Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Better Bottles - Review

PET Better Bottles have been around for a while and on occasion I still see posts in forums asking about the viability of Better Bottles. Let's just say that I was a skeptic with them and decided to do some experiments with them before I started stocking them on the shelf. I make wine as well as beer and I figured that storing wine the better bottle would not only test to see if it would discolor over a certain period of time, but also see if they were truly oxygen impermeable. I started a red wine in a bucket and let it do its thing and racked off to a Better Bottle for both secondary and tertiary fermentation. I bulk aged it for over a year, occasionally changing out the water in the air lock. I bottled it up and tasted to see how it came along and to see if there was any distinct oxidation. Lo and behold, the wine had mellowed out considerably and there was no detectable oxidation in it. Thus, verifying that Better Bottles work really well. I now have a few of them and I do use them for both beer and wine. They are fantastic because not only are they light, they are pretty much indestructible, especially compared to a glass carboy. The only negative thing I have to say about them is that if you pick them up then you'll suck in some water from your airlock. Again, it's not a huge issue, but it does happen. One way to combat this is to stick it in an empty milk crate or any other device that works the same. One other thing, DON'T use a carboy brush on these. It will scratch the surface and you don't want that to happen because it can potentially lead to future infections because of bacteria having a place to grow. Just soak it over night in hot water and some oxyclean or pbw and everything should fall out.

My verdict is that if you have any doubts that Better Bottles can't deliver, then think again because they are awesome and can be used on both beer and wine. I definitely recommend them.