Glass, Plastic or Bucket

As a new comer to homemade wine making I have to decide what I want to do my primary fermenting in.  There are a few options, the title tells the tale.  As homemade wine makers we all will face this quandary at somepoint. I am going to try to give you some information to help with your own decision making. So are the options: Glass Carboy, Plastic Carboy or Bucket.

Glass:

They have been using glass carboys to make homemade wine for ever, here are some of the pros and cons

Pros:

  • Durable- they should last about forever
  • Heat resistant-You can pour boining water right in them
  • Won’t stain-Dark juices can sit in them with no worries
  • See through, you know whats going on when you use Glass carboys
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Glass is heavy, and so are glass carboys, they weigh in at about 25 lbs
  • No handle, but you can purchase a wide array of carriers
  • While they are relatively durable don’t drop them. Glass carboys can chip or crack
  • They are the most expensive option epically if you plan on having your Carboy shipped
  • Narrow opening makes filling and cleaning a challange

Plastic Carboys

Better bottle makes the best ones I have seen, they are very similar to glass.  From what I have been told you can use and 5 gallon jug from your office water cooler to make your home made wines.

Pros:

  • Durable- they should last about forever and most are scratch resistant
  • Won’t stain-Dark juices can sit in them with no worries
  • See through, you know whats going on when you use plastic carboys
  • Very Light they weigh only 1.5 lbs
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • No handle, but you can purchase a wide array of carriers
  • Cant pour boiling water in them, I have seen plastic carboys melt!! The good ones are rated to 140º F
  • While they are not as expensive as glass carboys, plastic carboys are still not cheap
  • Narrow opening makes filling and cleaning a challange

Primairy fermenting bucket

These buckets are sold allover the place and are great for anyone looking to make homemade wine.

Pros:

  • Durable- they should last about forever and most are scratch resistant
  • If price is your game then primary fermenting buckets are for you! usually you can get the whole kit for under 15 bucks
  • Sturdy, I have seen 5 full buckets stacked.
  • Easy to store, they fit in side each other. Lets be honest though, as soon as I empty mine I fill them up 🙂
  • Nice wide opening makes filling and mixing easy

Cons:

  • Cant pour boiling water in them, I have seen primary fermenting buckets melt!! The good ones are rated to 140º F
  • Primary fermenting buckets will stain from dark juices
  • Since you can’t se through them who knows what is going on

Ok, so there was a fourth option, other. My first batch of homemade wine was in a milk jug, this was good because I could kind of see what was going on in there and it was cheap and easy. That suits me because I’m not a patient person not to mention I’m learning as I go here. but as you may or may not know milk jugs are not totally see through. The next batch of homemade wine I did was some more mead, this time in a bucket the  primary fermenting bucket was chosen because they are really cheap. the down side is that I think I ruined the started and since the bucket is opaque I have no clue what the heck is going on in there. Well I may have used a milk jug, if your even remotely serious about making homemade wine, then this isn’t that great of an option. Let me reccomed a a 1 gallon glass jug as a good alternative for small homemade wine batches and experimentation.

I’ll leave you with this, there is there is no right or wrong answer. What ever you use, happy fermenting!

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2 Comments »

  1. Chris O'Connell Said:

    Dave I perfer the better bottle. I have had glass explode, chip, and crack. Only melted one better bottle and batch still came out fine. Better bottle never leaked

    • Chris, thanks for the great input. I look forward to adding you as an author!


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