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5 gallon buckets at Lowes, OK?

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85 Haro Designs

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I know that the "Ale Pail" buckets contained in homebrewing kits are PET or foodgrade plasic.

Does anyone know if the Lowes / HD pails are also PET plastic?

If not, could they at least be used for a sanitizing pail for bottles and equipment if properly cleaned first?

Is anyone else using something other than an "ale pail" for sanization station?
 

blacklab

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The orange ones at HD are not food grade PET plastic, so are not good for fermentation.

I believe you could use them for a utility pail for santizing, etc.
 

Revvy

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I use one for a bottling bucket...but wouldn't use it for a fermenter. THere is some info on another Homebrew forum which will remain nameless, where someone called HD corporate and talked to someone in the plastics department there, and they confirmed that indeed, even though they are not labled so, that they are food safe.

I wouldn't trust the orange ones to save my life though. I bought the locktite semi-clear bucket with the gallon increments on it from HD for under 5 bucks...

Just make sure the bucket is really OVER 5 gallons...the Locktite one says that it is 5 gallons at the third ridge down from the top of the bucket. The white one from lowes looks like it is 5 gallons at the top of the bucket...not good if you need to lift your bucket to the top of the table after you've racked to it.
 

Brewing Clamper

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What's the price on those HD buckets? My LHBS sells the plastic fermenter buckets for $10, I can't see risking a batch of beer to save a couple of bucks... but that's just me...
 

beergears

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Neighborhood bakeries have food grade 5 gal. buckets, and I 'm sure some could be had for a couple of dollars. Should be rather neutral, unlike pickle buckets and such.

Mine has them, and also has 3- gallon ones, with poor lid seals though..
 

Revvy

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10 bucks is a lot for some people, like college students and such...

they're 15 bucks plus spigot at my LHBS...Back when I got my kit they were out of bottling buckets...it was the owner of my shop and my nephew (an award winning homebrewer) who took me next door to Lowes and picked out the right bucket for me. It was 5 dollars. And I trust them...plus for bottling it's only touching the brew for about an hour...and like I said after I bought it and before I decided to use it I researched the safety of it...a lot of talk about it...and the chemist on the other HB forum who talked to the guy at HD corporate and got the confirmation that it was indeed safe was what sold me...Plus the big comfy handle makes it a lot easier to lift than my fermentaion bucket...
 

Revvy

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beergears said:
Neighborhood bakeries have food grade 5 gal. buckets, and I 'm sure some could be had for a couple of dollars. Should be rather neutral, unlike pickle buckets and such.

Mine has them, and also has 3- gallon ones, with poor lid seals though..

Definitley don't use pickle buckets...
 

Bobby_M

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If a $7 price difference is going to make or break you, I don't think this is the hobby you're looking for. I don't like to chase anyone away, but with shortcuts like this, it's only a matter of time before you try recapping Bud bottles with the original caps and sweeping up your dry yeast with bird feathers.
 

Revvy

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Bobby_M said:
If a $7 price difference is going to make or break you, I don't think this is the hobby you're looking for. I don't like to chase anyone away, but with shortcuts like this, it's only a matter of time before you try recapping Bud bottles with the original caps and sweeping up your dry yeast with bird feathers.
When you're a college kid (like the one who started a thread last week asking for advice to enter the hobby cheaply.) Or un employed, 7 bucks on any given time can be a hell of a hit...especially with gas over 3 bucks a gallon...

I know I was unemployed for nearly a year...It wasn't very fun to try do decide on spending a couple bucks on doing something that would make you happy for a little while or buying a necessity like gas.

I don't think doing something that a lot of us have done (use a bucket from home depot recommended and chosen by the owner of an LHBS who started the first store in michigan 30 years ago, to bottle in ) is the same as recapping bud bottles or sweeping yeast with bird feathers...geez talk about welcoming someone to a new hobby.

We don't need all the latest whizbang toys to brew good beer...It's been done for a couple thousand years on a lot less...with no hydrometers or immersion chillers and the fact that the brewing industry is what it is, and having started with open fermentation and airborn yeast, I'd say that the early beers must have been alright, else brewing would have gone the way of the dodo...

7 bucks is 2 packs of hops nowadays. If I had to chose between a bottling bucket from the LHBS and a couple packs of Centennial...I'd choose the centennial in a heartbeat. Or it's the gas to get to the LHBS...
 

