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Old 10-17-2012, 05:10 PM   #311
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I've been working on my All-grain equipment lately and just picked up a 32 qt aluminum pot (Thermalloy) from my local restaurant supply store. It was a bit dirty from the warehouse so I washed it with some dish soap in my sink not realizing (or at least not thinking about the fact) that my dish soap actually includes oxy (Palmolive Oxy Plus). I washed it for a few minutes to get the layer of dust off then rinsed off the soap and loaded it up with water for a good boil straddling two burners on my electric stove. After 2 hours it had still not come to a rolling boil ( checked a few times with a digital thermometer and it seemed to plateau at 99 C so I gave up and noticed when I was dumping the water that the surface of my range had acquired quite a bit of damage. The aluminum plate below my stovetop coil had pretty much disintegrated and the metal insert below that was heavily damaged (see images). The pot seems to be fine aside from the desired darkening of the inside but there was a fair bit of grey residue that came off the bottom and the stove coil.

Is this a result of the washing with oxy + boiling or is there some other reason for why this occurred?

2012-10-17-08.58.54.jpg   2012-10-17-08.59.07-2.jpg  
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:38 AM   #312
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That is definitely *not* normal, and there's no way that the dish soap caused it even with the oxy (percarbonate). If the pot had a pinhole leak and was keeping the element and drip pan wet, you may have got some leakage current from the element, causing corrosion. That's a very crazy amount of rust though, assuming it was new'ish looking and shiny when you started. Wow. Definitely not caused by the pot though.

Your second picture looks like baked-on food spatter from another session. It should come off with a non-scratch scrub pad and a bit of elbow grease.

Edit: Alternatively, the high heat of having the burner on full-blast may have removed the layer of chrome from the drip pan, and exposed the steel underneath. The steel will rust fairly readily with exposure to moisture.

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Old 10-19-2012, 12:37 PM   #313
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Yeah, the drip pan was fine before I started. There was no obvious dirt on the stove top when I started but there may have been residual oil specks that burned or something of that nature. I was able to clean most of it off with a baking soda paste left to dry anyway.

I ended up talking to an engineer friend of mine last night on the issue and his thought was that the extra oxygen+heat on the bottom of the pot combined with the different metal of the burner was enough to convert the entire system into a battery/induce galvanic corrosion.

Grabbed a picture of the aluminum foil pan that disintegrated for good measure.

2012-10-17-17.28.58.jpg  
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:03 PM   #314
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A very thought provoking post, thank you for writing it.

My thought on the subject is, there aren't a lot of studies on this subject of aluminum cookware however why chance it.

I did read that test studies on mice lead to, among other things "localized hair loss" and other disorders that lead them to summarize; "short term feeding of aluminum at levels within an order of magnitude of estimated human intake can influence neurobehavioral function as indexed by motor activity."

This was from the NBCI web site.

While it was believed that leaching from cookware was a minor contributor, there are other sources such as drinking water, medicines, pharmaceuticals (such as antacids and antiperspirants) that are the biggest contributors to aluminum exposures.

Why add to it with your cookware, however slight.

I'll use SS.

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:23 PM   #315
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Just to stir up an old thread...I have a 20 quart aluminum pot which I purchased new, but never oxidized before I brewed with it. I've done 3 batches in it so far. My question is should I go ahead and boil some water in it to build an oxidized layer after I've already used it, or is that not necessary now?

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:54 PM   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pellis007 View Post
Just to stir up an old thread...I have a 20 quart aluminum pot which I purchased new, but never oxidized before I brewed with it. I've done 3 batches in it so far. My question is should I go ahead and boil some water in it to build an oxidized layer after I've already used it, or is that not necessary now?
Provided you didn't scrub the hell out of the pot, removing any oxide layer formed, you should be fine.

Normally, you boil the absolute maximum you can in the pot, to get the layer to form above what your expect to ever put in there.

Also, as you brew, the layer will thicken (as it can or if allowed to). Simply clean gently (don't scrub the hell out of it unless you absolutely have to) and let it keep forming. Similar to what happens with cast iron pans/skillets.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:07 PM   #317
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Thanks for your response Golddiggie, I have cleaned only with a soft sponge and a mild soap so far. No scrubbing. I have only done partial boils in this pot so far so probably only about 2.5 gals or about 1/2 of the pot. I'm moving to all grain for my next batch and plan to use this pot for sparge water since I now have a 44 quart SS for brewing. Would it be advantageous to do a 30 min full topped off boil to make sure the whole pot is oxidized? I guess I'm just looking for an excuse to try out my new Bayou burner...lol.

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Old 12-02-2012, 04:13 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by pellis007 View Post
Thanks for your response Golddiggie, I have cleaned only with a soft sponge and a mild soap so far. No scrubbing. I have only done partial boils in this pot so far so probably only about 2.5 gals or about 1/2 of the pot. I'm moving to all grain for my next batch and plan to use this pot for sparge water since I now have a 44 quart SS for brewing. Would it be advantageous to do a 30 min full topped off boil to make sure the whole pot is oxidized? I guess I'm just looking for an excuse to try out my new Bayou burner...lol.
Yeah, sure, yeah, that will be a *wink* good idea *wink*... lol It won't do any harm, that's for certain.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:57 AM   #319
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Either way its fine. Brew on a new al pot and you get the amount of al that's in an antacid. Not to mention that aluminum cannot pass thru the brain-blood barrier but I digress .....

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Old 12-03-2012, 04:42 PM   #320
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Well, I did a 4.5 gal boil for 45 mins yesterday just to ease my mind. Happy to report my burner kicks butt and my pot is now oxidized. I celebrated by sampling a bottle my first 5 gal batch. Not a bad day!

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