Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Is aluminum really bad?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-20-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
grrtt78
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 356
Default Is aluminum really bad?

I have a 4 gallon ceramic covered pot that i use on an electric stove. I got a chip in the ceramic which i tihnk is a problem. I am not sure i can still use it so i have been looking on ebay for pots and maybe even a propane burner. I am a poor college student and i have found some 7.5 gallon pots with propane burners for around $40 dollars after shipping that i really like. However they are all aluminum. I really can not afford to buy a new stainless steel pot so i guess my choices are 4 gallon ceramic with a chip on an elctric stove or a 7.5 gallon aluminum on a burner. Which should i do? is almuminum that bad?

__________________
grrtt78 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2007, 07:40 PM   #2
Torchiest
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Torchiest's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,768
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

This has been argued about for a long time. I did a quick search, and I think this thread has a pretty good summary of both sides. Hope that helps. FWIW, I will only use stainless steel. Once I move into a house, I'll be buying a larger pot. Right now I make due with a 20qt stainless steel.

__________________
WORLD DOMINATION BEER
Kegged
#48 Black Helicopter Porter #49 Pikemen Porter
Up Next:
#50 Imperious IPA
#51 Razz Buried
Torchiest is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2007, 07:55 PM   #3
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 69 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

Regardless of the chemical/toxic arguments just think about the hygiene side. What do hospitals use exclusively?

That's enough for me.

Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2007, 08:54 PM   #4
Genghis77
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Genghis77's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Oregon on the Umpqua
Posts: 533
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

You should be able to repair the chipped ceramic easily using ceramic sink repair available at nearly any hardware store. Ceramic though works as an insulator. You're lucky to get a boil on an electric stove.

__________________

Genghis77 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2007, 09:05 PM   #5
grrtt78
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 356
Default

it takes a while and its barely a boil.

__________________
grrtt78 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2007, 09:23 PM   #6
sonvolt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 902
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

Default

I recently listened to the FAQ episode with John Palmer (or maybe it was the lagering episode) of Basic Brewing Network. Anyway, John Palmer even claims that brewing with aluminum is not a health issue. He did, however, talk about some sort of film or layer that develops on aluminum. As long as this layer/film is present, there is no problem.

That being said - I use stainless.

[edit] - ooops . . . that link posted by Torchy has better info about what John Palmer has to say.

__________________
sonvolt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2007, 10:20 PM   #7
greg75
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
greg75's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 195
Default

I'll give my two cents also...I stick with stainless. Again, as others have said, there seems to be a growing concensus that aluminum is not dangerous, but there has been enough doubt raised for me to go exclusively with SS. A lot of people that advocate aluminum use will say that if you've ever eaten in a restaurant, your food was cooked in aluminum. If you feel comfortable with that, go with aluminum. I prefer not to chance it.

Besides, if you can get your hands on an empty half barrell, you'll have yourself a 15.5 gallon SS boil kettle with a few modifications. I got mine for $12. And, I'm not a handy man by any stretch of the imagination, and never worked with metal before. Yet, I managed to drill all the necessary holes and add the fittings, with very little difficulty. So, if you go this route, you'll get a bigger SS kettle, for less money, than you could buy an aluminum pot for.

__________________
greg75 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-20-2007, 11:29 PM   #8
casebrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 847
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

From my reading, the only reasn aluminum isn't used in more places is that the caustic cleaners mandated for them will eat up the Al. Like, commercial breweries, or hospital. But then, you are not supposed to soak SS in chlorine either. That's why breweries don't use bleach as a sanitiser, but that's another thread.

__________________

So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

casebrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2007, 02:21 AM   #9
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

I was just researching aluminum pots the other day myself.

This point was raised in another thread.

"Actually, in the real world of cooking, the heat capacity of your brew kettle is a very big concern. Why is cast iron so much better for cooking soup than aluminum? No hot spots...less chance of scorching. There is a reason that you don't see aluminum pots in professional kitchens."

The heat capacity of the bottom of a pot depends not only on the material characteristics, but also on the thickness of the material. If you make the aluminum thick enough, it will have a greater heat capacity than the SS.

I recently found an aluminum pot I liked because of its size. Prior to this I never gave aluminum a second thought. I did a bunch of research, including the health risks (of which there are NONE) and the pots for my brewing sculpture are going to be ALUMINUM.

Aluminum pots are much less expensive than SS. They conduct heat better. If cared for properly they will make just as good beer. They are not an inferior product.

Here is what one guy said about using a large aluminum pot versus a keg. And he now has a keg.

"In many ways I liked it better than my keg. Slightly more volume. Way lighter to carry. Much better heat transfer because of the alu."

http://www.bodensatz.com/forum/viewt...showtopic=6700

I am going to use my kegs as fermenters and kegs and buy aluminum pots for my brewing structure.

__________________

Getting back into brewing...

brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-21-2007, 05:37 AM   #10
67coupe390
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
67coupe390's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
Posts: 532
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
Regardless of the chemical/toxic arguments just think about the hygiene side. What do hospitals use exclusively?

That's enough for me.
Thank you!! AL develops a "protective film" on it BUT it can easily be taken off by just the movment of the wort boiling. AL has not been proven to do any damage to the humam body in small amounts but who wants to find out later that the same scientists we all beat up in high school were wrong. Oh well I think I'll RDWHAHB now.
__________________

Coupe 390

67coupe390 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
So how bad is aluminum? thrstyunderwater Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 20 11-11-2009 01:37 PM
Aluminum or SS Keg? BAK6E Bottling/Kegging 1 07-30-2009 01:26 PM
Why aluminum? Clintos Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 05-15-2009 08:09 PM
Aluminum HLT? Battery_BreweryNJ Equipment/Sanitation 13 04-04-2009 01:10 AM
Is aluminum that bad? Beerrific Equipment/Sanitation 3 03-16-2007 12:47 AM