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Old 04-17-2008, 03:55 AM   #1
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Default Copper vs. PVC

Just took a grinder to a keg for a keggle, just got 50 ft of 3/8 OD soft copper for a counterflow......Just did a lot of things to get all the AG setup up and running.
Here is the dilemma:
I've seen on youtube how some people have made mash tuns out of a square coolers and PVC pipe for the manifold on the bottom, with slits that let the runnings seep out- just like were all used to seeing with copper. Whats the pro/cons here? If PVC is just as good- we would all be saving plenty by not using copper. I spoke with a local brewpub brewer who said that he had just always used copper for such things, and that PVC might not lend to good effects on flavor with such heat. Who knows about this type of thing?
Personally, seeing how effective and CLEAR my runnings are from my 5 gal. mash tun, I might use a SS braid again- and just use the braid for the length and width, and use copper or perhaps PVC for the elbow pieces.

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Old 04-17-2008, 04:05 AM   #2
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There are pros and cons to all materials. I personally would use copper because it's sturdier, and I know it won't contribute to my brew. If you do use PVC, get CPVC, which is designed for interior domestic water plumbing, and thus rated to something like 180 deg F.

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Old 04-17-2008, 04:09 AM   #3
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I've been just using the braid with a 9-gallon rectangular cooler, and it works great. No need that I can see to make things more complicated (braid's a nonstarter if you're going to fly sparge, though - that's really the only time you NEED to have a manifold).

As was noted, using C-PVC is critical if you go that route, regular PVC won't stand up to that heat without leeching.

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Old 04-17-2008, 11:52 AM   #4
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Definitely don't use regular PVC. Get CPVC. It is rated for 100PSI at 180 Degrees F. That is a plumbin rating so they know when the pipe will burst or sag too much. It can stand higher temps I believe, as long as there isn't 100 PSI of pressure in it.

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Old 04-17-2008, 02:34 PM   #5
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I looked up just the temp specs and the numbers I found were 200 degrees for the CPVC. At that temp though, is that when the pipe starts becoming unstable, or starts giving "off flavors"?

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Old 04-17-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherpa FE
I looked up just the temp specs and the numbers I found were 200 degrees for the CPVC. At that temp though, is that when the pipe starts becoming unstable, or starts giving "off flavors"?
Yea, that's what Im not sure about.

Im pretty sure all those ratings are for stability. So it is rated to support a certain pressure at a certain temp. But there aren't any "It will start leeching at this temp" ratings that I know of for PVC or CPVC.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:49 PM   #7
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Lead in used in the manufactoring of PVC and it will leach some of that lead at high temps that's the main reason to use CPVC.

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