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Any new news on Home Depot Homer buckets?

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strantor

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I was searching the forum to see if the orange Homer buckets are safe to ferment in. There was a lot of discussion back in 2009. Someone was saying that a chemist had verified that they are food grade, then someone else said that they sold an injection mold to a guy who makes the orange buckets for HD and they use the cheapest worst crap possible. Not sure who to believe.

The most recent discussion (2012 - ghetto brew kit) was by cherrington3, who actually used one of the buckets to boil his wort and then was never heard from again.

I was wondering if in the past 4 years, anybody has actually regularly fermented (not boiled) in one and could testify as to whether or not they poison the brew or cause any bad flavors.


EDIT:
For readers viewing this thread in the future, be aware that it contains >10 pages of excessive B.S. not worth reading.

The pertinent information can be found in posts #42 & #103. Long story made short, my personal recommendation is that only FOOD GRADE buckets be used for fermentation and grain storage. Buckets not specifically marketed as food grade, in all likelihood have toxic mold release agent impregnated into the plastic. AND if a bucket is not specifically marketed as food grade, it is NOT food grade. Nobody, Home Depot included, is going to spend the extra money to use non-toxic (food grade) mold release agent and then not charge for that.
 

joyceman

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I used them in for some of my first couple of batches last year. They were my first batches, so Im not sure if any off flavors were from the bucket or my lack of experience and newbie mistakes. I know I made a stout in one of those buckets that was pretty damn good and made a cider that was pretty damn bad (dry as a bone).

I dont use them anymore except to store grain & starsan.
 

pwkblue

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I generally shop at The Home Depot as they are always $2 per item cheaper than Lowes.....but Lowes now carries a 5 gallon "Food Grade" bucket for under $3. The matching lid is another $2...but has a nice gasket seal..seals very tight.
 

edb

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Was getting a friend into homebrewing, went to lhbs and they wanted $18 for a bucket. We purchased a spigot and then went to Lowes and got 2 buckets with lids. They worked fine his first batch a APA I came up with had no off flavors and was a great beer.

Btw these were white buckets
 

kh54s10

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If you have a local dairy check them out. Mine sells 5 gallon buckets that contained chocolate, coffee syrup etc. for $1.50 each. People have also gotten soy buckets free from Chinese restaurants.
 

JJL

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I've posted before on this, but HDPE is HDPE. It's molded polyethylene with a dye to color it. Whether it's orange, blue, green or white. Whether it's virgin or recycled. Doesn't matter. Flip it over and make sure it says HDPE with a 2 recycle code. The issue is 5 gal is too small for a 5 gal batch.

And docrobert is right. The mark up on 7 gal pails at homebrew shops is ridiculous compared to the price of a 5 gal pail from the hardware store.
 

Epimetheus

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the only bad flavors have been from my mistakes. Yes,$15 is steep for a 6.5 gallon bucket. So where does one get 6 to 7 gallon pails at a reasonable rate?
 

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D_Nyholm

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I just bought a few 7 gallon buckets from us plastics. I didn't check the bottom of them if they are hpde 2, but will before I use them. They also have these neat straining baskets that fit into the top of the buckets for straining out excess trub and hops. I think they were $4 or so and they fit in all regular sized buckets.
 

Epimetheus

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food-grade, food-safe - don't sweat it unless they obviously smell like motor oil or something. I got some icing buckets from a bakery that smelled of sickly-sweet butter cream icing before the first brew. The brew did not pick up the flavor.

Survivalist supplies are a source of larger buckets, if you have one near you or search for it.
From a survivalist blog http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/food-grade-buckets-walmart/
"I called the company and asked if the buckets were food grade.

The receptionist at the company stated “Yes. If the buckets are white, transparent, or natural (beige), the buckets are 100% FDA- approved food grade. If they are other colors, they are rated food-safe, not food grade.” (No idea what that means and I did not think to ask.)"
 

AnOldUR

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Two things. First my Malware software says there's a problem with that site.

Second, I don't think I'd be taking advice on health related topics from a receptionist at a survivalist blog.

