Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Posts Tagged ‘benefits of stainless steel barrels’

Bourbon Theft Ring Brings Skolnik Stainless Steel Barrels into the Spotlight

December 22nd, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Stainless Steel

To a distiller, there is nothing more beautiful than a perfectly charred oak barrel. Except maybe a stainless steel barrel that can hold their precious bourbon for as long as is needed without tainting or affecting the flavor or age.

That’s right – American distillers use stainless steel barrels for their bourbon and other liquors, and according to Bourbon historian Michael Veach, the practice is hardly new.

To be a bourbon, whiskey has to be aged in oak. But after the aging is complete, it can be transferred to stainless steel barrels for storage. Stainless steel does not interact with the bourbon the way oak does, which means that distillers can store a final product in stainless steel without worrying that it will alter the flavor in any way.

This stainless secret came into the limelight last year when stainless steel barrels of bourbon were seized as evidence in an on-going bourbon theft ring. One of the stolen barrels was a 17-year Eagle Rare from Buffalo Trace. And just what container had Buffalo Trace entrusted to hold this expensive product? A 23-gallon, stainless steel barrel. Actually, a Skolnik Industries 23-gallon, stainless steel barrel, to be precise.

That’s right, distillers all around bourbon county are turning to Skolnik stainless steel barrels to store their precious product. And not just any bourbon, but expensive, highly sought after bourbon — that one 23-gallon barrel of 17-year Eagle Rare is worth between $11,000 and $12,000.

To learn more about the theft ring and the use of stainless steel barrels in the distillery business, read the USA Today piece about the heist. To learn more about how your distillery can benefit from stainless steel barrels, contact a Skolnik sales representative today.

What makes ‘Food Grade’ stainless steel safe?

November 4th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Safety, Stainless Steel

Just like academic grades, the particular ‘grade’ of stainless steel refers to how it measured up against a variety of tests and requirements. However, in the case of stainless steel, these measurements refer to its quality, durability and temperature resistance. Food grade stainless steel is steel that met all criteria to be deemed safe for food preparation, storage and dining.

The most common food grade stainless steel is Type 304. But 304 grade stainless steel also goes by another name or code, 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel. These numbers refer to the composition of the stainless steel; the amount of chromium and nickel in the product. Both 18/8 and 18/10 contain 18% chromium, and 8% or 10% of nickel respectively.

304 grade stainless steel is so popular in the food industry because of its resistance to oxidization and corrosion. The chromium protects the product from oxidization or rust, whereas the nickel content rescues the food grade drum from corrosion. The higher the nickel content, the more resistant the stainless steel is to corrosion.

Stainless steel has become one of the most common materials found in kitchens and the food industry today. From food processing plants to large, commercial kitchens to your own kitchen at home, stainless steel is ever present. It’s corrosion and oxidization resistance paired with durability and how easy it is to clean has made stainless steel one of the safest materials in the food preparation and storage industries. In addition to resisting various acids found in meats, milk, fruits and veggies, there are also no chemicals within type 304 stainless steel that can migrate to your food, making it a safe, strong and durable choice for appliances, dishware, utensils, food storage and more.

When it comes to safety, Skolnik’s type 304 stainless steel makes the grade.  View the online product catalog of all our food-grade stainless steel drums.

When to Go Big & When to Go Small: The 15 Gallon and 100 Gallon Steel Drum

June 30th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

At Skolnik, we love creating custom, quality containers for our customers and are always happy to consult and collaborate with clients to discern what size, style, material and closure is best suited for their unique needs. We manufacture drums of all different sizes and specifications, including drums as small 15 gallons and others as large as 100 gallons.

So when do you need a 15 gallon drum and when might you need a 100 gallon drum?

The Skolnik 15 gallon drums are 14 inches in diameter and about 25 inches tall, they are the perfect size for tight storage spaces and are easy to move around facilities. Our 15 gallon steel drums are most popular in the lube and grease industries. Auto mechanic and oil change shops are a prime example of “limited storage space” and the 15 gallon drums are small enough that any employee could wheel them around a shop or plant with ease.

