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Building a Wort Chiller. How to clean copper tubing before I start

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  • mpo3776
    I bought copper tubing to put together a immersion chiller. What is the best way to clean the copper tubing? I want to get the stuff off before I use it. I
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 30, 2009
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      I bought copper tubing to put together a immersion chiller. What is the best way to clean the copper tubing? I want to get the stuff off before I use it. I remember someone saying to soak it in vinegar..???

      Should I boil it too? Or??? Don't want the stuff to come off in my brew...

      Help if you can...

      Thanks.

      Phil
    • Joe Strain aka Yodar
      I boiled mine in the turkey fryer with a good dose of that eco-friendly green schpritzer cleaner stuff to degrease it, then boiled in plain water and then
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 1, 2009
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        I boiled mine in the turkey fryer with a good dose of that eco-friendly green schpritzer cleaner stuff to degrease it, then boiled in plain water and then schpritzed it with vinegar on the outside


        Yodar
        words MEAN things

        --- On Wed, 9/30/09, mpo3776 <mpo3776@...> wrote:

        From: mpo3776 <mpo3776@...>
        Subject: [BrewEquip] Building a Wort Chiller. How to clean copper tubing before I start
        To: BrewingEquipment@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 11:43 PM

         

        I bought copper tubing to put together a immersion chiller. What is the best way to clean the copper tubing? I want to get the stuff off before I use it. I remember someone saying to soak it in vinegar..???

        Should I boil it too? Or??? Don't want the stuff to come off in my brew...

        Help if you can...

        Thanks.

        Phil


      • John Avelis Jr
        When I got my wort chiller, I cleaned it with regular dish detergent (Dawn, Palmolive, or etc.) and rinsed it off. Now I just put it in the boiling wort 15
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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          When I got my wort chiller, I cleaned it with regular dish detergent
          (Dawn, Palmolive, or etc.) and rinsed it off. Now I just put it in the
          boiling wort 15 min. before shutoff, then rinse it off with the hose
          after chilling. Any tarnish seems to be removed by the acid wort
          during use, as it stays pretty shiny. Any copper oxide that gets in
          the beer is in a negligible amount.
        • Rick Stidham
          I use Bar Keepers Friend to clean mine. It s okay if it gets dull-looking, but if it gets green stuff on it (verdigris, I mean, not hops), you need to get that
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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            I use Bar Keepers Friend to clean mine.

            It's okay if it gets dull-looking, but if it gets green stuff on it (verdigris, I mean, not hops), you need to get that off.

            Rick


            From: mpo3776 <mpo3776@...>
            To: BrewingEquipment@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 11:43:13 PM
            Subject: [BrewEquip] Building a Wort Chiller. How to clean copper tubing before I start

             

            I bought copper tubing to put together a immersion chiller. What is the best way to clean the copper tubing? I want to get the stuff off before I use it. I remember someone saying to soak it in vinegar..???

            Should I boil it too? Or??? Don't want the stuff to come off in my brew...

            Help if you can...

            Thanks.

            Phil


          • t2000kwt
            ... Copper is an essential nutrient for yeast at low levels. At high levels, it is toxic. You won t be getting high levels from the wort chiller since you
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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              --- In BrewingEquipment@yahoogroups.com, John Avelis Jr <javelis@...> wrote:
              >
              > Any tarnish seems to be removed by the acid wort
              > during use, as it stays pretty shiny. Any copper oxide that gets in
              > the beer is in a negligible amount.
              >

              Copper is an essential nutrient for yeast at low levels. At high levels, it is toxic. You won't be getting high levels from the wort chiller since you won't be leaving it in the wort for a long time, only long enough to sanitize/sterilize it and cool the wort.
            • Jamie McCarty
              Copper is also has antimicrobial effects... which I guess would be good to keep the contamination risk down. I ve also heard pro-brewers say that you re not
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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                Copper is also has antimicrobial effects... which I guess would be good to keep the contamination risk down.  I've also heard pro-brewers say that you're not really making beer if there is no copper in your system.



