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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Using copper to weigh down hop bag?
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
Dublinmike
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Default Using copper to weigh down hop bag?

Hey Everyone,

My first post - I'm brewer in Ireland, started about 9 months ago, made my first AG two weeks ago, an American IPA.

I wanted to dry hop but I only have a cheap siphon which gets very clogged if I try to use it when I have thrown the hops in loose. I tried to throw them in a muslin bag and I put them in the PF but it just floated. To counter this I threw in two copper pieces (a 1/8" elbow and a 1/2" to 3/4" adaptor) which helped it sink to the bottom.

Will copper be ok or will it lead to off flavours? I read that stainless steel is preferable but I didnt have any and my funds are extremely tight until the end of the month.

sorry, I had to use the banana. It looked like he was trying to get my attention, like a puppy at the pound.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:11 AM   #2
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I'm not sure about copper post fermentation. The use of it pre fermentation seems to be good for the yeast. Beyond that though, it seems there could be at least some concerns.

I'd have to vote in favor of SS over copper when used as hop bag weights!

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/R.../ucm189212.htm
"Because copper is an essential nutrient for yeast growth, low levels of copper are metabolized by the yeast during fermentation. However, studies have shown that copper levels above 0.2 mg/L are toxic or lethal to the yeast. In addition, copper levels as low as 3.5 mg/L have been reported to cause symptoms of copper poisoning in humans. Therefore, the levels of copper necessary for successful beer fermentation (i.e., below 0.2 mg/L) do not reach a level that would be toxic to humans."
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagorg View Post
I'm not sure about copper post fermentation. The use of it pre fermentation seems to be good for the yeast. Beyond that though, it seems there could be at least some concerns.

I'd have to vote in favor of SS over copper when used as hop bag weights!

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/R.../ucm189212.htm
"Because copper is an essential nutrient for yeast growth, low levels of copper are metabolized by the yeast during fermentation. However, studies have shown that copper levels above 0.2 mg/L are toxic or lethal to the yeast. In addition, copper levels as low as 3.5 mg/L have been reported to cause symptoms of copper poisoning in humans. Therefore, the levels of copper necessary for successful beer fermentation (i.e., below 0.2 mg/L) do not reach a level that would be toxic to humans."
Wow that fda post is alarming - So I should take them out tonight?
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Not sure about the other readers on this forum but I think I would get them out to be safe! Thats me though... If anyone else has info suggesting otherwise then please pipe in!
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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Copper is fine prefermentation (you see copper kettles in breweries all the time), but not post-fermentation when it is poisonous. I'd take them out.

I don't use anything to weigh down my bag (and most often, I don't use a bag for hops), but if I did I would use either glass marbles (without lead) or stainless steel.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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Thanks guys - I will take them out tonight. Hopefully no damage will have been done.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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I guess if we keep seing new posts from you then all is well!
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:24 PM   #8
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+1 on glass marbles.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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John Palmer:
"Copper is a problem post-fermentation because it catalyzes staling reactions, including the production of hydrogen peroxide and can oxidize the alcohols to aldehydes. Finished beer should not be stored in contact with copper, although serving beer with copper tubing in a jockey box should not be a problem, because of the short contact time immediately before serving."
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #10
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I recently used a hop bag wrapped around my siphon to prevent clogs. This might prevent the need for copper, ss, or marbles.
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