Author Topic: Aluminum Cleaner?  (Read 1562 times)

Offline roguejim

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 462
    • View Profile
Aluminum Cleaner?
« on: March 20, 2012, 03:42:18 PM »
I've been using Barkeeper"s Friend, but is there a better cleaner for an aluminum boil kettle?

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 04:32:38 PM »
I've been using Barkeeper"s Friend, but is there a better cleaner for an aluminum boil kettle?

 Wipe it down with a damp cloth, rinse and store upside down. Nothing more. You want a dark greyish brown patina on the inside.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2634
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 06:05:03 PM »
Yeah, I wouldn't use BKF on aluminum either.  Before you brew in aluminum for the first time, you're supposed to boil water or something in it to build up an oxide layer.  Without the oxide layer, the acidity of your wort can react with the aluminum.  The oxide layer is that grey off-color layer that BKF is probably cleaning right off for you.
Joe

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4582
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 06:07:31 PM »
Elbow grease.
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2012, 06:51:44 PM »
Elbow grease.

Hey I was going to say that!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline roguejim

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 462
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2012, 11:17:50 PM »
Nothing, really??  Is stainless steel treated the same way, i.e., with no cleaner?

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5681
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2012, 11:31:20 PM »
I generally just scrub out my kettle with a nylon hop bag. if it gets really bad I scrub it with PBW. But with aluminium, as was said earlier, you want to maintain that passivated layer. If the beer stone starts to build up you can soak and then scrub with PBW and a gentle scrubby but then you should re-passivate by boiling water as was mentioned above.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7223
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 12:07:36 AM »
I go at mine with a green scrubbie or a copper tangle with good rinsing. Just enough to keep the beerstone at bay.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2012, 12:47:09 AM »
Yeah, if something is building up then washing it with pbw is a good choice.  That's all I ever do to mine.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline roguejim

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 462
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2012, 02:31:53 AM »
Thanks for the replies.  I reviewed Palmer's chapter on cleaning brewing equipment.  Percarbonate based cleaners are recommended for ss and aluminum.  I've been using Barkeeper's Friend with a green sponge-scrubby, and have been careful not to remove the patina.  I don't know if my kettle is "anodized" aluminum or not, but I've just now discovered from their site that BF is not recommended for that type of aluminum.  In any event, I'm switching to straight hot water and a scrubby. 

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2012, 07:54:30 AM »
Aluminum is a dull grey.  Anodized Aluminum can be practically any color, but is usually black (think Caphalon cookware).  If you got the tools at hand, you can easily anodize aluminum yourself (look online).  Agree with minimal cleanup of aluminum pots--I typically only use it to boil water for mashing when using the stove top.

Offline punatic

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4582
  • Puna District, Hawaii Island (UTC -10)
    • View Profile
Re: Aluminum Cleaner?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2012, 08:37:49 AM »
Nothing, really??  Is stainless steel treated the same way, i.e., with no cleaner?

No, stainless steel is not treated the same.  Stainless steel is relatively inert.  It does not need to passivate.  Deposts can be scrubbed off with abrasives, followed with a good wiping down and rinsing.

Stainless steel does react badly with chlorine.  Bleach or other chlorine products should not be used.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 08:40:25 AM by punatic »
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


AHA Life Member #33907