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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Copper Verdigris or Copper Chloride from wort chiller
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default Copper Verdigris or Copper Chloride from wort chiller

There seems to be little info on this subject, so I figured I'd ask. Last night I was brewing my Fall seasonal, Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, and I realized that my copper immersion wort chiller had a blue or green color to it. Just assuming it was harmless, and having a few homebrews at this time, I just tossed it in the wort for the last fifteen to sanitize and carried on. However now I'm reading the danger of Verdigris...some say I'll be fine, some say I'll die!! FYI-This wort chiller is normally used as a pre-chiller in a salt bath, and I know high amounts of salt will react with copper forming, copper chloride. Is my beer safe? It's only a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 09-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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I think you'd want to remove as much as possible with an acid wash first. However, know that the yeast will eat a certain amount of the copper, so once you've remove the excess you should be fine.

I think the trick is to acid wash it clean, then try not to touch it too much after using. A good rinse will suffice to get it clean after you are done using it, and then store in a dry place.

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Old 09-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I think you'd want to remove as much as possible with an acid wash first. However, know that the yeast will eat a certain amount of the copper, so once you've remove the excess you should be fine.

I think the trick is to acid wash it clean, then try not to touch it too much after using. A good rinse will suffice to get it clean after you are done using it, and then store in a dry place.
Sage advice, however I have already done the deed. A buddy of mine just tossed the chiller in the wort before I could clean it off. So all of that blue/green stuff is now in my wort.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:42 PM   #4
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I recently listened to an older BN podcast and someone emailed an similar question. John Palmer said a tiny amount of the green stuff isn't going to kill you. Clean it off to be safe in future brews, but if it was a small amount, you'll live this time.

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Old 09-18-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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I think you nailed it, it's definitely due to the salt bath. If you don't store the copper in there and rinse it well after you pull it out this shouldn't happen in the future. Copper will naturally form a dark oxide layer (not blue or green!) which is harmless.

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