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There seems to be controversy whether or not aluminum pots are acceptable for home brewing. What are the pros and cons of brewing with aluminum?

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Also, in addition to the OP's question: any thoughts about cleaning aluminum vs. steel would be helpful. – tbeseda Jan 4 '10 at 19:21

Aluminum is acceptable, just not as good as some other materials. It's relatively cheap, has good conductivity, and doesn't corrode too easily.

Some problems you run into are corrosion when placed near other metals, though that shouldn't be too big a problem in homebrewing. But, let's say you left a copper chiller in it overnight by accident.. could be bad.

Also, you can't use caustic cleaners or bleach. PBW works fine though.

Another pro is that it's light and easy to work with.

Here's an article from BYO on "Mettalurgy for Homebrewers"

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I always hear the myth that using aluminum will cause Alzheimers and I'm surprised no one has asked it here. This myth was debunked years ago. See:

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The main problem with aluminum pots is that it oxidizes easily, which means that you can't use oxidating cleaners with them and oxidating cleaners are magical.

But will they do all the horrible and nasty things that urban myth says they will do? Not really.

Interesting resrouce: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Is_aluminum_safe_for_brewing%3F

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