Not saying there's something wrong with using buckets . . .
 

the_trout

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quick info on food safe vs food grade

http://rainsaucers.com/blog/2012/11/02/what-is-the-difference-between-food-safe-and-food-grade

Food safe means it can come in contact with the food you eat and you will be safe. Food safe is OK for a wide variety of kitchen uses but not necessarily for long term storage. That is where food grade comes in. The FDA reserves food grade for food packaging and is designed to ensure the long term safety of the food in the container.
 
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strantor

strantor

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If you are balking at a $15 bucket then this hobby is not for you.
That isn't the first time I've read "If ____________ then this isn't the hobby for you." It seems kind of surprising considering that this used to be done in clay pots without written language. I would expect that kind of response if this were a sailboating forum or forum for people who owned airplanes, but it's a forum about making alcoholic beverages which actually happens spontaneously in nature. So what hobby would you suggest for a tightwad like me? Collecting rocks? Do I need kilobucks worth of "specialized," "deluxe," "state of the art," "scientifically engineered" hobbyist products for that?
 

JJL

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Regardless, leaching isn't a practical concern. The FDA, or any other government agency is terribly overly cautious. Plus, the FDA isn't saying there is a problem. They're basically just saying be aware that they don't regulate recycled material. Also, all pails are dyed. Even white ones. The biggest difference between the homer buckets and brew buckets in my experience is that the homer buckets are typically a little thinner and less durable. They are more prone to cracking.
 

broadbill

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That isn't the first time I've read "If ____________ then this isn't the hobby for you." It seems kind of surprising considering that this used to be done in clay pots without written language. I would expect that kind of response if this were a sailboating forum or forum for people who owned airplanes, but it's a forum about making alcoholic beverages which actually happens spontaneously in nature. So what hobby would you suggest for a tightwad like me? Collecting rocks? Do I need kilobucks worth of "specialized," "deluxe," "state of the art," "scientifically engineered" hobbyist products for that?
Come off of it. Skimping on a bucket to save a few bucks makes little sense. You know what you get with that $15 bucket? Room to fit a full 5 gallons of beer with room to spare. Room for the krausen to develop without it blowing out the top and making a mess (usually). The 6.5-7.5 bucket is the right tool for the job.

I don't know about you, but half-assing something is a sure way to make a hobby less enjoyable.
 

weirdboy

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Home depot also sells white HDPE 5 gallon buckets & lids right next to the Homer buckets in whatever aisle that is in the store. Those are definitely food safe, and marked "food grade" on the bottom. I have about 10 of them. They are slightly more expensive than the orange ones with Home Depot advertising on them, but still something like $4-$5 with the lid IIRC.


I don't typically ferment in them, although I have fermented smaller batches in them in the past. Mostly I use them for storing grains or other stuff (e.g. I have a solution of whiskey that I use to keep my whiskey barrel fresh), and for miscellaneous tasks on brew day.
 

pwkblue

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hmmm...some may feel they are smarter than the FDA, but I'll stick with using food grade products for brewing....and DUH they are 5 Gallons...that isn't enough to ferment a 5 Gallon Batch.

I bought several of the Lowes 5 gallon food grade buckets as extra containers to be used for sanitizing etc.....but I also occasionally use them for small batches. I do 2.5 to 3.5 gallon batches of SMASH to learn more about various Hop flavors....and have also used smaller batches to perfect recipes.
 
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strantor

strantor

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I don't know about you, but half-assing something is a sure way to make a hobby less enjoyable.
Unfortunately, "half-assing" it is the only way to make the hobby attainable for me. I put "half-assing" in quotations because it's totally subjective.

Someone driving a Navigator could accuse someone driving a yugo of "half assing," but the yugo driver still gets to work, and with considerably less financial burden.

Cabellas' and Cabellas' loyalists would have you believe that you can't shoot a duck without a $3000 gun, a $12000 camouflaged boat, a $1000 camouflage outfit, $500 worth of decoys, and on and on. Yet I swear to you that I have shot a duck from the sky with a $100 gun from Walmart, wearing a red shirt, standing on shore.

You won't convince me that I need to pay $15 for a 7 gallon bucket when I can get (3) 5 gallon buckets for the same price.


