I’d had my eye on this sweet 60 qt. aluminum stockpot and Smart and Final. My awesome wife picked it up for me, and now it’s been delegated to brew tomorrow. First thing is first though, before you brew beer in a new pot you’ll want to get an oxidation layer on the inside. This will guarantee you’ll not get metallic flavors in your beer. You probably wouldn’t anyways by not seasoning, but better safe than sorry.
The traditional method of seasoning an Aluminum pan is to usually heat it, oil it and reheat. However since this is brewing, we want to keep any contact with oil out of the question. In our case as brewers, we’d like to get that oxide layer I explained earlier on the inside of our pot to ensure there won’t be direct contact with metal. In our case the easiest way to build up this protective layer on the inside is to simply boil some water in our pot.
As you boil the water, your pot is going to change colors. It’s going to look ugly and like it shouldn’t happen but relax this is that oxidation layer. Boiling your water 10-15 minutes should be more than sufficient to get your pot seasoned. Once you’ve boiled your pot and let it cool, give it a simple washing with some dish soap and a towel. You can attempt to scrub off the black, but you’ll have little luck. This layer will dull and become more uniform as you brew over time, which can be seen on my older pot in the gallery below. You also might notice some bare looking areas where the pot has darkened, this is ok as oxidation isn’t always uniformed.