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Old 02-05-2006, 02:11 AM   #1
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Default SS or Aluminum?

OK fellas and lasses. What is the pros and cons of SS over Aluminum pots? Is there some weird leaching thing from Aluminum? The reason I ask, is there is a good deal on turkey fryers at Home Depot. Please, no shouting, first in the front row...yes, you sir....
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:22 AM   #2
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I do not recommend aluminum. The wort is acidic and the turkey fryer pots are of the cheapest aluminum. A high grade aluminum pot such as you can get in a restaurant supply would probably work but then you would be able to get a stainless pot for a comparable price. Why risk your health or your brew over a few bucks.

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Old 02-05-2006, 04:35 AM   #3
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I second, third and fourth that. You do not want to use aluminium. Stainless is the way to go. Enameled canning pots work also. Stainless stockpots can be found for reasonable prices.

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Old 02-05-2006, 02:47 PM   #4
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There is nothing wrong with aluminum. The one thing you don't want to do is scrub off the passive coating that protects the surface. John Palmer is a professional metallurgist. http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixB.html The pros don't use aluminum because you can't use alkaline clean-in-place chemicals on aluminum.

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Old 02-05-2006, 03:34 PM   #5
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There are no health risks to aluminum.

Aluminum it the most common metalic element in the earth's crust, we are bred to accept it.

Much of the food you eat is cooked in aluminum, and it is all acidic too.

Enameled pots can wreck several batches of beer if the get a chipped spot that rusts, and puts iron into the beer.

I'll betcha there lots of aliminum pots sold by brew stores.

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Old 02-05-2006, 04:12 PM   #6
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This question has been debated to death and, IMHO, it's a non-issue. There is no scientific evidence that aluminum is bad for you to use. It's true that many restaurants don't use it for acidics, like tomato sauces. But for our brewing, it won't matter a bit. You aren't going to store your beer in it! I've been using aluminum for nearly nine years now with no ill-affects or off flavors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler 13
... you would be able to get a stainless pot for a comparable price. ...
If you can find an S/S for a comparable price, buy it! I found just the opposite when I went all-grain last July. I bought a good, thick-walled (8mm), heavy-duty aluminum stock pot from a restaurant supply house. It's a 40-qt. and I got it for $50! All the comparable 18-8 S/S pots I found were ~$140-$150!

The pots that come with the turkey-fryer pots are cheap, thin-walled and pit easily. I use mine to heat my sparge water. It's gotten me through 15 sessions. I was planning to it soon for a quality alumunim one, maybe a 4mm, 32-qt. one.
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:56 AM   #7
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Matter of fact, there might be a down side to SS.

Did you ever here that you could eliminate the onion odor on your hands after peeling onions, by wiping your hands on a stainless utensil? They even used to make a stainless "soap bar". I know that the batch of carne asada I marinated in a stainless pan had no onion flavor, terrible bland. I wonder what other flavors are killed by stainless? Fruits? Spices?

Rhooobarb, noticed anything that comes out better in Aluminum? Some flavor stronger than the recipe expected?

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So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

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Old 02-06-2006, 03:13 AM   #8
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When I joined this form, I was impressed that it seemed to be free of debate on this topic. Oh well.

How about this as an idea- has anybody actually brewed two identical batches of beer, one in aluminum and the other in SS? Have you then done a blind taste test to compare one to another? Could you consistantly tell the difference? Was the SS beer superior?

No, I didn't think so.

The so-called 'scientific evidence' linking aluminum to alzheimers disease has long been disproven as just plain bad research.

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Old 02-06-2006, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casebrew
Rhooobarb, noticed anything that comes out better in Aluminum? Some flavor stronger than the recipe expected?
No, not that I could tell. But, all I've ever used is aluminim! I think if you did a side by side, it'd be hard to tell any difference.
Quote:
Did you ever here that you could eliminate the onion odor on your hands after peeling onions, by wiping your hands on a stainless utensil?
Yeah, that's a cool trick! I had an aunt show me that using the kitchen faucet - wipe your hands on the faucet itself and it would rid them of the onion smell. I thought she was full of beans until I tried it myself!
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey
When I joined this form, I was impressed that it seemed to be free of debate on this topic. Oh well.
Well, since nobody else wants to say it, I will...aluminum is evil, and will damage your immortal soul. In the pantheon of all things evil, aluminum is right up there with corn sugar and 12 oz. bottles.

Seriously tho...I don't think there's likely anything wrong with aluminum, but there's really not anything right with it either, at least for cooking. It's hard to clean up, and it doesn't hold heat as well as SS does. It's one big benefit is that it's cheap, and for beer making as with any type of cooking, cheaper is not better when it comes to your tools.
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