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Old 04-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
TomHanx
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Default 25 gal brewing kettle/tank-



for heating/boiling water and/or boiling the mash how easy it to convert one of these aluminum 100 quart/25 gal cooking stock pots for a kettle to brew in adding a ball joint valve that wont leak. I can't weld personally but have friends that do for a living.

also what disadvantages are there to using these aluminum pots versus stainless steel or galvanized steel?
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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I personaly dont use aluminum. To many places for bacteria to hide and I don't know from experience but I've been told it imparts off/metalic flavors.

If you do go that route though its the same difficulty level as SS to weld a valve into. But aluminum requires a specific type of welding that not everybody knows.

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Old 04-28-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
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how easy is it to convert? you pretty much answered that question yourself- you weld on a port in the bottom and screw a valve onto it. you can get as fancy as you want and add sight glasses or temperature probes, or keep it that simple and do those other things manually. you want either a 1/2" female s.steel full or half coupling for the piece of weld in.

you dont want to use galvanized steel for anything here.

the aluminum vs steel debate rages on, and information about it can be found in the sticky thread at the top of the subforum. the short of it is- aluminum is cheaper but not as durable, but works just as well for all intents and purposes if you are on a budget.

remember not everyone knows how or is equipped to weld aluminum though, so take that into consideration if you are looking at aluminum pots.

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Old 04-28-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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No real disadvantage. Durability shouldn't be a problem unless you make a habit of tossing your equipment across the brew room. If you go weld-less, it should be easier to drill a hole in aluminum, any of the weld-less ball valves kits you might find on the internet should work, just remember not to over tighten and distort the o-ring/gasket, over tightening it is probably the biggest culprit in terms of leaks.

A couple years ago (IIRC) BYO had an article (although darned if I can find it in their story index) where they did a blind tasting of the same beer brewed in both aluminum and stainless steel, no one could reliably tell by taste which was which. Most people will only "taste" aluminum flavor in a beer if they know beforehand the it was brewed in aluminum.

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Old 04-28-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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just go with the weldless setups that they have for SS its alot easier to drill through aluminum then it is to find someone to weld aluminum. pretty sure you need a special welder. i dont know much a bout welding so i could be wrong. also again i have no idea but maybe you might need to use aluminum parts when welding to aluminum. liek you might not be able to weld steel to aluminum but like i said i dont know. i think weldless would be the easier way to go.

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Old 04-28-2011, 07:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rferguson61 View Post
I personaly dont use aluminum. To many places for bacteria to hide and I don't know from experience but I've been told it imparts off/metalic flavors.
False and false. I use an aluminum kettle, works great, no off flavors.

Also, no need to weld a valve, check out BargainFittings.com for a weldless setup. I installed their kit and have never had an issue with leaking.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrookeiv View Post
Also, no need to weld a valve, check out BargainFittings.com for a weldless setup. I installed their kit and have never had an issue with leaking.
OH YEAH!! thanks, I didn't even think about that... just drilling a hole and adding some kind of valve. THANKS

By the way- yeah the money is the obvious motivator here. I can find 25 gal aluminum stock pots on amazon or google shopping for 70-80 bucks. Stainless steel more than twice that much.

Another thing I didn't consider is- just because I have a 25 gallon pot doesn't mean i can brew 25 gallons of beer. At least not in one batch. I need to get one and find out how much water or wort I can boil in a 25 gallon pot.

I'll check out the sticky for a little more info.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
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False and false. I use an aluminum kettle, works great, no off flavors.
+1

More places for bacteria hide? You are boiling liquid for an hour...that will kill everything
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomHanx View Post
OH YEAH!! thanks, I didn't even think about that... just drilling a hole and adding some kind of valve. THANKS

By the way- yeah the money is the obvious motivator here. I can find 25 gal aluminum stock pots on amazon or google shopping for 70-80 bucks. Stainless steel more than twice that much.

Another thing I didn't consider is- just because I have a 25 gallon pot doesn't mean i can brew 25 gallons of beer. At least not in one batch. I need to get one and find out how much water or wort I can boil in a 25 gallon pot.

I'll check out the sticky for a little more info.
you could probably do 20 gallon, if your burner is up to boiling that large of a volume. I use a 15 gallon aluminum kettle for 10 gallon batches. I think the rule of thumb is 20% head space. You can get closer to the top with an anti-foaming agent like fermcap-S to prevent boil-overs. What batch size do you want to do?
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:58 PM   #10
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