From the HBD Archive
From: (Mark Stevens) <>
Subject: Yet more discussion of glass vs. plastic carboys
Date: 1989-12-19 21:59:26 GMT

There's been quite a bit of speculation lately about the relative merits
of plastic and glass carboys. While glass carboys are heavier and can
break, there does seem to be some evidence that they will produce a
better beer.

Are there any numbers or facts to back up that assertion? Well, maybe.
Take a look at the statistical breakdown of entries and winners in the
AHA homebrewing competition. (They appear on page 64 of the special
yeast issue of "Zymurgy" magazine, which many of you undoubtedly have
access to).

Of all the entries submitted, 77% were fermented in glass, 20% in
plastic, and 3% in steel. However, when you look at the breakdown
of winners the benefit of glass starts to become clear. 88% of all
winning entries were fermented in glass, 6% in steel, and 6% in
plastic. This might indicate that the plastic is inferior, either
because of leaching, because plastic is more likely to harbor bacterial
infections, or because of the permeability of the material.

Of course it could also be that experienced brewers just tend to favor
glass, and that the statistical difference is caused more by differences
in experience than in material differences. :*)


- ---Mark Stevens

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