I sanitized copper with bleach, is it ruined?

Hi all, I started brewing in '85 read Charlie’s book back then and Since then I’ve pretty much been ignorant of the changes to our hobby. I’ve only been brewing about three times a year. When I last used my counterflow wort chiller I used a week bleach in cold water solution ( I’ve used only bleach on everything all these years) , then sent hot water through it then dried it thoroughly. That was 15 years ago ( my bad ). So I’ve just picked up Palmer’s book, which I love, all this new info, I’m very happy to have it. But now I know bleach is bad for copper, can cause black oxidation. Since this is a counterflow chiller I can’t see if I’ve formed black oxidation. So my question to you guys is…is my chiller still safe to use? If not can it be restored and if so how? Vinegar, PBW, STAR-SAN? Thanks in advance,

I appreciate the help,


Brian H.

I have no experience with counter flow chillers, but I do know that the sanitizing strength Starsan solution will brighten copper. I would suggest pumping Starsan solution through the chiller. Try a two hour soak to see if you get some color in the solution.
I don’t think your chiller is ruined.
Someone else most likely has actual experience and will have a solution based on experience.

I would pump some starsan through it. Starsan actually cleans copper, at least undiluted it does. Make a stronger than normal starsan solution, say like 1oz to a gallon of water and let CFC soak. Then add it to 4 more gallons of water and pump through for a while. Just an idea. Someone else may have a better idea.


On edit, flars beat me to it!!!

Flars, Brews R Us, thank you both, I’ll go ahead with that.