Onescalerguy

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I agree with Revvy....improvise or whatever you need to do to make beer,it don't have to be pretty.I use the heck out of TrueValue buckets...same ratings on the bottom as the "Ale Pails"
all the LHBS's sell.
 

Revvy

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Onescalerguy said:
I agree with Revvy....improvise or whatever you need to do to make beer,it don't have to be pretty.I use the heck out of TrueValue buckets...same ratings on the bottom as the "Ale Pails"
all the LHBS's sell.
Thanks!

In fact I flipped my ALE pale over the other day to check...No "foodgrade" symbol or word etched into it that I could see...just the same ones as on the bottom of my HD Bottling bucket...

I think impprovising is part of the fun of the hobby...Geez look at the immersion chiller...or the Cooler Converted to a mash tunn (How many old timers laughed and told whoever first figured out about sticking a braided hose inside of it) that it wouldn't work?...you had to use a metal tunn with a certain manifold, 'cause that's the way WE ALWAYS do it and it's the only way...It won't hold the temp..itll leak, yadda yadda yadda." Without even trying it....

Or the Wallpaper tray to sanitize in....

Or the first blastic bucket fermentor...Think about that one.

Or the oxygen bottle with airstone...I bet the first person who suggested that got equated to the "craig tube" of his day. "You're going to stick WHAT in your wort!?!...impossible! You'll ruin your beer!"

I think our granddaddy's and dad's struggling to get a good brew together 40 years ago would of loved to have had some of the stuff that we've improvised in the hobby, got laughed at for using, then became common wisdom today...

I think we get stuck in our own beliefs about things and forget the maxim... "Ask 10 different homebrewers a question, and get 12 different answers."

It comes down to...If it makes good beer AND it works for you, then do it.
 

Bobby_M

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You're right. F my advice. I'm flexing my EAC muscles over here (is that like doing kegels?).

If the bucket is stamped HDPE, go ahead and use it.
 

sirsloop

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If you are unemployed/student and cannot afford a $10 bucket, brewing AND drinking alcohol should probably be low on the list in your budget (wait whats that?). Seriously. I've been an unemployed student.. been there done that made that mistake. Get a job if you want to party. If you work 6 hours a week making minimum wage you can fund quite a bit of homebrewing.

Reminds me of all these people in my apartment complex that complain that they are on the rocks financially, about to get evicted, etc etc... all while drinking a bud, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, while watching HBO on their premium cable service. :drunk:
 

chione

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sirsloop said:
If you are unemployed/student and cannot afford a $10 bucket, brewing AND drinking alcohol should probably be low on the list in your budget (wait whats that?). Seriously. I've been an unemployed student.. been there done that made that mistake. Get a job if you want to party. If you work 6 hours a week making minimum wage you can fund quite a bit of homebrewing.

Reminds me of all these people in my apartment complex that complain that they are on the rocks financially, about to get evicted, etc etc... all while drinking a bud, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, while watching HBO on their premium cable service. :drunk:
You missed the clue train. First of all he didn't ask for personal advise and secondly why spend $5 you don't have to?
 

EdWort

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Go to the bakery section of any Sam's Club or Walmart and ask for some of the 5 gallon frosting buckets that they throw away.

The buckets are food grade and clean up nicely with a little hot water and some Oxiclean or PBW soak removes any trace of frosting aroma.

I picked up 4 buckets in one shot one time, all free. I used one to ferment a batch of Federweisser and it worked like a champ.
 

Revvy

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EdWort said:
I picked up 4 buckets in one shot one time, all free. I used one to ferment a batch of Federweisser and it worked like a champ.
Darn...there goes another EDwort's recipes I have to investigate:D

He's unstoppable...

His recipes are incredible...

(and they make us all pass out under the table...)

His advice is quite capable...

He's the amazing, one and only-able... ED WORT!!!!:mug:
 

Bobby_M

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chione said:
You missed the clue train. First of all he didn't ask for personal advise and secondly why spend $5 you don't have to?
He actually asked if the orange HD buckets are OK for sanitizing stuff in. The answer is yes.

He also suggested that buckets are PET. All the buckets sold for food storage and brewing are HDPE (high density polyethylene) and stamped with the #2 in the recycling triangle.

