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Old 11-03-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
scottsr123
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I'm planning to convert my 5-gallon Igloo MLT into an electric HERMS. I've seen some discussion here about the use of copper with hot wort, but am looking for some advice: what are the negatives to using copper? Do they outweigh the positives (lower price, easier to work)?

Thanks for your help!


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Old 11-03-2012, 02:28 PM   #2
P-J
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with copper if it is handled correctly.
There is a huge plus to using it as well, as you mentioned: Lower price & easier to work.

Take a look at this page from John Palmers online book How To Brew:
> Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy

Hope this helps you.

P-J


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Old 11-06-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
audger
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copper:
pro: cheaper, more common, more flexible, easier to work with minimal hand tools, copper is a necessary yeast nutrient, good heat transfer
con: copper doesnt like extreme pH so no acid washing, it scratches and tarnishes easily, can form poisonous copper oxides if you let it (green patina)

SSteel:
Pro: very resistant to most chemicals, highly scratch resistant, high stregnth, looks 'professional', thin (which negates the '+heat transfer' point of copper)
con: tough to work with especially without power tools, tough to fix mistakes on, does not provide yeast with copper

i have both a copper and s.steel HERMS coils, and i prefer the steel. there is no easy way to physically clean inside the coil, so acid washing is the only way to remove the buildup. my copper HERMS looks like hell inside after only a year of use, and that is with flushing with boiling water + oxyclean after each brew. theres just no way around it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:22 AM   #4
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Thanks, Audger.
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