Do you think that this is safe?

I want to upgrade from my Keggles that I currently burn in to a SS barrel. This guy has these on ebay right now for $250 to the door, possibly less if he accepts a lower offer. It beats the heck out of paying $619 for a blichman. I am not familiar with the stuff was that was stored in them previously, and whether or not it even matters since it’s 316 ss. I have done some research and there is varying opinions on this topic. Here is info from the item description page straight from ebay.

Stainless Steel Drum/ Barrel

Drum Weight: 63lbs

Grade of Steel: 316 stainless steel w/ 304 rings on the outside.

Comes with one plastic lid

Dimensions: 35" High/ 24" Diameter

Drum Volume: 45 Gallon

These were used to store silver base emulsion (in gelatin solution) and oil/gelatin emulsion. They have been cleaned after each use by 160 degree pure water, the silver base may have small amount of residue

I also realize that these are most likely 55 gallon drums and not 45 with the above dimensions, they also weigh 68 pounds, so probably of the 18 gauge thickness. I spoke with the gentleman selling these and he said he cannot garuantee the safety if used for the purpose of brewing, but also said that he has sold hundreds of these over the last 6 months, that most of the buyers were purchasing them for brewing in, and that he has not had any complaints. what do you guys think???

Is it worth risking the few brain cells I have left to save the $$$$???

Look up the skin condition “Argyria”.

Are you upgrading because you plan to do huge batches? If not you could get a sandwich bottom 25 gallon SS pot for $175
with no toxic stuff to clean out of it.

Hey, crazy, the blue dude happens to live here in my town! Cool and all, but that doesn’t answer my question? To glug master, yes, I have been maxing out 2 keggles and then topping off at the end in order to do 35 gallon batches, sometimes even bigger. Moving to 1 large pot would make my brew day much more convenient.

I took a look at the barrels on ebay. They look clean enough that your risk should be minimal if you give it an uber-cleaning, but me, I’d still be concerned about residual chemicals and not want to permanently turn blue.
I got 2 - 50gal SS watertanks for under $200 that I use in my bigger system and I know that they were only used for drinking water previously.

You could try a method like this: ... lsion.html

Or a similar method which would encourage any leftover silver salts to precipitate out of solution, which you could then capture and eliminate. Of course, bleach isn’t good for stainless steel, either…

Stainless steel isn’t porous, so you can clean it and use it safely. I’d start by wiping it out thoroughly, then hit it with acetone to get rid of the organics (emulsion), pour that out then use some vinegar as an acid to remove residual silver ion if there is any, then I’d boil water in it. Should be good to go after that.

So I really want one of these, can’t seem to find anything local that is cheaper, at least not at the moment. I contacted a metallurgist and got this in response and so I am going to pull the trigger. Thanks guys.

“Don’t see an issue! Unless the emulsion was at a high temperature (greater than 1200 F ) I see no concern of diffusion. Apply a strong bleach to the surface and thoroughly wash with soap , rinse and happy beermaking!”
John G. AsimouDirector / Metallurgy & QualityJade-Sterling Steel Co., Inc.800-365-5233 ext 232Fax 330-425-3056

There you go, he basically said what I said. Metal is nonporous. As for treating with bleach and then detergent, that would be one way to go. I think the solvent would be more effective for organic removal, as long as you’re careful while you use it. People usually don’t use detergents on beer stuff just because any carryover affects head retention, although as long as you’d rinse well a few times and then boil some water I think you could clean it off well enough.

I’m a chemist by the way, which means nothing special except what I’m telling you as far as cleanup has a certain basis in fact.

thanks Lennie, you did have it right. I had read similar responses on other non beer forums but I was still unsure, especially when it comes to my health and the health of others that will be consuming my beer. I don’t want to hurt anyone? Anyway, thanks again. I can’t wait to do a large batch and boil in one container.

I think where you really want to be very thorough with your cleaning is the crevice where the bottom is crimped to the barrel section.