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Teufelhund
11-24-2008, 11:06 AM
After reading Oskaars post about 10 gallon buckets for primaries made me do a search. $30 for a 'food grade' bucket. What is the difference between a $30 food grade 10 gal bucket and a $9.99 Wally Mart 10 gal plastic trash can?

:occasion14:
DD

UDV
11-24-2008, 12:46 PM
In summary, they mean that they won't interact with the food and beverage, but I'm sure there's a more complicated explanation out there.

I didn't find any published research on the interaction between highly alcoholic contents interacting with the plastic, but I might have to look somewhere besides Medline.

Google is pretty worthless in this area, as there's a hush controversy about pulling certain kinds of plastic water bottles out of production and the first 800 or 900 links are all about that.

Googlefail!

Odinsson
11-24-2008, 01:23 PM
I think along with the interactions that could be caused that the 'food grade' buckets plastic is a better quality plastic and it can be sanitized better. Most trash can buckets that I've seen at wal mart have been flimsy and had no way to seal them.

Medsen Fey
11-24-2008, 01:45 PM
It is my understanding (which could be flawed so please confirm this on your own) that Rubbermaid Brute trash cans are food grade -and come in 10,20, 32 gallon and other sizes good for brewing. This may be found at a WalMart or Home Depot.

Check the bottom of the can. If it has a "2" in a recycle symbol then it is good grade. Sometimes a NSF 2 (National science foundation rating) can be seen and those are also food grade.

You should be able to get one for less than $30.

JB175
11-24-2008, 01:58 PM
The rubbermaid brute containers work well, though as was mentioned before they can be tough to seal. I use them for primaries when making red wine and they hold up pretty well. Cleaning them up for a first use is a good idea, as I've found some nasty stuff in them at the local home depot. If you want a better seal you can always wrap the outside with plastic wrap, but they are really unsuitable for longer periods of time when oxydation is a concern.

Vino
11-24-2008, 01:59 PM
What is the difference between a $30 food grade 10 gal bucket and a $9.99 Wally Mart 10 gal plastic trash can?

The difference is the material used to make the containers...food grade buckets will be made from HDPE (high density polyethylene) which is FDA approved for food storage, the plastic is petroleum based and can be molded with a high density (without getting into a chemistry lesson) which makes it ideal for food storage.

Most buckets are made from recycled material and should be stamped with the number "2" surrounded with (3) arrows in the shape of a triangle (recycled) on the bottom.

The trash can from WAl-E-mart is probably made from PP (polypropylene) which is not suitable for food storage, items made from PP will likely be from recycled material and will display a similar marking as HDPE with the number "5" surrounded with (3) arrows in the shape of a triangle (recycled) on the bottom.

The University of Alberta recently found the following:

Oleamide and related additives are known to leach into foods and drinks that are stored in plastic, or plastic-lined, containers, especially those made of polypropylene. However, the potential health effects of that are not known, says Holt.

"Because oleamide is a molecule found in the human body that contributes to normal physiological functioning, ingesting molecules that are structurally similar to oleamide may either over-stimulate or-more likely-inhibit the body processes regulated by oleamide," he said.</SPAN> (University of Alberta, physorg.com)

IMHO, Spend a few dollars more for piece of mind...better yet buy glass :glasses9:

Vino

Jay212
12-03-2008, 02:51 PM
I don't have much to add on the health issues, but you can sometimes get free or cheap pails from restaurants/bakeries, which are most likely made from the proper material. So far I've got two good quality 3-gallon buckets with *very* tight fitting lids from a contact in a fast food industry :)

wayneb
12-03-2008, 04:33 PM
ALL food packaged for commercial distribution in the US is done in "food grade" HDPE containers. No reputable distributor in North America would risk running afoul of the regulators who insist on such things. So generally if you have a 3 or 5 gallon bucket obtained from a restaurant or bakery, if it has that HDPE marking along with the recycle number 2 molded into the bottom, you are OK to use it as a fermentation vessel.

The white Rubbermaid BRUTE series of containers are all designed for the food trade, and are food grade HDPE. Note, that only applies to the white ones.

dazed
12-03-2008, 10:29 PM
ALL food packaged for commercial distribution in the US is done in "food grade" HDPE containers. No reputable distributor in North America would risk running afoul of the regulators who insist on such things.


Hmmm....thats interesting. After reading info on PP (polypropylene #5)...

http://www.bra.org/recyclerigidplastics.html

http://www.stonyfield.com/EarthActions/Environmental%20Practices/EnvironmentalPackaging.cfm

I went down to the fridge to find my Cottage cheese and tub of Margarine is in polypropylene containers....and I do live in the US.

...just sayin...

wayneb
12-03-2008, 10:37 PM
Yeah, there's a difference between "packaged for commercial distribution" and "packaged for retail sale." Lots of stuff is permitted in retail assuming certain things about the contents (the pH, the volatility, reactivity, etc.) and about the length of time in the packaging allow it. In fact lots of expiration dates on retail food products are as much a result of the packaging as are characteristic of the contents themselves.

Too bad we've gone away from the "tried and true" glass, cellophane, and waxed cardboard for retail foods. They were pretty much safe across the board... but plastics are easier to produce from raw materials, and petroleum is still cheaper than many other packaging raw ingredients.

BTW - Polypropylene is a low density molecule, and is more oxygen-porous than HDPE.

dazed
12-03-2008, 10:54 PM
Well since were on the subject of polypropylene...what do you think of using this for a stirrer?

http://www.squirrelmixer.com/product/799f62b4-d1d5-4379-98f9-045961bc5156.aspx


I just bought one hoping it would work better than my lees stirrer.
It's probably not a virgin PP (or food grade)...so im thinking the short contact time will not leech anything out....i will probably give it a good soak in pbw first though.

The reason I want to try this is because I've used these in paint and they really do mix it up fast...and i'm thinking it will out perform the lees stirrer.

wayneb
12-03-2008, 11:08 PM
I've got one of those, too. Although I have never used it for anything except paint! ;) However that squirrel cage fan shape really does mix liquids fast!

Honestly, you're on your own whenever you use something that is not certified as safe for contact with food -- common sense would suggest that contact times of a few minutes should not be a problem. Still, there's no spec on the amount of toxic metals (like lead) or organics that are found in or on tools such as this, so I'd not use one myself unless I had no other reasonable alternative.

Vino
12-03-2008, 11:19 PM
I use my wifes Waring Commercial 14" Heavy Duty Immersion Blender (Model WSB55) which has a 1 HP motor...it will almost double the volume of a mead must in about 60 seconds.

dazed
12-03-2008, 11:42 PM
I use my wifes Waring Commercial 14" Heavy Duty Immersion Blender (Model WSB55) which has a 1 HP motor...it will almost double the volume of a mead must in about 60 seconds.

Whoa...Pricey...around $300...but like you said you borrow it. ;)

Vino
12-04-2008, 10:36 AM
but like you said you borrow it. ;)

The rule is "As long as it is clean in good working order and in its proper location when she needs it...it's okay...break this rule and it's off limits" (condensed version).

I used it last night and this morning on a new mead...I'm sure she'll check this afternoon to see if I have adhered to the rule! ;D