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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Oxiclean + Aluminum = Black
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:15 PM   #1
63belair
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Default Oxiclean + Aluminum = Black

Hi everybody,

**I apologize in advance for a topic that has been covered before. I did some searching and read several old threads before posting here, but most of the threads seemed to dissolve into talking about stainless steel pots or the merits of aluminum in general. I definitely learned some good stuff, but unfortunately I don't have all day to read through these threads at work**

I filled my aluminum boil kettle up with hot water and about a half scoop of oxiclean a few days ago to remove labels from commercial bottles. All was going well for the first couple days, labels began to float off in the first 24 hours or so, and then I continually added more bottles to the pot to remove labels. When I checked on the pot today, I noticed that it was much darker than normal. The side of the pot (up to the water line) is now a very dark gray/black. The bottom appears to be normal.

I dumped out the oxiclean solution and gave it a quick rinse with hot water, which didn't make any noticeable difference. I attacked the pot with a green scrubbie and some dish soap, which also didn't appear to make a difference. I then filled the pot with hot water and some dish soap and left it to soak while I was at work.

My questions are:

1. Is this black "staining" oxidation?
2. Did I ruin my aluminum pot?
3. If I did ruin the pot, is there a way to refurbish it?
4. Should I be concerned with this black layer/is it ok to use for boiling wort?

Final question: Would a HD Homer Bucket be a better container to use for getting labels off of bottles with oxi-clean?

Any and all help or insight is greatly appreciated. Also, if I should have posted this in the Equipment section I apologize.


Here are just a few of the threads I read through while trying to determine an answer:

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

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/vs-p...alysis-109318/

http://www.google.com/search?q=site:...w=1280&bih=685


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Old 06-22-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63belair
Hi everybody,

**I apologize in advance for a topic that has been covered before. I did some searching and read several old threads before posting here, but most of the threads seemed to dissolve into talking about stainless steel pots or the merits of aluminum in general. I definitely learned some good stuff, but unfortunately I don't have all day to read through these threads at work**

I filled my aluminum boil kettle up with hot water and about a half scoop of oxiclean a few days ago to remove labels from commercial bottles. All was going well for the first couple days, labels began to float off in the first 24 hours or so, and then I continually added more bottles to the pot to remove labels. When I checked on the pot today, I noticed that it was much darker than normal. The side of the pot (up to the water line) is now a very dark gray/black. The bottom appears to be normal.

I dumped out the oxiclean solution and gave it a quick rinse with hot water, which didn't make any noticeable difference. I attacked the pot with a green scrubbie and some dish soap, which also didn't appear to make a difference. I then filled the pot with hot water and some dish soap and left it to soak while I was at work.

My questions are:

1. Is this black "staining" oxidation?
2. Did I ruin my aluminum pot?
3. If I did ruin the pot, is there a way to refurbish it?
4. Should I be concerned with this black layer/is it ok to use for boiling wort?

Final question: Would a HD Homer Bucket be a better container to use for getting labels off of bottles with oxi-clean?

Any and all help or insight is greatly appreciated. Also, if I should have posted this in the Equipment section I apologize.

Here are just a few of the threads I read through while trying to determine an answer:

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

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/vs-p...alysis-109318/

http://www.google.com/search?q=site:...w=1280&bih=685
strong chems like bleach and degreaser will do this. Just get a brillo pad and scrub it away. You're pot is fine imo.


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Originally Posted by cvstrat

Maybe if your boil kettle was a sheet pan, and your heat source was satan's a**hole, then you could possibly boil off 60 percent of your batch in an hour.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:29 PM   #3
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1. Yes
Aluminum oxide is desirable in your pot. It improves heat transfer and makes the wall of the pot more durable. There are probably more positives that I can't think of at the moment.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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leave it be. the layer of aluminum oxide can help protect your beer from aluminum ions, which could potentially add some undesirable flavors. everything I've read about using aluminum boil kettles suggests filling it up with water and boiling it for a while to develop that layer.

as for the bucket, that's how I do it - I have a plastic 3gal bucket we happened to have lying around filled with an oxyclean solution in the corner of the kitchen. every time I empty a bottle, I rinse it out and drop it in there. label comes right off the next morning.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63belair View Post
My questions are:

1. Is this black "staining" oxidation?
2. Did I ruin my aluminum pot?
3. If I did ruin the pot, is there a way to refurbish it?
4. Should I be concerned with this black layer/is it ok to use for boiling wort?
1. Yes, Heavy oxidation.
2. No.
3. Yes, add the same amount of oxiclean and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Watch it. It will get all shinny again as the high pH removes the heavy oxidation. Rinse and fill with water and re-boil to build up a thin oxide layer.
4. Yes. You want oxidation, but this heavy layer might come off in your beer and leave a metallic taste.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
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+1 for above responses, and oxyclean is the KING for removing labels.

I think an acid (StarSan?) would remove oxidation from the pot, not more oxiclean (oxidizer)

I used a massive tub (~10 gal) with rope handles for label removal. I can fit enough bottles for a 5 gal batch. It also doubled as an ice container to cool of my wort, until I got an immersion chiller.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerrific View Post
1. Yes, Heavy oxidation.
2. No.
3. Yes, add the same amount of oxiclean and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Watch it. It will get all shinny again as the high pH removes the heavy oxidation. Rinse and fill with water and re-boil to build up a thin oxide layer.
4. Yes. You want oxidation, but this heavy layer might come off in your beer and leave a metallic taste.
Thanks for all the quick responses everyone. I wasn't able to follow the usual prescription of "relax and have a homebrew" this morning because I try not to drink before work hahaha.

So it sounds like:

My brew pot is heavily oxidized and not ruined. The large amount of oxidation on my pot could affect future brews, so I should remove it by soaking with an oxiclean solution for 10-15 minutes (at which point the black "stain" should be gone). At this point my pot will no longer have a protective oxide layer, so I should fill it with plain water and boil to build up a small oxide layer. Once this has been accomplished I should celebrate with a home brew and commence brewing another batch.

Does that sound about right?
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63belair View Post

So it sounds like:

My brew pot is heavily oxidized and not ruined. The large amount of oxidation on my pot could affect future brews, so I should remove it by soaking with an oxiclean solution for 10-15 minutes (at which point the black "stain" should be gone). At this point my pot will no longer have a protective oxide layer, so I should fill it with plain water and boil to build up a small oxide layer. Once this has been accomplished I should celebrate with a home brew and commence brewing another batch.

Does that sound about right?
This exactly what I did when mine turned black (I was cleaning it after frying a turkey in it) and worked exactly. Just watch it when you put the oxiclean in there, it can go from shinny to black again fast. Let us know if this works.


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