Plastic codes

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Re: Plastic codes

Postby Tater » Wed May 10, 2017 4:42 pm

Cant say one way or another . What a person wants to use is up to them.If there is one that is safe for all different stuff that is in the distilling vapor and liquid that travels through it havent seen it posted with documentation . Thats what this forum is for. . thats why we have rule .8. These forums take a very strong negative view on the usage of plastics and synthetics in distilling. It simply is not safe to use in any area of hobby distilling (however HPDE buckets are acceptable for fermentation.) There simply are too many types of plastics and lack of reliable information about plastics, for us to reliably advocate their use anywhere in the distillation apparatus. Also, from past posting history, this topic seems to quickly boil down into an almost religious flame war. Thus we simply will not put up with it, and posts about any form of plastic use will be edited, deleted or locked. There is as forum for proven info for or against any material (material/safety.)
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby der wo » Thu May 11, 2017 12:11 am

C2-H5-Oh wrote:Question: Distillate tubing on my new Russian still, which was prolly PP, I recently replaced with high temp HDPE tubing rated for 100% propanol from McMaster Carr. Tube length is 18".
Is this considered reasonably safe? I'm currenntly sourcing SS and Cu tubing as well, but feel OK with the HDPE. What do you think?

Rated for 100% propanol? Do you distill propanol? Anyway, rated at what temperature? Probably 20°C. When you google "technical resistant chart plastics" you will find many proofs that many plastics are safe for ethanol at 20°C. But there are a few charts with also ethanol at boiling temp. And here you see, all have problems. Except PTFE, EPDM and perhaps silicone. And PTFE is the only one of the three which can stand also the foreshohots. The other two have problems here even at room temp. There is no other plastic except PTFE which can stand a mixture of ethanol with acetaldehyde and ethylacetate at boiling temp. Maybe we can discuss about something like plastic funnels and hoses to fill bottles (but I fear, the mods will stop us), but not about plastics (except PTFE) in the vapor or hot product path.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby homebrewer007 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:10 pm

Very nice post. I would like to weigh in and add my two cents on one container though. The FOOD GRADE PET, food grade being the operative word here is appropriate for alcoholic beverages, and is common place in many homebrewer's and home wine maker's inventory. They are a relatively new product as the industry is concerned, and they were designed as an alternative to the typical 6.5 gallon food grade bucket with grommeted lid we normally start out using. Many brewers, wine makers, and distillers would use the 6.5 gallon and 5 gallon glass carboys because they were glass. They would not impart any off flavors during fermentation and furthermore were less likely to allow oxygen absorption into solution like plastic does after a long conditioning time. With a proper fitting stopper and air lock the glass carboys are air tight, though still subject to light penetration. UV even from incandescent lighting would create a chemical reaction in the product mostly reacting with hops, but also with dissolved sugars which would create a skunky aroma in many beers. This holds true for any fermented beverage as we later learned.

Glass carboys are also very heavy and are subject to breaking or stress fractures around the neck of the vessel. To combat this a company created the Better Bottle which was soon improved upon and sold by Northern Brewer as the Big Mouth Bubbler. It is a PET 6 gallon plastic carboy which is food grade up to 180* F. It is still clear however, so it should still be kept covered. I personally use this container even to this day for long term wine conditioning (3-6 months) and after conducting lab tests the amount of O2 in solution is 1/4 what I had in the food grade buckets and about the same as what I had in the glass carboys.

The PET bottles share a downside with the food grade plastic buckets however. If they get scratched they are deemed pretty much useless. One little scratch on the inside of the plastic will harbor wild yeast which you will never be able to kill. There is a specific brush which is a soft PVC material created for cleaning these containers. The brush along with hot water and PBW will clean the PET bottle very well. I do recommend to my customers that the bottles be discarded and replaced about once a year though.

I recommend these fermenters to my customers regularly for those looking for a cost effective alternative to the glass carboy and something for more long term storage than the plastic bucket.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby Pikey » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:10 am

Ok hb - we have no issue with any food grade plastic being used for fermentation and storage of low abv washes etc.
It is the high abv side we strictly apply our "NO PLASTIC" rule to. For some reason PTFE seems to have been granted an exception.

Are you claiming this new "PET" will withstand boiling ethanol, methanol and all the aldehydes etc we see in our distillations at high percentages - of sometimes 90% abv without leaching anything into the product ?

