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Old 01-10-2008, 06:30 PM   #1
ezatnova
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Default Funny story of unexpected mess from brewing!

By now I've brewed 6 or 7 batches of beer, always using a large pot on the stove. Of course, during the hour+ boil, tons of grainy, sugary steam billows out of the pot. One night, we noticed that all around our kitchen ceiling, above the cabinets, were hundreds of little brown drips of liquid. The steam was condensing and forming liquid on the walls!
Then, we were giving the house a thorough cleaning before Christmas, and just about the same time, as I was in the guestroom and my wife was in our bedroom (all the way on the other side of the house as the kitchen), we both noticed these strange, brown , sticky drip marks on the far walls. We were baffled for a while, then it hit me...more beer steam! My scientific conclusion is that the steam made its way all through the house, and the far walls of those two rooms are "exterior walls" so they were colder than any walls that just faced other rooms inside thr house, hence condensing the steam!
Anyway, just thought it was pretty amusing. I can't be the only one to deal with this mess! I'm REALLY sure you are supposed to boil without a lid on the pot, correct? If I'm right about that, I might hang some plastic partition at the kitchen entranceway to trap that steam next time!

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Old 01-10-2008, 06:32 PM   #2
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Yeah, you want to boil uncovered so that you can boil off all sorts of unwanted volatile compounds.

What you need to do is get yourself a propane burner and start brewing outside.

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Old 01-10-2008, 06:38 PM   #3
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Now I know that you can boil off volatile oils and things like that, like in the hops, but, to the best of my knowledge, the rest of the "beer steam" that you are talking about is just WATER... so that brown stuff that is coming off the walls is the normal junk that builds up on the walls in a house over time, vaporized food grease, smoke particles, etc. That is the stuff that you are always told to wash off the walls before you put down a new coat of paint. I lived in a rental house once where we had to take 409 to the walls and ceiling, because of all the gunk that was on them from previous tenants.

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Old 01-10-2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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SWMBO is not very fond of me brewing inside. She hates the smell, she hates the mess...there is nothing she likes about it. So, just the other day we noticed above the stairs to the basement, which are just outside the kitchen, there was brown drops on the wall. She was like what the *^#@ could have spilled up there. I knew right away when I saw it what it was...but i was not about to say anything.

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Old 01-10-2008, 06:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabidgerbil
Now I know that you can boil off volatile oils and things like that, like in the hops, but, to the best of my knowledge, the rest of the "beer steam" that you are talking about is just WATER... so that brown stuff that is coming off the walls is the normal junk that builds up on the walls in a house over time, vaporized food grease, smoke particles, etc. That is the stuff that you are always told to wash off the walls before you put down a new coat of paint. I lived in a rental house once where we had to take 409 to the walls and ceiling, because of all the gunk that was on them from previous tenants.
Agreed. Condensations just bringing out the funk...
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Old 01-10-2008, 06:56 PM   #6
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Exterior vented range hood!

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Old 01-10-2008, 07:03 PM   #7
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+1

I designed and built my range hood. I saw that it was $250+ just for the unit so I took $100 and bought some powerful duct fans and some nice oak.

I thought it was quiet, which it is....from the kitchen. If you go into the dining room it sounds like there is a corvette in the attic, but who cares? I only run it when I need it, and man, it SUCKS!

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Old 01-15-2008, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulive
Agreed. Condensations just bringing out the funk...

I'm really sure it's not just water boiling off of the brew. I mean, I was curious enough to taste the brown sticky drippings on the wall and it tasted just like wort. Also, the whole house smells strongly of wort when doing the boil. If it were only H2O boiling off, it wouldn't really smell much. I think there's wort components in the steam!
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezatnova
I mean, I was curious enough to taste the brown sticky drippings on the wall...
Dude... that is too curious.

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Old 01-15-2008, 08:41 PM   #10
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Hmmm.........I'd be betting that the previous tennents used a lot of candles or were smokers, not neccessarily of cigarettes! The sugars in the wort are non-volatile. You might get a little in the kitchen from spray from the pot, but not into another room. Maybe some oils, but there isn't much oils in malts, even less in extracts. The condensation was just dissolving the crud already on the walls. If you were to carefully blot a spot, nut rub it, I bet the area where the spot was is lighter than the surronding area.

I've used spic and span before to mop the walls and ceiling of a place we rented. My wife used to smoke. It really is amazing (and totally disgusting) how much crap builds up on the walls. I had a neighbor once who burnt a lot of candles and she had an ozone generator on a table. I was helping her do something and we pulled the table from the wall and you could really see how the ozone generator attracted a LOT of soot to the spot on the wall right behind it. I thought it was pretty cool since I didn't ahve to clean it

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