As long as they're clean and unscratched, you could use them for primary fermentation and bottling. Brewing specific buckets are actually 6.5 and sometimes 7.8 gallons so they allow for more headspace. I know I wouldn't want to try lifting a 5 gallon bucket onto the counter filled to the top with 5 gallons of beer.
 

the_bird

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The problem with the HD buckets is that they aren't nearly as smooth inside as a regular Ale Pale. The process that they use to make them isn't nearly as precise, so there are a lot more little cracks and crevices for nasties to hide. Shouldn't be an issue if it's filled with Star-San, but I absolutely would not ferment in one, there are just too many places for buggers to hide out.
 

Revvy

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the_bird said:
The problem with the HD buckets is that they aren't nearly as smooth inside as a regular Ale Pale. The process that they use to make them isn't nearly as precise, so there are a lot more little cracks and crevices for nasties to hide. Shouldn't be an issue if it's filled with Star-San, but I absolutely would not ferment in one, there are just too many places for buggers to hide out.
Yeah I wouldn't ferment in one...and I wouldn't use the orange for anything...Just the white or translucent.
 

broadbill

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the_bird said:
The problem with the HD buckets is that they aren't nearly as smooth inside as a regular Ale Pale. The process that they use to make them isn't nearly as precise, so there are a lot more little cracks and crevices for nasties to hide.
That's why I use them for painting first, then leave a nice coat of smooth paint in them before I use for brewing...seal up all those pores!!!


:mug: just kidding...
 

Revvy

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broadbill said:
That's why I use them for painting first, then leave a nice coat of smooth paint in them before I use for brewing...seal up all those pores!!!


:mug: just kidding...
And if you use Kilz...you never have to sanitize again:drunk:

(n00bs-this too is a joke!)
 
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85 Haro Designs

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Wow, for the record I'm not any of the following....LOL

1. In College - graduated college in 1993
2. Poor - well, that's relative I guess.
3. Pot Smoker - Never got into smoking lettuce (you heard me "clones")
4. HBO - I don't watch TV, (exception - Steelers football)
5. Cheap, well, I AM a frugal guy - so, yes, you can call me cheap.

Here's why I asked. I was heading to Lowes anyway and I thought I would get something that I could sanitize a bunch of stuff in without occupying one of my fermenting buckets. Was I wondering if I could ferment something it it sometime, yes.

I REALLY like the Sams Club frosting bucket idea (thanks Ed Wort) which I will ask about this weekend.

I've always been THAT guy who's looking for the "jackmonkey" way of doing stuff. You know the type right?
 

Revvy

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85 Haro Designs said:
I've always been THAT guy who's looking for the "jackmonkey" way of doing stuff. You know the type right?
That I think is one of the best parts of the obsession....

One of the coolest things I've seen on here is a pvc blow off tube that takes up little space, just a couple of bent couplers and some pipe...It's fun to fiddle.
 

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One thing that kind of got ignored here was recycling/buying buckets from local businesses. You know what the best "neutral" food bucket one can find is? Frosting! Go to your local Hy-Vee, Pamida, CUB, Wal-Mart, Woodmans, whatever you have, and ask the bakery if they have any empties, and how much they want for them. Chances are, it'll be $3 a bucket tops, perhaps free if you find a nice old lady :)

Food-safe, white (no dye), and reusing existing plastics so that we don't have to use as much petroleum in manufacturing! Nature and pocket friendly.

Edit: WHOOPS! Missed EdWort's post entirely! I've been drinking again.
 

xcrusader

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My question guys is that I have a bunch of buckets at my disposal.. no scratches and all clean... BUUUT.. the lids dont have an airtight seal... any Ideas on how I can make that seal??

Thanks,
Crusader
 

xcrusader

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Something I guess I should have said about my buckets is that they are square.. those are a cool idea though for sure!!!
 

xcrusader

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Ok... I've researched the 4 gallon square bucket lids and it seems that they do not sell an O-ring lid. I have now decided to take it upon myself to figure out a solution....

I will make a few attempts at a seal.. but it must be sanitary as well.. I'm thinking rubber bands right now.... intertwined and twisted.. I don't know.. we'll see I guess...
 

the_bird

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FWIW, lots of brewers don't use buckets with tight seals on them; I think a lot of the homebrew kits that are sold in Canada have lids that tend to just sit on top. As long as it's used for primary fermentation, there should be enough outgassing of CO2 to keep any nasties from getting into the wort, as long as it's physically covered. Obviously, you'd want something else for secondary fermenation, but I bet you'd be fine without a perfectly airtight seal on the square buckets.
 
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