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Old 02-15-2006, 10:25 AM   #11
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Yeah, there are definitely concerns regarding the lead content in brass... but the level of concern seems to vary with whatever source you're reading at the time. Stainless is definitely the best way to go but, as everyone knows, it is more expensive. Below is a link that briefly discusses treating brass... there are plenty of other sources on the net which also discuss it.

http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixB.html

I'm fairly certain that most of the copper colored valves that you see in home breweries are brass. And yes the link in my previous post is my home brewery. Just FYI, if I had to do it over again, I'd still go all stainless but I'd probably use manual controls. The control system is nice but it was a large cost and time component... and it takes away some of the "fun". lol.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.


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Old 02-15-2006, 07:46 PM   #12
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Where did you obtain the SS tube, what are the specs (wall thickness, grade of SS), and how did you bend it?

Also, what types of fittings did you use to join the tube to the valves and pump? They look like compression fittings.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:04 PM   #13
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I obtained the tubing locally and I believe it's .035 wall thickness and 304 stainless (I'd have to look at it again to verify). I ordered the tube bender online and bent all the tubing myself. The compression fittings are all Parkers... I prefer Swagelok but you can get Parkers on eBay much cheaper. The compression fittings are great because you can disassemble/reassemble the whole thing quickly and easily.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:34 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info. I like the idea of the compression fittings for the same reason you mentioned.

In what type of local shop did you find the tube? I just need a general place to start looking. Home Depot won't have it. Also, please post a link to the tubing bender you mentioned getting online, if you don't mind.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:21 PM   #15
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I'd check any local plumbing supply shops near you to see if they can order tubing. I purchased mine from an authorized Swagelok dealer but I suspect the right plumbing supply shop might be cheaper. The tube bender I used is an Imperial that I purchased at Sears and you can find it online with them... it's not the best I've used but it works. I'd definitely check eBay because I saw a lot of tube benders there going pretty cheap.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:23 PM   #16
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Most all of the valves used on copper plumbing are of brass. I have never seen a copper valve. It is too soft to stand up to the stress a valve takes.
Anchor Steam Beer Co. used to use all copper brewing kettles imported from Germany when Fritz Maytag took over in the 1970's. Don' know if they still do.

 
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:44 PM   #17
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Good to know. It looks like the basic choices for a rigid system are all SS or maybe SS valves/fittings and copper tube. I don't know that the latter would be worth the cost savings, but I haven't checked the price of SS tube yet.

Hey... had to put the idea out there. I feel better for trying.
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:01 AM   #18
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I work in the oil and gas industry and we use SS tubing a lot we pick it up at most industrial supply houses. Wilson supply, national supply, etc.. and it is sold in 20 ft sticks or in rolls.


 
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Old 02-16-2006, 04:52 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewsBrews
Thanks for the info. I like the idea of the compression fittings for the same reason you mentioned.

In what type of local shop did you find the tube? I just need a general place to start looking. Home Depot won't have it. Also, please post a link to the tubing bender you mentioned getting online, if you don't mind.
DrewsBrews, check Medical Supply houses. They stock ss tubing for the medical field. I was asking the same questions at my local HBS and they told me to go to a Medical Supply.

Hope this helps.

 
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