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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kegerators and Keezers > Jockey Box - Vinyl inside Copper
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
aptbrew
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Default Jockey Box - Vinyl inside Copper

I am building a Jockey Box for my wedding - which is being done on the cheap. I came across a whole bunch (100ft +) of copper tubing at 1/2" and I want to use it in the box.

I know that there are serious concerns with beer and copper - with the poisoning and what not - but I am curious as to what the effect might be if I feed 1/4" tubing throught the 1/2" copper - will this allow the beer to chill enough to serve cold?


Cheers,


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Old 03-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
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My thought would be, why use the copper at all? With it being cold I don't see an issue with the tubing collapsing unless it gets under too much weight.

Bear in mind I have never made or used a jocky box, just running it through my head and letting it spill out of my face.


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Old 03-21-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
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Yup, no need for the copper. It will hinder the heat transfer as compared to just ice. The tubing should work fine as long as you've got enough of it submerged in ice water (note, NOT just ice. Water increases the surface contact exponentially above just ice and you will get much more efficient cooling that way).
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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Copper poisons?

Why do we have copper manifolds in our mash tuns and copper immersion chillers? Why is all the plumbing in my house copper?
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:57 PM   #5
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It's my understanding that it's the carbonation that has a reaction with the copper.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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I really hope that cooper is safe to use in a jockey box. I know that all of the jockey boxes I have seen are all stainless steel coils so I am hoping that it's not because cooper does cause some sort of poisoning. I made an improvised jockey box by putting 50 ft of cooper coiled up inside of my small beer fridge. I keep my keg at room temp and run the out line into the fridge, through the coil and out the other side to my faucet. It works great as the cooper stays nice and cold in the small fridge and I dont have to worry about chilling my whole keg, which for me means more hop and yeast storage. I know I need to get a keezer but until I do that, I am happy with this improvised jockey box.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:10 PM   #7
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Great! I just did a little research and it does appear to be a problem with using cooper in a jockey box setting. F*&k! It has something to do with the yeast reacting with the cooper. I guess that why its safe to use in a brewing situation but not a post-fermentation setting. OK, improvised jockey box out, keezer just became more of a priority.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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Yeah, TahoeRy, I learned that yesterday with my local club. We were discussing jockey box setups and the merits of copper vs stainless vs plastic tubing. I didn't know about the copper poisoning thing.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:44 PM   #9
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I think it has to do with the PH of fermented beer that creates the problem. CU before fermentation not a problem, after big problem
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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For the OP, that sounds like bad use for the copper and 100" of vinyl tubing, I think you'd be better off making two immersion or counter flow chillers and sell one and with the money buy a stainless coil or an aluminum cold plate.

Copper can catalyze staling reactions in finished beer reducing shelf life too. I think thats in John palmers How to brew, but Im not positive. I know he mentions that in a brew strong episode though.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegu.../ucm189212.htm

http://byo.com/color/item/1144-metal...or-homebrewers

From the Goberment
Quote:
4-101.14 Copper, Use Limitation.
High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness. When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food. Carbon dioxide may be released into a water supply because of an ineffective or nonexistent backflow prevention device between a carbonator and copper plumbing components. The acid that results from mixing water and carbon dioxide leaches copper from the plumbing components and the leachate is then transferred to beverages, causing copper poisoning. Backflow prevention devices constructed of copper and copper alloys can cause, and have resulted in, the leaching of both copper and lead into carbonated beverages.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and contains lead which is used to combine the two elements. Historically, brass has been used for items such as pumps, pipe fitting, and goblets. All 3 constituents are subject to leaching when they contact acidic foods, and food poisoning has resulted from such contact.

The steps in beer brewing include malting, mashing, fermentation, separation of the alcoholic beverage from the mash, and rectification. During mashing, it is essential to lower the pH from its normal 5.8 in order to optimize enzymatic activity. The pH is commonly lowered to 5.1-5.2, but may be adjusted to as low as 3.2. The soluble extract of the mash (wort) is boiled with hops for 1 to 22 hours or more. After boiling, the wort is cooled, inoculated with brewers yeast, and fermented. The use of copper equipment during the prefermentation and fermentation steps typically result in some leaching of copper.

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.

Today, domestic beer brewers typically endeavor to use only stainless steel or stainless steel-lined copper equipment (piping, fermenters, filters, holding tanks, bottling machines, keys, etc.) in contact with beer following the hot brewing steps in the beer making process. Some also use pitch-coated oak vats or glass-lined steel vats following the hot brewing steps. Where copper equipment is not used in beer brewing, it is common practice to add copper (along with zinc) to provide the nutrients essential to the yeast for successful fermentation.


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