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Old 12-09-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default This is not your typical Aluminum vs. Stainless Thread

Please read this thread if you have experience with both kinds of brewpots. I have read and researched everything there is to know about these two kinds of pots. I have a specific question to ask anyone who has used both.

1) In theory aluminum is supposed to heat quicker and more evenly than stainless steel. Does anyone know how long 10 gallons will come to a boil (say from 60 degress using a blichmann burner) in a steel and an aluminum? I have found two posts that state the poster had done side by side comparisons and stainless came to a boil quicker? This is not supposed to happen. The idea of heating quickly is more attractive to me even more so than the cost savings of aluminum. If I could cut even 20 minutes off my brewday that really adds up. It would not make a big difference on 5 gallon batches but if I'm heating up 15 or more gallons of water for a double-triple batch I want all the help I can get.

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
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I've done a lot of testing with stainless vs stainless but not vs Al. I wouldn't be surprised if Al heated more slowly though. Al is a great conductor of heat. So even though it will conduct heat into the water better it will also lose heat due to the same conductive properties.

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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I didn't test them side by side. But I used to use an aluminum pot before I got my stainless keg.

The aluminum pot wasn't all that fast, but I didn't time it. It sure doesn't seem any faster than the stainless pot.

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:23 AM   #4
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Thanks guys this is helpful. Another one of my concerns was maintaining the mash temp (for BIAB) and although aluminum heats quicker it can also lose that heat just as quickly whereas stainless might not heat as quick but will maintain it a lot better. I'm leaning towards this bad boy: http://morebeer.com/view_product/8425/103458/Heavy_Duty_Brew_Kettle_-_With_Ball_Valve_104_Quart_26_Gallon and adding my own sight glass from http://www.brewhardware.com/.

Another question you guys might be able to help with, do you find a thermometer on the pot particularly useful? I've read that with BIAB it doesn't take a very accurate reading so I was thinking stirring like hell and taking a digital read from the top might yield more accurate results.

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:27 AM   #5
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Also yooper, two thumbs up on the avatar.

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Using a 60qt Aluminum kettle, I can take 5 gal. of water from 60*F to 168*F in about 30 minutes.

My only reference kettles to compare against are a 30qt Stainless Steel or another 60qt Aluminum.
But I owned a S/S Keggle for a brief period of time and felt that it took much longer to heat than my other kettles did. No real data, just "felt slow to heat".

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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Keggles do have a lot of extra "heat sink" material when you factor in their thick collars on top and bottom

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