First FG Check

Since it’s hot as balls today, this fermentation is probably going to be complete faster than I anticipated. I just checked the FG (final gravity) and it’s at 1.014 from 1.030. The manual is saying it should be at about 1.006, but I think that’s close enough…

I’ll check it once more tomorrow and if it’s about the same, I’m going to start bottling it. I’m going to pick those up tomorrow too. The extremely helpful staff at Nickel Brook have recommended that I use plastic bottles for this brew since they fair better with the building of pressure than glass bottles (in other words, they won’t explode).

Post script: To celebrate my successful completion of another year without dying, I’m going to Chester’s tonight. If anything noteworthy is consumed, I will be sure to post about it.

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7 Responses

  1. Hmm… plastic? I am naturally skeptical. Wouldn’t it make the beer taste like plastic, since the carbonic acid present in the beer might erode the sides of the plastic bottle? Also, if plastic is so great, why isn’t all beer sealed inside plastic? I am not trying to rip on your decision to use plastic, but it just seems odd.

  2. Your skepticism does not go unnoticed. I’m going to discuss your questions with the folks at NB today.

  3. So after some lengthy discussion, I have settled on glass bottles after all. I’m going to make sure I add just the right amount of sugar so that the pressure won’t pop the caps off. I guess the guy suggested plastic initially because he didn’t want me to add too much and blow up all of my beers. I’m not going to get into too much detail, but basically plastic bottles are for brewers that just want to make the beer as easily as possible without putting much thought or effort into ensuring that the instructions are followed precisely.

  4. Ok thats good. Glass is much more classy and won’t leach PCB’s into your beverage. The whole process looks amazing and hopefully it turns out as such.

  5. Save your Belgian beer bottles. They are usually made of a thicker glass to handle the higher pressures of delicious Belgian beers.

  6. While stumbling across the internets I arrived here and thought I’d clear up some misinformation.

    1. Many acids are completely safely stored in many plastics, it’s the specifics that are important. Carbonic acid is a pretty weak acid, it’s about 10x weaker than acetic acid (also weak). Vinegar is just diluted acetic acid (~8%, but much more acidic than beer!) and it’s stored happily in plastic bottles, usually polypropylene. Most of the CO2 in drinks like beer or soft drinks is stored as dissolved CO2 rather than carbonic acid so I don’t think it’s even the biggest contributor to the acidity. Anyways, the bottles used for beer are likely Polyethylene terephthalate (aka PETE, which is recycle symbol #1) and they can definitely handle it. That plastic is everywhere for storing soft drinks in 355mL, 1L, and 2L sizes. I’m not 100% certain but I think most soft drinks are a lot more acidic than beer too, so the acid content is really a non-issue in the choice between glass or plastic.

    2. Here’s a german beer that comes in plastic just for example: http://www.packaging-gateway.com/projects/holsten/
    However, beer doesn’t regularly come in plastic for a few reasons:
    Glass is good for commercial beer because dark brown glass is easy to produce and it significantly reduces UV exposure to the beer. While glass bottles are much more expensive than plastic bottles, due to the established bottle return programs that we have at the Beer Store and LCBO, it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly to simply clean, refill, and repackage the glass bottles.

    3. PCB’s…? PCB’s have absolutely nothing to do with the manufacturing or contents of plastic bottles, it’s a banned and controlled substance.
    Here’s some info about PCB’s:
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/environ/pcb-bpc-eng.php
    I’m not sure where you got the idea that plastic leeches PCB’s but it definitely doesn’t. Perhaps you were thinking of BPA? That has been in the news in the past few years as being leeched from plastic in tiny amounts, but it’s a completely different type of plastic. BPA is leeched from polycarbonate (PC), which is that really stiff plastic that you used to see a lot for refillable water bottles before the aluminum or steel ones became the norm. There is no BPA involved in the PETE that is used for beverage packaging, so there’s nothing to fear about leeched chemicals into the beer.

    4. I don’t know much about home-brewing, but I think some of the reasons plastic bottles are popular might be these:
    a) Much cheaper than glass I’m assuming.
    b) More resilient to the pressure increase from expanding gas. If you need to add sugar to prevent the glass from exploding, wouldn’t that have a negative effect on the taste, possibly making the beer a bit sweeter than you’d prefer?
    c) Likely much easier to seal, just a matter of screwing on a locking cap. I’m not sure how a home-brewer would seal glass bottles, but you certainly wouldn’t have the machine to easily apply metal bottle caps like the industry does.

    Also I should not that while I mentioned soft drinks, the bottles specifically for beer will be much higher quality plastic. They’ll be thicker, probably tinted to reduce UV exposure, and they would likely have an additional layer to prevent oxygen penetration to negate oxidation.

    I’m not advocating either plastic or glass and there might be more factors involved in the decision, but I just wanted to ensure that your choice isn’t based on the wrong reasons.

    Hope Rob’s IPA is a success.

  7. They apparently have plastic bottles that “don’t leach.” However, I’m a little doubtful of that. I think I pissed off one of the NB employees with my skepticism and my final decision to go with glass bottles. In addition, I doubt it would be a good idea to reuse plastics for another batch. You’re not even supposed to use plastic bottles for water, let alone something that is going to ferment inside of it before being consumed. Boo plastic.

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