Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

Moderator: Site Moderator

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:29 am

Put this baby to bed last night all snuggled in a comforter at 185*f.

Woke up to a sticky mess all over the floor of the carport.
:crazy:
This brute is about 3 years old, so...
I guess it's time to replace it.

Maybe a little flex seal? :mrgreen: :ebiggrin: :mrgreen:
Lol
20200422_082249.jpg
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
LWTCS
Site Mod
Posts: 11200
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: North Palm Beach

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by LWTCS » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:38 am

Ace bandage..... :mrgreen:
Trample the injured and hurdle the dead.

User avatar
Yummyrum
Global moderator
Posts: 3071
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:23 am
Location: Mid North Coast Aussie

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Yummyrum » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:40 am

D’fark hillbilly . :esurprised:

You poor bastard . :shock:

User avatar
Birrofilo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Location: Caput mundi

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Birrofilo » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:52 am

Did you have an escape for CO2?
It might be that the bubbler clogged and the pressure broke the vessel.

You should use a very large bubbler for that amount of mash. That will cost you $10 but will save you money in the long run ;-)
Or maybe you could set a blow-off for the first couple days of fermentation, and then put the bubbler on.

stillanoob
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:15 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by stillanoob » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:21 am

Being new to this, is putting 185 degree mash into a Brute trash can common? Isn't the high working temp of HDPE around 160? Just curious if usually it does fine.

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:30 am

Birrofilo wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:52 am
Did you have an escape for CO2?
It might be that the bubbler clogged and the pressure broke the vessel.

You should use a very large bubbler for that amount of mash. That will cost you $10 but will save you money in the long run ;-)
Or maybe you could set a blow-off for the first couple days of fermentation, and then put the bubbler on.
The lid doesn't fit tightly enough to build pressure.

At any rate, this wash just a mash, not a ferment.
Ain't no fermentation happening at 185*.
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 7838
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:35 am

Hillbilly Popstar wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:29 am
...Woke up to a sticky mess all over the floor of the carport...
I bet the SOH is very happy with you today, right?

Oh...wait...you said, “car port” and I read, “carpet”. Big difference!
Hillbilly Popstar wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:29 am
...This brute is about 3 years old, so...I guess it's time to replace it....Maybe a little flex seal?
Yep...that stuff will keep a canoe afloat after it has been cut in half with a chainsaw!
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
Enzyme info: SebStar
All about mashing grains: Braukaiser

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:09 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:35 am
Hillbilly Popstar wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:29 am
...Woke up to a sticky mess all over the floor of the carport...
I bet the SOH is very happy with you today, right?

Oh...wait...you said, “car port” and I read, “carpet”. Big difference!
Hillbilly Popstar wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:29 am
...This brute is about 3 years old, so...I guess it's time to replace it....Maybe a little flex seal?
Yep...that stuff will keep a canoe afloat after it has been cut in half with a chainsaw!
Yeah, thank God it was outdoors
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
Birrofilo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Location: Caput mundi

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Birrofilo » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:30 am

Hillbilly Popstar wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:30 am

At any rate, this wash just a mash, not a ferment.
Ain't no fermentation happening at 185*.
I understand it's a mash, but if you leave it overnight in the open it might cool down, ferment and create inside pressure. Plenty of sugars inside there. That's the way humanity discovered beer, by leaving grains soaked in water and finding they bubble and become pleasant :-). But if the lid was not tight, the gases should have certainly escaped, so it's a case of material fatigue.

User avatar
Expat
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1778
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:58 pm

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Expat » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:49 am

Hillbilly Popstar wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:29 am
Put this baby to bed last night all snuggled in a comforter at 185*f.

Woke up to a sticky mess all over the floor of the carport.
:crazy:
This brute is about 3 years old, so...
I guess it's time to replace it.

Maybe a little flex seal? :mrgreen: :ebiggrin: :mrgreen:
Lol20200422_082249.jpg
That sucks! Makes me worried for my brutes.

