The never ending discussion of lead content of brass

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The never ending discussion of lead content of brass

Postby Fishws » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:12 pm

I have done a few rum runs as per Mac's recipe, diluted to 65% and put into oak barrels with a few raisins. I have a small 16l barrel from winexstorage in Ozzie Park, Perth. Rum has been in the barrel for about two months now. Drew off a shot over the weekend and the first bit that came through the tap had a dark discolouration to it. It cleared up pretty quick though and I discarded the dark bit. Taste and smell of the non-discoloured stuff was fine. Wasn't game to taste the black shit though! Tap is brass and feels like it has a washer in it. Could it be degeneration of the washer?

Views appreciated.

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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby WTDist » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:26 pm

taps brass? i wouldnt be using it if it was me
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby P3T3rPan » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:12 pm

Could easy be a shit washer. DIY and all that
But yeah, what he said, brass is sus until proven otherwise
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby Fishws » Thu Oct 29, 2015 5:38 pm

P3T3rPan wrote:Could easy be a shit washer. DIY and all that
But yeah, what he said, brass is sus until proven otherwise


OK thanks, but what, exactly is the problem with brass taps? And if there is a problem why would they sell barrels made specifically for spirits with brass taps fitted?
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby rumdidlydum » Thu Oct 29, 2015 7:17 pm

Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby Fishws » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:23 pm

rumdidlydum wrote:Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Yes, barrel was charred. And thanks all, makes some sense now.
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby xcvator » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:43 pm

rumdidlydum wrote:Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Not any more, bismuth is now used in ALL brass either manufactured here or imported into Australia and most other countries now. You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes :cool:
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby Thelegion » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:13 am

xcvator wrote:
rumdidlydum wrote:Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Not any more, bismuth is now used in ALL brass either manufactured here or imported into Australia and most other countries now. You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes :cool:


Just a quick chime in here,
Here the bags are labeled "lead free" for brass taps and brass fittings/parts that are expected to contact a drinking source. I saw some test strips a while back in a paint store that you could swipe the area in question and check for lead content.

Internet buying is "buyer beware" when it comes to brass fittings and even copper from what I have seen, offshore copper has had been reported to contain lead in some cases. I found a small old brass fitting and heated it the other day, and let me tell you It melted like lead (propane torch).

We had a case here a year ago with childrens toys that were painted with lead paint from China, unscrupulous venders have no issue telling you what you want to hear.

but as to quote the above
You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes
hopefully.
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby Sam. » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:23 am

xcvator wrote:
rumdidlydum wrote:
Sam. wrote:Was the barrel charred? Maybe some of that coming through :think:

Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Not any more, bismuth is now used in ALL brass either manufactured here or imported into Australia and most other countries now. You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes :cool:


Hey xcvator would you have a reference for that at all? Interested as this argument comes up from time to time and it always comes back to it probably has trace amounts of lead. :-B

Sorry for the thread hijack fish I can split this topic to clean it up if need be :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby Fishws » Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:20 am

tipsy wrote:
Fishws wrote:put into oak barrels with a few raisins. Drew off a shot over the weekend and the first bit that came through the tap had a dark discolouration to it


Could it just be the deteriorated raisins? :think:


Could be but I've got another small barrel with spirit and raisins in, and it's crystal clear. Barrel wasn't charred though, so my money's on the charring at this stage.
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby xcvator » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:04 pm

Sam. wrote:
xcvator wrote:
rumdidlydum wrote:
Sam. wrote:Was the barrel charred? Maybe some of that coming through :think:

Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Not any more, bismuth is now used in ALL brass either manufactured here or imported into Australia and most other countries now. You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes :cool:


Hey xcvator would you have a reference for that at all? Interested as this argument comes up from time to time and it always comes back to it probably has trace amounts of lead. :-B

Sorry for the thread hijack fish I can split this topic to clean it up if need be :handgestures-thumbupleft:


No problem with finding references, just google "lead free brass" with the addendum "bismuth "
Since 2014 ALL brass potable water fittings must have less than or equal to no more than .25% lead , so just out of interest I just weighed an olive from a 15mm brass union, it weighed 6 gms , so under the old regs that could have up to .48gms of lead, under the new/current regulations it can only have .015 gms of lead.

