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Rob B
08/31/10 05:57 PM  
Plastic Buckets
So, anyone ever have the bottom of a plastic bucket fail during fermentation?

I had a batch of Flanders pale ale going for about a year using Al B's "roeselare blend" and when I went to take a sample this past weekend I opened my fermentation chest to find all the beer lying in the bottom of my chest. It was extremely painful! I couldn't save any of it. More than the loss of time and beer, I hate that I lost the "bug" cocktail!

08/31/10 07:29 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
I have known 2 people with the same problem. Both had brand new buckets too. One guy was able to save about 3 gallons from his Flanders Red, the other friend lost 5.5 gallons of 14 month old Kriek
08/31/10 11:10 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
There is one I should learn from your painful loss ....

Speaks volumes about rotating buckets out of service.

What is the service life of a plastic bucket anyone know?

Temperature extremes fatigue buckets I am certain.

tom sawyer
09/01/10 08:08 AM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
I've read in my winemaking forum about an issue with the larger 8gal fermentation buckets, where the bottoms would start showing stress cracks around the edges and fail. You aren't alone on that. I've got one and red wine has stained the stress cracks, I only use this one for dry good storage now.

Really sorry to hear about your loss, that would be enough to ruin anyone's day.

tom sawyer
09/01/10 09:35 AM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
Heres a link that describes the problem with some of the Ropak buckets.


I've used some of my smaller 7gal buckets for several years, but I have laid in several new ones now. Its cheap insurance.

09/01/10 11:21 AM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
Wonder if this is a concern for Better Bottles too? I only do short ferments in buckets and the longer stuff in Better Bottles?

This just cements my decision to move my ferments exlusively into cornies.

Sorry for your loss Rob, that really sucks.

09/01/10 11:41 AM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
Hey tom sawyer-

How old is that article? I had some break I got through Northern Brewer.

09/01/10 01:18 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
Wow, that's terrifying. I've never heard of that before, although I do have a couple beers aging in buckets that I would really hate to lose, so I'll need to check them out now.
09/01/10 02:08 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
That is crazy! I have been brewing with some of the same plastic buckets since time began. I never even considered that that could happen! Maybe the beer gets so acidic thanks to Al B's blends that they eat right through the plastic.... :) Sorry for your loss.
09/01/10 02:34 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
Sorry to hear about the loss of your beer.

I've had a bucket fail, but it was not a fermentation bucket. It was a generic Menards bucket I use for sanitizing. I filled it up one day in the kitchen and over the course of 10 minutes or so I developed a huge puddle on the floor. I couldn't imagine having spilled that much, so I dumped it all into another bucket, and sure enough there was a decent sized crack in the bottom! I just use it as a holder for racking canes, etc now.

tom sawyer
09/01/10 02:52 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
I think I first read about it last fall. The article says the buckets were made in 08, and they supposedly changed the design to include the re-inforcing ridges. I seem to recall that Northern Brewer wasn't replacing borken buckets, but that someone got a replacement from Ropak.

I don't think the same problem would exist with a Better Bottle. It doesn't have the sharp corners that would concentrate the stress.

Rob B
09/01/10 05:25 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets

That would be the bucket I had!

tom sawyer
09/01/10 09:01 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
Not surprised, theres really only the two kinds of commercial bucket-style fermenters. I haven't heard of the taller/skinnier 7gal buckets failing.
Rob B
09/02/10 02:11 PM  
Re: Plastic Buckets
yeah, just ordered 3 7gal buckets from US Plastics...
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