Author Topic: Aluminum Stock Pot  (Read 10943 times)

Offline 2lbrew

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Aluminum Stock Pot
« on: April 09, 2011, 11:31:33 AM »
Does anyone use an aluminum pot? What are your thoughts? Does it heat evenly? If I am doing extract brewing, will it burn? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2011, 12:20:26 PM »
Aluminum pots are fine for brewing beer. Just don't polish them clean after use. You want to see an oxidation layer on the bottom, kind of a brownish layer is desired to keep the metal's integrity. They transfer heat very well and will last a lifetime if maintained properly. Me personally, I prefer stainless but it's a personal choice.
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Offline jwaldner

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2011, 02:11:24 PM »
I used aluminum as my first brew pot for years.  It heats quickly, is lightweight and served me well until I upgraded to stainless.  It's a great starter pot.

Cheers!

Offline euge

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2011, 04:35:40 PM »
They are dirt cheap. Buy bigger than you think you'll need. instawares.com
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline gmac

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2011, 07:01:43 PM »
They are dirt cheap. Buy bigger than you think you'll need. instawares.com
I bought a 60 quart so I can boil 10 gals with room to spare.  Not sure how I ever did it before in a smaller one.  I've done a few brews in this one now and it works just fine.  I'm following the advice above and basically wiping out the pot after the boil but not scrubbing it and it is working just fine.
I couldn't spring for stainless of this size, it was 2-3X the cost at my local restaurant supply.  Nice to have but not need to have.

Offline Malticulous

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2011, 07:25:30 PM »
I still use the 30qt aluminum turkey pot for a HLT. I got a dirt cheap 60 qt SS for the boil. Some times I have to use my 60qt for the strike with 11 gallon batches. The 30 is still big enough for the sparge.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 07:27:03 PM by Malticulous »

Offline 2lbrew

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 07:56:35 PM »
Thanks for the info guys. I appreciate.

2L

Offline frochild

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 02:05:30 AM »
So why is the use of aluminum so discouraged?  When I bought my stuff,  I went by Charlie Papazian's recommendations and he says not to use one.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2011, 04:51:58 AM »
So why is the use of aluminum so discouraged?  When I bought my stuff,  I went by Charlie Papazian's recommendations and he says not to use one.

Some years back there was a scare that aluminum cookware might be responsible for Alzheimer's Disease, so that might have been it.

Aluminum transfers heat well, is lightweight and  inexpensive, so in theory it's a good metal for cooking. By contrast, stainless steel doesn't transfer heat nearly as well, so stainless pots are more prone to producing hot spots. That's why upscale stainless steel pots have copper bottoms, since copper transfers heat extremely well.

The drawbacks of aluminum are that most aluminum pots are fairly soft, so are vulnerable to scratching and denting. They can also be depassivated or pitted if you use particularly harsh cleansers on them. Finally, aluminum also isn't good for cold-side usage because long-term exposure to acidic solutions (i.e., beer, which has ~ pH 3.2 - 4.8, or wort, which has pH 5.6 or lower) leach metal ions into your beer, giving metallic off-flavors.

Stainless is preferred in commercial breweries because of its durability and ease of cleaning, but there's no reason you can't use aluminum or even copper for your hot side operations.

Offline richardt

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 06:59:34 AM »
Most SS pots these days have tri-clad bottoms, i.e., a 3 or 4 mm Aluminum disc sandwiched by thin sheets of SS.  As aluminum is so much more conductive than SS, this helps with thermal transfers and even heating along the bottom of the kettle.  When you can afford it, I think it is worth springing for it.

Offline frochild

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 10:49:26 AM »
I assume it is the off flavor that dissuades people.  Thanks

Offline denny

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 10:56:29 AM »
I assume it is the off flavor that dissuades people.  Thanks

What off flavor is that?
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 10:58:12 AM »
I assume it is the off flavor that dissuades people.  Thanks

Not really. I've been using a 60 qt. Aluminum Pot for years with no off flavor.  Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline euge

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 11:16:19 AM »
I assume it is the off flavor that dissuades people.  Thanks

Not really. I've been using a 60 qt. Aluminum Aluminium Pot for years with no off flavor.  Cheers!!!

Me too. If I get off-flavors I certainly look to other causes.

The old Alzheimer's myth is probably what most people think of when associating aluminium and cookware.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Aluminum Stock Pot
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 04:20:32 PM »
Most SS pots these days have tri-clad bottoms, i.e., a 3 or 4 mm Aluminum disc sandwiched by thin sheets of SS.  As aluminum is so much more conductive than SS, this helps with thermal transfers and even heating along the bottom of the kettle.  When you can afford it, I think it is worth springing for it.

The higher quality SS pots do have tri-clad bottoms. The cheap ones don't. Generally, you can determine the quality of a SS pot by weight - thicker walls and clad bottom. And, yes, it's worth paying for - especially if you have a really powerful burner under your pot.