From the HBD Archive
From: kipps@etoile.ICS.UCI.EDU
Subject: Re: glass vs. plastic carboys
Date: 1989-11-22 17:24:31 GMT

I started brewing just this summer and went to the local brew shop to get
setup. At the time, they had lots of glass water bottles and food-grade
buckets. I asked about plastic water bottles and was told that the plastic
wasn't food-grade and would leave on off taste to the beer. I ended up buying
a 5 gallon glass carboy for $9.

Now that I'm familiar with mail order brew shops I don't visit the local place
much--prices are too high. However, I went there with friend not long ago and
guess what. This guy was all out of glass carboys and was trying to talk some
first-time homebrewer into plastic water bottles!

Anyway, to answer your question, my guess is that a plastic water bottle will
work ok. They won't take the same size rubber stopper, though. The brew shop
owner had this cap that fit over the mouth of the bottle. I've seen this cap
advertized in catalogues, so look around.

Now, about glass vs. plastic: I'm a bit of a snob; I prefer glass. About the
expense: I've discovered a good spot for homebrew equipment at great prices.
Several of the local community colleges hold weekend swap meets. I once found
a guy selling 6-1/2 gallon glass carboys in foam cases for $5, and another
selling a case of 20 Grolsch (sp?) bottles for $5. There's always several
people selling 5 gallon carboys (also for $5). Cappers, boiling pots, kegs,
and grist mils show up sometimes, as well.

-Jim Kipps

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