You probable didn't have to take out a second mortgage on your house just to buy your homebrewing equipment. So replacing one of the items is not such a big deal. But if that is the way you take care of your equipment and you keep on replacing your equipment without taking proper care of it you should start making an appointment with your bank manager. One of the ideas behind homebrewing is that you could save some money by making your own beer. So buying ones and use many is a good principle to keep by when it comes to your homebrewing equipment. When you take good care of your homebrewing system there is no reason why it shouldn't last you a life time.
Corrosion and the Damaging Effects it can have
Most brew kettles are made of stainless steel and are part of the homebrewing system. Most homebrewers get in to trouble with their stainless steel brew kettles because, all though the name suggests otherwise, they corrode easily when used for beer brewing. Corroding is when the iron in the stainless steel brewing kettle starts to break down and when large spots of rust starts to show. Beer can be extremely aggressive on your brewing system. This is because beer is very acidic. Also a problem is the microfauna, microscopic animals, found in beer. These ingredients make it that stainless steel has a lot more to suffer from beer brewing then from other, more regular kitchen use. A beer brewer should always be aware of possible corroding of his/her brew kettle. The moment you see that signs of corroding are starting to show you should start considering replacing you brew kettle with a new one. Corrosion (or rust) can have a big negative effect on the way your brew will taste in the end.
Try to prevent Corrosion
Is there a way, you might ask yourself, to prevent your brew kettle from corroding? Luckily there is in the form of bleach. To wash any micro fauna or acid, that could be sticking on the surface of your brew kettle, away, use a liberal amount of bleach and it will also help in sanitizing your brewing system. This way you prevent that one recipe could contaminate another batch. Always be care full when you start to use bleach, because apart from erasing color from your clothes when you accidentally splash some of it it could also start eating away the steel from the brew kettle. Another option you have as homebrewer is to use nitric acid instead of bleach. Nitric acid is mild and will preserve the lifetime of your brew kettle and also helps sanitize it.
Stainless steel is not your only worry
While your stainless steel brew kettle is the one object from you brewing equipment that you should keep a close lookout on don't forget the rest of the brewing kit. All items in the kit could corrode. Always clean all items in your kit very thoroughly after every batch of brew you make. Also don't forget to check your tubing to see if it won't leak the next time you start siphoning your beer.
Drew Brown has one hobby and he loves to share it with the world. He just loves to brew his own beverages. http://www.brewingyourown.com