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Author Topic: brass vs stainless plumbing  (Read 1687 times)

Offline jkmarvin

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brass vs stainless plumbing
« on: February 15, 2011, 07:04:39 pm »
I have been brewing for a couple years and slowly getting my all grain system going.  I have 3 keggles and just need to get plumbing (valves and fittings and such) done on my hot water tank and mash tun.  My boil pot is built and has stainless fittings and valves but I am wondering what the drawbacks are (if there is any!) with brass.  I am using Star San on all my brewing eq is that going to a problem?  If I move to decoction mashing will that be an issue with bronze?  If I buy a brass ball valve can I use it with stainless nipples etc?  Any other issues that you can think of would be great.  Just trying to save some money.


Offline Hokerer

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Re: brass vs stainless plumbing
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011, 07:54:08 pm »
Since brass contains some lead, you need to "pickle" it al la John Palmer's "How to Brew"...

Cleaning Brass
Some brewers use brass fittings in conjunction with their wort chillers or other brewing equipment and are concerned about the lead that is present in brass alloys. A solution of two parts white vinegar to one part hydrogen peroxide (common 3% solution) will remove tarnish and surface lead from brass parts when they are soaked for 5 minutes or less at room temperature. The brass will turn a buttery yellow color as it is cleaned. If the solution starts to turn green and the brass darkens, then the parts have been soaking too long and the copper in the brass is beginning to dissolve, exposing more lead. The solution has become contaminated and the part should be re-cleaned in a fresh solution.