BVC - Aluminum Pots

Mills, Scott Scott.Mills at
Wed Feb 9 14:33:49 PST 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Collectively Unconscious [mailto:swarm at]
> > As far as the don't use the aluminum pot thing... That has 
> been debunked
> > over the last few years.  Don't worry if what you have is 
> aluminum its OK
> > and works fine.
> I'm not sure what has been debunked, but reducing the honey's 
> acid content
> buy stripping a layer of aluminum off isn't a good idea. Not 
> to mention
> effecting flavor, yeast activity and just not being the kind 
> of thing any
> one need extra of in their diet.

What I mean by "debunked"  is the possible health effects of Aluminum.
About 20 years ago there was some research linking Alzhiemers to Aluminum.
In short it was bad research and has now been quite thoroughly refuted.

As far as the stripping the layer of aluminum off.  Aluminum oxidizes pretty
quickly and an aluminum pots gets a thin layer of aluminum oxide on the pot.
Aluminum oxide is pretty tough stuff and is used the metal cutting/grinding
wheels and abrasive blades.  It is also fairly unreactive.  When you clean
an aluminum pot you need to use a nylon scouring pad and make sure you don't
scrub till it shines -- just til its clean.  You should leave that dull
layer of aluminum oxide in place to protect the pot and make it easier to
clean next time.

I have never heard of Aluminum effecting flavor and if you have some source
materials for blind studies I would LOVE to see it.

The whole aluminum thing has frankly always amused me.  There are people who
adamantly stay away from aluminum pots but think nothing of using copper
pots, copper chillers, copper lauter/sparge manifolds, etc.  Ever notice how
quickly copper tarnishes and how bright and shiny that copper brewing
equipment is after use?  I am always amazed at how bright and shiny my wort
chiller gets after 20 minutes in a wort.

My point was that a new brewer/meadmaker shouldn't worry about aluminum.  If
you have a stainless one certainly use it but for a new brewer or the only
very occasional brewer I wouldn't go out and buy a stainless pot.  I have 5
gallon stainless pots that I use when I need to heat a small about of water
and a converted stainless Keg 3-vessel system for my real brewing.
Stainless is certainly the way to go.  I use my big aluminum pot for
travelling brewing and club/guild meetings etc. and would use it more often
except that it is harder to clean.

Does anyone here has access to a chromatography lab?  I have a brewing buddy
who is a PHD in Chemistry candidate and he and I have always wanted to do
some serious research by boiling worts in copper, stainless, and aluminum
and then looking to see exactly what these pots contributed to the brew.  We
also wanted to see what the difference was in a clean pot and one that had
been freshly scrubbed to a shine.




Scott Mills	 
Scott.Mills at Compaq.Com <mailto:Scott.Mills at Compaq.Com> 	 


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