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Old 08-18-2014, 07:23 AM   #1
amfinz
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Default Verdigris/Oxidation on Kegging Hardware?

Hello, this is my first post on this forum, go easy!

I did search around and haven't been able to find my exact problem on this forum, or even elsewhere on Google.

I just started brewing recently (in the last 8-10 months). I got a 5-gallon refurbished keg recently, because I was already tired of the headache of bottling and could afford it at the time. You can see a photo of my kegging setup in the attachments.

Anyway, I have a batch of Irish ale in my keg that I've been drinking, and today I went to open up my chest freezer (external temperature controlled with the Johnson Controls A19AAT-2C), and found this green residue all over all the copper and brass. This is my second beer in the keg, and it didn't happen at all last time I brewed. And it seems to have happened kind of suddenly--there wasn't any sign of it a week or two ago, which is the last time I opened the freezer. The freezer is set at 45 degrees currently, which is the serving temperature I've been using for this batch. The copper temperature probe, in case you're wondering from the photos, is submerged in a bottle of rubbing alcohol (rather than open to the air).

I have attached a couple of photos I took of my setup, and the green corrosion. Reading around online, I think it might be verdigris.

What causes this? Is this normal? Is this dangerous for my beer (verdigris/copper poisoning)? Is there a way to prevent this from happening in the future? I live in Colorado, which is generally very dry, but it has been unusually wet/humid the last few months--maybe a contributing factor. Is it just a humidity issue? I'm pretty sure it's not sanitation, but it could be.

I read online that vinegar takes it off, and that seems to be correct from what I've tried so far. Do I just need to take my keg fittings apart and soak them in vinegar?

Should I be freaked out, or is this normal?

Thank you!

File Type: jpg photo 1.JPG (108.2 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2.JPG (126.9 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg photo 5.JPG (79.8 KB, 78 views)
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:15 AM   #2
porterpounder
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I've never seen brass fittings corrode like that in a kegerator. The humidity must be pretty constant and high in your fridge. Throw a bucket of Damp-rid in there to dry it out. You can find it at any home improvement store.

I'd try to get the fittings cleaned up a bit to suspend as much corrosion as possible, but it's not going to affect your beer. It's surface corrosion, so as long as the tank is holding pressure and the corrosion doesn't go far enough to cause a leak then it should be fine.

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Old 08-18-2014, 05:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porterpounder View Post
I've never seen brass fittings corrode like that in a kegerator. The humidity must be pretty constant and high in your fridge.
Yeah, I have no idea why. You can't see in the picture, but as soon as the copper line exists the back of the chest freezer through the seal, it no longer as any corrosion on it--it's only got it inside the freezer.

Quote:
Throw a bucket of Damp-rid in there to dry it out. You can find it at any home improvement store.
Awesome, thank you!

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I'd try to get the fittings cleaned up a bit to suspend as much corrosion as possible, but it's not going to affect your beer. It's surface corrosion, so as long as the tank is holding pressure and the corrosion doesn't go far enough to cause a leak then it should be fine.
Alright, great. So I guess I'll just take it all apart, soak it in vinegar, wipe it off, and then reassemble it (once I get the Damp-rid).

Thanks again!
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amfinz View Post
Alright, great. So I guess I'll just take it all apart, soak it in vinegar, wipe it off, and then reassemble it (once I get the Damp-rid).

Thanks again!
Star-San does the same thing.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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^^^^^^^.......What he said.
Mine has some green residue, from leak checking fittings with StarSan.

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Old 09-06-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
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Just to follow-up on this in case anyone finds this. I ended up taking apart everything and letting it soak in vinegar for about 20 minutes; worked like a charm! Once it was done soaking most of the green residue was gone just by soaking alone, then I used a towel to scrub the remaining parts off.

As recommended by porterpounder, I also ended up getting a big bucket of DampRid at Home Depot and putting it in the bottom of my freezer. Here I am almost a month later and no sign of green. Also it appears it's getting rid of the humidity, because I don't see any of the condensation on the walls of the freezer like I did before.

Thanks for the help guys!

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