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Old 01-30-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
aNYbrewery
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Default Black stuff on heatsticks

So I just finished the 2nd brew with a pair of heatsticks I built. They are 1500w elements from lowes and I was brewing a light rye ale.

After removing the elements I noticed they had black all over them. Like they were burnt. It doesn't smell and doesn't appear to have come off in the beer in any way. When I cleaned them it started to flake off. After leaving them hanging up for an hour all the black started cracking and peeling and flaking off.

Any idea what it is or what is causing it and if I should be worried about it?

Thanks all!

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Old 01-30-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
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I know mine tend to get a white film on them either from proteins or minerals (guessing). Black stuff?? Hmm, maybe you had some of the same proteins minerals burn onto them. Just a guess. I'm sure you will have someone come by soon with a better answer and idea of what it is.

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Old 01-30-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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Not sure what it is, but I have this same issue. It apparently doesn't affect the beer in any perceptible way because i've brewed very light beers (e.g. kolsch) that had no burnt flavors.

I just switched to a low density element and i've very curious to see if it still happens. Sometimes the buildup would be pretty hard and took some work with a scotch bright pad to remove.

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Old 01-31-2011, 01:57 AM   #4
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Just completed another brew and no black stuff this time. Maybe it had something to do with the rye? Not sure.

One thing I noticed when I cleaned them pre brew was that it seems to be a layer of chrome or metal or something that is flaking off the element. One of them is now completely cleaned back to bare metal the other is about 80% there. Not sure what the coating is that these elements have and if its an issue?

Thanks for the replies everyone.

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:13 AM   #5
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Do you have a link to the actual elements you bought?

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:26 AM   #6
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Here it is:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_26371-135-69...att%2Belements

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Old 01-31-2011, 03:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynBrewClub View Post
My first element was copper, my new one is SS. I wonder what impact the material/finish of the element has, if any?
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:57 AM   #8
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Is your element under PID control, or is it running 100% all of the time? I wonder if at 100% for an hour or so you'd be collecting burnt sugars on there?

Maybe a more experienced eBrewer (Kal, Rage) can comment with their experiences.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:24 PM   #9
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No PID. They're on flat out the whole hour. 2 sticks at 1500w is just enough for a gentle boil. They're a temporary set up till I can work out a power source for higher watt built in elements.

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
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Probably a combination of protein and zinc from the element. After a few brews, the coating will be white, and will be mostly protein.

A short soak in warm oxyclean water and it will wipe right off.

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