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Old 11-15-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Copper in beer line

I recently purchased a Blichmann Beer Gun, and the one thing I don't have to hook it up is a spare stainless steel flare/barb fitting.

I know you're not supposed to use copper in beer lines, because the carbonic acid in carbonated beer will leach copper from copper tubing.

I made up a fitting using a 1" length of copper tubing and a brass flare nut. Then I thought "Wait a minute". Then I thought, "Well, beer will be flowing through this 1" of tubing for only 5 or 10 minutes, so no significant amount of leaching will occur.

Any chemists out there?

Thanks, Dave

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Old 11-15-2012, 05:50 PM   #2
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What you are not supposed to do is use copper with foods below a certain pH and above a certain temperature. Whether finished beer qualifies I don't know but I think wort does which is why the 'copper' in a modern brewery isn't made of copper any more. Nonetheless many of us use copper wort chillers. I don't think an inch or 2 of copper wlll hurt you a bit.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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I would think with such a short contact time you should be fine.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:40 PM   #4
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It will cause an anode/cathode type electochemical reaction which will erode the copper and deposit on the stainless (or is it the other way around?). Some will invariably wind up in the beer but it may not be enough to matter. I'm more concerned with long contact times with brass (as there may be some lead?) vs. copper.
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