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Old 02-05-2011, 08:22 PM   #1
Dgonza9
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Default Chemicals on copper pipe?

I just had my furnace blower replaced. I was making a copper manifold for my new mash tun while he was here and he was curious about what I was up to.

Long story short, the guy insisted that copper piping is only food safe on its inside surface. He claimed the outside surface was laced with chemicals that are hazardous. His recommendation was to use pvc.

Can anyone with knowledge comment? I'm almost done with my manifold.



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Old 02-06-2011, 11:33 AM   #2
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I don't know about that but I do know that copper is not certified for use in potable water systems below 6.5pH as the copper will more quickly corrode and leach into you water, or in this case wort. http://www.nsf.org/consumer/plumbing/index.asp Since we're shooting for a pH of 5.2-5.5 you're already operating in a range where it is no longer considered food safe.



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Old 02-06-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen View Post
I don't know about that but I do know that copper is not certified for use in potable water systems below 6.5pH as the copper will more quickly corrode and leach into you water, or in this case wort. http://www.nsf.org/consumer/plumbing/index.asp Since we're shooting for a pH of 5.2-5.5 you're already operating in a range where it is no longer considered food safe.
If this statement about copper is true why would we have breweries like this?

http://americanpublichousereview.com/2009.04/capitol_city_brewing_co_washington_dc/index.html
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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Most jurisdictions restrict the sale of unlined copper cookware because it will leach in an acidic environment. Commercial kettles would have some sort of lining to prevent this from happening. Residential copper piping does not.

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Old 02-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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I am not sure why copper tubing would be different on the inside vs outside. If it is indeed different. I would think a bit or polishing would take the outer layer off.

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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Is the one hour mash a big issue for ph causing a leeching of copper? Or is the time frame so short as to be basically incidental?

Anyone know how find out? I'm nearly done with my manifold. Plus, I just don't like cpvc.

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Old 02-07-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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While I threw it out there as a point of interest it's not something that I personally worry about. I use copper & pickled brass in my own rig, although I am slowly switching over to all stainless. Any copper that does leach out would be metabolized by the yeast. If copper levels were too high they would be lethal for the yeast well before they reached the level necessary to cause illness in a normal person. I do, however, avoid its use post-fermentation.


4-101.14 Copper, Use Limitation.

High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness. When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food. Carbon dioxide may be released into a water supply because of an ineffective or nonexistent backflow prevention device between a carbonator and copper plumbing components. The acid that results from mixing water and carbon dioxide leaches copper from the plumbing components and the leachate is then transferred to beverages, causing copper poisoning. Backflow prevention devices constructed of copper and copper alloys can cause, and have resulted in, the leaching of both copper and lead into carbonated beverages.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and contains lead which is used to combine the two elements. Historically, brass has been used for items such as pumps, pipe fitting, and goblets. All 3 constituents are subject to leaching when they contact acidic foods, and food poisoning has resulted from such contact.

The steps in beer brewing include malting, mashing, fermentation, separation of the alcoholic beverage from the mash, and rectification. During mashing, it is essential to lower the pH from its normal 5.8 in order to optimize enzymatic activity. The pH is commonly lowered to 5.1-5.2, but may be adjusted to as low as 3.2. The soluble extract of the mash (wort) is boiled with hops for 1 to 22 hours or more. After boiling, the wort is cooled, inoculated with brewers yeast, and fermented. The use of copper equipment during the prefermentation and fermentation steps typically result in some leaching of copper.

Because copper is an essential nutrient for yeast growth, low levels of copper are metabolized by the yeast during fermentation. However, studies have shown that copper levels above 0.2 mg/L are toxic or lethal to the yeast. In addition, copper levels as low as 3.5 mg/L have been reported to cause symptoms of copper poisoning in humans. Therefore, the levels of copper necessary for successful beer fermentation (i.e., below 0.2 mg/L) do not reach a level that would be toxic to humans.

Today, domestic beer brewers typically endeavor to use only stainless steel or stainless steel-lined copper equipment (piping, fermenters, filters, holding tanks, bottling machines, keys, etc.) in contact with beer following the hot brewing steps in the beer making process. Some also use pitch-coated oak vats or glass-lined steel vats following the hot brewing steps. Where copper equipment is not used in beer brewing, it is common practice to add copper (along with zinc) to provide the nutrients essential to the yeast for successful fermentation.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/ucm189212.htm



4-101.14 Copper, Use Limitation.
(A) Except as specified in ¶ (B) of this section, copper and
copper alloys such as brass may not be used in contact with a
FOOD that has a pH below 6 such as vinegar, fruit JUICE, or wine
or for a fitting or tubing installed between a backflow prevention
device and a carbonator. P
(B) Copper and copper alloys may be used in contact with beer
brewing ingredients that have a pH below 6 in the
prefermentation and fermentation steps of a beer brewing
operation such as a brewpub or microbrewery.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/UCM188545.pdf

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Old 02-07-2011, 02:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen View Post
While I threw it out there as a point of interest it's not something that I personally worry about. I use copper & pickled brass in my own rig, although I am slowly switching over to all stainless. Any copper that does leach out would be metabolized by the yeast. If copper levels were too high they would be lethal for the yeast well before they reached the level necessary to cause illness in a normal person. I do, however, avoid its use post-fermentation.
+1. Copper on the hot side is fine, and is even reputed to be helpful to the yeast. On the cold side, copper is to be avoided.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
+1. Copper on the hot side is fine, and is even reputed to be helpful to the yeast. On the cold side, copper is to be avoided.
Can you explain? Seems like a lot of wort chillers, etc. are copper.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:44 AM   #10
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Iv'e always thought of it as pre-pitching is hot side, post-pitching is cold side. So you can use all the copper gadgets you want while mashing, boiling transferring and cooling. Once you add yeast the copper is a no go. Least that's the way I understand it.



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