There are quite a few materials around the house you might be tempted to clean and use in your cider making adventures. Some of these are fine, some may taint the drink with a smell or taste, and others may be downright harmful.
Things I avoid are:
Anything that once contained petrochemicals.
Nice big ‘cans’ look like tempting fermentation vessels, but who wants to go blind from petroleum poisoning? Not me.
Pine and other ‘soft woods’
Pine contains pine resins and these can be leeched out by alcohol into your brew. The greeks drink Retsina wine which is deliberately tainted with pine resin, but it is a very aquired taste (most people gag the first time they try it) so you are unlikely to be pleased with the results.
Don’t worry about wooden spoons. As long as you dont leave a wooden spoon sitting overnight in your cider, it won’t really matter what type of wood it is made from.
If I cannot get a demijohn or bottle clean I dont use it. Glas should be easy to clean so if there is somthing subbonly refusing to leave, it is a fair bet it is in itself something quite nasty.
Cider is acidic, so keep it away from aluminum vessels of any description
Here are the items you can
- Hard woods (Oak,Chestnut etc. are safe)
- Food-grade plastics eg. HDPE. (but only if it specifically says ‘food grade’. Also never trust plastics that have been left outside in the sun and rain for weeks.
- Food grade stainless steel