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Old 04-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #1
BrewBoy19
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Default 55 gallon brew kettle

Does anyone have any info on what type of 55 gallon drums are acceptable to use as a kettle or mash tun? Some are painted inside etc.. We have a lot of barrels at my work and food grade oil comes in them but I want to make sure they are safe for use. Is there a cleaning process etc.... Also does anyone have plans written up for adding ball valves etc.... Thanks

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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stainless steel.

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Old 04-05-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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There is a vendor on here who sells them I believe.

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Old 04-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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clean it out as best you can then
fill the barrel with water bring it to a boil, add a PBW and let sit over night
if the barrel has been used for food that should be all you need to do

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Old 04-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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A plain steel barrel painted, coated etc.... good for shipping/storing foodstuffs. But once you apply heat forget about the paint. Unless it is enamel coated or baked on ceramic coating you wont be able to boil in it.
A stainless 55g drum would be awesome though!

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Old 04-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #6
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carbon steel barrels are no good. there was a long thread a while back about someone who boasted about brewing in regular carbon steel barrel and apparently not killing himself, but after 3 pages of people saying "what? you cant do that..." and him claiming it was fine, he posted pics of his nasty rusted barrels and everyones criticisms were confirmed. i would never drink a beer brewed in those barrels.

if you are heating anything in them- you need stainless or nothing.
http://www.bubbasbarrels.com/ <--cheapest ive seen. they are used however, and no longer FDA approved for food use.

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Can you tell me or send me the information on why stainless steel drums are no longer approved for food use? I tried googling it, but I could'nt find any info. I jsut found this post, and this from the website:

What is a reconditioned drum?
A reconditioned drum is previously used drum that has gone through a rectification process. The process can vary but it always includes: Leak testing, and a thorough hi temp cleaning. The cleaning solvent is made from Caustic Soda. Carbon steel drums also get a new paint job. Reconditioned drums are not FDA approved for food use.

It is difficult to tell, but i belive that referes to carbon steel drums.

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
carbon steel barrels are no good. there was a long thread a while back about someone who boasted about brewing in regular carbon steel barrel and apparently not killing himself, but after 3 pages of people saying "what? you cant do that..." and him claiming it was fine, he posted pics of his nasty rusted barrels and everyones criticisms were confirmed. i would never drink a beer brewed in those barrels.

if you are heating anything in them- you need stainless or nothing.
http://www.bubbasbarrels.com/ <--cheapest ive seen. they are used however, and no longer FDA approved for food use.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/55-gallon-ordinary-steel-drum-system-143410/
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:58 AM   #9
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If someone else finds this post, I went ahead with used ss barrels from http://usedstainlesssteelbarrels.com/ the food grade ones. Works, no issues with licencing.

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Old 02-26-2013, 05:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gointomexico View Post
Can you tell me or send me the information on why stainless steel drums are no longer approved for food use?
its basically due to the fact that the drums could have previously contained any number of chemicals that may or may not be removed thru cleaning, so the FDA just puts a blanket ban on reusing drums (any type, carbon, stainless...) that were once used for anything but food, for food use again.

if you are using these in a commercial brewery (ie. selling your products to the public), its really up to the person from the health dept. inspecting your equipment. it IS against the law to use used barrels of unknown origin for food use. whether or not they choose to enforce the law, either now or sometime in the future, is another issue. its always possible that you get a free pass now, but next year a different inspector comes along, who asks about the barrels and has a different oppinion on their use. the law exists in the interest of public safety, and to ensure that you arent poisoning your customers (knowingly or otherwise).

if you dont believe me, call the FDA and ask if its legal to store food or beverage for human consumption in reconditioned steel (or stainless steel) barrels. they will tell you what i just did.

however, using them for homebrewing... while technically still illegal, IMO its just up to you whether you feel comfortable with it or not. no one is going to come to your house and hassle you about it (unless you actually DO end up poisoning someone and it becomes an issue, then you will be in some hot water... especially if they find this forum post and can prove that you knew beforehand that you shouldnt use used barrels...oops, sorry!).
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