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Old 04-02-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
Brewham
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Default Brew kettle soot prevention

I'm using a turkey fryer to cook the wort. Works great and keeps the Mrs. happy because I brew outside. Problem is, the pot gets a lot of black soot on the bottom and it is a mess to clean up. I have tried adjusting the burner but it doesn't make much of a difference. I still have a lot of yellow flame

Any ideas on how to prevent the soot?

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Old 04-02-2012, 01:59 AM   #2
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What kind of burner are you using - and what type of fuel?

It's all about achieving a clean burn. Somehow you need to figure out how to get the flames a nice blue color with barely-going-to-yellow tips.

If the burner has been around awhile, it might have a spider nest or some other blockage inside the venturi bell. I've had that happen on my barbecue grill and the smell and smoke were awful. I've also seen a fellow brewer have that happen with an SQ-type burner and he had to tear it down to scrape out the nest...

Cheers!

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Old 04-02-2012, 02:04 AM   #3
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What adjustment are you making? There is an air baffle. A slotted disk where the gas line connects. Move this until the air/propane mixture gives the most blue to the flame as possible. Blue is good, yellow is bad.

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:19 AM   #4
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I'm using propane with a turkey fryer from Bass Pro. Adjusting the air baffle doesn't seem to make much difference. It has done this from the beginning which leads me to think it can't be a spider nest. I'll play with the adjustment but it hasn't done much.

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:23 AM   #5
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Maybe crank down the regulator a little. You might have it higher than it needs to be. See if you can maintain a boil with a lower setting on the regulator.

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:43 AM   #6
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My ancient brain seems to be trying to recall a past thread with a similar problem that turned out to be something to do with the regulator tripping its safety valve.

But I'm not sure I trust my brain tonight - it got worked out pretty good doing our 2011 taxes and now it's trying to forget that whole awful, awful experience by drowning itself in homebrew...

Cheers!

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:45 AM   #7
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The soot means the air/fuel ratio is too rich. IAW, you have too much fuel and not enough air to combust all the fuel efficiently. The goal is a strong blue flame with no more than a slight trace of yellow on the flame tips. Could either be too much propane for the turnkey fryer or not enough air getting into and thru the burner.

Possible causes of too much gas are:
1. Regulator is set at too high a pressure. You should be able to dial the regulator back on a turkey fryer to see if that gets you back to a blue flame.
2. You have the wrong oriface on where the gas hose enters the burner. If you unscrew that you'll find a fitting with what looks like just a tiny hole in the end where propane enters the burner. A natural gas oriface is bigger than a propane one and could be the cause.
3. You have the wrong regulator for the burner. One with a higher pressure output than the burner can support could supply too much fuel. Again dial the regulator back to almost closed and adjust up from there.

Possible causes of not enough air are:
1. Air baffle not adjusted to open enough. If it's not already set wide open start there and work back to adjust the flame.
2. Something is plugging up the burner body. Spider and wasps like to build nests inside these if left outside. Take the air baffle off and maybe flame spreader on the other end of the burner and look thru both ends with a good light.
3. A bad burner casting. These burners are really cheap rough castings made using the crudest methods. Look inside the burner the same way as 2 to see if there is a malformed casting or plugged with slag. It should have a round consistant shape that tapers in somewhere in the middle and opens up again toward the end. Anything else is junk.

Let us know what you find.


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Originally Posted by Brewham View Post
I'm using a turkey fryer to cook the wort. Works great and keeps the Mrs. happy because I brew outside. Problem is, the pot gets a lot of black soot on the bottom and it is a mess to clean up. I have tried adjusting the burner but it doesn't make much of a difference. I still have a lot of yellow flame

Any ideas on how to prevent the soot?
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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Resurrecting this thread since I still get a lot of soot on my brew kettle. In my case, the burner setup holds the pot too close to the flame. Should be another inch higher ideally, but I have not rigged up a solution yet.

Back in my old scouting days, we coated our cookware with liquid dish detergent before putting over the fire. I have found that this works well with my brew kettle...i cover the bottom 1/3 of the exterior with liquid soap and most of the black soot comes off easily when I hit it with the hose.

Just a tip for anyone else encountering soot on their kettles.

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Old 01-06-2013, 04:15 PM   #9
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Old Boy Scout trick....rub some dawn soup on the outside of your kettle when you put away....next time you use it...when you to clean...soot wipes right off

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