Originally Posted by The_C_Tripp
Well, I've used it to cool the wort on more than 8 occasions and I've never had a problem.
I've been trying to research what plastic those bottling buckets are made of exactly (probably varies anyhow), and what the temperature range is on them, but to no avail.
I do recommend that you look into it however (perhaps the bottom of your bucket will tell you), because many plastics can only handle 170F before they actually start to leech out plastics into your beer.
Although this may never cause you to have an immediately perceivable problem, it seems like a worthwhile health consideration in the long term... don't ya' think?
This is just something that I recently realized while researching some other topics. I do know that vinyl hose is only good to about 170F, so keep that in mind as well. I just switched all of my hot side tubing over to silicone (it can withstand temps up to 140F).
Here's the best I can find:
Assuming your bucket is made of FDA approved polyethylene, here is a website that makes tanks out of it, and has a Q&A section where this topic comes up:
"Linear polyethylene (HDLPE) storage tanks have a maximum storage temperature of 130 degrees F. Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) storage tanks have a maximum storage temperature of 140 degrees F."
If the health reasons aren't enough, then do it for the beer!
- just sayin'