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Old 09-13-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default Plastic water cooler bottle as carboy

Hey all:

Trying to get started on the cheap, and it occurs to me the big plastic water bottles that you see at the water cooler in some offices would work pretty slick. I have access to some of these, and they look like 5 and 10 gallon bottles. My guess is, because they are for water for human consumption, that they are food-grade plastic and will not impart iimpurities/flavor in the beer.

Seems like a good way to save some $ in startup costs, but I'm interested to see if I'm missing something.

Thanks!


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Old 09-13-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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No. They will not work. Spend the money and get a fermentation bucket if you was to save money.


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Old 09-13-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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Why won't they work? I use one for secondary (For fruit additions, dry hopping or if I just want to free up my primary) Not enough head space for primary though unless you are doing smaller batches.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteEagle1 View Post
No. They will not work. Spend the money and get a fermentation bucket if you was to save money.
??? They work quite well actually.


ElyIrishBrew there's a ton of threads on this subject. There's at least 5 a week. Plenty of people, including myself use them. Here's a good thread for you.

Just try to find recycling code <1> or <2> on the bottom. And be aware that if it's only a 5 gallon water bottle (and not a 5.5-6 gallon one) that you'll need to use a blowoff tube and/or brew slightly smaller batches.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:59 PM   #5
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The aren't the right plastic. Better bottles are made out of polyethelyne (i think). If you can find the drinking water bottles that have a 1 one the bottom those can be used for brewing, but pretty much all the others (commonly 5, and 7) will impart flavored and impurities. Some people still use them with no problems though.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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Why won't they work? I use one for secondary (For fruit additions, dry hopping or if I just want to free up my primary) Not enough head space for primary though unless you are doing smaller batches.
They will work fine. This has been a non-issue for a LONG time.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cknittle View Post
The aren't the right plastic. Better bottles are made out of polyethelyne (i think). If you can find the drinking water bottles that have a 1 one the bottom those can be used for brewing, but pretty much all the others (commonly 5, and 7) will impart flavored and impurities. Some people still use them with no problems though.

Since the bpa recalls began, more and more of them on the marketplace are made of the correct plastic. If they have a <1> or <2> on the bottom they are perfectly fine to use. Even as far as last week people have sighted them in more and more places, even some walmarts have made the switch. In fact the BetterBottle company is manufacturing many of them for the water bottle industry, so you may actually be using one by them nowadays.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:33 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, folks. I used the search feature first but didn't find much. Thanks again for taking the time to helo a noob out with a common question. And Revvy, thanks for the link!
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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I use a smaller 3 gallon water jug from Walmart for my 2.5 gallon batches and not one problem or off flavor at all. I would use them and not think twice. It's not like your distilling through a car radiator
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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Right supposedly the ones with <1> or <2> on the bottom are safest. I noticed at work the water bottles have a <7> on them so I stopped drinking out of those. I used to get poland spring water delivered at home and I checked those, and they were <7> too.


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