Using copper to weigh down hop bag?

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Dublinmike

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Hey Everyone,

My first post - I'm brewer in Ireland, started about 9 months ago, made my first AG two weeks ago, an American IPA.

I wanted to dry hop but I only have a cheap siphon which gets very clogged if I try to use it when I have thrown the hops in loose. I tried to throw them in a muslin bag and I put them in the PF but it just floated. To counter this I threw in two copper pieces (a 1/8" elbow and a 1/2" to 3/4" adaptor) which helped it sink to the bottom.

Will copper be ok or will it lead to off flavours? I read that stainless steel is preferable but I didnt have any and my funds are extremely tight until the end of the month.

:ban: sorry, I had to use the banana. It looked like he was trying to get my attention, like a puppy at the pound.
 

Nagorg

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I'm not sure about copper post fermentation. The use of it pre fermentation seems to be good for the yeast. Beyond that though, it seems there could be at least some concerns.

I'd have to vote in favor of SS over copper when used as hop bag weights!

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/ucm189212.htm
"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."
 
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Dublinmike

Dublinmike

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I'm not sure about copper post fermentation. The use of it pre fermentation seems to be good for the yeast. Beyond that though, it seems there could be at least some concerns.

I'd have to vote in favor of SS over copper when used as hop bag weights!

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/ucm189212.htm
"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."
Wow that fda post is alarming - So I should take them out tonight?
 

Nagorg

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Not sure about the other readers on this forum but I think I would get them out to be safe! Thats me though... If anyone else has info suggesting otherwise then please pipe in! :cross:
 

Yooper

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Copper is fine prefermentation (you see copper kettles in breweries all the time), but not post-fermentation when it is poisonous. I'd take them out.

I don't use anything to weigh down my bag (and most often, I don't use a bag for hops), but if I did I would use either glass marbles (without lead) or stainless steel.
 
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Dublinmike

Dublinmike

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Thanks guys - I will take them out tonight. Hopefully no damage will have been done.
 

dstar26t

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John Palmer:
"Copper is a problem post-fermentation because it catalyzes staling reactions, including the production of hydrogen peroxide and can oxidize the alcohols to aldehydes. Finished beer should not be stored in contact with copper, although serving beer with copper tubing in a jockey box should not be a problem, because of the short contact time immediately before serving."
 

traviswalken

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I recently used a hop bag wrapped around my siphon to prevent clogs. This might prevent the need for copper, ss, or marbles.
 

JKoravos

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I use SS balls. I got them from McMaster-Carr. Stainless hex nuts are easier to come by locally and work just as well.
 

Chamuco

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+1 on the nuts.

You can run the hop-sack string through a few and tie it off, Kerrplunk. Balls in your hop sack works well too... Or marbles.

Balls, nuts, hopsack......Now this is all sounding strange........and this is where I stop typing.
 

Calichusetts

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Marbles FTW. Plus, they break up the hops in the bag and let the beer pass through it easier. Its like 50 cents for 100 marbles too
 

res291que

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The cheapest "SS marbles" I have found ... When you make a keggle keep the ball from the top of the spear. It is cheap and a great use instead of just rolling it around your garage.
 
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Dublinmike

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Cheers for that. I removed the copper pieces after 24 hours for fear of poisoning myself! By that stage the hop bag had been submerged fully and they had all been reached by the brew. Its now floating on top but I reckon the flavor is getting around.

First AG American IPA. I am ridiculously excited for this :ban:
 

Johnnyhitch1

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http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/ucm189212.htm
"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."
so what happens when the level of copper is above .2 mg/L pre-fermentation?
how do we know how much is being leached from pots, manifolds, and chillers?

EDIT: i guess if levels were in the "lethal" range for yeast (or humans) you just wouldn't have a gravity change, or no fermentaion would occur?
this just bugs me because i use a copper manifold and chiller
 

DonMagee

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I have yet to weight down the bag. I just let it float or drop the hops in loose.
 

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