So lets have a look at that,
old regulations
.48 gms of lead :scared-eek: if that leaches out 10% each time I run the still I get .048 gms of lead to ingest ( but after 10 runs there's no more lead )
new regulations
.015gms of lead, if that leaches out 100% on the 1st run of wash at 10% and I get 5 litres @ 90% abv and I then dilute that to 40% for drinking I have 11.5 litres or 11500 mils this will result in a contamination level of .00013043 ppm or .13043 ppb which is WAY under the US EPA action level of 15 ppb (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/244813 ) & ( http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#one )

So, do I feel comfortable drinking etoh that's been in contact with brass fittings, :))
Will I continue to drink it 8-} 8-} :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby 1 2many » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:21 pm

That's your call mate and if your happy with it go nuts.

We at Aussie Distillers try to enforce safe and health practices so we won't encourage members to use brass in there setup and that won't be changed.

You can calculate all you want but it won't wash here. ;-)
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby xcvator » Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:24 pm

1 2many wrote:That's your call mate and if your happy with it go nuts.

We at Aussie Distillers try to enforce safe and health practices so we won't encourage members to use brass in there setup and that won't be changed.

You can calculate all you want but it won't wash here. ;-)


I certainly wouldn't condone ANY unsafe practices, whether it's in distilling at home or in the work place and I'm not "encouraging " any 1 to do anything, I'm trying to point out that the amount of lead in brass fittings now is so infinitesimal that it's difficult to measure and that you WILL be getting more lead out of your domestic water taps at home and have been for the last umpteen years than you may get out of a couple of brass fittings in a still. It is a proven fact that lead leaches out of brass water taps, but no where have I been able to find any documentation of lead leaching in the vapour flow of stills.
I'm not advocating every body starts using brass fittings willy nilly, what I am trying to do is put a bit of perspective into the view on brass rather than just following a mass hysteria that "brass is bad" in a still.

And just for you naysayers please consider this,
1/ have you found ANY research on lead leaching from brass in stills
2/ have you changed all your domestic taps to stainless steel, if not, why not ? ( and good luck with that coz there's lead in stainless steel too )

ok now I'm going to put my heat shield on :angry-extinguishflame:










ps Sorry I know :text-offtopic:















pps. I think the sky is going to fall tomorrow :smile:
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby P3T3rPan » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:16 pm

Mmm cumulative poison, every little bit counts
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby rumdidlydum » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:41 pm

xcvator wrote:
Sam. wrote:
xcvator wrote:
rumdidlydum wrote:
Sam. wrote:Was the barrel charred? Maybe some of that coming through :think:

Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Not any more, bismuth is now used in ALL brass either manufactured here or imported into Australia and most other countries now. You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes :cool:
I breath coal dust

Hey xcvator would you have a reference for that at all? Interested as this comes up from time to time and it always comes back to it probably has trace amounts of lead. :-B

Sorry for the thread hijack fish I can split this topic to clean it up if need be :handgestures-thumbupleft:


No problem with finding references, just google "lead free brass" with the addendum "bismuth "
Since 2014 ALL brass potable water fittings must have less than or equal to no more than .25% lead , so just out of interest I just weighed an olive from a 15mm brass union, it weighed 6 gms , so under the old regs that could have up to .48gms of lead, under the new/current regulations it can only have .015 gms of lead. yes lead

So lets have a look at that,
old regulations
.48 gms of lead :scared-eek: if that leaches out 10% each time I run the still I get .048 gms of lead to ingest ( but after 10 runs there's no more lead )
new regulations
.015gms of lead, still leadif that leaches out 100% on the 1st run of wash at 10% and I get 5 litres @ 90% abv and I then dilute that to 40% for drinking I have 11.5 litres or 11500 mils this will result in a contamination level of .00013043 ppm or .13043 ppb which is WAY under the US EPA action level of 15 ppb (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/244813 ) & ( http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#one )but it still has lead