If so we shall require some significant evidence and test results.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby still_stirrin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:09 am

Pikey wrote:Ok hb...Are you claiming this new "PET" will withstand boiling ethanol, methanol and all the aldehydes etc we see in our distillations at high percentages - of sometimes 90% abv without leaching anything into the product ?

If so we shall require some significant evidence and test results.

MSDS and distilling industry acceptance and usage.

Federal regulators (inspectors) only allow the use of tested and approved equipment and materials in commercial distilleries. That is our (hobby) benchmark here. Other sites may have different rules, but the "no plastics" rule is enforced here.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:45 am

Just to stir up some shit, there is an interesting thread in the ADI forums that suggest that PTFE tape isn't the greatest for 95% GNS. But they're stirring shit there as well. Opinions are like, well you know.

http://adiforums.com/index.php?/topic/8 ... of-rubber/
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby still_stirrin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:05 am

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:Just to stir up some shit, there is an interesting thread in the ADI forums that suggest that PTFE tape isn't the greatest for 95% GNS. But they're stirring shit there as well. Opinions are like, well you know.

http://adiforums.com/index.php?/topic/8 ... of-rubber/
Interesting discussion.

The last post suggest that PTFE (and other flouro-polymers) are still preferred when used in high purity applications.

So indeed, the rumble is just loose bowels in the making.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:10 am

RedwoodHillBilly wrote:http://adiforums.com/index.php?/topic/8458-finding-the-right-alcohol-proof-rubber/

"Look here the chart says..." "But the chart doesn't say at what percentage..." "...and temperature...". adiforum 2017 looks worse than homedistiller 2005. Unbelievable.
It reminds me, that in my country there is an internet forum for farmers. Farmers often have a licence to distill their own fruits here and to sell the spirits. Looking at all the basic questions about distilling they discuss there, scares me often. Unbelievable that they are allowed to sell their product...
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby Bushman » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:14 am

der wo wrote:
RedwoodHillBilly wrote:http://adiforums.com/index.php?/topic/8458-finding-the-right-alcohol-proof-rubber/

"Look here the chart says..." "But the chart doesn't say at what percentage..." "...and temperature...". adiforum 2017 looks worse than homedistiller 2005. Unbelievable.
It reminds me, that in my country there is an internet forum for farmers. Farmers often have a licence to distill their own fruits here and to sell the spirits. Looking at all the basic questions about distilling they discuss there, scares me often. Unbelievable that they are allowed to sell their product...

I have been to a couple Apple wine festivals on farms in Germany where they set up picnic tables on their grass fields. Lots of fun, never been to one on distilled spirits.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:37 am

If someone here is able to read German:
https://www.lgl.bayern.de/lebensmittel/ ... tuosen.htm
https://www.lgl.bayern.de/lebensmittel/ ... tuosen.htm
They tested 700 products of small distilleries and were able to detect fraud or health issues at 1/3 of the selled products.
For example asbestos (from filter material), styrol (glass fiber container), clear visible copper particles...
and provable rotten fruits and fraud like selling plum brandy, which is mainly illegal distilled neutral alcohol.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby homebrewer007 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:27 pm

I completely understand the concern of high proof alcohol in any type of plastic, and I'd never advocate for heating any type of plastic fermenter above 70* F, mostly because fermentation should never be above an ambieant temp of 70* F with the rare exception of a few Belgian yeast strains. My argument was strictly for primary fermentation pre-distillation. It is completely acceptable to ferment in a sanitized Better Bottle. I personally am not a fan of anything plastic in the brew house, and will use nothing but stainless conicals with the exception of wine making. For many just entering the hobby however, the Better Bottle is a very acceptable fermenter to get up to 10%. After all in the wine industry we often see 13% as a standard in many styles. The Better Bottle was created and even advocated for by the BA for racking to secondary.
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Re: Plastic codes

Postby Saltbush Bill » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:23 pm

homebrewer007 wrote:mostly because fermentation should never be above an ambieant temp of 70* F with the rare exception of a few Belgian yeast strains.

You obviously don't know anything about Rum fermentations.
Do a bit of research and have a look at what temps some of the Rum distilleries ferment at ....I think your 70f theory will be blow out of the water.
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