Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

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Bobsmith
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Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by Bobsmith » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:33 pm

Looks a good idea but surely somethings got to leach out of the plastic into the beer? Surely it can’t be good?

As there been any testing on this ?

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Kev888
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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by Kev888 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:51 pm

Hello, and welcome!

It is hard to completely prove the absence of any risk that might become apparent in future, but current knowledge considers some plastics to be okay for food use (if manufactured accordingly, without toxic dyes and BPA etc), particularly for adults. These days many kitchen kettles are plastic for instance, and happily there are lots of bigger food grade vessels available to us too (so hopefully not many people brew in old dustbins and similar, any more).

Polypropylene is one of the better plastics in this respect and is also capable of handling the temperature. So boiling can be done even in modestly priced PP buckets; there have been commercial products doing so.

HDPE is also considered food safe and is good for fermenters and pressure barrels etc. Unfortunately it isn't very suitable for boiling in due to getting much weaker at those temperatures. I only mention it because people boil in it anyway, with the very thick blue barrels, and generally get away with it. However it is a risk and very much up to the individual to decide.

You can't really beat metal of course, especially in the event of elements being run dry or that kind of thing. But metal vessels are considerably more costly than plastic at homebrew scales, so not always an option for those on a tight budget.
Kev

Bobsmith
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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by Bobsmith » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:30 am

Cheers fancy making one but been put off after comments I seen on a YouTube video saying people will get cancer from it eventually as it’s made from petro chemicals

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Jocky
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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by Jocky » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:08 am

I know there are are people out there who stick budget kettle elements in Youngs home brew buckets, but I really wouldn't recommend that - you do at least need a plastic that can take heat.

Stainless is expensive, but tends to hold its value well.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Kev888
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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by Kev888 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:11 pm

Bobsmith wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:30 am
Cheers fancy making one but been put off after comments I seen on a YouTube video saying people will get cancer from it eventually as it’s made from petro chemicals
There is a large amount of fairly unsupported suspicion and ignorance spouted about things like this, and any idiot can post videos on youtube (even I managed it!); the official line is that currently 'some' plastics are considered food safe. But science is investigating and learns more as time goes on, so it isn't impossible that something real may be established in future.

With that possibility in mind, it may be worth thinking of context. For instance if one were drinking enough beer for it to be a large risk then the excessive alcohol intake would likely be a bigger one; sensible amounts would likely help in both cases. Also, with all the plastic water pipes, food containers, kettles etc etc used routinely these days, an occasionally used homebrew bucket is probably of limited concern unless one is avoiding plastic elsewhere too.

But stainless is superior for boilers in a number of ways; it is my clear choice for its mechanical properties alone, so no bad thing for those with dislike of plastic too. The only reason I can think of for not using stainless (or possibly other metals) is the cost; this is a genuine deal breaker for some, but at least there are (relatively) much cheaper stainless vessels around these days than once there were, so more people can stretch to it.
Kev

Bobsmith
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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by Bobsmith » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:12 pm

Thanks 🙏 will look into it more

alfie09
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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by alfie09 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:14 pm

Brewed over 100 batches before in plastic and I’m ok. I think 💭

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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by joe1002 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:02 pm

alfie09 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:14 pm
Brewed over 100 batches before in plastic and I’m ok. I think 💭
As confirmed by....? :lol:

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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by alfie09 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:16 pm

Myself 😂

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Re: Safe brewing in plastic boilers?

Post by bitter_dave » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:26 pm

You can pick up stainless steel burco boilers, like the one I have, for less that some ready made plastic boilers, so that is perhaps looking into. I used plastic for years and only stopped when I had to buy a new boiler after an extended absence from brewing.

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