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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Brass Vs Stainless??
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #1
bostry
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Default Brass Vs Stainless??

Hi All - I am new to the forum......so be gentle!

I have been looking specifically for a thread dedicated to Brass vs Stainless fittings for all aspects of kettles to mashtuns to whatever..

Is there any reason I shouldn't used Brass Fittings for my boil kettle or Mash tun, or HLT?

Brass is so much more readily available.....

Thanks everyone for any answers in advance!

Cheers,
b


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Old 05-04-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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floodgates have been opened, lol.

But seriously, you'll find people on all sides of this.

I like the idea of all stainless just for the ease in cleaning it... but I dont think the average person is going to be able to tell a difference.


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Old 05-04-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durhamite View Post
.

I like the idea of all stainless just for the ease in cleaning it... but I dont think the average person is going to be able to tell a difference.
+1

Stainless is the way to go for the cleaning factor alone... you are about to have a huge debate on your hands though.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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Oi. Here's a major discussion point. Some pickle, some do nothing, some worry, and others go stainless. There are pros and cons to each of the previous options.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass#Lead_content
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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Except now I've seen many of the brass fittings are lead free.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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But stainless looks so much cooler!!!

Mostly it comes down to this: Stainless fittings, while more expensive, can be added to your brewery with little or no preparation and be used as-is. Period. Very high durability, very little special maintenance required.

Brass, on the other hand, can leach trace amounts of lead into your wort. If you pickle the brass first you can prevent that from happening. Brass is a much softer metal than stainless, so much less durable, so if you tend to drop fittings or bump things up against other things in your brewery, it may not be the best choice. But so long as you're careful, it's a decent enough choice and can save you some cash.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies....and please don't laugh too hard.....Is PBW considered caustic?

If I decide to use brass, should I go with something different?

Thanks again for all of your answers!
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:51 PM   #8
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It all depends on what you're looking to build. There are a number of vendors here that sell stainless cheaper than brass fittings from your local hardware store.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:36 AM   #9
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It all depends on your risk, lead, cash, and political correctness tolerance.

btw, 8% used to be considered "lead free" for pipes and pipe fixtures until 2010, now it's .25% (in CA). However many alloys only went to 2%.

from fivestarchemicals.com:
"PBW is an alkaline, non-caustic, environmentally and user friendly cleaner."
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:42 AM   #10
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I find that if you look in the right place stainless is not that much more expensive than brass. Brass has been on the rise lately and the playing fields are a bit more level. The quality of brass has been going down as well to try and compensate I think. Have you ever noticed if you purchase brass from different vendors how different the color is? I can show you about 4 different colors that are all considered brass. Makes me leery.

Personally I use brass on my gas plumbing but everything that touches beer is stainless. No worries on brewday, no worries about corrosion, no worries about what I use to clean it and no worries about crap getting into my beer.


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