Is my stainless steel boiling pot giving off a metallic smell/taste?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New Member
Apr 6, 2022
Reaction score
Hello. Longtime lurker, first time poster.

After having great success with ciders and meads, I'm trying my hand at partial mash beer brewing.

I've got a 21L stainless steel pot that I've used for ~10 meads and ciders (so no boiling). I've also used it twice for cooking - a big batch of chilli and then curry.

This is the pot - Large Deep Stainless Steel Induction Stock Pot Casserole Cooking Stockpot (21 Litre) : Home & Kitchen

So far, I've used it four times for partial mash brewing. Each time I'm left with strong metallic tastes and smells. Its a sharp, offensive smell that renders the beer undrinkable.

My 1st and 2nd brews were undrinkable due to oxidation (racking mistakes) and over spicing. The third brew developed the metallic taste within 5 days of fermenting. I put this down to bad ingredients or oxidation or an infection or using tap water. I couldn't figure it out.

I put my fourth brew on 3 days ago. A belgian strong dark ale. All fresh ingredients, bottled water, good sanitation, correct brewing process, cooled quickly etc. I was very confident I had this right. But...

I incrementally added ~100ml cooled wort in with the yeast starter as the main batch was cooling. Within 5mins, the metallic smell was back. The wort smelled amazing but the yeast starter now didn't. I pushed on regardless, pitched the yeast and went to bed. Next morning it was fermenting like mad but giving off this same smell. 3 days in, its all I can smell from the airlock.

As it happened so quickly, I'm certain its not oxidation. Ingredients were fresh and no tap water used. Which leads me to believe its the only constant in the four brews - the stainless steel pot. No other metal implement was used in the process.

I've just been reading about passivation and leaching. Has my cleaning of the pan damaged the SS, and now its leaching metallic tastes and smells? Can this be fixed with passivation? Or could it be something else?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!