Copper for fermenter

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HomebrewMI

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Hey all,

Time for my first major DIY build in homebrewing. I'm getting ready to build myself a conical fermenter and have one major question so far. I have extensive knowledge of working with copper and access to a whole lot of copper sheet, but didn't know if this would be ok for a fermenter. All I ever see is stainless steel used for construction. Is there any reason why I shouldn't use copper for my build?
 

tipicreeper

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I'll be honest. I don't know a hell of a lot in this area.
I do use 2" of 3/8" copper tubing in the stopper to connect my blow off tube. In 2 brews the tube & the stopper are looking very rank & crusty.
 

samc

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I don't think Yeast likes copper - someone who stayed awake during Chemistry 101 might be able to give a detailed answer.
 

HomebrewJeff

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Copper should not be used after boiling / chilling. Copper is actually a nutrient for the yeast, but they can only consume so much. With the lowered pH of the wort during fermentation, it will absorb more than the yeast can consume, which leaves it in your beer. Stainless, glass, or plastic are the safest bets for fermenters.
 

tac0meat

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Although, a copper boil kettle would be sweeeeet!
 

wilserbrewer

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Build two nice copper kettles, then trade one for fermenter. Just kidding, I have heard the same for copper...excellent kettle, no fermenting. Sorry no explanation.
 

conpewter

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Right, copper will catalyze the oxidation reactions in beer, so it is not good to have in contact with the beer after pitching.
 
OP
H

HomebrewMI

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Cool, thanks for the info guy. Copper kettle, here I come! Then its on to stainless welding 101 and eventually the new fermenters
 

iceman80403

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hmmm... I went to the Coors brewery a while back and all their fermenters looked like copper. Maybe it's just the outside, but I doubt it.
For example: http://www.bourgnews.com/photogallery/1999/photoCO99/Pics/Colorado Coors 99.JPG

A copper brew pot would be nice for heat transfer, but I think the upper inside rim and the whole outside would get green and nasty like the top of my copper immersion chiller requiring lots of extra cleaning. Just my 2 cents.
 

conpewter

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hmmm... I went to the Coors brewery a while back and all their fermenters looked like copper. Maybe it's just the outside, but I doubt it.
For example: http://www.bourgnews.com/photogallery/1999/photoCO99/Pics/Colorado Coors 99.JPG

A copper brew pot would be nice for heat transfer, but I think the upper inside rim and the whole outside would get green and nasty like the top of my copper immersion chiller requiring lots of extra cleaning. Just my 2 cents.
Those look like boilers to me, but I have not been to the Coors brewery.
 

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