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Thread: 55 gallon Polyethylene Collection Tank originally held tomatoes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Westford, VT
    Posts
    10

    Default 55 gallon Polyethylene Collection Tank originally held tomatoes

    Hi All,

    I have about 40 taps for home use syrup. I have access to some craigslist barrels that held tomatoes.

    Would you use these for collection and if so, what cleaning approach would you suggest prior to use?

    Thanks in Advance
    2014-2017 - 3 taps - open fire boil
    2018 - 33 taps on 3/16 20" Hg, 3 buckets, barrel evaporator, RO Bucket

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    336

    Default

    When I was first starting out I thought of using used collection barrels but in the end I always went with new. Its a bit more upfront cost but no risk of off flavors.
    2017 - 60 taps 3/16 gravity, oil tank arck w/ steam pans - 12.5 gallons
    2018 - 120 taps 3/16 hybrid (shurflo), 2x6 raised flue w/hood, homemade arch w/ AUF & AOF - 34.5 gallons

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bellville Ohio
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    63

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    You can never go wrong with getting new. You will be happier in the end spending the extra money for new. I can't imagine buying used and going to all that work and finding out your syrup has a off flavor taste.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
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    1,392

    Default

    My first three barrels were lidded-top 55 gal drums and had held tomatoes. They were perfect for what I needed and I wouldn't hesitate to use them again. There was zero off smell or flavor. If you can verify with a label that you are the second user and the first use was a food, you should be good to go.
    Woodville Maples
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    Something north of 200 taps
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario Canada
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    When I was researching this I came across a thread where someone was asking about olive barrels and the potential to impart an off-flavour to the syrup. Someone chimed in that they had used them and had no impact on the flavour or smell of the syrup. I can't quite find the thread though... but if that is the case I would also think the tomatoes would be fine.
    ______________________________
    2018 -19 Trees 20 taps. ~750 Liters sap collected (~50 spoiled ). Syrup count -18 liters syrup
    2017 -4 trees 4 taps. ~60 liters sap, 1.5 liter syrup

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fenton Michigan
    Posts
    15

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    I have been using some pickled pepper barrels for about 6 years and have never noticed an off flavor in the syrup. Not saying it isn't there, but I have never noticed it. Nobody has commented either. The barrels still smell like pickled peppers every spring when I open them back up but the smell goes away pretty quick.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    50 taps all on buckets
    Home made 20" x 52" evaporator

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Westford, VT
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for all your replies. I inquired about the barrels and the seller said he is close with the supplier of his barrels. The barrels originally held tomatoes, however, the tomatoes are packed in a plastic liner so the tomatoes don't actually touch the barrel interior. I'll go check out the barrels as soon as I shovel the 20" of snow from around my trailer.
    2014-2017 - 3 taps - open fire boil
    2018 - 33 taps on 3/16 20" Hg, 3 buckets, barrel evaporator, RO Bucket

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
    Posts
    907

    Default

    I might want to check to see why a liner was used...it's possible the barrel was not made for direct food contact, or it held something else in an earlier life?
    Wow you guys got pounded with this last storm. Yikes
    John Allin

    14x18 Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
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    7th Gen Canadian - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World...

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