From the HBD Archive
From: Jay H <>
Subject: Aluminum
Date: 1990-05-05 01:49:47 GMT

To the person who gave that rather confusing discussion about tomato
pH, wort pH etc.. This is a rather dubious argument.
To introduce aluminum flavors into one's beer one would not have
to create pits in the pot by acid dissolution of it.
Having done Dr. Beer seminars fo r2 years now I will attest to
the sinsitivity of the palate (and to my inability to type well)
The human palate is sensitive to some substances at a few (7-10)
part per BILLION (as in billions and billions of Carl Sagans)
I don't know the exact sensitivity to aluminum but I'm SURE it
is well short of pitting levels.

To those who say they have brewed lots of batches and never tasted
aluminum in them. Sure you know what you're looking for???
One of the key reasons to do Dr. Beer seminars is that flavors
are very subtle and lack other stronger perceptual cues (like
sight) which help to clearly identify the substances. It is only
through practice that most people are able to uniquely discern
a wider range of substances. Practice meaning side by side
somparison of samples with and without the tainting flavor.
If you've always brewed in aluminum you're desensitized to it
by now. Unless you have the same beer with and without it is
incredibly difficult to isolate the aluminum flavor.

My personal opinion is that switching to stainless did have an
effect on elmininating metallic flavors. Perhaps doing a split batch
in two pots stainless and aluminum utilizing equivalent procedures
and the same yeast culture would allow isolation of the difference,
though it would be hard to be 100% certain there were no unaccount-
able factors this might help to highlight the difference.

- Jay H
(PhD. Beer = Dr. Beer)

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