I'd say pour one out on the curb... but that seems redundant in this case. :lol:
_____________________
EXPAT

Current boiler and pot head viewtopic.php?f=50&t=71855
Cross flow condenser viewtopic.php?f=87&t=47632
Modular 3" Boka - pics tbd
___________________

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 7838
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by still_stirrin » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:16 am

Perhaps you need to invest in one (or 4) of these: https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S- ... lsrc=aw.ds

Or, if you want to shop for used barrels, try this one: https://www.usedstainlesssteelbarrels.c ... l-barrels/
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
Enzyme info: SebStar
All about mashing grains: Braukaiser

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:25 am

still_stirrin wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:16 am
Perhaps you need to invest in one (or 4) of these: https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S- ... lsrc=aw.ds

Or, if you want to shop for used barrels, try this one: https://www.usedstainlesssteelbarrels.c ... l-barrels/
ss
No doubt some.higher quality vessels are in my future.

But considering the Brute lasted 3 years, I think I can justify purchasing another one.
This time I will upgrade to a 30 gallon.
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
zed255
Swill Maker
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:06 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by zed255 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:32 am

For the cost of the Brutes you could just double them up, examining them between mashes / ferments for any signs of failure. You likely won't have two fail simultaneously without obvious warning.
----------
Zed

When the Student is ready, the Master will appear.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

seamusm53
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:35 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by seamusm53 » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:49 am

Nothing to due with pressure. No plastic lasts forever. Add in heat and then alcohol leaching out the plasticisers and this was probably predictable. PTL this was in a carport and 'easily' cleaned or hosed down. On the bright side, it lasted 3 years and many? ferments and wasn't/isn't expensive.

SaltyStaves
Rumrunner
Posts: 696
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:18 pm
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by SaltyStaves » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:42 pm

Looks like UV damage. Was it high gloss when it was new?

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:07 pm

SaltyStaves wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:42 pm
Looks like UV damage. Was it high gloss when it was new?
Never kept them out in the sun. Dont recall any change in the finish or texture of the can.
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6961
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by shadylane » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:13 pm

stillanoob wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:21 am
Being new to this, is putting 185 degree mash into a Brute trash can common?
Not that I know of

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:23 pm

shadylane wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:13 pm
stillanoob wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 6:21 am
Being new to this, is putting 185 degree mash into a Brute trash can common?
Not that I know of
There are plenty of members in here that mash in Brute cans.
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6961
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by shadylane » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:58 pm

Ferment yes
Mash not so much
They have been known to fail :wink:

User avatar
TDick
Distiller
Posts: 1185
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:25 pm
Location: Sweet Home

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by TDick » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:13 pm

Hillbilly Popstar wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:25 am

But considering the Brute lasted 3 years, I think I can justify purchasing another one.
This time I will upgrade to a 30 gallon.
Sorry for your loss.

Just thinking. Instead of tossing the old one, I'd stick the new one inside it. Not only for reinforcement but would service as just a little insulation -holding heat in just a bit.

The Baker
Master Distiller
Posts: 3007
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by The Baker » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:31 pm

seamusm53 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:49 am
Nothing to due with pressure. No plastic lasts forever. Add in heat and then alcohol leaching out the plasticisers and this was probably predictable. PTL this was in a carport and 'easily' cleaned or hosed down. On the bright side, it lasted 3 years and many? ferments and wasn't/isn't expensive.
Oh dear.

If the alcohol leaches out the plasticisers, WHERE DO THEY GO?

Geoff
The Baker

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8214
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by NZChris » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:54 pm

The Baker wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:31 pm
If the alcohol leaches out the plasticisers, WHERE DO THEY GO?

Geoff
My thoughts too. I've only mashed in plastic once in thirty years. A small experiment a week ago that still hasn't been stripped, (and that was only because there were no SS vessels available at the time and I was impatient).

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:38 am

maxresdefault.jpg
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
Birrofilo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Location: Caput mundi

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Birrofilo » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:15 am

The Baker wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:31 pm
Oh dear.

If the alcohol leaches out the plasticisers, WHERE DO THEY GO?

