enamel brew pots?

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Hello, I'm somewhat new to homebrewing. About 2 years ago I bought a Brewers
Best equipment kit, bought a Red Ale kit, and a 19 quart enamel stock pot.
The red ale didn't turn out the way I wanted it to......way too cidery due
to stale extract. Last time I go with BB kits. Anyway, I read a message
somewhere that enamel pots are not recommended but they didn't really
explain why. I read that they can chip and that's no good.

So now I'm getting back into it with much anticipation and going with
fresher ingredients. Since I live in Dayton, Listermann's will be my
supplier of choice as Dan says they turnover extracts rather quickly so that
they are usually always fresh.

Can anyone shed some light on the whole enamel issue? I imagine it's fine,
I've never cooked anything besides brew in it. I'm also upgrading to
swing-top Grolsch style bottles. I think an English Pale Ale or Brown Ale is
on the agenda next for me.

Please let me know as I would greatly appreciate it. Also, has anyone gone
through Listermann's? I thought Dan posted here a lot a few years ago, not
sure if he does anymore though.

Many thanks,

Re: enamel brew pots?


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Biggest problem I know of is they are fragile, If you drop it and
crack the enamel its trash, instant rust.


Brew on brother!
SW US desert

Re: enamel brew pots?

Kidder wrote:
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I've bought a few kits from Listermann's. I can't really judge their
quality since I'm no brewing expert. If you put an IPA and a Brown ale
in front of me and asked me to tell which was which... I'd have a 50 /
50 chance of guessing it right.
Anyway, I like his Porter kit. And his prices are pretty good.

Karl S.
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 KJV

Re: enamel brew pots?

I started out brewing many years ago with my mothers old chipped and dented,
enamel canning pot.  Worked fine.  Never noticed any off flavors.  They say
it gives the beer an iron taste but I think it is mostly BS.  How much iron
can get into the wort during a one hour boil?  I'd say not to worry about
the pot and buy a better one when you can afford it.  As to the stale malt
in your first kit, I'd be surprised if that were the problem.  I'm not
saying it wasn't but it is more likely that you had an infection some where
along the way.  I just brewed a decent ale out of some old malt that was at
least five years old and was in a container that was not air tight.  I
tasted it first and it didn't have any off flavors.  It's possible for it to
go bad.  I have had a batch in a plastic pouch start to swell before I got
around to using it.  I used it any way and the beer was fine.

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Re: enamel brew pots?

Kidder wrote:
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if you check The photo on the back of Palmer's "How to brew"
you will see a large enamel canning pot

he apparently has nothing against them

Technically,unchipped enamel will work fine

  who used one till he got his turkey fryer

Re: enamel brew pots?

Interesting that I was just breezing through one of Papazian's books today &
he happens to mention in the Brewing Wares section about enamal pots, he
says they are inexpensive & easy to find but wear out after time, subject to
chipping, fatigue & so on.

He goes on to say that if you are a hardcore homebrewer the money you spend
on enamel pots would buy you a nice hefty Stainless.  I went to the local
Coors distributing warehouse & bought retired kegs for $10 each (all in tip
top shape btw), 5 minutes on Ebay I had three 1/2" brass ball valves, three
304 Stainless nipples & a trip to my local brew shop bought me the "bulkhead
conversion kits" all for under $30.  Granted it was another $20 to plasma
the top off & drill the 7/8" hole for the bulkhead kit, but hey...you try to
buy 3 fully fitted, 15.5 gallon 304 Stainless kettles for $100.  I do need
to get a bazooka tube and a false bottom, that will be the most expensive
parts, but hey I haven't done too bad so far.  (I'm not cheap, I'm frugal,
plus I'm a big do-it-yourselfer).

Just like using copper/brass fittings (I use brass on my keg kettle &
elsewhere) enamels work just fine, I wouldn't use them to ferment in though.
Prolonged contact with exposed steel/copper/brass inside may lend to the
metallic off flavors everyone mentions.  Everyone says copper/brass leach
nasty stuff into your wort/beer, but if you look at some of the huge old
timey brewing kettles...what are they made of...uuuuh...well, they were
called Coppers for a reason.

Long story short, even the man who (literally) wrote the book on homebrewing
suggests it's ok to use enamels, do it!!  Actually, I used one when I
started too (not that I'm comparing myself to Papazian, not even close).
The only thing I noticed is the beers I brewed in the enamels didn't store
very long, perhaps it was the kettle, or perhaps it was something I did
wrong, the world may never know.

Wow..sorry I tend to harangue...if you want to, use an enamel pot.  HEH!

Best luck


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