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Old 10-28-2005, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Brass and homebrew don't mix?

So, it seems that brass is bad - it looks like the thing to shoot for is Stainless Steel for anything that will touch your beer.

I'm working on a RIMS 3 tier brew machine, and might be forced to use Brass in a couple areas for connectors (the SS equivs are hard to come by and/or the price is astronomical for the part compared to the same in brass).

So, what is really all so bad about brass? Possible flavor affect via oxidiation?

Also, I've seen some articles on 'pickling' the brass. Will this method stave off any negative affects, or is just a temporary 'cross-your-fingers' type fix?

Beer is Food

primary: None - building brew machine
secondary1: Basic California Pale
secondary2: Basic California Pale
bottled conditioning: Irish Breakfast (oatmeal coffee stout)
bottled drinking: none
keg1: Low-Pro Porter
keg2: empty
keg3: empty

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Old 10-28-2005, 07:40 PM   #2
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Mr. Palmer is a metallurgist. His opinion is that brass is not a problem. Newly machined brass can have some lead on the surface that could dissolve into the wort. But this is easil;y removed.

"Cleaning Brass

Some brewers use brass fittings in conjunction with their wort chillers or other brewing equipment and are concerned about the lead that is present in brass alloys. A solution of two parts white vinegar to one part hydrogen peroxide (common 3% solution) will remove tarnish and surface lead from brass parts when they are soaked for 5-10 minutes at room temperature. The brass will turn a buttery yellow color as it is cleaned. If the solution starts to turn green and the brass darkens, then the parts have been soaking too long and the copper in the brass is beginning to dissolve, exposing more lead. The solution has become contaminated and the part should be re-cleaned in a fresh solution."
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Old 11-01-2005, 03:19 PM   #3
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Brass is a good way to save money in your brewery. I would not worry about using it in the least. The procedure that Palmer recommends for lead removal works very well, but even if you didn't clean your brass parts, I think you would die of cirrohsis of the liver before you drank enough homebrew to get lead poisoning.

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Dennis Collins
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