Crown/Birko Urn Brewing With The Lid On

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Econwatson

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Hey guys!

I've got a few questions relating to the boil when brewing.

Do you normally boil with the lid of your Crown/Birko urns off, or on? I'm concerned my boils haven't been vigorous enough since I've been boiling with the lid off. I stuck the lid on for my last brew and the boil it produced was very vigorous. It was actually causing the urn to rattle somewhat. Is there such a thing as a boil which is too vigorous, or should I be aiming to have this vigorous boil every time?

My last question is whether evaporation calculations take account of the lid of the urn being on or off?

Thanks for the help!
James
 

doon

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You need the lid off or stuff like dms doesn't get boiled off and your beer will taste like shite.
 

philmud

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Apparently lid on boiling in any vessel prevents some nasties escaping through evaporation & can introduce a boiled cabbage flavour to your beer. I have seen people recommend covering to achieve a vigorous boil, but uncovering once you get there.
 

slash22000

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All grain or extract?

All grain you need the lid off to release the shitty compounds that would otherwise make your beer taste like Satan's diarrhea.

Extract I'm lead to believe that is not a problem, but honestly I brew in a Birko and boil without an issue with no lid on, and no added insulation. Then again I brew in Darwin so I'm starting at like 30ºC.
 

JDW81

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Lid needs to be off, so you concentrate the wort you have collected from the mash and boil off any unwanted compounds (DMS etc).

You can set up your urn with the lid partially on, but need to make sure that the steam can vent and drips fall away from the urn.

If you are looking for more vigour in your boils, why not invest in an over the side element?

Boil off calculations are with the lid off.

JD
 

mikec

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Leave the lid on until you get a boil going, then remove.
 

Econwatson

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Many thanks guys!

I'm using a Crown concealed element urn and find it quite slow to get to the boil, and find it won't reach that vigorous boil unless the lid is on for at least a little while. I've read that some others have had similar issues, perhaps I'll consider adding some insulation.

So are far as boils go, it can't be too vigorous? Perhaps I should take a video of the boil I'm describing next time I brew.
 

djar007

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Floating a cake tin in the urn still lets you boil more vigourously and boil off the nasties.
 

doon

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Yep I float a tin in my bm if doing a large volume boil to help it along
 

Crusty

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Econwatson said:
Many thanks guys!

I'm using a Crown concealed element urn and find it quite slow to get to the boil, and find it won't reach that vigorous boil unless the lid is on for at least a little while. I've read that some others have had similar issues, perhaps I'll consider adding some insulation.

So are far as boils go, it can't be too vigorous? Perhaps I should take a video of the boil I'm describing next time I brew.
I'd be leaving it off mate.
The holes in the lid aren't big enough to let enough steam out & the condensation dripping back into the boil would be full of the nasties that we're trying to boil off.
As far as vigorous boils go, as long as you boil off at least 10%, that's enough. I went from boiling with a 32 jet Mongolian to the Crown exposed element & was a bit worried how gentle the boil was compared to the active lava volcano that i was used to.
 

Econwatson

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Thanks mate, I'll leave it off in future!
 

mark0

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the only thing to watch (listen for really) is the thermal protection on the concealed element crown.

if you try to go from a protein rest to sacch rest with the element you will burn starch onto it, which will trip thermal protection. (so don't try that)

Otherwise with the element running the crown boil is ok. Try adding insulation (yoga mat for example) to the sides of the urn which will help.
 

ianh

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I am using a Crown concealed element urn and get an evaporation rate of 3.5 litres per hour. The urn is wrapped in a camping mat to protect from the cold Tassie weather.

The other thing is to scrape the element with a paint stirrer before starting the boil to remove any stuff that may have settled on the element which may cause the cut-out to function.
 

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