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Old 03-22-2006, 11:44 PM   #1
pokey
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Default Epoxy in mash tun?

Hey all you budding chemists: Is it safe from a toxicological standpoint to use epoxy cement on fittings that will be used in a mash tun?

From what I know of epoxy, once it is cured it is pretty safe stuff. I am just working on a design for a cheap bulkhead and slotted pipe system that unfortunately requires some sort of heatproof and waterproof adhesive/sealant.

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Old 03-23-2006, 03:46 AM   #2
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You know I too have been wondering about this. I'm curious if it's safe to use JB weld in the kettle or HLT. We've used it on the heads of an engine (to fix a friends attempt at home porting) and had no problems with the severe heat and whatnot.. surely the insides of a small block V8 are a harsher environment than the insides of a mash tun or boil kettle but I wonder if the stuff gives off any noxious chemicals or flavors that would be unsafe or unpleasant in beer.

I'd try it but IF it does do something bad then I'd have ruined my keggle and a batch of beer. I'm not willing to take that risk... but hey, if you are then let me know how it turns out.

edit: you know, if you're just building a manifold then I'd agree with cweston: you can't get much cheaper than a cpvc design. Heck, my copper manifold was surpisingly cheap. I too just shove everything together; afterall the wort is supposed to get into the manifold somehow - either through the seams or through the holes/slots just so long as the grains don't come with it.

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Old 03-23-2006, 04:09 AM   #3
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I made a manifold from CPVC, and everything fits tight enough that adhesive is not really necessary. It may be perfectly safe, but I figure why even risk it when it seems to work fine with everything just shoved together.

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Old 03-23-2006, 10:43 AM   #4
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We make drinking water tanks at work we use a lot of the stuff never a prob

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Old 03-23-2006, 07:13 PM   #5
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Many epoxies are very temperature sensitive- they just dissapear when heated to above 160. I'd stay away from the "Quick Setting" clear ones. JB Weld is okay, I think even their "Quick Weld" will last. On the other hand, slow ones can be sped up with a bit of heat, if you are in a hurry- a blow dryer or a heat lamp works wonders...

ETA, nothing really sticks to the plastic used in buckets or coolers anyhow. Latex or silicone caulk probably work as well as anything on those.

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Old 03-23-2006, 10:28 PM   #6
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JB Weld is awesome stuff, and it's completely safe! My wife has a favorite ceramic piedish that fell onto the floor and quickly became 3 pieces.

I put the sections back together with JB Weld, ground off the excess with my Dremel, and washed it well.

It goes into the oven at 350 F, goes into the dishwasher, and works like a charm. I did call the manufacturer and ask about toxicity.

If if is completely cured, it will not leach any dangerous chemicals into your food.

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Old 03-23-2006, 11:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
I made a manifold from CPVC, and everything fits tight enough that adhesive is not really necessary. It may be perfectly safe, but I figure why even risk it when it seems to work fine with everything just shoved together.
Yup - I hear you there about the manifold. The epoxy is for my take at a cheap bulkhead fitting though. I found a 1/2" NPT to CPVC adapter at HD for about 20 cents, and am trying to glue a stainless washer to it to provide a seat for the o-ring that goes between the washer and the inside of the cooler.

I actually heat tested it last night (in the cooler of course, filled with hot water), and the clear epoxy that I had used didn't seem to hold up perfectly in the hot wet environment. It doesn't like sticking to the stainless. Maybe I will try JB weld next.
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Old 03-23-2006, 11:24 PM   #8
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I don't know anything about these clear epoxies but I do know that jb weld is permanent.. at least when it contacts metal. I don't know what it would do to plastic. Anyhow, it's tough stuff, you can machine it just the same as steel or iron..

Let us know how it turns out

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Old 03-24-2006, 12:56 AM   #9
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I used a little silicone caulk around the rubber gasket in my MLT when I built it. It leaked a little until I caulked it. Luckily all of this was tested before I did a mash in it.

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Old 03-27-2006, 12:51 AM   #10
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The JB Weld did the trick. I glued it up Friday night, let it cure all day yesterday, and have let it sit in hot water (150-190 deg) all day today. So far so good - much improved over the clear epoxy.

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