Glass vs. Plastic

September 22, 2010

I recently started attending a local winemaker’s club. One of the members had recently purchased some stainless steel tanks, and offered to sell his plastic 5 gallon carboys for $8 each.

I mentioned before that my husband and I are a little twitchy about plastic because it allows plastic flavors and can breathe a bit, and glass doesn’t. I am comfortable using a plastic bucket for just a few weeks at the beginning of fermentation until the first racking, but beyond that, I’m nervous. Other issues include the fact that plastic is easy to scratch up, which allows a place for bacteria to harbor and grow.

However, the price on these plastic carboys seemed really good! I asked the winemaker about why he was using plastic instead of glass. Quite simply, it was because they were lighter and safer to handle and carry. He dropped a glass carboy one time, and managed to slash up his wrists, hitting an artery and spraying the ceiling with blood. He said he had bought the carboys used, which were former Calistoga water cooler jugs. He had had them for five years, and felt there was no issues with off flavors from the plastic in wines stored in them up to two years.

So, due to the price and the willingness to trust him partly because of his reputation, I went ahead and purchased ten used plastic carboys. Actually, it was good that I did, as I needed to rack 5 gallons worth of strawberry wine out of buckets and off of the fruit!

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4 Responses to “Glass vs. Plastic”


  1. […] my new five-gallon carboys, I wanted to ferment in one of them and have a little left over for topping off and/or […]


  2. […] – I had 100 lbs of Gravenstain apples ready to grind, press, and start fermenting, and I had the equipment to do […]


  3. […] lot of trees, so I was able to go back and pick more as they became ripe, and I quickly ran out of carboys, so I didn’t pursue finding other apple trees in the area I had marked out. I think, as a measure […]


  4. […] 3, 2010 Back in September, I took a gamble and purchased some plastic carboys. Now that I have been using them for a few months, this is what I have […]


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