              • Bob
                There are plenty of breweries still using copper boilers. I saw one in operation at the Black Sheep Brewery in northern England. It was a pretty site to
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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                  There are plenty of breweries still using copper boilers. I saw one in
                  operation at the Black Sheep Brewery in northern England. It was a
                  pretty site to behold.

                  Bob O.
                • Joe Strain aka Yodar
                  Yes! Some time ago I remember on the St. Louis  A.B. tour seeing  2 story copper boilers in service Yodar words MEAN things ...   There are plenty of
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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                    Yes!
                    Some time ago I remember on the St. Louis  A.B. tour seeing  2 story copper boilers in service

                    Yodar
                    words MEAN things

                    --- On Fri, 10/2/09, Bob <Brewing@...> wrote:


                     

                    There are plenty of breweries still using copper boilers. I saw one in
                    operation at the Black Sheep Brewery in northern England. It was a
                    pretty site to behold.

                    Bob O.


                  • t2000kwt
                    ... That would seem to prove that a wort chiller made of copper wouldn t add too much copper to the wort. Don
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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                      --- In BrewingEquipment@yahoogroups.com, "Bob" <Brewing@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > There are plenty of breweries still using copper boilers.

                      That would seem to prove that a wort chiller made of copper wouldn't add too much copper to the wort.

                      Don
                    • Tom Schmidlin
                      Copper is totally safe for the yeast at all points in the brewing process except after the yeast is pitched - you won t get enough dissolved to hurt them.
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 2, 2009
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                        Copper is totally safe for the yeast at all points in the brewing process except after the yeast is pitched - you won't get enough dissolved to hurt them.  After the yeast is pitched you run the risk of off flavors in the beer - kind of blood-like or metallic.  Just a few seconds exposure to copper post fermentation is enough to give a noticeable flavor.

                        I've also heard of an all-stainless brewery that had serious fermentation problems and had to replace a short section of pipe with copper in order to fix it.  I think it was between the mash tun and the kettle, but may have been somewhere else in the process.

                        Anyway, I was in a tasting class where they had opened a tripel, put a short section of copper pipe in for 10 seconds, and recapped it.  In a blind tasting, every person in the class could tell which was the copper one and which was the undoctored one.  Huge difference - try it at home.

                        Tom
                      • Tom Schmidlin
                        To follow up, someone asked me whether it was shiny or dull copper for the doctored beer I tasted. I checked with the guy who ran the tasting and he said it
                        Message 11 of 11 , Oct 4, 2009
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                          To follow up, someone asked me whether it was shiny or dull copper for the doctored beer I tasted.

                          I checked with the guy who ran the tasting and he said it was shiny, having been shined in a test bottle.  It got shiny in only 30 seconds.  He used a length of 1/2" copper pipe to the bottom of the bottle for 45 seconds, quite a bit longer than I remembered but still a short period of time.  A control bottle was opened for the same amount of time to account for possible oxidation.

                          Still, there may have been some oxidized copper on the surface of the pipe even if it looked shiny and that would get in the beer much faster than non-oxidized copper.  One way to test this would be to do a series of bottles and see if the last one was less coppery than the first one.

                          Tom






                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Tom Schmidlin
                          Sent: Oct 2, 2009 7:03 PM
                          To: BrewingEquipment@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [BrewEquip] Re:Building a Wort Chiller. How to clean copper tubing before I start

                           

                          Copper is totally safe for the yeast at all points in the brewing process except after the yeast is pitched - you won't get enough dissolved to hurt them.  After the yeast is pitched you run the risk of off flavors in the beer - kind of blood-like or metallic.  Just a few seconds exposure to copper post fermentation is enough to give a noticeable flavor.

                          I've also heard of an all-stainless brewery that had serious fermentation problems and had to replace a short section of pipe with copper in order to fix it.  I think it was between the mash tun and the kettle, but may have been somewhere else in the process.

                          Anyway, I was in a tasting class where they had opened a tripel, put a short section of copper pipe in for 10 seconds, and recapped it.  In a blind tasting, every person in the class could tell which was the copper one and which was the undoctored one.  Huge difference - try it at home.

                          Tom

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