EDIT: oh yeah, and what you call "half-assing" in this instance, I call "being creative," and I take pride in making my own process. I can't bring myself to follow a recipe to a T. I have to make it my own. So diverging from the supreme word of the homebrew authority (whoever and wherever that is - you?) gives me a higher sense of accomplishment than using "the right tool for the right job."
 
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strantor

strantor

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Home depot also sells white HDPE 5 gallon buckets & lids right next to the Homer buckets in whatever aisle that is in the store. Those are definitely food safe, and marked "food grade" on the bottom. I have about 10 of them. They are slightly more expensive than the orange ones with Home Depot advertising on them, but still something like $4-$5 with the lid IIRC.
I thought I saw them there too, but when I went all they had were the orange ones. Maybe they were out. I'm going to check Lowes.
 

broadbill

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Unfortunately, "half-assing" it is the only way to make the hobby attainable for me. I put "half-assing" in quotations because it's totally subjective.

Someone driving a Navigator could accuse someone driving a yugo of "half assing," but the yugo driver still gets to work, and with considerably less financial burden.

Cabellas' and Cabellas' loyalists would have you believe that you can't shoot a duck without a $3000 gun, a $12000 camouflaged boat, a $1000 camouflage outfit, $500 worth of decoys, and on and on. Yet I swear to you that I have shot a duck from the sky with a $100 gun from Walmart, wearing a red shirt, standing on shore.

You won't convince me that I need to pay $15 for a 7 gallon bucket when I can get (3) 5 gallon buckets for the same price.


EDIT: oh yeah, and what you call "half-assing" in this instance, I call "being creative," and I take pride in making my own process. I can't bring myself to follow a recipe to a T. I have to make it my own. So diverging from the supreme word of the homebrew authority (whoever and wherever that is - you?) gives me a higher sense of accomplishment than using "the right tool for the right job."
you don't get it. I'm not saying that it is half-assing because you are going with the cheaper option. It's half-assing because you can't fit 5 gallons of fermenting beer into a container that is only 5 gallons! Its half-assing because the fermenting beer has no where to go in that 5 gallon container and you lose 0.5 gallon to blow off, only leaving you with 4.5 gallons.

How many gallons of beer will you lose before you realize you actually would have saved money with the larger bucket, just by minimizing blow-off losses?

Penny-wise, pound foolish.
 

doctorRobert

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you don't get it. I'm not saying that it is half-assing because you are going with the cheaper option. It's half-assing because you can't fit 5 gallons of fermenting beer into a container that is only 5 gallons! Its half-assing because the fermenting beer has no where to go in that 5 gallon container and you lose 0.5 gallon to blow off, only leaving you with 4.5 gallons.

How many gallons of beer will you lose before you realize you actually would have saved money with the larger bucket, just by minimizing blow-off losses?

Penny-wise, pound foolish.
Wow... :drunk:

And why can't you comprehend a fact that he can split a batch into 2 buckets? :rockin:

Do you have problems with people that do 10 gallon batches, and split it into two carboys? :fro::fro: What about using a bucket at all? Isn't that half assing when the pros use conicals? :tank:

And why do you HAVE to brew 5 gallon batches. Why can't somebody do 4 gallon batches? Not everything has to be done your way.
 

unionrdr

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I agree with using the right tool for the job. After being a mechanic & working at ford where I could even fix the machines,I can def attest to this fact. don't go too cheap on something,because it WILL bite you in the shorts later. I still do that once in a while. It's not an insult to anyones ideas. It's just that going too cheap can hurt the process where volumetric efficiency is concerned.
 

doctorRobert

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I agree with using the right tool for the job. After being a mechanic & working at ford where I could even fix the machines,I can def attest to this fact. don't go too cheap on something,because it WILL bite you in the shorts later. I still do that once in a while. It's not an insult to anyones ideas. It's just that going too cheap can hurt the process where volumetric efficiency is concerned.
Well I have two thoughts on this then, 1 don't buy buckets to begin with, because they won't last long and will need to be replaced. Or - buy the cheapest buckets possible, because those won't last long.

