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Old 04-24-2008, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default Copper Perforated False Bottom?

So I have some copper sheeting kicking around my machine shop, and I was wondering if there is any reason I couldn't make a false bottom for my MLT out of it. I would have to make the hole pattern myself, but its far cheeper than buying a pre-fab false bottom.

Any thoughts?

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Old 04-24-2008, 06:21 PM   #2
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I'm not so sure it would be cheaper. If you add up the time it would take to cut and drill the copper, plus the continued cleaning of patina off of it it would probably make more sense to sell the copper for scrap and buy the stainless FB. Unless the sheet is really thick, it's probably too soft to hold the weight of a mash anyway.

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Old 04-24-2008, 06:31 PM   #3
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No reason I can think of not to use it. Half the fun of brewing is making your own equipment. At least for me it was.

I'd say go for it.

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Old 04-24-2008, 07:00 PM   #4
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well, the sheet is free... when you talk about cleaning the "patina" off of it, what do you mean? I thought we wanted the copper to oxidize.

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Old 04-24-2008, 07:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBrewMaster
So I have some copper sheeting kicking around my machine shop, and I was wondering if there is any reason I couldn't make a false bottom for my MLT out of it. I would have to make the hole pattern myself, but its far cheeper than buying a pre-fab false bottom.

Any thoughts?
If your MLT is a plastic cooler I don't see a problem. If you have an ss or aluminum MLT you will have to remove the bottom and store it separately--copper can corrode if left in constant contact with a dissimilar metal.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBrewMaster
well, the sheet is free... when you talk about cleaning the "patina" off of it, what do you mean? I thought we wanted the copper to oxidize.
Ingesting cupric oxide (black oxide) can lead to central nervous system depression, liver and kidney damage, gastro-intestinal damage, circulatory system failure or damage to the vascular system.

cupric carbonate (the blue green stuff, verdigris) has been used in some types of make-up, like lipstick, although it can also be poisonous to humans.

So, NO, you don't want to oxidize copper. Stainless and Aluminum, sure.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:48 PM   #7
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I mean the copper will form that green coating and you don't want that to touch your wort. It's free in that you have it, but it has a scrap value that might cover the cost of some perforated stainless which is more appropriate. PAbrewer is right about the galvanic reaction too but I haven't had any problems with my copper parts in the keg... so far.

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Old 04-24-2008, 07:51 PM   #8
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well if all this is the case, why do people build MLT manifolds out of copper?

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Old 04-24-2008, 08:03 PM   #9
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Desperation and insanity perhaps? I don't know ;-) You have a point though. As long as you clean it off and keep it dry between sessions, you'll be fine. I still wouldn't want to be drililng all those holes though.

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Old 04-24-2008, 08:07 PM   #10
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People who have copper manifolds & chillers take great pains to clean them before use. Copper oxides do not taste good.

I think you would have big trouble cleaning the holes.

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