

Better bottles are great for primary though...

I've also heard better bottles can only be used a finite number of times. Anyone know if this is true?

I am always careful with glass... wear sturdy gripping shoes and make sure you're not buzzed when transporting them! The best thing is to take it slowly... don't rush anywhere with them. That's when you'd probably get hurt.

For beer, though, better bottles are great I think.

ibwahooka
12-16-2009, 06:29 AM
I don't know... for bulk aging probably glass. Sometimes I swear that when I put my nose in my better bottle it smells funny.

With the winekits I wouldn't have to worry too much about aging, so that's why I'm considering it. The vinter's reserve kits are done in about a month with no aging needed, at least that's what they say on the kits.

fatbloke
12-16-2009, 06:34 AM
for general fermenting, plastic is fine, but for long term storage/ageing i'd stick with glass.

The only downside of glass is handling hazards - but my recent problem with exploding 3 ltr ginger beer bottle (plastic) does show that there is a hazard with getting cut and plastic as well - though it's a lot less with plastic, it's still a possible problem.

So I'll still go with glass, but just handle it carefully....

Medsen Fey
12-16-2009, 10:35 AM
I'm a stainless steel keg user in most cases, but I wouldn't hesitate to use better bottles for aging at least up to a year. I've done that without any problems.

Pewter_of_Deodar
12-16-2009, 11:40 AM
I am not sure what my response would be if I was just now starting and glass has become so much more expensive.

I think originally it was the recommendations of others that drove me to glass but I still remember my 8th grade biology teacher (when I was a geek that worked in the lab doing petri dish cultures for other classes) telling me "you can't really sterilize plastic". Of course that was a different context since I was using a bunsen burner to heat a loop to glowing red before cooling it to transfer penicillin samples to sterile dishes to grow cultures for classes to use in labs.

I suppose that glass represents erring on the side of caution, if nothing else. Yes, I sweat the fact that I will eventually drop a batch and have the carboy shatter. But there are people here like Oskaar that have suggested ways to minimize that sort of opportunity for disaster by utilizing carts and storage methods that minimize handling. A friend uses one of the pumps now to transfer everything and so he will never have to move a full carboy the rest of his life.

AToE
12-16-2009, 12:59 PM
With the winekits I wouldn't have to worry too much about aging, so that's why I'm considering it. The vinter's reserve kits are done in about a month with no aging needed, at least that's what they say on the kits.

A word of caution, my wine kit said that too, and 5 months later it is nowhere near good to drink. Nowhere near, and that's not an experienced wine drinker's opinion, it's quite bad.

But, I didn't add all the stabilizers (in a dry wine?! Who knows...) and fining agents (4 different kinds of fining agents...), so maybe those make it drinkable right away an void the "ready to drink soon" claim. The wine has cleared on it's own though, so suspended yeast is not my problem.

Medsen Fey
12-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Winexpert kits like this usually will take a year to come around. If you use the fining agents you can have them clear and bottled in 6 weeks but they'll still not taste their best (or even good) for many months. I don't use the stabilizers in dry batches either and have never needed to fine them because I'm used to aging things in bulk until they clear.

I have aged them in a better bottle without problems.

At 1-2 years (for most of the reds) these kits produce a good (or very good) wine. Some of the big reds may take 2-4 years. The whites don't need as long in most cases (maybe 6-8 months). The fruity mist kits can be ready to drink quickly.

ibwahooka
12-16-2009, 02:10 PM
At 1-2 years (for most of the reds) these kits produce a good (or very good) wine. Some of the big reds may take 2-4 years. The whites don't need as long in most cases (maybe 6-8 months). The fruity mist kits can be ready to drink quickly.

I made a fruit wine kit and everyone loved it, so that's what I was planning on doing again. I might do one of their other kits for next christmas.

I'm trying to build up my collection of glass carboys, but it is slow going since they are more expensive, but my dad makes glass for a living, so if I told him I was using plastic he would probably kill me. I was thinking about getting the better bottles for my beer/fruit wines so I could free up my glass carboys for my meads and other wine kits.

TXBeowulf
12-23-2009, 02:47 PM
I have and use both better bottles and glass carboys. Having used both, I prefer the glass carboy.

The choice is a personal one - Better Bottles are fine for making mead in. They do not contribute flavors, they are easy enough to clean, and they are certainly lighter. The reason I prefer glass, however, is that the better bottles are very slightly flexible, and it seems that any sediment gets stirred up more during transfer if it is in a better bottle. It seems that I don't spend as much time waiting for sediment to settle in a glass carboy as I do with a better bottle.

On top of that, assuming that you do not break it, the glass carboy is going to last longer. Every time you clean a better bottle, you run the risk of scratching it, and even fine abrasions that do nothing more than cloud the inside surface of the bottle are going to hide bacteria in the long run. A glass carboy is never going to be unsanitizable as long as it is in one piece.

storm1969
12-23-2009, 03:37 PM
I recent got a couple of better bottles. I like that they are so much lighter.

I think the only thing that does bother me about them is their flexibility. It is weird. They flex slightly outward when there is pressure in them. Can be confusing....

Of course, these days they are cheaper than glass, which is a big plus. And they clean us easily and quickly.