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Old 04-11-2012, 02:07 AM   #1
brewingbarrister
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Default can copper immersion chiller impart off flavors?

The reason I ask is that I let mine soak in water and bleach solution and it now has a few small green spots. Will this impart any off flavors in my wort? Thanks!


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Old 04-11-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
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don't do that....rinse it with the hose before and after you use it to chill and always stick it in the kettle with 15 minutes left in the boil. Shouldn't ever have to soak it in anything.

At this point I'm not sure what you should do, but if it has green spots it sounds like it's tarnished. I don't think I'd put that in my beer.


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Old 04-11-2012, 02:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingbarrister View Post
The reason I ask is that I let mine soak in water and bleach solution
Why are you doing that? I wouldn't use bleach on copper. Don't use it on stainless steel either BTW.

That green stuff is copper salts (copper chloride, copper sulfate) from corrosion accelerated by the bleach solution. If it's only a few small spots it is probably not enough to worry about. A small amount of copper will dissolve in the hot wort even from a clean chiller.

For future reference, after use rinse the chiller with clean, hot water. If any crud is sticking wipe it with a sponge or scrubby if necessary along with a good brewery cleaner like PBW. Rinse it again and put it away. To make it shiny before using rub it down with an acidic solution like Star San or distilled vinegar. Rinse and drop it in the brew kettle. An immersion chiller just needs to be clean before use, not sanitized. Five or ten minutes in the kettle before flameout will take care of that.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
To make it shiny before using rub it down with an acidic solution like Star San or distilled vinegar.
Making it shiny removes the oxide layer from the surface of the chiller, leaching more of the copper into the beer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_toxicity

Also

http://www.byo.com/stories/projects-...or-homebrewers
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
Making it shiny removes the oxide layer from the surface of the chiller, leaching more of the copper into the beer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_toxicity

Also

http://www.byo.com/stories/projects-...or-homebrewers
I understand that, but I took it as the original poster was concerned with having a clean and probably shiny chiller. Even if you don't clean the oxide pre-use the wort has a low enough pH to do it anyway.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the article. It looks like I can try and use vinegar solution to clean and never do that again. I had a feeling it was bad...
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
I understand that, but I took it as the original poster was concerned with having a clean and probably shiny chiller. Even if you don't clean the oxide pre-use the wort has a low enough pH to do it anyway.
Very true. I am amazed how clean all the copper in my MLT and BK gets after a brew. It oxidizes before the next brew and then gets shiny again. If you want your IC to be shiny try a soak in a water/vinegar solution.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:36 AM   #8
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I rinse mine off and drop it in the kettle with about 10min left in the boil. I rinse again when the wort is cool. That's it.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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I would imagine that if you were to boil a pot of water for 15 minutes or a half hour with the chiller in it you should be ok for the next brew.


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