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is it ok to use plastic jugs in place of glass for your carboy? Answered



Depends on what you're doing with them.  Please post more info.

My question exactly. If you want to store pressure (beer etc.) then use the plastic as it will split rather than explode. Any home-brew store will sell appropriate sterilizing agents for both plastic and/or glass.

I'll try to get my SO to reply since he's the one who does crazy homebrew stuff (e.g., brewing with livestock feed), but he's homebrewed beer in plastic 2L soda bottles and in plastic carboys (they make 'em) - obviously all food-grade plastic.  I don't think he's done wine in plastic because of the potential for horrible staining.

Your SO is now REQUIRED to post an 'ible on brewing with livestock feed-  the yin/yang of the cosmos will be out of balance without it!

(Oh, and SO can use glass or plastic carboys as long as they are properly sanitized)

It would be months away.  Step one is to get a sack of livestock grain and I have to go out of my way for it.  Then it takes all that time to get a beer out of it.  It'll be even longer if I have to malt, and that's something to itself.

I was thinking of doing something again with steam-crimped barley but then I have a 50 pound sack of it, and then I can't help but try to use it up.  At most I've put 20 pounds into 5 gallons of beer, using enzymes to get it to convert the starches.  The result was strong, thick, and foamy.  You'd empty the bottle, put it down, and stuff would continue to ooze out.

Video of that would be funny.  Thanks for pushing the boundries of brewing - the world moves forward because of maverick toddlers who refuse to accept the rules!

My SO (Rocko Bonaparte) just posted about using plastic containers.  I'm not sure what will get him to post his method for brewing with livestock grain, but he's a bit of a maverick when it comes to homebrewing.  If he gets told he can't/shouldn't do something, he'll do it anyway because there's the defiant voice of his toddler self in his head egging him on...

Yes you can use plastic I use two 5 gallon Jugs specially made for homebrewing

Yes, plastic is perfectly suitable. I started with a plastic bucket and lid then moved onto two glass carboys.

This is for homebrewing right?  Plastic is fine for at least one use.  The PET carboys can do either beer or wine and for protracted periods; you could use them as the secondary fermenters for months on end.  I think the brand is "Better Bottle."


I use ones without the taps on the bottom because of all the stories I've heard about them leaking and getting gummed up.  On the plus side, their much lighter than glass.  Where I prefer a handle around my glass carboys, I have no aversion to picking up a full plastic carboy.  On the down side, they flex during transit.  If you have an airlock on them, the flexing will change the pressure inside and it might suck some of the airlock juice down.  Take the airlock out before you move them.

If you wanted to get crazy, then empty water jugs do work for short term (~1 month) just fine.  I heard a lot of paranoia about using them, but when I'm trying to brew small batches with relatives, I tend to buy a water jug, use the jug for my mash, and ferment in it afterwards.  They say they're much more permeable and prone to oxidation.  Homebrewers are paranoid about oxidation and will use any excuse to bring up oxidation, but in this case a few months of exposure and you'll notice something happening.  Stick a water jug where some sun can get to it and over time you'll notice the water disappearing through the skin.  So it is somewhat permeable.

Soda bottles are annoying because of a risk of an off-flavor, but I know some homebrewers at the local club here will bottle some of their beer in them to bring for tastings.  That implies storage for at least a month and probably more.  A 2L bottle is a better size for a tasting anyways.  Those White Labs yeast vials are actually unblown soda bottle rounds.  Anyways you have to rinse the snot out of them before using them.

It might work, but I'm inclined to think you're best with glass. For what?