Brass/copper vrs. SS

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Vallka, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    Is there any reason I can't use brass swivel nuts in place of SS?
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Different metals react with each other is one reason metallurgy Palmer talks about it in his book. It's another reason why they have lead anodes on boats to slow down rust.
     
  3. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Not sure, but brass may not hold up well to the caustic cleaning agents. It can leach metals.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've been using brass in my mash tuns for years. Once they passivate, anticipate no further problems. In other words, go right ahead and use it. Might be a problem combining brass and stainless but it would be the more active metal - stainless - that corrodes.
     
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  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Good question, interested in hearing other opinions. I have copper and brass in my mash tun. Post boil everything is stainless once the copper tube chiller is pulled out of the kettle. I have a mix of brass and stainless on the gas side, but it doesn't come in contact with the beer.
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    We have copper and brass in most of our fresh water systems in our homes. Here in the US uncle says we need to test for copper or lead in our water. Older systems do leach lead or copper under certain conditions (Flint MI for example) but anything sold recently is not a concern. Soldering copper together needs to be done with lead free solder to avoid lead. Read the label it will tell you if its lead free. Properly installed copper water lines or brass fittings are fine in hot and cold running water lines in your house. The way they are tested is from the first draw from a tap after water sits in the lines all night. Only in very old systems do you get even close to a reportable level. That said, I use copper and brass in my brewery without hesitation. PBW and sometimes BLC are used for cleaning along with recirculating til water reaches at least 170f.
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if there is more reaction in an electric fired kettle?
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it. It's heat, not magnetism or electricity, that causes the isomerization, the protein denaturation, all the stuff that happens in the kettle. One thing: With my induction rig indoors, my boil is much more consistent than boiling outdoors with propane in the Colorado zephyrs. It is a step closer to consistency in brewing.
     
  9. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    So on the gas side I can see no real issues but what about the liquid side? What if I have Brass Swivel nuts onto SS quick releases?
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Should be okay. Keep checking the stainless for corrosion, though, and keep things as dry as possible.
     
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  11. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Member

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    My counter flow chiller is made with copper tubing probably like most coil chillers. I've never had any issues with taste. I don't have any experience with brass but why not just stick with stainless for such small parts?
     
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  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Stainless is a good bit more pricey but I did spring for it when putting my electric brewery together. Don't shy away from brass - once it's passivated you get very little from it in the wort and what you get, copper and zinc, are both beneficial to the yeast.
     
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  13. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Member

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    Yes Stainless is more expensive but it is also more durable than softer metals. I have learned over the years that you get what you pay for so its more of a personal choice than it being a critical error either way. Other than my chiller my system is completely stainless. I've been using it for years and haven't had to replace any components other than some tubing. I don't know what the commercial rules are as far as equipment goes but stainless is a
     
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  14. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Brass isn't that weak or soft that most typical homebrewers would ever need to worry about it wearing out. Galvanic reaction is real, but copper and brass play nice together, and certain conditions need to exist for galvanic reaction to take place (what some would call inaccurately call electrolysis). I'd use whatever was readily available or easiest to find.
    I've seen some real crappy stainless also, but some will buy it anyway just cause it's stainless...
     
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