Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Aluminum brew kettle

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-18-2013, 02:41 PM   #1
finigan4710
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 55
Default Aluminum brew kettle

Is aluminum okay to brew in? What's the difference between brewing in stainless steal vs aluminum

__________________
finigan4710 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
Varmintman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: idaho falls, idaho
Posts: 2,087
Liked 653 Times on 409 Posts
Likes Given: 820

Default

Yup you are fine. Just boil some water in it for a hour or so before you use it and then do not scrub it squeaky clean when you are done.

__________________
Varmintman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
finigan4710
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 55
Default

Why

__________________
finigan4710 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
Stocktonbrew
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Stocktonbrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Stockton, Ca
Posts: 171
Liked 42 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 41

Default

Aluminum is ok to use. You should boil water in the kettle for an hour to build a passive layer before brewing. Stainless is more corrosion resistent to chemicals, but aluminum conducts heat better. I would say buy what you can afford and try to get a 10 gallon pot if you can.

__________________
Stocktonbrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
Varmintman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: idaho falls, idaho
Posts: 2,087
Liked 653 Times on 409 Posts
Likes Given: 820

Default

And honestly you can brew a good batch with out boiling the water in it first. I know I did not boil the water first and it came out great.

__________________
Varmintman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
Spartangreen
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 228
Liked 10 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

There is a sticky at the top of the forum addressing this. This vs. that


Brew Pots: Stainless Steel Vs. Aluminum Vs Enamel
(Note: Much of the Aluminum/SS information is taken straight from FlyGuy's post here. He did it first, and it was a very well written post. This information is transcribed here only for the sake of having one central database for as much Pro Vs. Con information as possible.)

Enamel:
Pros:
Many kitchens already have an enamel stock pot of sufficient size to do partial boil extract batches
If you have access to a second-hand store, enamel pots are generally the least expensive on this list
Clean in place (CIP) type cleaners, such as PBW, Oxiclean, and One-Step can be used
Poor heat distribution, meaning that once you get your steeping water to the appropriate temperature, it's easy to keep it there

Cons:
Eventually, even with proper care, the enamel coating will chip, rendering them unusable for brewing
Fairly heavy, making shipping more expensive
Generally not available in sizes larger than ~3 gallons, making full boils impossible for a standard 5 gallon batch
Poor heat distribution, making for slow heating and cooling
Cannot be drilled for ball valve installation. This isn't a huge deal since you wouldn't be using a small enamel stock pot for an all grain batch, unless you're making smaller ~2.5 gallon batches

Aluminum:
Pros:
Generally the cheapest kettle available in 5+ gallon size
Very light weight, making for cheap shipping, and easier transportation and pouring
Excellent heat distribution, resulting in rapid heating and cooling
Easily drilled for installation of a ball valve. This can come in handy when/if you decide to move to All Grain brewing
A new aluminum kettle will last for the length of your brewing lifetime with proper care

Cons:
Passive oxide layer must be created and maintained. This is done easily enough by filling the kettle with water and boiling for ~30 minutes. You'll know it's there when the inside of your kettle has a brown discoloration
Although an aluminum pot will likely last for as long as you need to use it, it probably won't last forever. If you inherited your great-grandparents aluminum pot, leave that for spaghetti
CIP cleaners cannot be used without damaging your pot. With aluminum, you'll need to use old fashioned manual labor

Stainless Steel
Pros:
Shiny! Who doesn't like the gleam of stainless steal equipment?
With proper care, you'll be able to pass on your SS brew pot on to your great great grandchildren. They just plain last forever
Can be cleaned with CIP cleaners
Passive oxide layer is much easier to maintain than with aluminum
Easily drilled for installation of a ball valve. This can come in handy when/if you decide to move to All Grain brewing
Better heat distribution than enamel

Cons:
The most expensive kettle on this list by far
Much heavier than aluminum. More expensive to ship, and more difficult to transport and pour
Much less heat distribution than aluminum. Slower boils, and harder to chill quickly

__________________
Spartangreen is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
brewinginnc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 293
Liked 38 Times on 24 Posts

Default

Yup i use a 10 gallon winco it is fine and less than 50 bucks. Cant beat it

__________________
brewinginnc is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
edb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 219
Liked 13 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Target or K-Mart had aluminum Tamale pots which work quite well for brew pots, good size and price. I'm using a aluminum pot from a turkey fryer kit.

__________________

Fermenter 1: IPA
Keg1: 15 Min Pale Wheat
Keg2: Hefeweizen
Bottles: Brown Biscuit Ale - SafeAle S-04 / Brown Biscuit Ale - Abbey Ale Yeast II
edb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 06:55 PM   #9
Fennis
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Readfield, Maine
Posts: 384
Liked 25 Times on 18 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Aluminum oxidizes very visibly, so unlike stainless steel, you are going to see a significant color difference in the pot after its first use. There is nothing wrong with this, you didn't burn or scorch anything, that is just how aluminum reacts when you use it for cooking. That being said its pretty important not to use a kitchen scrubber or harsh cleaner in the pot as you will remove the oxidized layer and it will just come back again.

I use a 40qt (10 gallon) aluminum pot I got off Amazon. Its really thick and holds the heat well. For the first use, I did choose to boil water and dump it as it had quite an oily looking haze after it started boiling, but after that its been a fantastic pot. I am not sure how you are boiling now, but also consider getting a propane burner as it allows you to get water up to temp and boiling so much faster than a stovetop.

__________________
Fennis is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-18-2013, 07:26 PM   #10
FuzzeWuzze
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FuzzeWuzze's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Posts: 2,087
Liked 217 Times on 167 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fennis View Post
Aluminum oxidizes very visibly, so unlike stainless steel, you are going to see a significant color difference in the pot after its first use. There is nothing wrong with this, you didn't burn or scorch anything, that is just how aluminum reacts when you use it for cooking. That being said its pretty important not to use a kitchen scrubber or harsh cleaner in the pot as you will remove the oxidized layer and it will just come back again.

I use a 40qt (10 gallon) aluminum pot I got off Amazon. Its really thick and holds the heat well. For the first use, I did choose to boil water and dump it as it had quite an oily looking haze after it started boiling, but after that its been a fantastic pot. I am not sure how you are boiling now, but also consider getting a propane burner as it allows you to get water up to temp and boiling so much faster than a stovetop.
Its just a good idea to boil in general, not necessarily because of oxidiation, thats just dumb as Aluminum oxidizes the instant it touches air...but its good to get rid of as you found, any manufacturing chemicals that may still be on it...whether its oil from manufacturing or something they put on to polish it and make it look shiny...
__________________
HOWTO - Build a BrewPi Fermentation Chamber Cheap

View Current Brew via my BrewPi setup!
FuzzeWuzze is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - 160 qt Aluminum Brew Kettle with lid LeuwyBrew For Sale 14 07-13-2012 12:18 PM
Can anyone recommend this aluminum brew kettle? msa8967 Equipment/Sanitation 3 11-05-2011 04:00 PM
Stainless vs Aluminum Brew Kettle Meatball358 Equipment/Sanitation 13 08-16-2010 06:14 PM
New aluminum brew kettle DavidHawman Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 03-19-2010 05:31 PM
Aluminum brew kettle?? TWilson Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 08-30-2007 07:51 PM