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Firebird wrote:I have an aluminum pressure cooker that I would like to use to make a still. Is there any problem with using aluminum?
Uncle Remus wrote:Stay away from aluminum if you can. We got a big ole aluminum pot we mash in often and it gets a lot of black scum along the waterline sometimes. Before this pot we used a beer keg to cook mashes and this never happened.
I personally would not use aluminum for a still boiler....but thats JMHO.
manu de hanoi wrote:i started distilling with an aluminium pressure cooker. A cheap chinese one.
The setup was very easy, and it was very interesting for experimenting my firsts distillations.
Now I realise it gives a metallic taste, and since it's too small anyways, I had made a 2nd one (stainless). I still use the pressure cooker sometimes to distill small plant baches to make concentrated flavors.
Have fun with the pressure cooker, but if you want to increase productivity and quality you will upgrade to a more serious still in a few month.
i dont know about sugar washes but the first still i patched together was with an aluminum pressure cooker and some pear wine. when i got through the aluminum was black. i refused to drink the stuff and bought a stainless pressure cooker and never looked back. until i had to go bigger. keg works great. and it was cheaper than the stainless pressure cooker. if your going to do it do it right.
goose eye wrote:firebird you sayin that if your kettle was put together with lead soder
lead aint gonna end up in you likker
think i would be lookin some more reliable sorces.
defcon4 wrote:Stainless steel is obviously a much stronger metal but it is also much harder to work with. Stainless even has a higher corrosion resistance than aluminum, but that doesn't mean aluminum has to avoided like the plague.
I'm not trying to be "aggressive" or an ***hole and I'm sorry if I come across that way but I think the basic scientific facts about aluminum should be properly represented.
birdwatcher wrote:If I was the president of a proposed distilling company I would certainly choose SS or copper. Why? Because you could not afford to risk the perhaps perceived notion that that anything else might be harmful to ones health.
Both aluminium and copper are safe to use, but stainless steel will prove more durable and easier to maintain.
If you do need to make a still yourself, take care to avoid lead solder, etc which could contaminate ya. Use silver solder instead. Use only food grade type materials (eg stainless steel, glass, etc). Mine [Tony's] has an aluminium head on it - which is OK for the limited use it gets, provided it is kept clean & dry when not in use (or else it will pit & erode).
What Materials are Suitable ?
Coulson, Richardson & Sinnott report that:
• aluminium, aluminium bronze, brass, copper, gunmetal and bronze, high Si iron, nickel, nickle-copper alloys, platinum, silver, stainless steel (18/8, molybedenum & austenitic ferric), titanium, tantalum, and zirconium
• nylon 66 fibre & plastics, PCTFE, PTFE, polypropylene, and furane resin
• hard rubber, neophrene, nitrile rubber, chlorosulphinated polyethylene, and silicone rubbers
• concrete, glass, graphite, porcelain and stoneware, and vitreous enamel are corrosion resistant to alcohols, beer & water up to 100C.
The "facts" people commonly use to criticize aluminum are either misrepresented, or leave out essential information. The scientific facts behind aluminum all point to the fact that is perfectly OK to use as a boiler.
you may not be able to afford it and it would be harder to construct.
extra money, time, and equipment into it.