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Old 08-17-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default Ropak Bucket Failure (reported)

I did a search on here to see anyone had posted anything about this and I did not come across anything. I just wanted to let everyone know about this. I recently brewed a Pliny clone only to have it all go down the drain, literally. (See attached pictures and weblink for more.) I had the Pliny fermenting in a bucket in my bathtub. I went to add my dry hops and noticed a strong beer smell coming from the bathroom. I looked in the tub and noticed what looked like hop residue in the bottom of the tub coming from the bucket. I went to open the lid and noticed the bucket didnt have any heft to it. Once I got the lid open, I was PISSED. All of my precious beer was gone, down the drain. Upon further investigation I noticed what you can see in the pictures. Further investigation resulted in the finding of the listed webpage.





Be sure to read this

I just hope some of you guys read this and check your buckets before having one of beers flow down the drain. Thanks guys and best of luck!

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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Wow, that blows...glad i checked the link, cause i was gonna flame you for being too rough on your fermentor sorry for the loss...looks like they just glued the bottom on instead of welding it

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #3
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Man, that really stinks. Fortunately, at least, you were fermenting in your bathtub so you didn't have to mop up 5g of beer off the floor.

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Old 08-17-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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I don't use this brand of bucket (I'm going to double check when I get home), but thanks for the heads up!

Does anyone know if other brands of buckets (ale pale, etc) are made by the same manufacturer?

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Old 08-17-2011, 01:14 PM   #5
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I have one of those I use for a bottling bucket. Got it from Midwest. So far it shows no cracks but I may ask Midwest what they plan to do.
Thanks for the post. Sorry about your beer, that is so sad ... home brew is too good to see it go like that!

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Old 08-17-2011, 01:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heferly View Post
Wow, that blows...glad i checked the link, cause i was gonna flame you for being too rough on your fermentor sorry for the loss...looks like they just glued the bottom on instead of welding it
I doubt they do either. That would cause melted plastic or glue bead or possibly voids.

I'm fairly certain the bucket is a single injected plastic piece. The design of the newer bottom probably allows flexing of the plastic, which creates a small crack as you use it (pick it up and down and the bottom "bounces" slightly)

The ribs around the bottom edge would distribute that force across more surface area, which would help prevent this eventual damage.

Removing the ribs could be a way to save plastic. Every bit of material saved is money in the pocket. However, in order to keep the flexing from damaging the bottoms, they would have to increase the bead area that transitions the bottom to the side, which saves less plastic.

They may have removed the ribs to help keep the ribs from sticking in the mold, although that material is not really known to be problematic, and the ribs are pretty hefty, so I don't see a problem unless they somehow get damaged on the mold, which would require occasional repair. Not a big deal as this would be a relatively simple fix I think, and not one that would happen often if the mold and ejection system were designed properly.

More than likely, they did it to save plastic and make a "cleaner" looking product and simply did not foresee the consequences of the bottom flexing over time.

Another small possibility would be "Flow Lines" or "Knit Lines" where two areas of melted plastic meet. The cooler plastic from where two areas of melted plastic come together during the shooting process, and don't quite form a complete bond across the surface. This leaves a tiny line which can sometimes be a weakness, depending. In this case, I believe they shoot from the center of the bottom and the plastic spreads across the bottom and then up the sides, with really no chance of causing a Flow Line that I can see.
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:32 PM   #7
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Actually, looking at those pics, it kind of does seem like they are 2-piece. Odd. I would not want a welded or glued seam in any of my fermenters.

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Old 08-17-2011, 01:38 PM   #8
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subscribed, I have two (one bottling, one fermenting) of the "new" style (no ribs) but with the clock symbols pointing to "0" and "3." No signs of cracks on either, yet.

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Old 08-18-2011, 11:17 AM   #9
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Glad you guys are finding this helpful. I just dont want any fellow members to go through what I did. I'm still bitter about it. I was really looking forward to sipping on some pliny this weekend.

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Old 08-18-2011, 02:31 PM   #10
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Ive actually been in a Ropak bucket manufacturing facility. They do not glue the bottoms on. They are blow mold cast in one piece. Yours just broke.

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