This page relates to metals used in brewing: how to select and care for them.
Aluminum is a common choice for brew kettles since it is cheaper than stainless steel.
|Inexpensive||Hard to weld|
|Lightweight||Must maintain oxide layer|
|Good thermal distribution||Can be scratched|
<note tip> Aluminum was previously believed to cause an increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease. This is no longer believed to be true, but has not been strictly proven nor disproven. Alzheimer's Society </note>
Aluminum can impart a metallic flavor unless you maintain a passive oxide layer. Before the oxide layer is built up, aluminum is shiny. The oxide layer is a dull film that occurs in the presence of heat, and it protects the pot from losing material to the beer. You must build an oxide layer by boiling water for 20-30 minutes or placing the pot in an oven @ 350F until it is dull. Caustic and oxygen-based cleaners (sodium hydroxide, oxyclean) will destroy the passive oxide layer. It is best to clean with mild soap, but if you do destroy the layer it can be built back up.