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Old 11-21-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Aluminum pot and oxy clean?

What does oxy clean do to an aluminum pot that is negative? It oxidizes it? What does this mean in noob speak? What is best way to clean it?

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:17 PM   #2
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Oxidation = Rust

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:18 PM   #3
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Besides cleaning of that protective layer you boil onto the inside. That's why I use SS BK's. A dobie & a lil PBW & it's shiny again. Just rinse & dry.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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There is a big thread on AL Pots here somewhere that I read the other day. It covers all the speculation about issues with using AL pots. The key thing mentioned is that you want a layer of Aluminum Oxide built up on the pot. You don't want to scrub it off because it is going to separate your wort from the AL which could leach into the wort and produce undesired flavors. You can scrub your pot but if you remove the AL Oxide you will want to get it built back up. Just boil water in it for 30 min to 1 hr and it will be good to go.

The other thing mentioned was that you really don't need to go overboard cleaning it. Sanitizing it isn't needed because you are just going to boil the wort in there which will kill anything that might be in there. Obviously you want it clean but it doesn't need to be sterile.

In the thread, which was quite long, they said several times not to use Oxy clean that it would strip out the oxidization. I would think, like you mentioned, it would add to the oxidization but I am not a chemist and I haven't tried it. Worst case if it did strip out the oxidization just boil some water in it again and you are back to where you were when you started. While I plan to go to Keggles eventually, I am using a AL turkey kettle now. The only thing it has been used for other than beer is I steamed a bunch of corn in it this summer.

EDIT: Take a look at this thread... It is the one I mentioned reading above.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/faq-...kettles-49449/

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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What should the protective layer look like after boiling water in it? Mine looks slightly brownish or dark grayish.

I used oxyclean to clean it. Is it too late to save it, can I reboil or bake it to get the protective layer back?

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chungking View Post
What should the protective layer look like after boiling water in it? Mine looks slightly brownish or dark grayish.

I used oxyclean to clean it. Is it too late to save it, can I reboil or bake it to get the protective layer back?
If you look at the thread I mentioned there are pics of what it looks like and covers all this. To cover what it says in a couple sentences. It will look brown to dark gray but it depends on the AL and how thick it is over time. If it is gone just reboil water for 30-min to 1 hr and it will be back, I did 1 hr to be safe as I had a new pot. No harm other than the water and energy to boil for an hour. I would dump this water as it could pick up trace AL. Once boiled just rinse it out as you already know it is clean and go ahead and start your brewing.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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I thought oxygen-based cleaners "pitted" aluminum, if left to soak?

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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I thought oxygen-based cleaners "pitted" aluminum, if left to soak?
That may be possible. I know the FAQ thread said not to use it.

I wouldn't make a habit of using it on a AL pot but if someone did, there is no reason to throw the pot out. Just reboil and use.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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I will check the thread. What does "pitted" mean? Thanks!

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:02 PM   #10
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I will check the thread. What does "pitted" mean? Thanks!
Just like it sounds. Things can eat their way into the material and take little pits out of it. Think rust on a steel. It can eat into it. After you clean it off you can have little holes or divots in what used to be a smooth surface.

That thread is long but there are lots of posts that can be skipped over because they are just ranting about the risk of AL which isn't proven. The summary is pretty good in the first post or the short blurb I wrote above. They basically said to just use a mild detergent to clean. No need to sanitize because you are going to boil the contents anyhow. As long as it is clean from chunks from your last brew you should be all set. Since you used Oxy on it you know it is clean. If they gray/brown coating is gone, reboil water. If it is still there you are likley fine. While it can be stripped away it either takes some elbow grease with a scratch pad or some stronger acid cleaners. If it is removed it isn't the end of the world. While I plan on going to SS, I am going to use my AL kettle for a while until I get set up for Keggles.
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