Our 100 gallon drums are a custom product. Typically manufactured in stainless steel for our brewery clients, the 100 gallon drum is used as a beer processing tank. Compared to the massive stainless steel tanks one might see at a major brewery, a 100 gallon tank is quite small. However, for smaller breweries, they are the perfect size, very affordable and more portable than a full-size tank. Brewers need containers to cook, ferment and filter their product throughout the brewing process, our 100 gallon stainless steel tanks are perfect for each of these steps.

There is no such thing as a one size fits all drum, that is why Skolnik’s team of experts and engineers work with every customer to ensure they are getting the right size and style of drum for their specific needs.

Small, Mighty & Handy: The 30 Gallon Stainless Steel Drum

February 4th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

The 30 gallon drum is a perfect size for a lot of things, but the obvious is just that: it’s size. Not everything or everyone requires a 55 gallon drum. When you have a smaller quantity of materials or a tighter storage space, the 30 gallon drum is the perfect fit.

Only 30 inches tall, the 30 gallon drum is stackable and able to squeeze into small spaces safely and securely. It’s compact nature makes it especially appealing to air travel because the drum can be safely secured in a separate cabin. It’s also an ideal size container to use for next-day shipping because it’s small size is easier to handle in transit, can fit in most trucks, planes and transit vans. Not to mention it is the more economical choice for the shipper.

Small and mighty, our 30 gallon drums are composed of the same stainless steel as our larger sized drums and can be manufactured at whatever gauge your materials and use requires.

The Powerful Properties of Stainless Steel

January 21st, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

 

At Skolnik Industries, we offer a variety of stainless steel drums; in different sizes, with different closures and linings and tailored for our customers’ unique needs. Why do we offer so many different customizations of stainless steel drums? Because it’s a material greatly suited for many different uses.

By definition, stainless steel is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. Now, we’ve talked about the unique chromium composition of stainless steel in the past, but what properties make stainless steel the powerful material it is today?

Oxidization Resistance

Chromium forms a passive protective layer when exposed to oxygen. This layer is invisible to the naked eye, but protects the metal from damage from water and air and even a degree of corrosion. The higher the chromium content, the stronger the oxidation resistance.

Acid Resistance

Stainless steel is highly resistant to acids. Obviously, this depends on the concentration of the acid and a few other variables such as the environmental temperature and the grade of stainless steel, but the natural resistance of stainless steel to acid attacks make it a strong candidate for the transport of hazardous materials.

Base Resistance

Many grades of stainless steel (the entire 300 series) are unaffected by weak bases, no matter the temperature or concentration.

Organic Resistance

Under the right conditions, specific grades of stainless steel are useful for storing and handling organics such as acetic acid, aldehydes and amines, cellulose acetate, and fats and fatty acids.

Low conductivity and magnetism

Like it’s brother, steel, stainless steel is a poor conductor of electricity and only very specific stainless steels are magnetic.
So there you have it, the primary properties of stainless steel are a recipe for a diverse array of possible uses. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular materials in a number of industries and one of the most common materials for Skolnik drums.

Stainless Steel in History — ‘Good for Table Cutlery’

October 12th, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel as we know it today owes one of its most valuable characteristics, a resistance to corrosion, to a combination of low carbon and high chromium. That characteristic was noted for the first time in 1821 by French metallurgist Pierre Berthier. But in 1821, metallurgists’ celebration of this finding was short-sighted.

Even a near century later, the full potential of this non-corrosive metal was still not on the horizon. “Especially Good for Table Cutlery,” reads the subtitle of the 1915 New York Times article boasting the benefits of this fabulous new discovery. The article calls this newfangled metal stainless steel and goes on to detail how easy it is to clean. “This steel is said to be especially adaptable for table cutlery,” the article reads “as the original polish is maintained after use, even when brought in contact with the most acid[ic] foods, and it requires only ordinary washing to cleanse.”

According to the article, this non-rusting steel was nearly double the price of steel ordinarily used for dining cutlery. But fear not, because the non-credited author of this New York Times announcement makes the case that the stainless steel is worth the extra cost in time saved laboring over the dishes.

At Skolnik, we too appreciate stainless steel’s resistance to oxidization and corrosion, but we wouldn’t dare limit such a fantastic material to the dinner table — not when it holds such potential for containment.