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copper chiller

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DeRoux's Broux

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has anyone had a copper chiller corrode and ruin a batch of wort during chilling? the guy that's building my system has been making immersion chillers out of stainless for the past couple of years, because he said some of the guy's in my club have had that happen to them? i know (as does the builder) that the copper transfers heat better, but these chillers are pretty damn nice! it'll cool a 10 g batch (or 5) pretty quick. they weld garden hose fitting where the posts of a corny keg go, fill the corny w/ two 7 lb bags of ice. then attach the chiller to the hose, and run ice water through the chiller, rather than using a pre-chiller. they say it's more effective and the stainless will last forever.......
i just hate to spend another $100 when i have a fairly new copper chiller (for 5 g). it only takes one batch to get ruined i guess????? :confused:
 

Dragonfly

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Hey, I don't really know anything about wort chillers seeing as how I don't have one yet. But I've been lookin' at morebeer.com and they have 2 types of immersion chillers - either with tubing or with brass fittings. Dyou know if there's any significant difference?

btw, the stainless steel does sound pimp, but just my opinion that you might wanna wait until your chiller corrodes before makin' the investment
 
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DeRoux's Broux

DeRoux's Broux

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i got my chiller from austin homebrew, and it has hose clamps connecting the tubing to the copper in/out lines, and a brass fittings for the hose to hose connections. i like the way mines set-up. but, it doesnt really matter because those parts shouldn't touch the wort when immersed. you add it in the wort in the last 10 minutes of the boil to sanitize. but, i always wash and sanitize mine before i use it, just in case.....

i kinda feel the same way about dropping coin for another chiller, when i really don't need one. my chiller should last a good while too......just isn't big enough for 10 g batches.
 

tnlandsailor

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Sometimes, homebrewers assign blame to things without any evidence. They blame the first thing that they think of and then that forms their belief system from that point on. It's the old "I-believe-what-I-want-to-believe" syndrome. We all do it.

For the record, I've never heard of a spoiled batch of beer directly attributable to copper corroding. I've heard of hundreds of batches attributable to improper sanitation. If you don't sanitize your chiller, you will spoil your beer. That's pretty much a given. Perhaps that is the culprit rather than corrosion? Additionally, if corrosion were really a problem, I'm sure the general beer brewing public would have caught on by now and the equipment manufacturers would quit making equipment that actually spoils beer. In short, I think the corroding copper argument is untrue. Yes, a small amount of copper does make it into the pre-fermented wort, but it's on the order of parts per million, and typically gets consumed during fermentation.

Just for the record, the thermal conductivity of copper is 30 times that of stainless steel. The only time I would chill with stainless over copper is with post fermented beer, like trying to chill from room temp down to serving temp. In this case, I've read that copper ions can contribute to off flavors and oxidation, but this is ONLY post ferment. Pre-ferment, it's a non issue.

Prosit!
 
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I would agree with tnlandsailor on this one. Perhaps they had some corrosion on their chiller which caused their problem but this corrosion wouldnt be typical. Maybe they left it lying around for a long time and didn't clean it thoroughly before using it or maybe it got something on it but for copper to just corrode rapidly and ruin a batch... I would think not. Perhaps they used the wrong type of solder and used it in a location which came in contact with the wort... Lots of 'ifs' but overall, I would say copper is the way to go.
 
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DeRoux's Broux

DeRoux's Broux

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well, that was along my lines of thinking. if this was a problem, then why do some many of use use copper. i pretty much decided to keep what i had. jus twanted to check if anyone else had ever heard of that situation!

thanks guys!
 

Turricaine

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I am personally quite pleased with my copper piping chiller. I do wonder though how it is going to age with time since it as changed appearance after only 2 brews. I think the situation with the antiseptic properties of the hops should help a little but I wouldn't want to push my luck with it.
 
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