Some Tips for Choosing Fermentaiton Equipment

fermenting wine

Homebrewing and wine making equipment has evolved in recent years. Today’s beer and wine making equipment seek to address many of the problems caused by using inadequate fermentation equipment. Food-grade plastics and accessories designed to improve the process and results by eliminating contamination have greatly improved the quality of the wine and beer you can produce.

There are many people who wish to avoid using plastic in preparing foods and I agree, unless the plastic being used is rated as food-grade. Light weight plastics also afford a huge safety factor. Over the years I have had more than one customer enter the store with stitches because their glass carboys broke and they were cut. The introduction of the blow-mold P.E.T. (Better Bottle) carboy eliminates this risk. These innovative fermentation vessels are not like their plastic water bottle counterparts which are molded in two halves then glued together creating a seam that makes the perfect hiding place for bacteria that will ruin your beverage.

The blow mold manufacturing method makes a bottle with no seams and the flexible nature of the high density plastic used allows for another design feature which glass water bottles cannot offer; the raised or punted bottom with a dimple in the center to hold your racking cane above the fermentation sediment as the beer or wine settles.

Another great advancement in homebrewing and wine making equipment is the invention of the auto-siphon. Prior to its release, the most common way of starting a siphon was to suck on the hose which caused instant contamination and spoilage. The auto-siphon starts the flow with one or two pumps of the siphon.

I highly recommend that you take these advancements in brewing equipment into consideration when selecting an equipment set. You will find the hobby that much more enjoyable and greatly reduce the risk of failure. Much of the equipment traditionally used by homebrewers was used out of necessity and convenience, not because they were appropriate. The glass water bottle is obsolete in North America and now is an expensive import, not to mention the high shipping cost. Less expensive equipment sets may be available, but you will end up paying with your time and less desirable results.

If you want to make your own beer or wine, we recommend that you start by looking at the homebrewing and wine making starter packages which include both the better bottle and auto-siphon and go from there. When looking for equipment sets, ask yourself, are the materials appropriate for what I want to make? And, will any of the components become obsolete?

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