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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Passive oxide layer on new aluminum pot
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Passive oxide layer on new aluminum pot

Getting ready to "attempt" my first all grain batch and have been researching like crazy. I just got my new 40 quart aluminum pot in today and read that I need to put a passive oxide layer on it first before using it. This may be a stupid question - but once I boil it can I use immediately or do I need to epose it to air for a few days to build this layer up? Searching the archives did not produce this answer so I ASSume it is fine to use right away - but figured it was better to ask. Anything else to do to prep it right? I was hoping to brew tomorrow.

TIA,
Dan

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Old 03-23-2009, 06:02 PM   #2
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It's safe to use as soon as you build up that layer. Just boil some water for 20-30 minutes, and you'll see it. After it's there, you're safe to brew.

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Old 03-23-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
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great coverage for this is the brewing networks podcast... from the brewstrong podcast.... their 9/28/08 show on metals..... great stuff they have a guy from the 3M corp that deals with metals and brewing.... everything you need to know about all metals

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Old 03-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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It's safe to use as soon as you build up that layer. Just boil some water for 20-30 minutes, and you'll see it. After it's there, you're safe to brew.

Thanks - your post on this was the one I studied the most. If the pot was cleaned with soap and water with a scrubber prior to this proceedure, would it be fine to use this first boiled water for the mash to conserve propane or would I need to dump the water and start over? To clarify - does this first boil produce any off products in the water you do not want in your beer, or does it only affect the surface of the aluminum?

I am "iffy" on my propane level for a 60 minute boil as it is and need to know if I need to get another bottle.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:13 PM   #5
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great coverage for this is the brewing networks podcast... from the brewstrong podcast.... their 9/28/08 show on metals..... great stuff they have a guy from the 3M corp that deals with metals and brewing.... everything you need to know about all metals
Any link to this or is it subscription?

EDIT - never mind - I just Googled it. That site is AWESOME! Looks like I will be listening to quite a few podcasts today :-)

Thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:19 PM   #6
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I'd dump the water. The big reason you need that passive oxide layer is that without it, everything is going to get a nasty metallic taste. Your first boiled water will probably taste like metal, and contain some chemicals that you don't want in your beer.

To get the layer going, I just tossed my pot onto the stove straddling two burners, and cranked it up high for about 6 hours. It never got to a full blown boil, but it bubbled a bit and ended me up with a nice passive oxide layer anyway. If you have an electric stove, or you're brewing today, you'd probably need to just get some more propane.

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Old 03-23-2009, 06:21 PM   #7
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Oh, and the link to the podcast that Opherman mentioned.

The Brewing Network.com - :

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Old 03-23-2009, 06:31 PM   #8
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Thanks guys - this forum is an excellent resource for brewers learning new techniques. Listening to the "Metals that affect your Beer" podcast right now! Hope my all grain batch turns out good the first time. 7+ years of extract brewing, 2+ years of mini-mash brewing, now I am making the jump to all grain and full boil batches.

Dan

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Old 03-17-2010, 09:54 PM   #9
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So, I'm assuming you want to fill the kettle as full of water as possible or does that not matter?

I'd rather not boil 10 gallons of water in my new kettle if I can create this layer with 5. Thanks.

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Old 02-19-2011, 11:29 PM   #10
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I'm going to resurrect this thread. I'm trying to do the same trick to oxidize the aluminum. I think I put too much water in the pot for this burner. It's not boiling completely... just giving off really small bubbles.

I'm going to dump some of the water and get it down closer to the 5 gals I brew normally. Maybe it will boil there. If it doesn't, well this won't do for brewing...

EDIT: Yep... now I have a layer of darker color around the point I would boil from normally. This burner is 185,000 BTUs. What should I be able to do with that?

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