Brass fittings on Boiler

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Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:55 pm

Hi, I have never built a still before but have decided to start with a basic pot still consisting of a large stock pot with 10mm copper pipe condenser worm. I will be using flour paste to seal the lid and have found a brass fitting that would be ideal to connect the copper to the lid. I can see that there is much discussion on how to make brass safe by pickling it in peroxide/vinegar. I think I know the answer to this but I would like some reassurance. Is it OK to just leave the fitting just as it is? It is at the bottom of the vertical bit of the condenser arm so am I right in saying that no lead could find its way into the condensate as lead is not volatile.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby maheel » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:19 pm

well if you can pickle it it would be better than just using it "new"

but personally..... i dont think that one fitting is going to expose you to enough lead to effect you at all.

it will expose you to some lead but be realistic and consider all the things we are exposed to each day (then include the extra alcohol you might consume as well)

thats IMO, i am sure others will say you must pickle, but it's up to you in the end.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Wanker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:02 pm

Until I read this post I had no idea that there was lead in brass. Good to know but depressing my still is not as safe as I thought it was. I have a brass needle valve and a small brass fitting on my column where my thermometer fits through. It will be pretty easy to get a stainless needle valve but to change the fitting on the column will require more soldering which means more vinegar runs.

How much lead could get into a spirit with from this fitting? It did get a vinegar run after I soldered it in so it is partly pickeled and the fittings in my house on my taps on my facets are brass.

I guess I will change them out but I have a lot of vodka sitting around that was made with this setup.

Don’t most of the LM stills have brass needle valves?

Any opinions?
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:22 pm

Apparently most brass has about 2% lead added to make it easier to machine. I think I read somewhere on the main site that you could theoretically have dangerous levels of lead in the wash but as long as as there is no lead in the downward sloping part of your column/condenser then you are all OK as the lead salts simply can not travel upwards in vapour form. It would still be nice to have someone confirm this.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Husker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:10 pm

wanker,

get urself a stainless valve (not cheap, but will last for a lifetime), and you should be alright.

If your still is an LM, (boka), then the small fitting will be under the liquid take off. You should not get lead carry over into your product.

If the thermo port is above the liquid takeoff, then there is a chance that a very small amount could get through. It is up to you on what to do.

But yes, if you have a brass needle valve, then you should look at getting that replaced, as it obviously IS in the liquid take off.

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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby catburgler » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:24 pm

Hi Banjoted, are you connecting that 10mm direct to the lid?
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Mr.Spooky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:33 pm

gallon of vinager,,,, about 1 dollar... little peroxide,,, about 1 dollar.. if you cant swing a few dollers,, then this probabally isnt the hobby for you.. try stamp collecting.. but for the same amount,, youll only get three.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:42 pm

catburgler wrote:Hi Banjoted, are you connecting that 10mm direct to the lid?


Well the tank connector is 15mm so I would have to reduce it at some point. Does it need to be wider?
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Wanker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:48 pm

Alcohol and cancer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Alcohol is associated with an increased risk of a number of cancers.[2] 3.6% of all cancer cases and 3.5% of cancer deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol drinking.[3] Breast cancer in women is linked with alcohol intake.[4] Alcohol also increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx and larynx,[5] colorectal cancer,[6][7] liver cancer,[8] stomach[9] and ovaries.[10]”

"High levels of alcohol consumption are correlated with an increased risk of developing alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, malabsorption, chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and cancer. Damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system can occur from sustained alcohol consumption.[2][3] Long-term use of alcohol in excessive quantities is capable of damaging nearly every organ and system in the body.[4] The developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol.[5]"


If you are that concerned about the ill effects of lead and plastic on your health maybe YOU should consider stamp collecting because the very product you are trying to produce is a carcinogen and likely more dangerous than any lead that may or may not leach out of brass fittings. Don’t lick the stamps though; god knows what might be in the glue.

I understand the point of being cautious but get some perspective.

Thanks for the rational input Husker, I will take your advice and change out both.
Last edited by Wanker on Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby catburgler » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:00 pm

How many litres does your stockpot hold, ? then we can go from there..
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:05 pm

Mr.Spooky wrote:gallon of vinager,,,, about 1 dollar... little peroxide,,, about 1 dollar.. if you cant swing a few dollers,, then this probabally isnt the hobby for you.. try stamp collecting.. but for the same amount,, youll only get three.
spooky


Yes but why should I spend a few dollars and the time doing it if the process is redundant?
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby myles » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:09 pm

One of the other options for you if you want to use the stockpot is to just throw away the lid and make a new one from a sheet of copper. Joining copper tube to a copper lid is dead easy. You can also simply apply a thin coat of solder to the inside surface of your brass fitting. Copper fitings are also available in some sizes. Hard to find near me though.

