Aluminum Pot? are they any good for all grain

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by dfj, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. dfj

    dfj Active Member

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    Looking at making a 15 Gallon electric system. Aluminum pots are cheap from restaurant supplies at about $60 each for 60 or 80 Qt pots. Is there any concern with Aluminum w/ all grain?
    Plan on using a Raspberry pi or equiv - to control the whole system with smartphone or computer monitoring so i can brew and move around the house
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I ditched mine many moons ago, you have to keep a good layer of oxidation to protect the metal from leaching, if so they are fine but any scratches you have to re-oxidize, too much of a pain, I'll give you mine lol
     
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  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    You can find decent stainless pots from some of the suppliers on sale sometimes. A little while back I paid something like $39 bucks for a 8-gallon with single welded npt fitting.
     
  4. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Love my aluminum pot. I've had zero issues with it. I think I paid like $40 for it on amazon. It's 10 gallons. Thick and sturdy. I've read you shouldn't sour in an aluminum kettle, so I never have, but that's not an issue for me as I sour in the fermenter. I don't do kettle sours. In the years i've had mine, i've never had to scrub the inside. I spray it out with hot water and if needed wipe with a rag or sponge, but that's just been my experiences.
     
  5. dfj

    dfj Active Member

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    oh ok - dam I herd aluminum related to Alzheimer?
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    #6 Head First, Dec 16, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  7. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    With the exception of price, stainless is superior. You won't save much money if down the road you decide to replace it with stainless. It's better to buy things once.
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Don't believe everything you read on the Internet, wait....

    No problem at all using aluminum for a brew kettle.
     
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  9. KC

    KC Active Member

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    Aluminum is reactive, and I have always avoided it where possible, as with copper (and plastic).

    https://www.thekitchn.com/food-science-explaining-reacti-73723

    The effects are worst at pH <4.7 such as a kettle sour, or when using StarSan. Also issues at high pH with Alkaline wash and PBW. In theory, effects are minimized at typical mash pH ~5.4. It's up to you if you think it's perceptible, or if the risk of perception are worth the cost difference.
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Aluminum is fine. I used one for a while when getting started. Fears about it are overblown. Stainless is nicer though.
     
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  12. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Before committing to an entire build, why not get 1 and work with it for a while? If you like the results, then build.
    There's a reason breweries don't use it.
    Just saying,
    Brian
     
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  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    There's a reason breweries don't batch sparge too, doesn't mean it applies to a home brewer.
     
  14. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Curious as to why you think breweries wouldn't use it?
    And, batch sparging is size related and if breweries were able to do it , I'm sure they would consider it.
    Brian
     
  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Batch sparging? Efficiency I would presume, it matters a lot more to them. For aluminum? I don't know, frankly I think a lot of them have bought into the stainless is awesome mindset.
     
  16. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    I think it's more long term on the SS and easier to clean and maintain with caustics and acids.
    As far as batch sparging and efficiencies go, I'm thinking it's what works and is less overall work.
    Either way, it ends up to the end user (OP) as to what and if they want to use it.
    There's more than 1 way to skin a cat!
    Haha !
    Brian
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense. My understanding is caustic strips the oxidization layer from aluminum.
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Efficiency in the sparge matters to big guys, an additional pound of grain or two isn't that much for a seven-barrel brewer. Aluminum isn't used commercially because it isn't durable enough. Stainless is the way to go for them. At our scale, an aluminum kettle is just fine. But if you can afford the few bucks extra, spring for stainless but the difference between a high-quality aluminum pot and a cheap, thin-walled stainless one? Go with the aluminum.
     
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