I must admit, with this whole One Pot Brewing experiment, fermenting in aluminum was my greatest fear, concern, worry, and experiment. It seems like nobody ferments in aluminum. Why? The internet has a lot of nay-sayers (mostly with dumb reasons like “I would just go with stainless, man”). The one legitimate reason I found was this: Would the low pH levels of fermenting beer “leach” from the aluminum, thus making my beer taste like metal? One way to find out. I was willing to fail.
Well, I don’t know the science that well, but I do know this: it works just fine because I tried it. My first batch (Spring Victory) didn’t taste like aluminum. Nor did my second batch (English IPA). No off-flavors detected by me or my wife (those are the people who count…I’m not brewing for a BJCP judge). Looking at the ingredients, it tastes like the beer I made. Neither did batch 3 (DIPA) or batch 4 (Belgian Trip).
This is great news, considering that an aluminum pot costs significantly less than stainless steel, that it’s a great conductor of heat, fast to heat and cool, light, easy to carry around, available through restaurant supply stores in larger sizes, and easy to punch a hole into (for the spigot, to bottle with). Don’t get me wrong: if money wasn’t an issue, I would probably get a nice stainless steel pot instead, with a perfectly fitted lid and perfectly designed spigot.