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Old 03-18-2012, 01:10 PM   #1
UnderPressure
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Default Scrubbing Aluminum

Quick question- I just scrubbed the bottom of my aluminum brew pot with regular dish washing liquid, water, and a Scotch Brite sponge, and the water turned black. Should I be concerned about this?

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Old 03-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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No problem. That's just the aluminum the scrubbie scoured off the surface. When it turns from shinny back to a dull grey the surface has oxidized and is good to go. What you want though is the dull grey surface where the pot contacts the wort as it's no longer reactive. Over time the inside of the pot where the liquid is will get darker and darker to almost a gun metal grey color. That just means the oxide layer is thicker.

Try to keep that shinny metal away from harsh chemicals until it reoxidixes. If is's on the inside a quick boil will do the job to get the oxide layer started. On the outside, just leave it dry and exposed to the air for several days.

BTW, the oxide is much harder than the relatively soft plain aluminum. As odd as it may sound aluminum oxide crystals is one of the things they make sandpaper out of.

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Old 03-18-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderPressure View Post
Quick question- I just scrubbed the bottom of my aluminum brew pot with regular dish washing liquid, water, and a Scotch Brite sponge, and the water turned black. Should I be concerned about this?
Inside: that was the oxidized layer and is a good thing. If you scrubbed it all off, boil a full pot of water for at least 30 minutes before brewing again to re-establish an oxidized layer.

Outside: That may have been oxidation or soot from your burner or both. On the outside you don't have to worry. Just let it dry and get ready to brew another batch.

I usually just use hot water and a cloth to clean my aluminum pots. The dried wort is mostly sugar and the water dissolves/loosens it and the cloth is really all that is needed to remove the grunge.
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