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Old 09-17-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
Bacon_grease
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Default aluminum sanke?

I have a stupid n00b question and I think I did an even stoopider thing...

How can you tell if a sanke keg is stainless steel or aluminum?

I cut one up, assuming it was stainless, put in the drain valves and brewed away happily. Now I'm cracking bottles open and the beer tastes quite metallic.

We're thinking that the issue is either that the keg is aluminum OR that the copper in my CFC wasn't cleaned (I thought I cleaned it well, but I could be wrong)

If the keg's aluminum, I'll fill it and boil boil for 90 minutes to put on a passive layer - but I have no idea how to treat the CFC other than run lots and lots and LOTS of cleaner and water through it.

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Old 09-17-2009, 07:28 PM   #2
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Well it would be rather obvious if it was aluminum . if you used a the grinder method to open it there would have been no sparks flying. If you used a jig saw or sawsall it would have clogged the teeth.

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Old 09-17-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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Aluminum will scratch rather easy too.

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Old 09-17-2009, 09:27 PM   #4
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Weight? Looks like a s/s Sanke is about 35#. If it's significantly lighter, it's Al.

Related story: I managed an auto parts store for a long time. One customer ordered a water pump for a smallblock Chevy. I asked, "Is it cast iron or aluminum?" His reply?

"How the %@# am I supposed to know? It's all covered in rust."

"Thanks, I'll send it right out."



-Joe

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Old 09-18-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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One word magnet. If it sticks and it isn’t because of spilt beer its stainless steel if it falls off its aluminum. If it is aluminum take it to a recycler and get cash then get a stainless steel one.
Yes stainless steel is ferrous and a magnet will stick it. Stainless just means there is 13% or more chromium in it.Compared to stainless aluminum is very expensive to produce like that for not a whole lot of weight savings. Odds are its stainless. Good luck.

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Old 09-18-2009, 12:57 AM   #6
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Only ferritic ss is magnetic not austinetic unless it is drawn into a wire. but still probobly ss most kegs are.

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
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I'll pull out some brass and see if that scratches it, but thinking back, I'm pretty certain it's stainless.

1) It sparked pretty well during grinding and it didn't gum up the blades on my hole saw.
2) The cuttings that hit the bottom of the keg rusted and stained the bottom of the keg when I was cleaning it out.
3) It's heavy enough to be stainless.

But, where on earth did the metallic taste in my beer come from?

I have a copper tube running into the keg (from the bulkhead fitting) that is soldered together (silver solder) and there's a few joints there. I cleaned the tube inside and out pretty well and I've made two batches of beer in it, plus a lot of heavy cleaning between batches - I would think that any crud would have come out by now.

The CFC is the same thing. 50' of copper with the fittings soldered (the beer never touches these, but it does pass through the spots that are heated) and it's been heavily cleaned.

Any suggestions on locating the source of my contamination or blanket ways to treat everything to get rid of it?

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Old 09-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacon_grease View Post
The CFC is the same thing. 50' of copper with the fittings soldered (the beer never touches these, but it does pass through the spots that are heated) and it's been heavily cleaned.
What do you mean by "the beer never touches these", if its a joint with solder, beer will touch the solder, solder basicly plugs up the hole/gap around the the two pieces and holds them together.

The metallic taste could come from your copper or fittings (flux, solder), if not scrubbed clean manufacturers put a coating on them to keep them from oxidizing. Could come from your water source? There is a slight metallic taste to my tap water when I lived in a older house.

This is just some brainstorming, also in avoiding the metallic taste I am going 100% stainless on all my metal parts on my HERMS system.

drake

EDIT: ohh you ment the bulkhead fittings is soldered to the keg and the copper just passes through?
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake371 View Post
What do you mean by "the beer never touches these", if its a joint with solder, beer will touch the solder, solder basicly plugs up the hole/gap around the the two pieces and holds them together.

The metallic taste could come from your copper or fittings (flux, solder), if not scrubbed clean manufacturers put a coating on them to keep them from oxidizing. Could come from your water source? There is a slight metallic taste to my tap water when I lived in a older house.

This is just some brainstorming, also in avoiding the metallic taste I am going 100% stainless on all my metal parts on my HERMS system.

drake

EDIT: ohh you ment the bulkhead fittings is soldered to the keg and the copper just passes through?
The beer never touches the joints in the CFC. I used Bobby M's basic idea to make mine

After reading several threads, I am leaning towards my water source being the culprit. I'll brew up a cheap/fast beer to confirm this using bottled water.

The metal beers were made with water from my garden hose, and if I fill a white bucket with that hose, a lot of sediment and it looks like rust. Also, my faucets inside the house show rust stains. I can't believe I didn't consider that...
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
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Yea older parts of Houston has that issue... run the water through a filter and it should be easy to solve. Down here (League CIty) my water is actually decent but I still filter it.

drake

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