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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * October 22, 2003 * Discolored copper - stupid brewer brainlock < Previous Next >

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gothambrewer (12.88.197.230)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 02:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wanted to get the grime off of some copper fittings and hard tubing so I soaked them in a PBW solution figuring if I only leave them there a few hours and I'd get them squeaky clean. Yes, I know that PBW will attack copper but I'd done this before with my immersion coil with no ill effects.

Anyway, this soak went from hours to days to weeks. The copper is glossy black now with no amount of scrubbing alieviating the problem.

My question can anyone tell me if I can still use these pcs. What is that black coat on the copper anyway?
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 01:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Soak in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and hot water. That should clean the copper.
 

Todd Metcalf (129.42.208.182)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 05:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was going to use PBW to flush out my CFC (copper) and other copper brew equipment. Should I use something else?

I clean all of my equipment before and after each session, but I wanted to do some spring (fall?) cleaning.
 

Vance Barnes (216.85.253.82)
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 06:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use PBW and/or Oxiclean on my hard copper plumbing all the time but only for maybe and hour max. If the vinegar solution doesn't work, Bill had suggested StarSan for my IC and it works GREAT. Not that sanitizing the plumbing is necessary (unless you pump through a CFC) but the SS is acidic and cleans copper even better than vinegar.
 

gothambrewer (12.88.181.246)
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 04:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Bill, I'll try that out tonight and post results.
 

gothambrewer (12.88.174.173)
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 09:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Bill,

Your suggestion of hot water and vinegar worked well. The parts indeed lost that coat of muck.

Would you mind explaining the chemistry behind it?

Thanks!
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 09:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The chemistry is simple. Vinegar is acidic (acetic acid). The copper oxides dissolve much more readily in the acid. If I remember correctly (it's been a long time since college chemistry), the resulting cupric acetate turns the solution green. The reaction proceeds more quickly in a warm solution.
 

Joe Alf (65.139.154.209)
Posted on Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 01:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brewed a Wit last week and acidified the water with lactic acid. I read several winning recipes that did this in the book Year of Beer,the acid had an even better shining effect on the copper coil in my HLT than the Star-San soak done the week before. The primary sample tasted great not acidic as I expected.FWIW

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