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Old 12-26-2012, 01:49 PM   #11
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Here is a very good podcast on "The Boil". If memory serves me correctly Jeremy Raub, head brewer @ Eagle Rock Brewery speaks in-depth about the positive aspects of having copper in the boil and its effect on yeast health.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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[quote=ColoHox;4690378]

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Now that is pretty neat! What acid would you suggest to try that at home?
My take on that would be that if you have to ask that question you don't know enough about chemistry to be fiddling with strong acids. That said there are 2 sources of acid which would be suitable: hydrochloric from the hardware store and sulfuric from the auto parts store.

In particular do not use nitric as it will dissolve away the copper too.

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Hydrochloric acid. It is commonly sold as Muriatic acid at hardware stores or swimming pool supply shops for pool pH adjusting.

Do this outside, as the fumes (although just hydrogen gas) are rancid.
The sharp smelling component of the fumes is hydrogen chloride gas. Muriatic acid is nothing more than HCl dissolved in water. At room temperature the partial pressure of HCl gas over a 28% HCl solution is about the same as the vapor pressure of water i.e. 10 mm/Hg or 0.01 atm. When you inhale some of that it dissolves in the water in your lungs to form hydrochloric acid again. Ouch.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:53 PM   #13
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One great way to get copper and a small amount of zinc into your boil is by using pre-1982 pennies. So go ahead and get out them "wheat backs" cuz most of them are 95% Copper and either 5% Zinc or 5% Tin and Zinc. Check out the wiki on pennies for relevant dates. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_(United_States_coin)

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Old 12-26-2012, 04:30 PM   #14
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My take on that would be that if you have to ask that question you don't know enough about chemistry to be fiddling with strong acids.
At-home chemistry experiments are the best! Homebrewers do at-home chemistry every time they brew. If muriatic acid is scary, you can dissolve salt into vinegar and achieve a weak acid still usable in this experiment.

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The sharp smelling component of the fumes is hydrogen chloride gas. Muriatic acid is nothing more than HCl dissolved in water. At room temperature the partial pressure of HCl gas over a 28% HCl solution is about the same as the vapor pressure of water i.e. 10 mm/Hg or 0.01 atm. When you inhale some of that it dissolves in the water in your lungs to form hydrochloric acid again. Ouch.
Wouldn't this be the case if we were dealing with pure hydrogen chloride? As the hydrogen chloride is already dissociated in water (becoming hydrochloric acid), the chloride ion reacts with the Zn leaving H2 gas when a penny is involved.

Either way, it's probably not good to deeply sniff the surface of any acid.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoHox View Post
At-home chemistry experiments are the best! Homebrewers do at-home chemistry every time they brew. If muriatic acid is scary, you can dissolve salt into vinegar and achieve a weak acid still usable in this experiment.



Wouldn't this be the case if we were dealing with pure hydrogen chloride? As the hydrogen chloride is already dissociated in water (becoming hydrochloric acid), the chloride ion reacts with the Zn leaving H2 gas when a penny is involved.

Either way, it's probably not good to deeply sniff the surface of any acid.
Having handled both solid form and liquid form of all types of acids both highly concentrated and weak for a hazardous waste disposal company, I can safely say that the only compound available to the public that I'm afraid of is Hydrofluoric Acid or HF. HCl is super strong and does give off an odor, but it is safe if handled with care and gloves. HF is no joke and unlike HCl it doesn't attack your skin, but rather it has the nasty habit of leaching through your pores and going straight for the calcium and magnesium in your bones. It also attacks silicates and can't be stored in glass. Anyways, I digress. HCl in liquid form, while considered to be the strongest acid, it is actually rather safe to handle and we encountered it on just about every lab cleanout or industrial site we ever got called to. Being a labpack chemist was pretty rad, but it is a dirty, nasty job with long hours and low pay. It also forced me to be on the road 3-4 nights a week and put my homebrewing completely on hold. Now I'm back in the office and miserable, but I get to go home, sleep in my own bed and brew beer, so I can't complain.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoHox View Post
At-home chemistry experiments are the best! Homebrewers do at-home chemistry every time they brew. If muriatic acid is scary, you can dissolve salt into vinegar and achieve a weak acid still usable in this experiment.
This brought back memories of childhood Gilbert chemistry sets (yes, I was born before the nanny state arose) which used sodium bisulfate (not bisulfite) as a source of acid. This is, even today, considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe) and, in water solution, produces a fairly low pH (1-2) i.e. it's pretty acidic.



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Wouldn't this be the case if we were dealing with pure hydrogen chloride? As the hydrogen chloride is already dissociated in water (becoming hydrochloric acid), the chloride ion reacts with the Zn leaving H2 gas when a penny is involved.
Don't want to be too pedantic but the chloride is just along for the ride. It is zinc metal which gives up its two outer shell electrons to a pair of hydrogen ions from the dissociated acid

2HCl + 2H2O + Zn --> 2H3O+ + 2Cl- + Zn++ -->

H2 + 2Cl- + 2 H2O + Zn++
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:25 PM   #17
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a

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:19 PM   #18
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a
It's spelled 'eh' and pronounced almost as if it's a question thus 'eh?'
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:03 AM   #19
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I don't mean to hijack this thread, but this seems relevant: what is an ideal hot-side exposure time for copper?

My places of copper:
- When I make starter wort for pressure canning, I tend to do it in the kitchen with leftover 2row. I use my old immersion copper coil for the setup convenience to chill the wort; it's sanitized by boiling in the kettle for 15 minutes prior to chilling. (This leaves behind a lot of hot and cold break before canning) In hindsight, this copper is probably good for a culturing medium.
- For normal brewdays, I have a counterflow plate chiller, 304 stainless and copper. Depending on the season, I chill flowing near-boil in the kettle, to pitching temps on the outlet of the chiller, so the copper exposure time is minimal, but I imagine the hot wort is exposed to a large area for that period.

Are those two pieces combined sufficient? I'm not experiencing fermentation issues per se, but I'd want to know if I'm deficient somewhere where a risk-reducer is as simple as affixing a small piece of copper somewhere to my kettle (say, end of diptube).

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Old 01-17-2013, 06:03 PM   #20
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In my mash tun I have a homemade stainless mesh strainer...inside is a pigtail made from copper wire to keep it from collapsing. Also my HLT dip tube is copper. I hope that's enough...both are pre-boil...good to read here this makes sense.

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