Author Topic: Possible Fermenting Buckets?  (Read 3447 times)

Offline capozzoli

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Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« on: November 03, 2010, 05:30:16 PM »
I was thinking of these for fermenting buckets. 



Anyone know how to identify food grade plastic?

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Offline Mikey

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 05:45:56 PM »
What was in them?

Offline capozzoli

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 05:49:23 PM »
Not a clue, the people selling them dont know either. They are in a pile of surplus.

The lids seal air tight though,so some kind of liquid.

Found this info.

<2>HDPE (high density polyethylene) is used in milk, juice and water containers in order to take advantage of its excellent protective barrier properties. Its chemical resistance properties also make it well suited for items such as containers for household chemicals and detergents. Most five gallon food buckets are made from HDPE. Examples: Milk bottles, shopping bags

Guess I should still worry what might have been in them?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 05:53:57 PM by capozzoli »
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 05:59:42 PM »
Guess I should still worry what might have been in them?

I would.  We use HDPE for all kinds of different products.  Often we can smell the residue (mostly perfumes) in the plastic a week after dumping the product out.  To me that means that something could leach out.  It might be ok but for my beer "might be" wouldn't be good enough.

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« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 06:03:16 PM by BrewArk »
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 06:11:39 PM »
No smell in them at all. I know that does not mean nothing is there.

Do you think the perfume was in residue on the surface or was perhaps in the plastic?

HDPE is supposed to be completely without porosity. Wish there was a way to test them, they look really cool, sturdy and they have those cool handles. 
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 06:17:39 PM »
It was definitely in the plastic.

I've never been able to say that I've had noticeable contamination of something that I've put into a bucket that had a different product in it, but I know that the boss doesn't blink at throwing away old ones to keep from having problems.

I don't know how to tell if they are food grade or not.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 06:19:34 PM »
Here's the symbol chart for food grade plastics.  Hope this helps.



They are high density polyethylene.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 06:21:06 PM by bluesman »
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Offline Mikey

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2010, 06:44:08 PM »
I think the plastic is fine, but I'd still worry about the previous contents. However, it was bad there "should" be some labels on them.

They sure look like some nice buckets. I'd research them as much as I could.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2010, 06:57:51 PM »
One thing to consider is that not all HDPE plastic is food grade.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/plastics.html#hdpe

It depends on whether it is labeled "food safe".

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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2010, 07:22:16 PM »
Would it be possible to let RO water sit in them for a few weeks, then have the water tested, to see what changed? This might give you some idea if it'll kill ya or not.
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Offline MrNate

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2010, 07:24:11 PM »
I'd be willing to risk it. Are they free?
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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2010, 07:53:54 PM »
Would it be possible to let RO water sit in them for a few weeks, then have the water tested, to see what changed? This might give you some idea if it'll kill ya or not.

Yeah. That makes sense. Should only cost about $500. Way cheaper than new buckets.... errr, wait...  :P
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Offline punatic

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2010, 07:55:13 PM »
Would it be possible to let RO water sit in them for a few weeks, then have the water tested, to see what changed? This might give you some idea if it'll kill ya or not.

What would you have them tested for?  As the owner of a lab I can tell you that it would not take long to run up an expensive analysis bill if you don't know where to begin, analysis-wise.

They are great looking containers, but without knowing what was in them previously, it would be pretty risky to use them for holding anything that will be consumed.
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 08:48:57 PM »
Suppose I could get them to see if they can find out what was in them.

Nate,they are $6. per piece. They are at Joesph Fazzio's in Glassboro NJ. Maybe an hour south of you I think?

There are other ones too that are 10 and 20 gallons. They are clearly labeled "food grade" with the same HDPE/2.

The problem with the ones above for most are that they are only 4 gallons. I was thinking of using them for small batch fermenting.

Damn, Im bummed now.
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Offline euge

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Re: Possible Fermenting Buckets?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2010, 10:37:00 PM »
Dude, snap up the 10 gallon buckets if they are labeled "food grade". If you do 5-6 gallon batches you'll never have to worry about a blowout or need a blow off tube.

Testing? Well, a start would be to split a batch in glass and one of the mystery buckets and send both samples in for analysis.  I guess you'd be looking for something "extra" in the plastic fermented.

Does foodgrade plastic mean made fresh or recycled from plastic that hasn't previously held anything toxic? This would be my main concern.
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