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Old 09-27-2013, 01:45 PM   #1
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Default Scorched Elements ...Beating a dead horse

So I had my first burning of the elements yesterday, and of course it would happen on the most ambitious brew I have tried to date. I have been using this kettle to nearly brew a batch a week since February.

Here is a breakdown of my equipment and recipe.

Equipment:

40QT Winware Aluminum pot with one 1500W ULWD Camco element and one 1500w Camco element from HD (LWD or HWD). Pot also has a drain valve. Insulated w/ 2 layers of reflectix.

I always have left both elements on for the boil. And I have made a stainless mesh hop sack that I suspend a few inches above one of the elements for optimal hop utilization and to have the boil flow wort over the hops fast.

Recipe:

Imperial Pumpkin ale recipe (modified version of the big thread here)
17# 2 row
2# crystal 40
1# Biscuit malt

Mashed @ 154 for 1 hour.

Target OG 1.100

2 cans of pumpkin were baked in the oven for one hour and the pumpkin mass was added straight to the boil as soon as the pot hit a boil.

My question is this. I'm suspecting that adding the pumpkin mass that early and having it float about the bottom is what caused the scorching, I figured that the material was fine enough (particulate size) to be suspended and stirred by the convective jets from the boil. I noticed the scorching smell about 30-45 mins into the boil


Was the pumpkin the actual culprit or would you attribute it to the high gravity of the wort?

I was able to get most of the scorched mass off of the Home Depot element real easy but the one on the ULWD is a bit of a bear. I am going to take a steel wool pad to it.

Any and all help is appreciated.

With a bruised ego,

Alex J

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Old 09-27-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
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If a large chunk got stuck in the element it would scorch. It is good practice to circulate the wort until you start getting a convection moving things along. You are also boiling a very high gravity wort, which might have had something to do with it.

Try soaking the element in some oxy for a day.

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Old 09-27-2013, 08:12 PM   #3
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That is what I am worried about. Is it just not possible for me to brew something with that high of an OG?

I'm hoping someone with experience brewing higher gravity wort with electric elements chimes in soon. I'm just steaming over here.

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Old 09-30-2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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Shameless bump.

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Old 09-30-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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I would not expect a problem with a "regular" high-gravity wort, as long as you keep it agitated before the boil by stirring or recirculating. The pumpkin particulate matter likely caused your issue. Did you stir very well after you added it to the boil?

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Old 09-30-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
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When brewing extract beers with a friend, I always turn off the heater element when adding the extract. Then stir vigorously untill it's well mixed. Then turn on the heat. My guess is the pumpkin was added while the element was on and that's what got scorched. Sorry to hear about that.

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Old 09-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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Got it. Ordering new elements and a sack for the pumpkin.

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