This is probably common knowledge to most brewers in this forum, but I was wondering whether there are any disadvantages to brewing in an aluminum kettle. I can get a much larger aluminum pot for the same price as a smaller ss one. Any advice?
Also, lids while boiling. Yay or nay?
Lots of discussion on this throughout the forum. While I can’t speak from experience as I only have stainless, I think most everyone using aluminum have no issues or problems.
I’ve been brewing in a 15 gallon aluminum pot for quite a while now. Just make sure you season it good before you boil your wort. I seasoned mine by boiling water for about a half an hour. I have never used a cleaner on the pot other than water and a soft bristle brush, like you use in the kitchen. Generally aluminum will conduct heat better than stainless steel and is much easier to drill.
As far as the lid goes. I do use a lid for the bulk of the boil. I leave it about 1/4 open thru all but the last 15 minutes of the boil. Then it’s off completely & a bit more vigorous boil. That’s also when I add the Immersion Chiller to sanitize it. Utilizing the lid has reduced my boil off by at least 30%. YMMV. Cheers, and happy brewing!!!
On the stovetop I use a 3.5 gallon SS kettle. Outdoors, I have a 7.5 gallon aluminum. I can’t really say one is better than the other because I’m using two different heat sources. The aluminum pot does get really hot and you have to use mitts to move it around. The stainless steel pot does not.
For the lid, I leave it on while steeping and up to boiling just to get to a boil faster. After the boil starts, the lid comes off.