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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Condition of SS pot
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:25 AM   #1
NaymzJaymz
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Default Condition of SS pot

Hello,
I recently got what I think is a great deal on a used stainless steel pot for brewing. It is made of thicker steel than the units from homebrew suppliers, and also has very strong, rivetted handles, so it must have been fairly expensive when originally purchased. The pot has obviously had some heavy use as the metal is discolored on the inside like it had been used in a busy resturant. Is the condition of this pot going to have any effect on the beer being brewed? I hope this question hasn't been asked too many times in this forum already. The cheap pots from suppliers are so shiney and smooth looking, but my pot is much duller in finish like the very expensive pots that some suppliers (like MoreBeer) sell. Than you.

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:30 AM   #2
mpcluever
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Barkeepers Friend will shine up stainless good as new. If you're sure it's stainless. Aluminum discolors heavily and I've heard that cream of tartar will shine that up.

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Old 03-08-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
alien
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Sounds like Aluminium.

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Old 03-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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I agree it sounds like aluminum. From the "thicker" part to the discoloration. Aluminum pots are generally thicker being that it's a softer metal. Even if it is, you're just fine using aluminum. Not having any aluminum kettles myself, is a there a way for the OP to check what what they have? Aluminum is lighter, but without something to compare against...

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpcluever View Post
Not having any aluminum kettles myself, is a there a way for the OP to check what what they have? Aluminum is lighter, but without something to compare against...
Stick a magnet on it. If a magnet sticks, it's not aluminum. It doesn't guarantee that it's stainless (although it would most likely be) but if it does stick aluminum can be ruled out.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Wow friends, I feel pretty dumb about this! I was thrilled to find this huge pot at such a cheap price, and the seller insisted it was stainless, but now I realize that you are all right that it's most likely aluminum. After reading these responses I checked some of the other posts(on this and other websites), and found that it is not all that uncommon to be confused trying to i.d. aluminum or stainless. Even some metalurgy sites hint at confusion. Nevertheless, I did enter the first 2 brews I made in this pot(my first all grain beers ever)in a brewing competition, and won second place with both of them. I guess I should just take this as a lesson towards becoming an experienced brewer. I think the next step will be to use this pot as my mash tun. I'm going to add a weldless thermometer. Any thoughts on this? I'm glad to hear that there is really no difference between using aluminum or stainless. Even some older books, if I remember right, say not to use aluminum. Thank you all!

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Old 03-08-2013, 06:52 PM   #7
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There is a difference using aluminum and stainless. You will probably get better boild with aluminum because it conducts heat more effectively. I would worry about the aluminum leeching into you brews. However, if you have a good oxidized layer on there (it will look dark gray) then that will prevent any leeching of the pot into the brew. You can oxidize the aluminum by boiling liquid in it for about an hour. However, the layer will come off if you use percarb or any other heavy cleaning agent on it so you won't want to use those. Normal non-scented dish soap might be you best option for cleaning if you don't already use that.

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