Splitting a batch to two 5 gallon bucks, will have zero effect on the finished product. Anyone saying otherwise, is just trying to justify their purchase of over price ale pales, which you dont need to do - if that works for you, more power to you. There are still beneifits to haveing one single large bucket, like cleaning, etc.
 

geckholm

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If your splitting a 5 gallon batch into two buckets, how are you handling the yeast? Are you purchasing additional yeast, or splitting your purchase into two?
 

unionrdr

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Well I have two thoughts on this then, 1 don't buy buckets to begin with, because they won't last long and will need to be replaced. Or - buy the cheapest buckets possible, because those won't last long.

Splitting a batch to two 5 gallon bucks, will have zero effect on the finished product. Anyone saying otherwise, is just trying to justify their purchase of over price ale pales, which you dont need to do - if that works for you, more power to you. There are still beneifits to haveing one single large bucket, like cleaning, etc.
You also have to be concerned with the large head space. It has to produce enough co2 to absorb all that o2. it doesn't just displace it,they mix to a certain degree. So if it doesn't produce enough co2 to accomplish the intended goal,than it's not a money saver. And pails in general do not wear out as you say. Properly cared for they last a long time. Mine are 2 years old & still work like new. So that's wrong. Abuse anything & it'll have to be replaced often. Take care of it,& it'll last. Period. Any one that argues different is trying to justify being a cheapskate. The right tool for the job. Always the better coarse of action. Buy cheap & you get cheap. But those cheap buckets do have there uses. I have one for cleaning,draining PBW from fermenters,etc.
 

doctorRobert

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You also have to be concerned with the large head space. It has to produce enough co2 to absorb all that o2. it doesn't just displace it,they mix to a certain degree. So if it doesn't produce enough co2 to accomplish the intended goal,than it's not a money saver. And pails in general do not wear out as you say. Properly cared for they last a long time. Mine are 2 years old & still work like new. So that's wrong. Abuse anything & it'll have to be replaced often. Take care of it,& it'll last. Period. Any one that argues different is trying to justify being a cheapskate. The right tool for the job. Always the better coarse of action. Buy cheap & you get cheap. But those cheap buckets do have there uses. I have one for cleaning,draining PBW from fermenters,etc.

Too much headspace? I guess you've never seen an open fermenter...

2 years old, is not very old. . If your buckets last a lifetime, good for you. But that's not a reason why somebody can't save a few bucks and split a batch between 2 buckets, or brew a 4 gallon batch.

Don't tell somebody else how to brew. I'm not bashing your system, there's no reason to tell other people they can't do xyz, that's just closed minded, and pointless. That's not the purpose of this fourm.
 

unionrdr

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Y'all proved my earlier point. "I'm right cause I said so.". Y'all don't read accurately,like you see only the points you want to see. I'm just saying why make life harder,even a little bit,just to save a couple bucks? And the head space comment isn't telling you what to do,so get off the friggin soap box already. Closed minded my a$$. This stuff is really startin to get on my nerves. Made a statement of fact from experience & common sense. I'm a retiree with a big mortgage & 6 kids. but I refuse to go too cheap on anything. Because I've found out through personal experience that going too cheap leads to disaster sooner or later. It's not entirely my fault that you took it as a personal assault. Remember how many threads where we've disscussed the good & bad aspects of head space & too much thereof?
 

doctorRobert

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Y'all proved my earlier point. "I'm right cause I said so.". Y'all don't read accurately,like you see only the points you want to see. I'm just saying why make life harder,even a little bit,just to save a couple bucks? And the head space comment isn't telling you what to do,so get off the friggin soap box already. Closed minded my a$$. This stuff is really startin to get on my nerves. Made a statement of fact from experience & common sense. I'm a retiree with a big mortgage & 6 kids. but I refuse to go too cheap on anything. Because I've found out through personal experience that going too cheap leads to disaster sooner or later. It's not entirely my fault that you took it as a personal assault. Remember how many threads where we've disscussed the good & bad aspects of head space & too much thereof?
A bucket is a bucket. The cost of the bucket doesn't make it perform any better than another bucket. We're talking about $4 buckets here (for the white food grade one), and you act like the dude is wasting thousands of dollars on a crappy ford.

I really don't understand your beef with a cheap 5 gallon bucket. Anybody can brew a 4 gallon batch and negate your phony headspace issue. Or brew 7 gallons and split it into 2. In fact, that would be a great way to experiment as you can use different yeasts for the same wort.
 

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