From the HBD Archive
Subject: Aluminum and the behavior of Romans
Date: 1990-05-08 00:45:36 GMT

In grade school, I learned that the Romans could have become poisoned from
the use of lead in the aquaducts. Later, I recall reading that it may have
been the use of pewter. This latter hypothesis proposes that the Romans
boiled down sweet grape juice to form a concentrate which they then used
to sweeten wine. The acidic juice leached lead from the lead-containing
boiling kettles. The ingestion of the lead apparently made them do silly
things like feed Christians to lions. I also learned in grade school that
the reason it is colder in winter is that the Earth is farther away from
the sun then. !@#%$ More recent claims have attempted to make a link
between senility and aluminum in the food chain.

Absolute truth is a difficult thing to grasp. When it comes to matters of
health, I believe the best thing is to be reasonable and do those things
which gives one a better feeling of responsibility to the body's health.
For those home-brewers who are uncomfortable with using aluminum boiling
pots, may I suggest an economic alternative? I use a speckle-porcelain
brewing pot purchased from a department store for $12. William's brewing
sells these pots for a less than obscene price. I have found no evidence
that my brewing pot causes the brew to scorch easily or any other obvious

As for the question of taste contamination, I used an aluminum pot in the
beginning but never noticed a bad taste on account of it. However, as soon
as my budget allowed, I upgraded to the porcelain kettle, since I wanted to
avoid the Al contamination if it in fact existed. [Better safe than sorry.]


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