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Old 11-17-2008, 03:18 PM   #1
WillWyn
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Default Coolers for Mash Tun?

I have a brewing friend who doesn't like the idea of using plastic coolers for mash tuns because of possibility of plastic compounds leaching into the mash from the heat of the water. Any thoughts on this? Are coolers made of food grade plastic?

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Old 11-17-2008, 03:59 PM   #2
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Yeah. Your friend is jealous! Seriously, a TON of people (me included) use these for Mash tuns, and apparently have been for years.

The plastic is HDPE (food grade).
It retains heat wonderfully without external sources.
Oh yeah, did I mention that it was cheap? With a valve, you are probably looking between $50-75.

As for plastic leaching, remember that the mash is only in there for an hour or so. Even BetterBottles are PET plastic and fine for fermenting in.

Does your friend ever drink bottled water or soda from a plastic bottle

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Old 11-17-2008, 04:05 PM   #3
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+1 on plastic coolers. I have HERMS built out of plastic coolers and I have used these coolers for oh, two years.... I have never experienced anything strange with my brews. Id say they actually taste better than most I have tasted from SS kettle brew systems!

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Old 11-17-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
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We have pretty much put that leeching myth to bed.....

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Old 11-17-2008, 04:11 PM   #5
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Sleep tight... sweet dreams

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Old 11-17-2008, 04:20 PM   #6
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They use these coolers for holding coffee as well as cold products. I've been on Red Cross calls that we use the 5G and 10G coolers all the time if we can't brew on site for whatever reason.

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Old 11-17-2008, 06:01 PM   #7
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+1 MMMM...Plastic ...goood.

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Old 11-17-2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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Plastic coolers for mash tun's are the way to go. If we start worrying about everything that come into contact with plastic we would all be gone by now.

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Old 11-17-2008, 07:44 PM   #9
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I believe there is a valid concern about leaching if you exceed the plastic's maximum temperature rating. Coolers that use HDPE (#2) should be good to 180F which should be fine for mashing. If made out of Polypropylene (#5) they are good to 230-260F. I would expect that the higher the temperature and the longer you sustain the temperature the greater the harm could be. Even if your cooler is HDPE and you are adding boiling water to an existing mash to raise the temperature to < 180F I feel the risk would be controlled as the existing thermal mass would pull the temperature down to safe levels.

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