Aluminum kettle lesson

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Jazzy_J, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. Jazzy_J

    Jazzy_J New Member

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    Just finished brewing a nice simple extract pale ale, and learned a bummer of a lesson. I'm pretty upset that it happened. I should've known better because I work with metals often, but at the same time I would've never thought about it. I have used this equipment several times before without issue. I boil in a 5 gal kettle and stir with a smooth stainless spatula.

    I went about my normal brew, but was using a new yeast similar to us-05, and water to cool my wort as much as possible before pitching my yeast. In order to do that I submerged my kettle and aggressively stirred with a stainless spatula so that the whirlpool would cool it quickly. As a result, the spatula actually knicked and chipped the kettle. I didn't realize until I was cleaning the kettle on the sink and saw metal shavings in the sink and the dents in the kettle.

    The one saving grace is I poured the wort through a strainer into the fermenter. I just don't know if it caught the metal.

    Time to go stainless.
     
  2. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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    As I've been getting into brewing and collecting equipment, a few aluminum pots have come up. I have hesitated because of the material's softness. Another deliberate move I made was to get a big, commercial, Rubbermaid spatula/scraper to stir with. That way there's no worry at all about damaging the kettle.
     
  3. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I would think that a slow gentle stir would be adequate for chilling, whatever metal may have made it into your fermenter, it will have settle to the bottom, I don't think that there will be any adverse affect on your beer, I don't think anyways...
     
  4. Jazzy_J

    Jazzy_J New Member

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    That's what I'm hoping. Though I'm less concerned about drinking the shards of metal than the possible aluminum poisoning from the bits in there. Either way I found someone selling a stainless kettle, big enough to try biab. Silver lining.
     
  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I think you'll be fine. Don't stress to hard about it, if it were that easy to get aluminum poisoning it would happen a lot.

    But yeah I'd approach it like a non stick pan, use something softer than it when stirring.
     
  6. Jazzy_J

    Jazzy_J New Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the messages. After brewing, I almost immediately dumped it when I saw the metal things. However, in the spirit of homebrewing I decided to ride it out. I took a gravity sample today, after 10 days (1.012 still, down from 1.046), and decided to try some, and no metal taste! I imagine you guys are right, especially if I can't actually taste anything off.
    I'm gonna to let it ferment through the week to see if it drops any more, but the krausen had fallen already. There was still tons of yeast in suspension though, so I'm hoping it dries out some more, still a little sweet.
    Moving forward I got a 10 gallon stainless kettle, so once I work my way through my extract I will try my hand at biab! Silver linings I guess.
     

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