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Old February 26th, 2014, 05:49 PM
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Default Copper pans

I'd like to make a hood and my version of a steamaway for next season. I'm thinking about making them copper instead of stainless and was wondering if there are any health/foodgrade issues with copper. This may sound like a funny question, but untill a year ago I never knew there was lead in brass and it shouldn't be used. Also is there any problems with lead free solder? If I do use copper I'll need to make a new set of pans so everything matches and there may be some areas where soldering will be easier.

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Old February 27th, 2014, 12:38 AM
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Copper is antibacterial. Did you rob a bank because last time I checked a sheet of copper is more expensive than SS and SS can be soldered.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 12:51 AM
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You can TIG weld copper. Welds just fine, just takes LOTS of amps. It can be done.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 01:12 AM
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Yes copper can be tig welded. 100% helium for gas, high cfm's Im mean 20 to 30 about 4x the amperage in comparison to ss of same thickness, DC, get a gas lens setup, if doing a lot a cooled torch will keep you going longer and go fast. Im talking 200 amps for 1/8 inch for example. You must move fast or you will get ugly welds with a lot of contamination coming out of the copper from the intense amps needed. You will eat through gas like crazy and its not easy by any means but is done. Lead free solder is fine and a much easier process for joining copper.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 01:15 AM
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Copper has a much higher thermal transfer coefficient than stainless. Near 398 vs 19. It would be much more efficient. Works great in stills.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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This is all good news. I was planning to do some practice pieces with the tig and if I'm good enough with it most of the joinery would be welded. I was thinking about the fittings and how they need to be installed may be easier with solder.

The efficiency is much better and that is one good reason why I'm considering copper, but also just because I like how copper looks. My whole setup is home made with the exception of the syrup pan, and is unique compared to the other sugar houses in my area. Not that it is so special, just different, and the folks that come to open house sometimes appreciate the fact that it is different and call friends. It drums up business pretty good and I'll bet a copper pan would be even more interesting to those who like to see something a little different.

So there is the expense question and I don't say money is no object, but everything is expensive, and if this project were compared to a prefab evaporator set it will still be way less.

I really want to get rid of this syrup pan because it is the pan from our half pint. I turned it sideways and added fittings and valve. It is reversible with 2 thermometers/draw offs and works very well, but it says leader on it and being the only part that isn't made by us bothers me somehow. The other thing that I can't decide on is that because the half pint is 33", my arch and pans are 33" odd balls. I don't know if I'll tare it down and go to 3 feet, or stick with the width. I think about all the talk about burning pans and you know if it happens there will be no 33" loaner to be had.
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Old February 27th, 2014, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustanger View Post
Copper has a much higher thermal transfer coefficient than stainless. Near 398 vs 19. It would be much more efficient. Works great in stills.
Not sure I understand why you might want the hood to have good heat transfer. I would think the worse the better so the steam doesn't re-condense...
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Old February 27th, 2014, 09:46 PM
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I was thinking of the pans plans, not considering the hood, but a good drip collection scheme would handle the condensation.
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Old February 28th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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Is anyone still commercially producing or fabricating pans out of copper?
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Old February 28th, 2014, 06:40 PM
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If I had a set of copper pans, I would want a hood to match......
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