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Old 10-18-2010, 03:05 AM   #1
Scut_Monkey
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Default Aluminum Relief Valve Assembly

I purchased a relief valve assembly from here
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_40_271_560&products_id= 12537
Unfortunately I didn't realize until I installed it that it was aluminum and I cleaned the keg with oxiclean with it installed. Needless to say the metal portions exposed to the oxiclean became blackened after 15 minutes and the spring on the relief valve started to corrode. I'm not knocking on Austinhomebrew as I know they don't make these but I'm not really happy with the product. They obviously state that the product is made out of aluminum I just didn't realize this until I used it.

Regardless, my question is what can I do to fix the oxidized aluminum? If I can still use the assembly I will try but obviously I will not expose it to oxiclean any more. Do I need to put in in strong acid or should I clean it with something? Thanks guys.

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Old 10-18-2010, 05:40 AM   #2
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I wouldn't bother. Who is going to look at the relief valve on your kegs?

Here is a description of a method that requires sanding. I think this would be hard to do for such a small part, but maybe you could do it with a dremmel.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4548758_remo...oxidation.html

I wouldn't use a strong acid or a strong alkali on aluminum. A strong solution of hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide (a corrosive) can dissolve aluminum. See this: http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/CHEMWEEK.../ALUMINUM.html

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Old 10-18-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about it - Who's going to see it?

The relief valves aren't in contact with the beer anyway (Unless you're naughty and shake your kegs )

I've had the same thing happen to the swivel nuts on the ends of beer lines, and on QD's forgotten in StarSan for a length of time. I haven't noticed any ill effects.

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Old 10-18-2010, 09:11 PM   #4
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I don't care about the appearance of them. That dosen't bother me. I simply worry that the black oxidized aluminum will impart flavors . Granted the beer should not be touching it but with moving the kegs it will to some degree. I didn't know if oxidized aluminum was like SS where it needs passivation at times. Additionally, I didn't know if the oxidized aluminum would impart flavors or discoloration to the beer. Thanks.

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Old 10-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Scut_Monkey View Post
I don't care about the appearance of them. That dosen't bother me. I simply worry that the black oxidized aluminum will impart flavors.
My friend, you appear to be lacking real issues to worry about.

You WANT the aluminum to oxidize to form a protective layer. Ever heard of anodizing? Aluminum, and other metals, are anodized to create a thick, hard layer of oxide for protection from further oxidation and appearance purposes.

The oxide layer will not come off unless you scrub it vigorously and/or use an acid cleaner.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:31 PM   #6
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Good, it sounds like it's just visual problem then. Just to relieve my own thoughts I'll try soaking it in a cup of water to see if it imparts any flavors or color. I doubt it will based on what you guys say but I always like to confirm things on my own as well.

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Old 10-18-2010, 09:39 PM   #7
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Good, it sounds like it's just visual problem then. Just to relieve my own thoughts I'll try soaking it in a cup of water to see if it imparts any flavors or color. I doubt it will based on what you guys say but I always like to confirm things on my own as well.
What are you trying to do????!?! Give yourself aluminum oxide poisoning??
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:42 PM   #8
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What are you trying to do????!?! Give yourself aluminum oxide poisoning??
Better me than a beer judge!
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