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Old 11-28-2011, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default Are the soldered connections on this homemade wort chiller OK to use?

I bought a used wort chiller from a HBT member that he had made. Tried using it a couple of times and it worked just fine but I am concerned about the condition of the soddered connections. Are the soddered connections on this homemade wort chiller OK to use?

I am not sure if there is any danger of lead leaching out from these particular connections?

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Old 11-28-2011, 09:54 PM   #2
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im not sure but those are ugly connetions

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Old 11-28-2011, 09:56 PM   #3
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Well, if he didn't use lead-free solder, there could be a problem.

Of course, if he used leaded solder, you wouldn't want to use it even if the joints *were* neat and clean.

Assuming the maker used the right solder (lead-free), there shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 11-29-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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Assuming the maker used the right solder (lead-free), there shouldn't be a problem.
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what he said.. and they don't look that bad.. really probably just as good as i would have done myself.. as long as it doesn't leak then it'll get the job done..
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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^
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what he said.. and they don't look that bad.. really probably just as good as i would have done myself.. as long as it doesn't leak then it'll get the job done..
Not true - wurt is different than just water. There is not much in tap water to set up galvanic action but there is plenty in the wurt to cause galvanic action (basically, a battery composed of two dissimilar metals in a acid). And all you need is a little galvanic action to actively push lead into your wurt.

But there is a easy way to tell - is the solder turning a dull grey or does the chiller come out with the solder joints bright & shiny? If they stay shiny then you are definitely leaching whatever's in the solder joint into your wurt!
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:24 PM   #6
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Not true - wurt is different than just water. There is not much in tap water to set up galvanic action but there is plenty in the wurt to cause galvanic action (basically, a battery composed of two dissimilar metals in a acid). And all you need is a little galvanic action to actively push lead into your wurt.
... but, you would never use a lead-based solder on anything that would contact beer or wort. That's the point. There shouldn't be any lead to leech.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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Not true - wurt is different than just water. There is not much in tap water to set up galvanic action but there is plenty in the wurt to cause galvanic action (basically, a battery composed of two dissimilar metals in a acid). And all you need is a little galvanic action to actively push lead into your wurt.

But there is a easy way to tell - is the solder turning a dull grey or does the chiller come out with the solder joints bright & shiny? If they stay shiny then you are definitely leaching whatever's in the solder joint into your wurt!
there are plenty of minerals in tap water to cause a galvanic circuit, the only major difference between tap water and wOrt is the addition of sugars. sugars do not increase galvanic action significantly. the pH of the wort is what i would be worried about stripping the surface more than anything. that is what is going to cause the 'bright and shiney' joints, a chemical reaction, not galvanic action.

lead is also more cathodic than copper so if anything galvanic were happening, the copper would be depositing onto the lead.

if i were unsure about which type of solder was used, i would just cut off all the solder and redo the chiller. no sense taking a chance at lead poisoning, thats no fun. there is also no safe level of lead ingestion, its the same as radiation; its cumulative over your lifetime. it doesnt matter how fast you ingest it, just the amount. so you try to minimize any intake of lead.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
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there are plenty of minerals in tap water to cause a galvanic circuit, the only major difference between tap water and wOrt is the addition of sugars. sugars do not increase galvanic action significantly. the pH of the wort is what i would be worried about stripping the surface more than anything. that is what is going to cause the 'bright and shiney' joints, a chemical reaction, not galvanic action.

lead is also more cathodic than copper so if anything galvanic were happening, the copper would be depositing onto the lead.

if i were unsure about which type of solder was used, i would just cut off all the solder and redo the chiller. no sense taking a chance at lead poisoning, thats no fun. there is also no safe level of lead ingestion, its the same as radiation; its cumulative over your lifetime. it doesnt matter how fast you ingest it, just the amount. so you try to minimize any intake of lead.
Thanks for the correction - copper is less noble than lead.

He does not know what was used. And I guess the real point is if you didn't solder it or you can't get a straight answer from whomever soldered it, then don't buy it.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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Side question...
Been having trouble with my mash tun and stuck mashes. So I revised my false bottom braid. I made a loop with a gatorbite copper T, and used lead free solder (from lenox bought at Lowes) to make a coil I shoved inside the SS braid to keep it from collapsing. Now the question is, is the solder going to be a problem in the mash tun? Will it leach chemical into the wort?
There's about 1.5-2feet of solder in the coil.

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