So, do I feel comfortable drinking etoh that's been in contact with brass fittings, :))
Will I continue to drink it 8-} 8-} :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
up to you mate
You will probably notice that the quality stills dont have brass even to this day.
, but if you look closely at some cheap rigs you will see that some components are lead, I wonder why that is :think: maybe because the the cheaper units are out to make a buck, not really caring whether if the brass is maybe from a factory that only has a small portion of lead in the end product, or not. You dont know.
here have an apple with.015gms of lead :puke-huge:
Where as a quality still doesn't have brass hmmm. I wonder why
Is it that the quality one, doesn't care that if it only has a very small amount they still wont include it in the build because its a small amount and the potential is still there and they rather not to maintain a quality product.
I know where you stand and I know where I stand. :O)
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby WTDist » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:09 am

rumdidlydum wrote:
xcvator wrote:
Sam. wrote:
xcvator wrote:
rumdidlydum wrote:
Sam. wrote:Was the barrel charred? Maybe some of that coming through :think:

Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Not any more, bismuth is now used in ALL brass either manufactured here or imported into Australia and most other countries now. You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes :cool:
I breath coal dust

Hey xcvator would you have a reference for that at all? Interested as this comes up from time to time and it always comes back to it probably has trace amounts of lead. :-B

Sorry for the thread hijack fish I can split this topic to clean it up if need be :handgestures-thumbupleft:


No problem with finding references, just google "lead free brass" with the addendum "bismuth "
Since 2014 ALL brass potable water fittings must have less than or equal to no more than .25% lead , so just out of interest I just weighed an olive from a 15mm brass union, it weighed 6 gms , so under the old regs that could have up to .48gms of lead, under the new/current regulations it can only have .015 gms of lead. yes lead

So lets have a look at that,
old regulations
.48 gms of lead :scared-eek: if that leaches out 10% each time I run the still I get .048 gms of lead to ingest ( but after 10 runs there's no more lead )
new regulations
.015gms of lead, still leadif that leaches out 100% on the 1st run of wash at 10% and I get 5 litres @ 90% abv and I then dilute that to 40% for drinking I have 11.5 litres or 11500 mils this will result in a contamination level of .00013043 ppm or .13043 ppb which is WAY under the US EPA action level of 15 ppb (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/244813 ) & ( http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#one )but it still has lead

So, do I feel comfortable drinking etoh that's been in contact with brass fittings, :))
Will I continue to drink it 8-} 8-} :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
up to you mate
You will probably notice that the quality stills dont have brass even to this day.
, but if you look closely at some cheap rigs you will see that some components are lead, I wonder why that is :think: maybe because the the cheaper units are out to make a buck, not really caring whether if the brass is maybe from a factory that only has a small portion of lead in the end product, or not. You dont know.
here have an apple with.015gms of lead :puke-huge:
Where as a quality still doesn't have brass hmmm. I wonder why
Is it that the quality one, doesn't care that if it only has a very small amount they still wont include it in the build because its a small amount and the potential is still there and they rather not to maintain a quality product.
I know where you stand and I know where I stand. :O)

:text-+1:

lets look at the facts.
water is water.
ethanol is a solvent that leaches chemicals
0.015g of lead in brass in a water supply system is much safer than in a high % alcohol solution.
alcohol strips while water doesnt.
any lead is bad lead.
stay lead free
those brass taps are made for water systems not stills and alcohol storage devices ;-)

I know where i stand
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Re: The never ending discussion of lead content of brass

Postby Meatheadinc » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:34 am

lead is not readily dissolvable in water, hence water taps are safer than alcohol, lead is easily dissolved by alcohol.

I believe most of the problems are over complicated due to fear. but brass can be used within reason.

don't age with brass, as if leaching occurs you will ingest it.

brass in the boiler or on upward vapour path is ok as it will never make the vertical travel or reach your final product.
on the downside of a still, there may be problems.

to be safe, if using brass component, pickle them on a regular basis
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Re: Black discolouration, rum

Postby xcvator » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:57 am

WTDist wrote:
rumdidlydum wrote:
xcvator wrote:
Sam. wrote:
xcvator wrote:
rumdidlydum wrote:
Sam. wrote:Was the barrel charred? Maybe some of that coming through :think:

Char dust setled on the bottom :think:
The reason why brass is not used is because that most if not all of it contains lead. At high % it may leach out into the product. :smile:


Not any more, bismuth is now used in ALL brass either manufactured here or imported into Australia and most other countries now. You'll probably breathe in more lead walking the dog for 10 minutes :cool:
I breath coal dust

