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Burned Moka Pot still safe to use?
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savre
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Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Location: us
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 4:13pm
Subject: Burned Moka Pot still safe to use?
 

I forgot to put water in the base of my Moka pot this morning. Couldn't figure out why it was taking so long to brew. Then I saw the smoke!

The bottom got a bit brown and somehow the excessive heat managed to melt whatever it is they use to glue the black top cap to the lid. So the cap is loose, but thankfully still attached and usable.

After rinsing it and cleaning it, I made my coffee again. Coffee tastes the same as usual.

This makes me think maybe I got lucky and the burning wasn't severe enough to permanently damage the pot.

My main concern is about the safety of the aluminum pot. Is it safe to use after being burned or could this lead to excessive amounts of aluminum getting into my coffee?

Would appreciate the feedback of a knowledgeable chemist! Thanks.
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DanoM
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Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 354
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014, 5:29pm
Subject: Re: Burned Moka Pot still safe to use?
 

If the inside or outside of the aluminum don't show signs of melting or distortion I think you are okay.  Just like leaving a pan on a hot stove by accident and catching it before the pan is damaged.

Many epoxies, which is likely what they used to attach the black cap handle, will release or melt under temps from 250F-500F depending on the particular epoxy.  You should be able to go to the hardware store and pick up an epoxy that is rated for at least 250F if not 300F and glue that back on.  (JB Weld I think releases up around 400F+, although not my favorite it works under heat.)

You'll liberate more aluminum from the pot by cleaning it with simple green, vinegar or any other acid than you will with the overheating and not melting.

Sorry, but I'm not a chemist or metallurgist...
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