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Crown urn heater burning/scorching

Discussion in 'All Grain Brewing' started by MontPel, 23/7/18.

 

  1. MontPel

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    Posted 23/7/18
    Brewed a Hefe on Sunday with 65% wheat/35% pilsner. Also tried a step mash for the first time. The mash schedule I was attempting was 45/64/73 for 30 mins each but ended up with 46/55/66. I BIAB with a crown urn with concealed element but decided to use boiling water additions to raise the mash as I have no way of recirculating and feared burning the wort. There was also a large amount of flour in the grist that made its way out of the mash bag. Because of that I also stirred the wort after the mash all the way to a rolling boil to ensure no flour burnt on the heater.

    Mash issues aside, I thought everything went fairly well until I drained the kettle and went to clean it. I discovered the heater element had burnt after all.

    IMG_2005.jpg

    IMG_2006.jpg

    I tasted the gravity sample post boil and couldn't detect any burnt or ash flavours so fingers crossed it doesn't affect the beer..

    I think the scorching must have happened during the boil. Does this scorching occur for others using a crown urn? Any suggestions how to stop this? A courser grind perhaps? The scorching has also happened on a previous brew that had 20% rye.
     
  2. Madscientist86

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    Posted 23/7/18
    I would soak with warm pbw or sodium perc / tricleanium. Failing that I would then try 2 tablespoons of citric acid (can get it from baking section at coles/woolies) and 1L of boiling water and continue boiling on the urn.....and re-reading your post I have answered a different question not posed...
     
  3. MontPel

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    Posted 23/7/18
    Yeah I can get it off easily with vinegar or something acidic, I would like to know how to stop it from happening in future brews
     
  4. hairydog

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    Posted 23/7/18
    Yes I know how it feels when I recirculate through the mash and boil cycle this reduced the amount of scorching around the element,but without

    this keep cleaning and as you said reducing the amount of flour in the crush will help,especially with the rye.
     
  5. Rocker1986

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    Posted 23/7/18
    I get muck build up on the element like that too although it doesn't usually burn like that. The only time it did was when I also tried a step mash. I think it was 40-52-64-72-78 or something. Didn't get flour escaping the bag but there was a lot of milky shit released by the grains when they were added at around 40C. This is the shit that ended up burning onto the element and also caused numerous boil cut outs. I've since abandoned doing full step mashing in the urn because of this; it didn't really make any favourable difference to the beer anyway, in fact the beer was worse. It didn't taste burnt or anything, but just wasn't anywhere near as good as the same beer done with the first two (40-52) steps removed. I usually incorporate a 72 step for all beers now, but it works a lot better when the mash starts in the 60s somewhere because the grains don't tend to release that milky shit at the higher temperature.
     
  6. kegs23

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    Posted 23/7/18
    i dont use a false bottom in my urn, that way after the mash i use a long stick with a metal scourer cable tied on the end and i use that to scrub the element after the mash and when i put hops in and have never had that issue again and i do step mashing as well
     
  7. Rocker1986

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    Posted 24/7/18
    You can do that with a false bottom as well, simply remove the false bottom first. I have a long piece of stainless rod bent into a slightly acute angle at one end that I hook into one of the holes in the false bottom and drag it out with, easy as. Then scrub the element with a stainless steel wire brush on a long handle.Usually by the end of the boil there is boiled on muck on the element again but not enough to cut it out and it never scorches.

    That buildup of shit isn't the only reason I never bothered with full step mashes again, I just don't think it's really necessary with the beers I'm brewing.
     
  8. Phoney

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    Posted 24/7/18
    Happens to me quite regularly. It doesn't affect the beer so I don't worry about it too much.

    A green scourer pad and some napisan gets it off - with a bit of elbow grease.
     
  9. MontPel

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    Posted 24/7/18
    This mash had a lot of that milky shit too after the 45c step. I thought it was flour escaping the mesh bag.

    When you removed the lower step mashes and saw an improvement, was that for grists with high wheat %?
     
  10. Rocker1986

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    Posted 24/7/18
    The attempted step mashes were on a pilsner grist, at the time the grist was mainly pils malt with a bit of Munich. I don't use wheat malt at all actually. It never caused problems when I did, just preferred the beers without it.
     
  11. Schikitar

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    Posted 25/7/18
    My Crown urn does a similar thing, every brew it's got brown (not burnt) crud all over it - if I don't scrape at it during the boil then it doesn't get as rigorous as it probably should. After the last brew I attempted to passivate the bottom of the urn with a strong mix of stellarsan (I don't really know what I'm doing) in an attempt to get less stuff sticking to it.. also, a magic eraser works way better than a scourer I've found..
     
  12. Rocker1986

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    Posted 25/7/18
    I just boil some water and citric acid in the urn then scrub what's left of the muck off with stainless steel wool because the boiling removes the vast majority of it anyway. Takes hardly any effort and comes up like new every time. Most of the time taken is just waiting for the water to cool down enough to be able to stick my hand in it :D
     
  13. gone brewing

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    Posted 25/7/18
    I got a long stainless steel pizza peel and I squared off the bottom and sides. I use this to scrape across the top of the concealed element several times during the boil to remove the crud. While it doesn't really seem to affect flavour so much it can cause cut outs and it makes transfer of heat into the wort less efficient, and might even help to give a longer element lifetime due to less fatigue from heat. I scrape it a few times as the wort comes to the boil, as the proteins start coming out and then a few times during the boil.

    The link shows what I got. Passivate the stainless steel before using it in the kettle.
    http://www.pizzasupplies.com.au/pizza-peel-70cm-s-s/
     
    fungrel likes this.

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