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Storing spirit samples


tedious
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Does anyone have any recommendations for storing spirit samples (possibly for long periods - i.e.  years)?  Amazon sell lab sample bottles.  I figured lab sample bottles should be decent quality, seal well etc.  For example:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wheaton-Capacity-Phenolic-Poly-Seal-Diameter/dp/B009P9PSTK

 

These are apparently soda-lime glass to a standard called "USP Type III".

 

I thought mechanical/thermal properties aside, glass was glass was glass.  However, doing a little research I found this article on Wikipedia noting that glass for holding distilled spirits is specifically "dealkalized" to prevent the alcohol leaching alkali from the glass, becoming more alkaline, and eventually reaching a point that it can attack the glass: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dealkalization

 

Again, according to that article Type III glass is not dealkalized (Type II is).

 

In short, I'm wondering if it's necessary to be careful with glass selection for long-term storage of alcohol, or if this a theoretical concern that might be relevant in pharmacology only.

 

Quick edit... ...guess that I could PH test a sample on the way in, wait a few years, and re-test to get an idea of how much (if any) change was occurring.  But that takes a few years to get an answer...

Edited by tedious (log)
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Tiny bottles like that should be fine, frankly. Master of Malt ships their 30mL samples in a wax sealed vial, but I'm not sure the wax is necessary.

 

As for the type of glass....you could always buy minis of whatever, drink em, wash the bottles out, and reuse them. If the glass is indeed dealkalized, there you go!

 

ETA: Also, the argon-in-a-can trading under the name Private Reserve should serve you VERY well if your sample doesn't reach the top of the bottle/vial/jar/whatever.

Edited by Hassouni (log)
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Thanks Hassouni - minis aren't a bad idea!  I was thinking of asking Master of Malt if they use anything special, and / or are willing to sell their vials.  They seem a friendly enough bunch.

 

Actually, the main thing I want to sample is whisk(e)y, which I believe starts out on the acidic side - so possibly this is only a concern with PH neutral or alkaline spirits.  Although I wonder if it can affect taste even if it doesn't affect the container.

 

May have to do some experiments with PH strips.

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