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Rust in brew pot

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by howopeeps, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. howopeeps

    howopeeps Aficionado (175) Ohio Mar 7, 2011

    Got a big 15 gallon pot from a friend and there is some rust on the bottom of the pot should I use it or not
  2. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (380) New York Sep 1, 2004

    is this a 15 gallon iron/enamel pot? that thing must weigh a hundred pounds.

    iron and beer don't go well together. so no you would not want to use rusty anything in your brewhouse. you should be able to scrub the rust down to bare metal though, and then it would be ok. ferrous metal that is exposed to air will rust again soon though. a green kitchen scouring pad works well. i use them sometimes to clean up iron before welding.

    this is why enamel pots are generally not used. they tend to chip. free is tempting. but i think you will notice iron in your beer, it is a flaw that makes everything taste like blood or a 9V battery. not very good.
  3. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (175) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    I don't know if it is FDA approved but you could look into repainting the pot with some high temp paint that is generally marketed for refinishing bar-b-que grills. It shouldn't peel under heat. Might be worth a try for $8 if you decide you need to chuck it. They sell the paint at Home Depot and Lowes.
  4. Are you sure its rust and not the oxidized layer that forms after normal use?
  5. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Savant (320) Virginia Nov 10, 2010

    If its a stainless steel pot...try rubbing a little Bon Ami powder (cheap) or Bar Keeper's Friend (mo'money) on the blemish and Keep On Brewin'.
    WickedSluggy likes this.
  6. I second the suggestion of Bar Keeper's Friend (assuming the pot is Stainless Steel). My brew pot is old (18 years old) and it is starting to ‘stain’ (a rusty colored stain). I ‘manage’ the stain with regular cleaning with Bar Keeper’s Friend.

    Does anybody know whether there is a lifetime for Stainless Steel pots? Are they only ‘good’ for x years (or y uses) before you should buy a new pot?

    Cheers!
  7. I think one should be very careful before just "painting" it..being "food safe" ie. NSF approved is a must plus a good sand blast and two part epoxy paint is prolly the way to go if it is in fact iron..if it's stainless then no worries
  8. Jack, you cold be getting beer stone build up, sort of a red/brownish deposit at higher levels. Hit it with some strong acid (concentrated Star San at least), and then some PBW if anything is left. Acid again if needed,

    With low Ca it can be a problem.
  9. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Savant (320) Virginia Nov 10, 2010

    Rifting off hopfenunmaltz post...

    Drinking plenty of water is the generally accepted advice to avoid the pain and discomfort of passing a kidney stone.

    What's the generally accepted advice to avoid the pain and discomfort of passing a beer stone?
    pweis909 likes this.
  10. howopeeps

    howopeeps Aficionado (175) Ohio Mar 7, 2011

    going to try beer keepers friend and see how it looks after
  11. These are the same chemical. Never had a kidney stone. Have had beer stone on the kettle.
  12. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (695) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    Eating kidneys?
    And then to complete the circuit, drink beer to avoid waterstone.
  13. mattbk

    mattbk Savant (390) New York Dec 12, 2011

    Rouge is fairly typical in many industrial applications. Deposits usually build up and stick to the steel after many cycles of heating/cooling, exposure to extremes in pH, etc. As hopfenenmaltz alluded, acid washes usually dissolve the mineral salts and help restore the oxidized coating on the steel. Typically, industry uses a phosphoric or citric based acid. As Star-San is phosphoric based, it will work very well.

    Also - rouge is generally an appearance problem, but it is fairly inert, and will not negatively impact your brewing process - unless allowed to build up for many, many years, such that it begins flaking off.
  14. Matt,

    Thank you for the education! I was unaware of rouging in stainless steel.

    I also appreciate your input of: “rouge is generally an appearance problem, but it is fairly inert, and will not negatively impact your brewing process”. The staining in my stainless steel pot is very mild but I was a little bit concerned whether it needed to be replaced. It is comforting to know that I can get another few hundred batches from this pot!

    Cheers!

    Jack

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