Is stainless steel worth the investment for brewing?

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If you are brewing commercially, or are planning to expand into a commercial operation, then it is a generally worthwhile investment to purchase/lease stainless steel equipment.  There are different grades of stainless steel, and which grade you select will depend on your particular brewing process, the heat generated, and the corrosive properties of the beer (for example, 304 and 316 are the most popular stainless steel grades for brewing, but 316 is more corrosive resistant at much higher temperatures).  Stainless steel is both crack-resistant and corrosion-resistant, which are both very useful qualities in brewing equipment.  In equipment that is not stainless steel, when there is a crack there is a risk of that crack worsening due to internal corrosion.  In stainless steel, however, chromium oxide helps prevent internal corrosion, so in the rare case of a crack or fault that escapes notice, it will not grow into a bigger problem.

Again, if you are running a commercial brewery, then investing in stainless steel equipment is usually well worth the cost.
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