brass compression fittings, safe?

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brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby watermelon » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:10 am

im looking for an easy to connect my copper lyme arm to my boiler.

i already have a bunch of brass compression fittings used for standard plumbing.


is this material safe to use in contact with the vapours?
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby just-a-sip » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:17 am

although many have debated about this in the past there are some that use brass however thy pickle it in vinegar first. I however stay tried and true with only stainless and copper. I will say this though in the food industry many production plants perform regular pickling of there equipment. welds tend to rust over time and and materials often are not to spec so they buy a past called pickling past and perform this trick on the equipment. we here have discussed the safety issue because its high temp alc but like i said before many here use it in limited quantity. its up to you.
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby just-a-sip » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:18 am

my post was rough.. past= paste
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby watermelon » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:21 am

so by pickling you are taking away lead from the surface of the brass, so that it does not come into contact with the vapour.

to be honest i dont like the sound of this at all. alough i can see that it is probably a negliable amount, its probably not worth the risk. ill have to do some more browsing in the shops.
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:53 am

Watermelon you have poster two threads asking if materials are safe. That if you had done the proper reading would already know the answer. There are many threads on these materials available here on HD for you to read. Along with the many other must read threads in the new distiller reading lounge. And there is a whole section devoted to materials safety.

Welcome aboard by the way. Pleas step over to the welcome center and give us a proper intro. Let us know a little about yourself and your goals in this hobby.
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby watermelon » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:49 pm

get off your high horse. i have read the threads and done numerous searches, and this is the novice distillers forum. by your reasoning why dont we do away with the newbies sections and just have a FAQ. i value the people on the board and appreciate your hospitality, but i have no reason to share anything about my life with strangers on the internet.


i have found mention of safe materials, but all the info i have found is vague. most of the time people just riff about using the best materials. thats all fair and well, but what if something i already have is worth using, im gonna use it. brass is a contentious issue, so it is a viable thread in my opinion.


get out of the novice section if your gonna moan about simple questions.
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby Prairiepiss » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:28 pm

Ok ok you win. Here let me search out the answer for you. Search keyword brass topic titles. Yep 55 matches and most all of them are asking about the safety of using brass.
search.php?keywords=brass&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=titleonly&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

And the welcome center is so that we can know what you know don't know. What you want to make. What experience you have. What equipment you may have. So when you do ask questions we are better prepared to answer them correctly for you. Not so we can just get to know you.

The Newb link in my signature would be a great read for you. :thumbup:
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby shadylane » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:23 pm

I desided to take a couple shots of my finest before posting this. That was a great response Prairiepiss, My hat is off to you.
Hell, I even learned from the research you provided. Might not remember it in the morning but thats beside the point.
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby freespirited » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:56 pm

OP There is almost always a copper piece to match a brass piece. Why risk lead poisoning??? Use a copper union...
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby just-a-sip » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:51 am

shadylane wrote:I desided to take a couple shots of my finest before posting this. That was a great response Prairiepiss, My hat is off to you.
Hell, I even learned from the research you provided. Might not remember it in the morning but thats beside the point.


yea well you know what i dont have the same restraint PP does...

"get off your high horse"

how about show some respect. notice the color of his name that means he is a mentor, he is here to answer questions and stear people in the right direction. you have posted twice about material safety without doing the research, you have posted twice and got offended by the TONE of which the answer was presented, you have posted twice about the disrespect you have been given and then turn around and disrespect a great contributor to this forum. in my opinion you need to grow up and get thicker skin

although this is a "novice Forum" there are quite a few people who contribute who are anything but. they come hear with a wealth of knowledge to help ungrateful and unwilling individuals who want nothing more then to be spoon fed. i think they handle it well ( im not one that handles it well) this forum is for the betterment of the hobby and the skill and art of distillation at home. we preach the use of materials and posting about such materials to aid in our quest of a safe fun and legal hobby. we are going to get no ware if time and time again new members come along and fight and question the vary rules and regulations set to keep them safe and make the forum function in its intended manor.

that is all.
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby myles » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:56 am

watermelon I look at these brass fittings dependent on size.

The bigger ones are just too valuable and cost effective not to use. On the bigger sizes it is easy to work around any surface lead issues. Over here a 2" brass coupling is considerably cheaper than a 2" copper alternative. You can simply solder over any brass inside the fitting that is going to be exposed to vapour. If you do that you are just using the brass EXTERNAL to the vapour path and it is no longer an issue.

Brass compression fittings are a good alternative to other means of joining tube but they do have some problems. You can also use a slip coupling arrangement to join the tube in the centre of the fitting. However, as these are essential socket type fittings, you can not have a flange type joint. You do need to be able to pull the tube apart which may be an issue.

Smaller sizes are a bit more problematic and I would probably recomend stainless for those.
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby yankee10 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:44 pm

Since we are on this topic I though I would throw this out there. I have been looking at getting a new still from whiskeystill.net the 5 gallons ones are pretty cool. The reason for the post is because I noticed that on there website it says they use brass fittings but are lead free in certain connection points like to the condenser. The online manual for the product recommends running a test run with vinegar (pickling) before using the still. Just wondering if anyone has experience with this product and knows if the fittings are external or if they are using exposed brass and expecting the owner to complete the pickling process. Thanks
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby watermelon » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:41 am

have you read every post on the forum to find out if this has been asked before??!!
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Re: brass compression fittings, safe?

Postby myles » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:02 am

yankee10 wrote:Since we are on this topic I though I would throw this out there. I have been looking at getting a new still from whiskeystill.net the 5 gallons ones are pretty cool. The reason for the post is because I noticed that on there website it says they use brass fittings but are lead free in certain connection points like to the condenser. The online manual for the product recommends running a test run with vinegar (pickling) before using the still. Just wondering if anyone has experience with this product and knows if the fittings are external or if they are using exposed brass and expecting the owner to complete the pickling process. Thanks


yankee10 I just want to stop you straight away. Irrespective of anything else you have got some bad information. You can NOT pickle brass by doing a cleaning run with vinegar. It just will not work.

The whole issue of lead free, etc needs to be looked at, as does the need for pickling at all. However, if you are going to do it, then it has to be done in a specific way - and that is not by running vinegar through the still.

Check out the new distillers reading lounge first, but I would be skeptical about that online manual if something so fundamental is wrong.
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