In many ways though it is sometimes more convenient to use the stock pot for somethng else and get a small beer keg instead. I know a lot of folks use stock pots, but building can be far easier with a keg as your boiler.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:13 pm

catburgler wrote:How many litres does your stockpot hold, ? then we can go from there..


Hi catburgler, it's 15 litre.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Mr.Spooky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:17 pm

Wanker wrote:Alcohol and cancer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Alcohol is associated with an increased risk of a number of cancers.[2] 3.6% of all cancer cases and 3.5% of cancer deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol drinking.[3] Breast cancer in women is linked with alcohol intake.[4] Alcohol also increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx and larynx,[5] colorectal cancer,[6][7] liver cancer,[8] stomach[9] and ovaries.[10]”


High levels of alcohol consumption are correlated with an increased risk of developing alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, malabsorption, chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and cancer. Damage to the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system can occur from sustained alcohol consumption.[2][3] Long-term use of alcohol in excessive quantities is capable of damaging nearly every organ and system in the body.[4] The developing adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of alcohol.[5]"


If you are that concerned about the ill effects of lead and plastic on your health maybe YOU should consider stamp collecting because the very product you are trying to produce is a carcinogen and likely more dangerous than any lead that may or may not leach out of brass fittings. Don’t lick the stamps though; god knows what might be in the glue.

I understand the point of being cautious but get some perspective.

Thanks for the rational input Husker, I will take your advice and change out both.

you yourself said that you were not aware of the brass/// lead. QUOTE "Until I read this post I had no idea that there was lead in brass. Good to know but depressing my still is not as safe as I thought it was."
so whats the problem? any extra measure of safty that you can take,, the better. and BTW what publications did you get yur facts from?
3.6% and 3.5% are small numbers to be standing behind. seems like theres a higher risk of getting hit by lightning.
in conclusion,,, i do have some perspective and that is,,,,, if 2 dollars can get you a little safer, then why not???
and if your previous statements are of sutch of concern to you ie. "Alcohol is associated with an increased risk of a number of cancers.[2] 3.6% of all cancer cases and 3.5% of cancer deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol drinking.[3] Breast cancer in women is linked with alcohol intake.[4] Alcohol also increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, esophagus, pharynx and larynx,[5] colorectal cancer,[6][7] liver cancer,[8] stomach[9] and ovaries.[10]” maby you ought to conciter something other as well.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Mr.Spooky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:18 pm

BanjoTed wrote:
Mr.Spooky wrote:gallon of vinager,,,, about 1 dollar... little peroxide,,, about 1 dollar.. if you cant swing a few dollers,, then this probabally isnt the hobby for you.. try stamp collecting.. but for the same amount,, youll only get three.
spooky


Yes but why should I spend a few dollars and the time doing it if the process is redundant?

its 2 dollers,,, :roll: and why do you think that its redundant?
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Wanker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:31 pm

Your stamp collecting comment was unconstructive and uncalled for; I see no point arguing further so you can have the last word. And you would have seen that info is from Wikipedia if you would have read my post thoroughly.

If you were that concerned about lead I would think you wouldn’t rely on unproven “pickling” so you could just be a “little safer”.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:37 pm

Mr.Spooky wrote:
BanjoTed wrote:
Mr.Spooky wrote:gallon of vinager,,,, about 1 dollar... little peroxide,,, about 1 dollar.. if you cant swing a few dollers,, then this probabally isnt the hobby for you.. try stamp collecting.. but for the same amount,, youll only get three.
spooky


Yes but why should I spend a few dollars and the time doing it if the process is redundant?

its 2 dollers,,, :roll: and why do you think that its redundant?
spooky


Hey spooky, I think maybe you misunderstood me. I'm not saying I am trying to save money or don't want to do this because I'm lazy! It's redundant because any lead leaching out(if anything) could not physically get into the output so therefore you don't need to do it no matter the cost etc. Unless of course I am wrong in which case let me know. As I said I'm a beginner but not about to quit just yet and take up stamp collecting :ewink:
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:41 pm

Wanker wrote:Your stamp collecting comment was unconstructive and uncalled for; I see no point arguing further so you can have the last word. And you would have seen that info is from Wikipedia if you would have read my post thoroughly.

If you were that concerned about lead I would think you wouldn’t rely on unproven “pickling” so you could just be a “little safer”.


