I knew the day would come, and perhaps things will turn out okay, but - I had a bad brew day
I put my journal entry under e-brewing, because IF this is a bad batch, it will be due to electrical.
Brewing on a single tier, two pump, 3 kettle herms all-electric rig. Mashed in beautifully with 26 lbs pilsner malt (simple 10 gal citra SMaSH), but the mash got stuck during recirculation - over and over. Even added rice hulls - no dice. Found out later that my falsebottom wasn't properly seated and grain must have been leaking around the edges. So, this all started as user error. .doesn't it always
No problem right? Just keep resetting the mash, start vorlauf, and it'll be okay? Not quite, Mash temps were fine 151 and pretty steady, but I couldn't vorlauf worth a darn. Actually, I couldn't vorlauf at all. The result was the most cloudy 11.5 gallons of proteinaceous/cluttered/unfiltered wort I've every put in my boil kettle. Usually aftering recirculating for 75 min, the wort is so clear that there's very little hot break, and almost nothing but clean yeast at the completion of fermentation. I seriously can't way to see how much trub this bad boy brew leaves behind. Oh wait - yes I can
Now the problem (electrical right?). An odd burning smell in kettle. Not entirely unpleasant, but more like the smell of home malt roasting at 350 in the oven for 40'. Slightly sweat, but also slightly burnt. So, after chilling with my CC into two fermenters (porter yeast cakes), I check out my heating element. Wish I had pictures (sorry). Nice black color with flaky chunks of burnt black stuff trapped between the coils. Mind you, I typically do get a little crud on the element, but nothing like this. The rest of kettle and fittings were fine, just the element. I'm left to conclude that some of the extra crud floating around in the BK actually burned-on to the element, despite the vigorous boil.
So, we'll see. Fermenting along just fine this morning, but I can still detect the slightly burnt smell. Probably fine, right? Don't worry have a homebrew and all that. This is just the first time that having electric may have CONTRIBUTED to the flavor profile of my beer.
Lesson learned (probably not. . ) My system pretty much requires a decent vorlauf, or I risk burning the goods. Time will tell.