Geoff
Well, that's worrying.
My beer only goes in Stainless Steel or in high quality PET which is made for formentation.
I have two plastic fermenters (PP) which I use for ordinary chores such as receiving ground malt or for racking before bottling. I was planning to use them for distiller fermentation only but if my PP reacts with alcohol I will have to revise my strategy (and my purchases). We have to consider that something sold as a fermenter should be immune to alcohol effects, though. I bought them trusting the fact that, being sold as fermenters, would have been fit for fermentation and not fail after three years. (Also, beer fermentation can last one month or more, wherease a distiller fermentation is usually carried on at high temperature and lasts for a few days only).

Are those "brute" things conceived as fermenters, or as generic containers for liquid?
There are many kinds of plastic (even within the same family as PP or PET) and they might not all be fit for fermenting.

Stainless Steel is forever, and doesn't fear heat nor alcohol.

stillanoob
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 323
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:15 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by stillanoob » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:46 am

I have used HPDE for primary fermenters for many years. Not saying this makes it a good idea. My usage has always been as a primary fermenter. So the the product is in the HDPE for a week or less and has only made a few percent alcohol before transfer to a glass secondary fermenter. The purpose is to prevent volcanoes in the carboy, plus leave behind trub and debris. With cider and other fruit products there is always fruit bits I would rather not have it rest on. My ferments are very slow, especially in comparison to how ferments for distillation is typically done.

However, now that I am doing ferments for distillation where the alcohol content is much higher I may need to rethink the use of HDPE.

User avatar
Birrofilo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Location: Caput mundi

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Birrofilo » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:40 am

Although there are differences in quality among products belonging to the same family (PE, HDPE, PP, PET) for what I know this is the general situation:

PET is much less porous than PE or HDPE. That means PET is less permeable to oxygen, and retains much less aromas and microorganisms. With PE or HDPE, you "coat" the vessel with aromas and microorganisms of your previous fermentations. Not so easy to sterilize, you cannot use vapour, you must use some chemical substance, but they are porous and you will end up with the chemicals in the pores.

PET is 50 times less permeable to oxygen than PE. Its gas permeability is negligible and in general it can be seen as substitute for SS or glass.

PP is the best plastic as far as resistance to chemical agents is concerned (acids, alkalis, salts). But PP it is not as air-tight as PET.

This is why I plan to devote my PP fermentors to distillation: on the one hand, fermentations last for a few days. On the other hand, oxygen permeability is not of paramount importance for distillation, one doesn't drink the entire ferment, only the alcohol.

For beer, as far as I am concerned, PET is the only decent alternative to stainless steel or glass if one plans to carry long fermentations on the same vessels. Else, one could use PE or HDPE for the first days, and then rack the beer inside a SS or PET vessel for the rest of the fermentation.

Those Brute vessels are made in PE and do not appear to be food grade at all. Frankly I would not use them for anything I ingest. They are garbage cans and certainly are not meant to withstand alcohol or acids without leaking substances.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rubbermaid- ... /100342585

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:34 pm

A. We are talking about alcohol levels around 10% or lower. Also for very short periods of time.
I do think theres any appreciable danger there at all.

B. This isnt beer brewing. Its fermentation for the purposes of distillation. Sterility is not nearly as important unless you plan on leaving your fermented wash to sit for long periods of time before distilling.
If I werent worried about bugs and rodents, I'd run all open ferments and welcome whatever infections were likely to incur once the yeast colony even allows other microorganisms to take hold.
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6961
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by shadylane » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:29 pm

Birrofilo wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:15 am
Are those "brute" things conceived as fermenters, or as generic containers for liquid?

They are a "Brute" brand name trash can.
Some folks use them for a fermenter.
I'd never recommend using them for mashing in.

User avatar
NZChris
Master Distiller
Posts: 8214
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:42 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by NZChris » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:34 pm

I'm quite happy to ferment in plastic, I'm just a bit leary about holding mashing temperatures in it.

User avatar
Hillbilly Popstar
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1056
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:02 am

Re: Man Down! Brute catastrophic mash failure.

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:42 pm

If anything about this is questionable, it's the mash temp degrading the integrity.

3 years...
I am good with it.
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

Post Reply