I've had the same 10G aluminum BK since I started AG brewing, about 4 years and 70 batches. I recently left my copper IC in it for a few months and think I may have corroded the aluminum, so it may be replacement time. I am considering stainless steel, but want to know any advantages it brings for just about double the price of aluminum. I should mention that I brew in a bag in this vessel (my bag was sewn custom for this kettle). I also have a step-drill (weldless) installed brewmometer and valve installed in the kettle.

-What are the advantages/disadvantages of SS vs. aluminum? -Will I compromise the stainless coating by using a step drill/pilot hole for the valve and thermometer fittings?

1 Answer 1


The main advantage with SS is that it is quite inert - had you had a stainless kettle, the corrosion problem you experienced with the immersion chiller wouldn't have happened.

Since it's happened once, it's quite likely to happen again, meaning you'd end up buying 2 new aluminum kettles (for a total of 3.) So in the long run stainless will work out cheaper.

You won't compromise the passive oxide layer from boring holes, it forms naturally in contact with oxygen - just be sure to clean the part well after making a hole. I drilled many holes in my 3 SS kettles (see my avatar) and I have had no problem in 3 years (although I used a step bit to make only the pilot hole for the conduit punch, which makes a much cleaner hole.)

If you have the money, go with stainless, you won't regret it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.