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I see both brass and stainless fittings for sale. Which is appropriate to use when?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Stainless is great for any brewing applications except where heat-transfer is desirable.

Brass is awesome for situations when you can't afford to buy stainless steel.

Both alloys are fine for brewing. Stainless does not conduct heat as well as brass or copper. Some brass fittings should be pickled to eliminate lead.

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To add; I thought most modern brass had even lower levels of lead in it that earlier applications. And to be clear, pickling brass removes surface lead. There is still lead inside the alloy which can leach out over time. But the rate of leaching is so low coupled with my top comment about the amount... There should be now fears with brass these days. –  brewchez Apr 16 '10 at 12:35
    
Agreed. Just a little CYA here. –  Dean Brundage Apr 16 '10 at 14:33

Brass is also softer than stainless, so there's no need to use Teflon tape. You can attach a brass fitting to a Therminator, for instance, without fear of the threads welding together.

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