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Old 01-07-2012, 06:02 AM   #1
EtOH603
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Dec 2011
Nashua, NH
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Hi All, I have been doing a lot of reading on brewing in plastic and it seems that most people agree that it is safe (non-plastic leaching/off-flavoring) to brew in plastic fermentors with the recycling symbol 1 or 2, but those with a 7 on them are "unsafe" do to their unknown constituents. I humbly disagree, based on the fact that I work for a pharmaceutical company that stores injectable drug substances in bottles bearing the 7. Just thought people may not want to write off # 7s after all. Please let me know what other people find as it could make new fermenters significantly less expensive...



 
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:33 AM   #2
DrDuckbutter
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I have decided that no one can factually tell me if a recycle # of 1, 2, 7 or even a plastic garbage can bearing no symbol will in fact kill me before my liver stops...I think it is safe to say that fermenting, primary, secondary, long term storage can be achieved in almost anything... If a milk jug is good enough to store moonshine in, then all of Virginia can't be wrong...


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Old 01-11-2012, 01:43 AM   #3
mattd2
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I think the issue is #1-6 are a defined type of plastic, i.e. HDPE/LDPE/PP/PE/etc. Number 7 from memory is the catch all number for "other" plastics that are in 1-6. Therefore you could be fine (as in you situation for the drug containers) or you might not... no one could tell you by just saying "yeah, that #7 is all good"

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:15 AM   #4
copyright1997
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Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EtOH603 View Post
Hi All, I have been doing a lot of reading on brewing in plastic and it seems that most people agree that it is safe (non-plastic leaching/off-flavoring) to brew in plastic fermentors with the recycling symbol 1 or 2, but those with a 7 on them are "unsafe" do to their unknown constituents. I humbly disagree, based on the fact that I work for a pharmaceutical company that stores injectable drug substances in bottles bearing the 7. Just thought people may not want to write off # 7s after all. Please let me know what other people find as it could make new fermenters significantly less expensive...
The code used on plastic has nothing to do with whether the FDA considers it food-grade.

I will repeat. The code 1 (PET, polyethylene terephthalate), 2 (HDPE, high density polyethylene), 3 (V = polyvinyl chloride, or PVC), 4 (LDPE, low density polyethylene), 5 (PP, polypropylene), 6 (PS, polystyrene), 7 (other) describe categories of plastic, not whether it is food grade. Since different plastics have differing properties, e.g. ability to handle acidic substances,

Food-grade plastic does not contain plastic or dyes considered harmful to humans.

You can find recycled plastics used for food-grade plastic, but the FDA has some pretty tough guidelines. One of the major issues is that the previous use of the plastic may have had chemical or biological contaminants which could find their way into food-contact situations (or in our case, wort or gran contact situations). Here's the FDA guidelines: Guidance for Industry: Use of Recycled Plastics in Food Packaging: Chemistry Considerations


Rant on: I've seen a s__t load of threads on using cheap buckets from various sources. Places like the HD "Homer" buckets. I really don't understand the point when it is fairly easy to go out and get "known good" buckets!
1. Go to a bakery, dunkin doughnuts or other places that get bulk supplies in food grade containers.
2 Go to a organic food market that sells things like agave or maple syrup in bulk. These come in food-grade containers.
3. Go to Walmart and buy the white buckets for $2.97. The ones from Encore plastics had been verified by the manufacturer to be food-grade.

I'm sure there are lots of people out there that say "Hey, I haven't gotten sick". Remember that many of the issues with things like heavy metals or chemical contamination won't show up for many, many years and will essentially be untraceable back to the fact that you used a homer or whatever bucket.

Well, maybe I should stop posting this stuff and just leave the sources for cheap, SAFE buckets to myself.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:36 AM   #5
OneHoppyGuy
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Nov 2009
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Copyright - at least you're not a plastiphobic.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:02 AM   #6
brewingmeister
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Apr 2009
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What is this plastic you are talking about?
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:15 AM   #7
outside92129
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I just want to say one word to you...


 
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:45 AM   #8
brewingmeister
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Haha. I love that sweaty drunk cornering Ben to say his one word.
Personally, besides airlocks they don't have a place in my brewery no matter what number or letters that surround them. Just a personal preference, that actually took years to complete, and it helps for cleaning and durability as well.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
riromero
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Nov 2008
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Another issue besides being food safe is oxygen permeability. I think I remember this being a problem for all but a couple of plastic types.

But the real problem for me is finding a container of any plastic material that is 6.5 gallons or larger. Impossible for me outside of the homebrew suppliers.

 
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
audger
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Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDuckbutter View Post
If a milk jug is good enough to store moonshine in, then all of Virginia can't be wrong...
just because something physically works doesnt mean its fit for purpose. sure you can use duct tape to fix a broken windshield on your car. you can use an electrical cord as a belt to hold up your pants.

eating small amounts of lead, mercury, uranium, or smoking cigarettes isnt going to kill you immediately. it may not even have any effect for decades. but if your husband was diagnosed with blood cancer and given 3 weeks to live, how would you feel knowing that the last 20 years you have been giving him beer fermented in completely unsafe non-food grade containers? how would you feel wondering for the rest of your life if that was the cause. if you had spent the extra $30 on a fermentor that was definately non-toxic, they might have longer than 3 weeks to live... instead you saved $4! woohoo.

no one gives a **** about that scenario untill the time comes and there is no longer anything you can do to fix it. now- is that a worst case, and unlikely, scenaro? sure. the risk of something like that happening is small, but the consequinces if it does happen are large enough that you should not be ignoring it.

if you really dont care, then go nuts. this is America and you are free to ferment beer in an old used rusty steel garbage can if you so choose. it will physically work.



 
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