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Old 10-14-2011, 07:49 PM   #1
Apr 2011
Chino, CA
Posts: 296
Liked 20 Times on 16 Posts

I received a 15G aluminum pot as a gift. It is 1/4" thick aluminum and it looks like it is "spun" as the there are concentric lines wrapping around the entire pot/lid (inside and out).

I have a ball valve that I want to install on this, but haven't installed one ever before. I saw a thread where someone drilled into a "spun" stainless pot and it ripped the pot. I'm afraid of screwing this up. Any suggestions?
Bottled: Udder Nonsense Milk Stout, Off Your Rocker Cider
Keg #1: Udder Nonsense Milk Stout
Keg #2: Explosive IPA
Keg #3: Explosive IPA
Keg #4: Nothing
Fermenting: Nothing
Next On Deck: Maibock?
Brewed in 2012: 65 gallons
Brewed in 2013: 55 gallons
Brewed in 2014: 25 gallons

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Old 10-14-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
springer's Avatar
Feb 2008
Wappingers falls NY
Posts: 4,743
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts

never heard of pot ripped by drilling . The lines are from machining the poy after it leaves the press I doubt anyone would make pots out of a billit of aluminum. Use a step drill go slow and use lube I use mineral oil when I drill a pot

my HLT is like the pot you have

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Old 10-21-2011, 02:13 PM   #3
Jan 2011
Albany, New York
Posts: 53

I'm sorry I can't post a picture of mine, but I installed a ball valve in that same type of aluminum pot. I used a cheap step drill bit that i bought from Harbor Freight. I went slow and used dish soap for lubricant. Filed the inside and outside edges of the hole and had no problems.

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Old 10-21-2011, 02:29 PM   #4
Psych's Avatar
Mar 2011
Kelowna, BC
Posts: 780
Liked 37 Times on 34 Posts

Same thing here, mine is a 10 or 11 gallon (it's fuzzy, lousy imperial/metric). I used a drill press and a hole saw and no lube at all.

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Old 10-21-2011, 02:34 PM   #5
PseudoChef's Avatar
Apr 2007
West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
Posts: 3,406
Liked 110 Times on 81 Posts

An aluminum pot shouldn't need a step-drill bit. As Psych said, simple hole saw or drill press should have you with a perfect hole in about 2 seconds.

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Old 10-21-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
TopherM's Avatar
Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,974
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Stainless Steel actually hardens as it gets hot, and at some point will harden enough that it will rip or literally shatter like glass under the force of a step bit.

Aluminum, however, doesn't have this problem at all. It is a relatively soft metal that you can drill through like butter. The first fitting I ever installed took me about 20 minutes. The second one took about 5 minutes.

Check out the Bargain Fittings instructions on installing a weldless fitting at the bottom of the linked page beow. They also have the best prices, so go ahead and buy your fittings and valves from them if you have not already:

Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!

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Old 10-21-2011, 04:28 PM   #7
AnOldUR's Avatar
Mar 2007
, New Jersey
Posts: 6,888
Liked 847 Times on 612 Posts

Actually a lot of the commericial aluminum pots are spun. Also they are thinner at the lower part of the pot and will tear if you don't use a step bit or spade drill.

How Aluminum Is Manufactured For Your Needs.
Aluminum cookware has been manufactured using a variety of processes. Stamped aluminum cookware (think camping kits and dollar stores) doesn't hold up to heavy daily use, but it's fine to boil water in - think how much of your daily cooking consists mostly of boiling water - and a good lightweight choice for camping.
Commercial spun aluminum cookware, made by deforming heavy sheet aluminum on a spinning lathe, is widely used for commercial cookware, and you'll see it hanging in restaurant kitchens and bakeries.

Cast aluminum cookware, often called club cookware, is thicker and harder than spun aluminum. You can still find a beautiful and functional old Cookware teakettle or roaster; and Magnalite cookware, is available both used and new.
It would be rare to find a pot that was machined in a lathe (machined as in turning and boring that would leave machine marks.)

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