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Old 08-12-2012, 12:55 AM   #1
itsdave
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Default Copper wort chiller gunk?

So I'm still pretty new to this, this was my 4th batch, and I had bought myself a brand new wort chiller since I have found the ice bath method really annoying. We had read the instructions and it said to clean it thoroughly with a mild detergent. We did this, twice in fact, but after adding the chiller to the boil with 20 minutes to go (per instructions) the small amounts of foam started to take on a strange color and texture. Small grey-green lumps, thick and sticky, and slightly viscous. Without much of a choice and a pack of yeast swollen and ready to go, I finished up the brew.

So did I just brew a 5 gallons of copper gunk poison? It was a new recipe, and had a 60 min boil of cascade hops, was it just oils being released from the hops after 40/45 minutes of boil? Any advice is really appreciated.


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Old 08-12-2012, 01:01 AM   #2
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It might just be hop/break material. It's good to soak new copper chillers in vinegar before your first use. This will remove the oxides that will otherwise end up in your brew. If you wanted to go the cautious route you could soak it in vinegar then boil it in water for about 15 minutes. After that you just rinse it before and after every use. I like to clean mine with vinegar after about 5-10 brews, but many brewers will tell you this isn't necessary if you rinse it well after each use...


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Old 08-12-2012, 01:02 AM   #3
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You're fine, don't worry. I don't even really clean my chiller (mainly just rinse right after use). The boil kills everything bad. I think the green foam was just hop material that settled to the bottom of the kettle and the chiller mixed it up. Cheers RDWHAHB.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:13 AM   #4
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I wasn't to worried, but when I took my chiller out of the wort after it had cooled and saw how shiny the copper was now, I started to get pretty paranoid.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:16 AM   #5
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Check this out dave..
http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixB.html
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stauffbier
...facepalm.

I have this guys book, I should have read it before hand, feeling dumb.

So I guess I'm just gonna have to see what happens, it's already bubbling in the fermenter after a few hours, so hopefully it will ferment okay. But if it's full of oxides, it's probably gonna taste a little on the side of awful.

But is it dangerous? Like could it make me sick? A mediocre batch is on thing, but an undrinkable batch is a real bummer.
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:09 AM   #7
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It's not dangerous. More than likely it will be fine, since you washed it well with detergent.
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Old 08-12-2012, 05:06 AM   #8
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That's just cold break, no biggy. Just soak your chiller in starsan while you do your boil. You can sanitize everything else while the chiller is cooling your wort.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeyWestBrewing
That's just cold break, no biggy. Just soak your chiller in starsan while you do your boil. You can sanitize everything else while the chiller is cooling your wort.
How can it be cold break if the grey green metallic smelling lumps in the foam formed during the boil?

After reading about the chillers in "how to brew" I decide to give the copper a soaked in starsan to clean it up, and I was getting a lot of greasy film coming off it, I'm pretty sure this stuff got in the wort.

I know what to do now, but this batch looks like 5 gallons of a lesson learned at this moment.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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I misread, I thought you had the chiller running when you put it in the kettle.


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