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Old 02-20-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
eastoftherivernile
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Default Wort chiller - copper pipe contaminant worries?

Hi All,

I have been thinking about making an immersion type chiller but I am a little concerned that the copper pipe I buy won't be food grade. Are there any chemicals used in production which I should be worried about? Is there a particular specification on the tubing I should look for?

Would this, for example, be ok? http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004O1KXOE

Ta

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:24 AM   #2
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all copper would be food grade just sanitize in boiling wort 15 min before using

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #3
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I'm not sure that there are classifications for copper such as "food grade". Copper is commonly used for potable water. You can use PBW, Oxy Clean and/or white distilled vinegar to clean your copper.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter2-2-2.html
"Cleaning Copper
For routine cleaning of copper and other metals, percarbonate-based cleaners like PBW are the best choice. For heavily oxidized conditions, acetic acid is very effective, especially when hot. Acetic acid is available in grocery stores as white distilled vinegar at a standard concentration of 5% acetic acid by volume. It is important to use only white distilled vinegar as opposed to cider or wine vinegar because these other types may contain live acetobacteria cultures, which are the last thing you want in your beer. "

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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So I shouldn't have any worries about lead or heavy metals being used in production?

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoftherivernile View Post
So I shouldn't have any worries about lead or heavy metals being used in production?
I really don't think so. Like I said, it's commonly use in potable water scenarios.

Here are some links that reference some of the production processes:

http://www.copper.org/education/production.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_...ion_techniques
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Yeah, no problems with copper ic's ... We've been using them for so long...

And another method for sanitizing it other than boiling... I keep mine in a starsan bath for about half the boil, that way it's part of the cooling and I don't have to bring the wort back up to boil in the middle/end of the boil... Works awesome, and my cooling time is actually shorter...

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalboomer
Yeah, no problems with copper ic's ... We've been using them for so long...

And another method for sanitizing it other than boiling... I keep mine in a starsan bath for about half the boil, that way it's part of the cooling and I don't have to bring the wort back up to boil in the middle/end of the boil... Works awesome, and my cooling time is actually shorter...
I don't know if I'd go for the star San soak method for an IC. I think Yates star San can only be relied on to sanitize something that is truly clean. So if a bit of hop residue was stuck to the chiller from your prior batch and you missed it cleaning the chiller before putting in the sanitizer, it could in theory still harbor nasties. Boiling on other hand will kill your bugs whether or not they are hiding in a clump of dried hop crud.

I know as I write this it sounds gross, but really the IC has a lot of surface area to clean and it is not all easy to see - just doesn't compare to inside of a bucket.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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Hmmmm, maybe - but I do soak my IC in PBW and then scrub it after.

Boiling it cost me 10 minutes of sub-boiling temperatures while the wort dropped down below 200 and had to be heated back up.

Meh - I'll just be conscientious and make sure my stuff's clean before I use it!

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