Here you go...
Ropak Fermenting Bucket Failure
grapestompers has recently been made aware of what appears to be a manufacturing defect in the fermenting buckets used by home winemakers across the USA and Canada, and we wanted to alert all of our customers about it.
The buckets we are referring to are the 7.8 US gallon size that are typically used for primary fermentation. Evidently, Ropak Can-Am Ltd., the manufacturer of the buckets, has recently changed their design of the bucket which causes the bucket to crack or split along the bottom seam.
We do not know when exactly the design change occurred, only that it drastically affects the ability of the bucket to stay together! The photo above shows what can happen when the bottom drops off.
Please understand - only some of the most recently made buckets have this flaw*. Earlier versions of the fermenting bucket had supporting ribs around the perimeter of the bottom to help hold the bottom together. The photo below shows a comparison of the two buckets side by side.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which bucket is more sturdily built!
*The buckets in question were manufactured in July 2008. You can tell the date of manufacture by turning over the bucket and looking for the date "2008" stamped or printed inside a clock-like looking circle, with a line pointing towards the "7" on the clock.
What we discovered is that the bucket usually develops small cracks along the bottom seam, that get longer and wider as time (and use) go by.
grapestompers recommends that you check the bottoms of your buckets to see which kind you have. If you have one of these buckets described above, and you purchased it from us, you can get a replacement if you follow the 2 steps below:
1.Document that you have an affected bucket by taking a digital photo or two of the bottom
2.Send the photos to Tom and Pam at [email protected]
along with your name and shipping address. If you know your order or invoice number, that would be a big help.
We'll verify your purchase, and follow up as soon as possible with a replacement bucket.
We would like to thank our distributor for helping us support our customers through this ordeal, even though the bucket was not manufactured by them and is not their responsibility.