Hey xcvator would you have a reference for that at all? Interested as this comes up from time to time and it always comes back to it probably has trace amounts of lead. :-B

Sorry for the thread hijack fish I can split this topic to clean it up if need be :handgestures-thumbupleft:


No problem with finding references, just google "lead free brass" with the addendum "bismuth "
Since 2014 ALL brass potable water fittings must have less than or equal to no more than .25% lead , so just out of interest I just weighed an olive from a 15mm brass union, it weighed 6 gms , so under the old regs that could have up to .48gms of lead, under the new/current regulations it can only have .015 gms of lead. yes lead

So lets have a look at that,
old regulations
.48 gms of lead :scared-eek: if that leaches out 10% each time I run the still I get .048 gms of lead to ingest ( but after 10 runs there's no more lead )
new regulations
.015gms of lead, still leadif that leaches out 100% on the 1st run of wash at 10% and I get 5 litres @ 90% abv and I then dilute that to 40% for drinking I have 11.5 litres or 11500 mils this will result in a contamination level of .00013043 ppm or .13043 ppb which is WAY under the US EPA action level of 15 ppb (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/244813 ) & ( http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#one )but it still has lead

So, do I feel comfortable drinking etoh that's been in contact with brass fittings, :))
Will I continue to drink it 8-} 8-} :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
up to you mate
You will probably notice that the quality stills dont have brass even to this day.
, but if you look closely at some cheap rigs you will see that some components are lead, I wonder why that is :think: maybe because the the cheaper units are out to make a buck, not really caring whether if the brass is maybe from a factory that only has a small portion of lead in the end product, or not. You dont know.
here have an apple with.015gms of lead :puke-huge:
Where as a quality still doesn't have brass hmmm. I wonder why
Is it that the quality one, doesn't care that if it only has a very small amount they still wont include it in the build because its a small amount and the potential is still there and they rather not to maintain a quality product.
I know where you stand and I know where I stand. :O)

:text-+1:

lets look at the facts.
water is water.
ethanol is a solvent that leaches chemicals
0.015g of lead in brass in a water supply system is much safer than in a high % alcohol solution. We don't actually know
alcohol strips while water doesnt.WRONG WRONG WRONG
any lead is bad lead. True
stay lead free
those brass taps are made for water systems not stills and alcohol storage devices ;-) The lead in them leaches out just the same

I know where i stand


I'm not trying to justify using anything that poses a risk, what I am trying to point out is the fact that there is a level of myth, misinformation,and hysteria surrounding using brass fittings in the distillation process and the levels of lead and possible levels of leaching that may occur.

Any level of lead is not good, that's true, but the level of leaching from contact with a fitting in the vapour line is probably less than what leaches out of your drinking water taps each day.

If you don't believe me just do a bit of research through authoritative web sites ( not forums ) like the USA EPA or the Australian EPA , look up the "copper and brass rule " and you might just be surprised at what you are eating and drinking every day :scared-eek:
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Re: The never ending discussion of lead content of brass

Postby Undertaker » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:43 am

Image
:text-nocomment:

Cheers Phil
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Re: The never ending discussion of lead content of brass

Postby Thelegion » Mon Nov 02, 2015 4:11 pm

Here is a neat read, don't get me wrong I love copper. Brass looks great when polished and compliments copper, so why the hell is copper so much more cost wise than brass? The easy flange seems to be a love hate relationship, easy and cost effective to make and very effective. Brass ones are all over the place as well as copper but if your talking a 5$ difference per join over a build it's really nothing, you'll spend more on gas running around buying your parts.

Copper and alcohol have a great relationship, brass and alcohol well I just don't know. Where would you like to use the brass? the only part I would, would be the joins of sections to each other.

So here is my 1/2 a cent worth, make a cheap easy flange and be done with it, or, get fancy, buy a stainless reasonably priced flange and a $10 dollar tub/bottle of special flux and join the copper and stainless in a beautiful way with propane. Or, spend the cash on copper, Or buy the brass deal with the possibility of lead and parts per million.

I just can't think of where you would require brass parts in brewing or distillation because of cost, it's a no brainer, copper then stainless and yes you can join the two easily and I mean farking easily, just try it.

I love the train wreck, is that from the movie "wild wild west"?

(brass link)
http://brewingrabble.com/resources/surface-lead.htm
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