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Old 12-18-2007, 08:44 PM   #1
Sep 2007
Posts: 73
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I see some guys use aluminum. I thought I read in the Joy of Home Brewing that aluminum was a no-no. Use stainless steal only. I'm geeting ready to go to AG and would like some feedback.


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Old 12-18-2007, 08:58 PM   #2

Uh-oh, don't start that up again! Been discussed here many times. Do a search on "Aluminum Stainless Steel" and you'll see what I mean.

Bottom line is, both are okay. Use what you can afford.

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:00 PM   #3
Madtown Brew
Jun 2007
Madison, WI
Posts: 258
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I say both.

An aluminum pot really comes in handy when doing decoctions or cereal mashes (basically anytime your going to boil grains). A lot less chance of scorching in Al.
rye farmhouse ale
flanders red

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:03 PM   #4
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Oct 2006
Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,787
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Stainless is best, aluminum is very acceptable based upon years and years of homebrewing experience...

The basic argument against aluminum is that some think aluminum is linked to alzheimers. However, the amount of aluminum you'll ingest from brewing in an aluminum kettle is barely negligible even if you brew once per week or heck maybe even everyday. You'd be surprised how much stuff you ingest thats been cooked in or came in contact with aluminum during its life...

I use both depending on my boil size. Never noticed any difference in my beers...

Do a search if you'd like to see the "great debate" (or about 1,000,000 of them) on the topic.
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:13 PM   #5
Kevin Dean
Kevin Dean's Avatar
Jul 2007
Frederick, MD
Posts: 1,352
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I use and aluminum kettle and my beer ferments in Better Bottles.
Free State Project liaison to the homebrew hobby!

"What's your name? Well my mom calls me Son, and my cat calls me Meow, either will do." -- Sam Dodson of the Obscured Truth Network

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:48 PM   #6
Dec 2007
Posts: 92

The purported link between aluminum and alzheimer's has been debunked. At worst, you may notice a metallic taste to your beer, especially when cooking acidic foods like wort. To avoid this issue, boil a few potsful of water before using an aluminum pot for beer, and don't scrub the resulting oxide layer off.

Aluminum is cheaper, lighter, and spreads heat better than stainless. It is somewhat less durable, so don't drop your pots on hard surfaces, heat them while empty, or otherwise abuse them, and you'll be just fine.

Pro brewers prefer stainless in part because they use CIP (clean-in-place) chemicals like lye (NaOH), which reacts with Al to release dangerous Hydrogen gas.

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:01 PM   #7
MikeFlynn74's Avatar
Nov 2007
Posts: 3,876
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I use depleted uranium. Its a little heavy but its solid.
If you find yourself going through hell, keep going- Winston Churchill
Originally Posted by Tenchiro View Post
The successful have nobody to blame but themselves, I really wish they would take some responsibility for their own actions...

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:12 PM   #8
Dec 2006
Aliso Viejo, Ca
Posts: 159
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Either way go for heavy duty. The thicker the bottom the better. You can get a 6
mm aluminum pot (40-60 quart )for less then $100. Stainless will cost you twice that amount. Buy the best you can afford for what your needs are. - Dirk
Bier frisch und gut, schafft frohen Mut.

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:33 PM   #9
Nov 2007
Parma Hts. OH
Posts: 424
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Aluminum is used in almost EVERY restaraunt kitchen out there. As mentioned it is cheaper and heats better. (NSF designation on bottom of pot is what you want) If you look at the amount of food cooked in pots daily and consumed, you would wonder why we aren't all crazy if the myth holds any water.

I picked up a 20 quart SS pot from Family Dollar for $10, but the kitchen I use for brewing has 10 or 15 gallon aluminum pots available. Just didn't want to get the metallic taste in my brew. Guess I'll have to try the boiling water before you brew method.
Primary - Apfelwine
Secondary - Niagara white wine
Kegged - AH Special Holiday Ale, AH Cream Ale, AH Honey Wheat
Bottled - Continental Pilsner, Island Mist Mango Citrus, Island Mist Wildberry Shiraz
Up next - AH Foster's clone, Labatt's clone, Hard Apple Cider,
The Independence Street Brew House

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Old 12-19-2007, 12:08 AM   #10
Dec 2007
Posts: 12

I just bought an 32 qt. aluminum pot to split boil on the stovetop with my 16 qt. enamelware pot for my first AG batch last week. Problem here was that the bottom of my AL pot is slightly concave and was only hitting the few outside rings of the range heating elements, while the inner rings were glowing hot! I didn't know this until I was just standing there and heard a fairly loud pop, it was hot air trapped under the pot lifting it and escaping. Since I didn't want to burn out my heating element, I went out and got another enamelware pot for $15 to last me until I make my electric keggle next month. Point being....use anything with a flat bottom, when I got my 2nd enamelware pot though I was looking pretty hard at the 20 qt. Stainless. But I figured I only have to use this crap enamelware for a little longer.

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