PVC Pipe -- Friendly or No? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > PVC Pipe -- Friendly or No?
Cool Brewing Giveaway - Supporting Membership Drive & Discount

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-26-2006, 01:09 AM   #1
Sumta
Recipes 
 
Apr 2006
Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 22


Hello All,

This is my first post, and you should all be impressed, for in the text below I am courting the Resounding Raspberry, or perhaps even the Glorious Finger of Scorn.

For those who are not against plastic fermenters, is PVC pipe a reasonable material to use? I was at Lowe's on Sunday in the plumbing area. When my eyes fell upon the 8" PVC pipe, I began seeing 48" tall dancing fermenters to hold my 8+ gallon batches.

Is PVC pourous? Does it exude noxious poisons...or even worse bad tasting ones? How about HDPE?

Joe W



 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 01:39 AM   #2
davidkrau
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Posts: 211

Most people will advise you to use CPVC instead of PVC PVC is intended for cold water pipes CPVC for hot water. I personally think that 6the only thing wrong with PVC is that it softens up a little in boiling water. Since PVC amd CPVC cost about the same your probably better off going with CPVC



 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 03:32 AM   #3
PT Ray
Recipes 
 
Aug 2005
Posts: 1,372
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts


I would have to say no. I don't think you will find cpvc in 8" diameters so you are looking at pvc. I also recall this pipe has not having the slickest finish on them so I would question how well it could be cleaned. Second, I think it would be proned to absorbing odor and flavors from batch to batch including the cleaning agents as this would not be an issue for its intended purpose. There is one way to find out for sure.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 01:51 PM   #4
Baron von BeeGee
Beer Bully
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Baron von BeeGee's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2005
Barony of Fuquay-Varina, NC
Posts: 5,397
Liked 23 Times on 22 Posts


Yeah, I don't think I would try it (for many of the reasons PT mentions), but it might work depending on how you set it up. Temperature shouldn't be an issue in this application, so PVC should be fine as opposed to going with C-PVC.

Edit...btw, HDPE should be fine if you can find that. However, I'm not sure about fermentation dynamics in a pipe. Traditional fermenters tend towards more shallow, open fermenters, while even the more modern conicals aren't super narrow. You might have cannon-like blowoff with a tube!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 02:04 PM   #5
sonvolt
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Posts: 899
Liked 10 Times on 6 Posts


For my very first mash tun, I used pvc as a manifold because I hadn't heard anything that suggested that this may be a bad thing. The first brew I made with it had a slightly "plastic" taste but not like bandaids. Unfortunately, I drank this up like a session beer because of the taste. Now, I have only about 8 of these left, and it tastes amazing - off flavor = gone! So, I think that the off-flavor was this beer's "green" flavor rather than a result of the pvc manifold. I also brewed another beer (a belgian wit) with this setup and this "plasticy" flavor is not present at all, so I don't believe that the pvc gave any off-flavors.

Regardless of this, I switched to cpvc because it is inexpensive and just as simple to use. From personal experience, I see nothing wrong with pvc, but why not use cpvc for the hot water application.

$.02

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 02:51 PM   #6
Cap'n Jewbeard
 
Cap'n Jewbeard's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2006
Baltimore
Posts: 924
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts


I am kind of entertained, though, by the notion of having a "forest" of fermentation pipes. Maybe it wouldn't work for primary, but do you think it might do for secondary? What if we put in a spigot or something for racking?

I'm not technically-inclined, but I am space-challenged in the apartment, and the thought of being able to tuck those away somewhere, or tape some fake leaves on 'em to "camouflage" them in a room some where... well, it's damn appealing.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 03:19 PM   #7
Baron von BeeGee
Beer Bully
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Baron von BeeGee's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2005
Barony of Fuquay-Varina, NC
Posts: 5,397
Liked 23 Times on 22 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by sonvolt
From personal experience, I see nothing wrong with pvc, but why not use cpvc for the hot water application.
If I understand what's being suggested, it's just making fermentors which means the temps would be well within bounds for PVC which is supposed to be safe at those temps (it's used for cold water applications). Unless I'm missing something.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 06:32 PM   #8
TK421
Recipes 
 
Apr 2006
Racine, WI
Posts: 41
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


As a Packaging Engineer I'll tell you that PVC is not FDA approved for direct food contact. It emits off flavors.
__________________
Primary: Empty
Secondary 1: Empty
Secondary 2: Empty
Drinking: Midwest Porter, Noble Trappist Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 06:40 PM   #9
kornkob
Resident Crazy Uncle
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
kornkob's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2005
Madison WI
Posts: 1,857
Liked 19 Times on 12 Posts


Then why is it used for drinking water?
__________________
Jason 'Kornkob' Robinson

I wanna move to Theory. Everything works in Theory.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2006, 08:37 PM   #10
casebrew
Recipes 
 
Dec 2005
San Diego
Posts: 848
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


And what about ABS, the black plastic?


__________________
So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brewing friendly kitchen Clipper General Beer Discussion 19 02-21-2009 01:54 PM
Eco Friendly Drinking The Soft Underbelly General Beer Discussion 5 03-12-2008 09:35 PM
Brew friendly politicians? moger777 General Beer Discussion 1 03-01-2008 09:08 PM


Forum Jump