The Toxic Nation - Guide to Plastics
With all the news about the toxins in plastic it is good to be informed. I have had a lot of customers asking about our primaries.
Plastics 2, 4, 5 are safer. 1, 3, 6, 7 should be avoided.
As winemakers, I believe it is important to avoid all plastics in winemaking. These toxic chemicals become even more soluble in alcohol. If you must use plastic the shorter the contact time the better.
Our store offers glass, stainless and oak primary fermentation.
The older and more re used plastics will leach more chemicals out over time. At home, "the more a plastic is put through the dishwasher the more chemicals that will leach out" (quoted from CBC interview last week).
All plastic is made from petro based products so even the food grade plastics leach micro amounts of xeno estrogens. This has been known since the late 90's. Even the super ultra high grade plastic test tubes used for cancer research leached enough estrogens to produce cancer cells in the control group (W5 report~1997).
One can use their 23L glass carboy for primary fermentation but you would have to have a blow off tube going to a gallon jug of water as the airlock to avoid foaming over. The other option is a larger 25L glass carboy or stainless steel. Glass is far less expensive than the stainless. If weight is an issue you can also use two 11.3 Litre glass carboys which are easy to lift and clean. I have a few sources but anyone else with info please let me know.