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Old 11-21-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
tch1980
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Default copper lines instead of silicone

I've been kicking around the idea of using copper instead of silicone. i was thinking 1/2" with unions so I could disassemble and clean with brushes if I needed to. Is there any drawbacks other than not being able to see through it. Would you have to leave some water in the lines to prevent buildup or scaling. Any opinons would be great thank you

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Old 11-21-2010, 09:21 PM   #2
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Curious on this too. I've debated the same. Seems like when I have anything on my copper, StarSan takes it right off. Might be as easy as pumping a gallon of StarSan through the system before and after each brew????

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Old 11-21-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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It's a good option....but you should store them dry....otherwise you'll just get funk in there. Use something like brasso from time to time and protect the copper or it'll oxidize quickly and appear dull....I wouldn't recommend clear lacquer because it's a PITA to remove. Barkeepers friend works awesome for knocking off the oxidation, but it doesn't really protect the finish....so maybe use that once in a while for upkeep.

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:32 PM   #4
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Thanks, the only other thing i'm not sure of is seeing where the air lock are if one of my pumps is not priming, but I guess if your outlet is going back up the bubbles should pass through the pump. I've searched on here and other sites but can't find many setups with copper lines though.

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Old 11-21-2010, 11:37 PM   #5
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I considered copper on my rig, but decided against it. I'm glad I did. I wouldn't trade my silicone with QD's for anything. Here's a few advantages for silicone:

1.) If you have trouble getting a pump to prime, you can just detach it, lower it, and let gravity help you.

2.) You can see what's happening. Don't discount the visibility too much. I think it's pretty important. It helps to know where the liquid is when priming a pump.

3.) You can easily change your mind about how things are run with soft tubing. It is so easy to move liquid around between any of the vessels when you can just reattach the QD's anywhere.

4.) In 30 seconds, my tubing is disconnected and hanging to dry. This also allows my pumps to be open and dry.

5.) Much less heat loss during a recirculation, if that is an issue to for you. Although you could insulate copper, I suppose.

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Old 11-22-2010, 01:25 AM   #6
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There's pluses and minuses. Silicone IS great because you can see what you're doing.....but it kinks (especially if you don't have 90 degree QD's)....look at Coderage's setup.....he's got a nice copper manifold. If you orient the pumps properly and bleed the air, it works quite well.

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Old 11-22-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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I have alot of good posts about silicone but the copper is .97/ft. at Lowes and you can buy bulk fittings. Also if you want to replumb or replace a fitting you can drive to the store and there is no shipping. I'll check out Coderage's manifold. My biggest concern is keeping the inside of the lines clean. I guess I will price out both ways and make a decision...Hopefully today

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Old 11-22-2010, 03:29 PM   #8
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Silicone is pretty pricey; I almost fainted when I saw what 1 ft of 3/4" ID silicone cost. If you use PBW/oxiclean regularly with the occasional acid wash you'll be fine. I'm in the same situation with triclover plumbing...it's all pretty much CIP and I can't see the inside. FWIW, I hope you go with copper. It looks really awesome when it's all polished up and you can pretty much run it in any direction you want.

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Old 11-22-2010, 04:53 PM   #9
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Scuba I agree it's pricey to say the least looking at about 150 for hoses and qd's. Yea the copper looks great cleaned I'm almost sure I'm going that way. BTW your wooden stand is Awesome!!!

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Old 11-23-2010, 02:22 AM   #10
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Well it's official I just ordered all my qd's from barginfittings.com. As much as I like the copper look I just couldn't look past the ease of use and being able to see whats going on inside the lines. thanks for everyones input. I should be brewing shortly!

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