Hi Wanker, I agree the stamp collecting comment was not constructive but if you look back It was spooky who was telling me to take up stamp collecting not you :D
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Mr.Spooky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:51 pm

your right,,, maby the stamp remark was uncalled for... but cmon 2 dollars.
and i did read your post thoroughly. BTW Wikipedia is the same source that says Barack Obama was born in the USA.
oh,,, did i mention 2 dollars????
im not so concerned about lead because the house i live in is over 60 years old,, and im sure at that time,, plumbing with lead free soulder was unherd of.
BTW did i mention 2 dollars???
and where is pickeling "unproven"...
and last but not least... its 2 dollars... thats less than a lb/kg of sugar.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:55 pm

Sorry I didn't quite get that, did you say 2 dollars? :lol:
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Mr.Spooky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:57 pm

BanjoTed wrote:Sorry I didn't quite get that, did you say 2 dollars? :lol:

LOL glad i got that across :D
i honestly dont know if your wrong, or right,,,, as im not a chemest. im just folowing the directions that i was tought. do as you wish.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Wanker » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:57 pm

Your logic is so convoluted and contradictory it is hilarious; thanks for the entertainment!
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Mr.Spooky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:01 pm

Wanker wrote: I see no point arguing further so you can have the last word.if you would have read my post thoroughly.


contradictory????????? i thought you were done.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby bgrizzle » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:28 pm

This entire conversation is almost as retarded as my aunt-inlaw... no but seriously... she is retarded...


THE RULES ARE SIMPLE... do not use brass if you can use SS or copper as an alternative... if you have to use brass... pickle it!


No need to throw jabs, although I do think that most of these comments are light hearted...


The main point I have is this: AS A RULE, LETS NOT USE BRASS UNLESS ITS PICKLED. We have rules for many reasons, but the main reason is that if a "retard" were to read a post saying that a still had brass in it, he/she may think its harmless... Simple rules keep us all safer.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Mr.Spooky » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:45 pm

LOL well said bgrizzle.
no hard feelings here :D and im sure your aunt-inlaw aint so bad :lol:
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby cob » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:25 pm

BanjoTed wrote:Sorry I didn't quite get that, did you say 2 dollars? :lol:


now that you have that 2 dollars part down pat, for less than 10 dollars you can connect your 10mm. to your stock pot lid with copper fittings and have no worries. any problem you can find a solution for in brass, you can find a solution for in copper. :P cob

edit ; narrow minded me. almost every configuration of brass fitting made as available in stainless
Last edited by cob on Fri Dec 31, 2010 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby catburgler » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:08 am

My advice would be to ditch the brass fitting altogether. if your using a 15ltr stock pot then buy a length of 1.5 inch copper. If i was doing it i, iwould go with a 20" because i can buy it in that length cheaply, buy a copper end cap and solder that on, drill a 10mm hole a couple of inches from the end and solder your 10mm to it, The fun bit is connecting the column to the lid, your gonna have to figure that one out for yourself, there are loads of ways of doing it, look at some of the posts on this site for ideas, there are also posts showing you how to drill the lid. My pot still is as described above, but instead of a worm iv got a 12" long, by 1" diameter Liebig condensor and it works great.

One other way of figuring out how to attach the column is to go to the hardware store and see whats available, its amazing what you can come up with !

Have fun, stay safe and try not to get drawn into pointless discussions because nobody ever wins !
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby Dan P. » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:32 am

This is an honest question, unrelated to the bickering above; How does pickling solve the problem of lead in brass? It is my understanding that lead forms particularly stable oxides. I presume the same is true when it is used as an alloy in brass. Wouldn't pickling simply expose unoxidized brass to the process?
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby american road iron » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:57 am

As with all hobbies this is a hobby of progression. You buy in, and constantly make changes and adjustments. The only thing we all must be very aware of is the "carcinogens" ever present. Safety and drinking safe are the 2 rules in hobby distilling.
If we make a mistake buying or building, correct it. If we make a mistake drinking, correct it. Bottom line is this site and the response members give is driven behind all of us being safe and enjoying this really cool hobby. As sarcastic as some may seem it is all driven to provide you with good information, which allows you to make a more intelligent decision on your future. Because ultimately it is you and the ones around you who are at risk, not us.
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Re: Brass fittings on Boiler

Postby BanjoTed » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestion catburgler, I think I may go with something like your rig. In fact I'm wondering if I should ditch the stock pot and try and get a small keg. Anyway this is all going way off topic. May this thread RIP!
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