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fredGSX 10-01-2009 06:15 PM

Bottom Liquid from Brew Pot
I just made my 3rd batch of full boil beer last night. The size is 5 gallons and I am using an aluminum 7 gallon pot which is really a turkey fryer. I have only used the pot for beer making and I did oxidize it in the oven each time I used it. I am using DME for all the brews and only hop additions in the pot.

I have been cooling the wort in my utility sink since I donít have a work chiller yet, so that time takes over 2 hours with cold water from the sink. I fill and drain the hot water 3 times usually.

When I transfer to the car boy I use a funnel with a screen. As I pour the top of the pot in it flows great, but when I get to the bottom inch of water it comes out looking like pea soup. The first time I thought it was because I used Muslim bags instead of re-usable hop bags. There was tons of hop residues in the bottom. But the past two times I have used the hop bags and still the bottom is dark in color. It does not seem like it is burnt DME, but maybe it is? Do you all shut off the flame when you put DME in? Then return the pot to a boil, or do you sustain boil?

If anyone has tips on what to do with this please let me know. The last 2 times I had to keep scraping the screen on the funnel to get it through the screen. This time I poured the little bit down the drain and scraped he rest.

Any tips? Anyone had this issue before? Is it normal?

shot0rum247 10-01-2009 06:33 PM

Well all of that stuff in the bottom is in no way at all DME, all of that dissolves into the wort (unless you made too concentrated of a wort...but then it would actually have the consistency of LME). That is hopp matter, even though you are using muslin bags there is no way around it. If you use steeping grains you will see more of that stuff. The only thing you can really do is keep a spoon in a cup of sanitized next to you as you are pouring through the screen. As it gets clogged, scrape it. I have my girlfriend stand next to me as I pour and she just scrapes...she just loves it. Hope that helps.

BargainFittings 10-01-2009 06:35 PM

Its hop residue and break material. Even fine meshes will not catch all of the hop crude.

You should turn off the burner when you are adding the dme to keep from scorching it. You will know if you burn it as it will make a mess of the bottom of the pot that just won't easily come off.

Schnitzengiggle 10-01-2009 06:42 PM

+1 to hop and break material, all that sludge is normal in the bottom of your pot, it partially depends on the amount of protien and hops in the wort.

In my experience with DME, it floats until it is dissolved, and is much harder to scorch than LME. If you have a concern that you are scorching your DME pour it in slowly and stir it with a whisk whilst pouring, the whisk will break up the clumps quickly and aid in dissolving the DME. Shutting the heat off or at least turning it down very low will help to avoid any type of boil over thay may try to occur when adding the DME, once again, in my experience I lower the flame, I don't shut it off all the way, and I have never scorched DME.

johnnyc 10-01-2009 06:54 PM

You'll get lots of opinions on whether it needs to be filtered on the way to the carboy or not, I personally do filter but I do it by pouring from the boil kettle into my sanitized bottling bucket lined w/ a paint strainer bag. I lift the bag of hot break and hops crud out and squeeze out the excess then pour from the bucket through the filtered funnel into my carboy.

This keeps a lot of crap out of the primary and the multiple filtering aerates big time, I have foam (not starsan) coming out of the top of my carboy by the time I've transferred all my wort.

springer 10-01-2009 07:09 PM


Originally Posted by fredGSX (Post 1582578)
I have only used the pot for beer making and I did oxidize it in the oven each time I used it.

You don't need to do that to the pot every time you use it. Unless you are overzealous in your cleaning like using Brillo to shine it up . Just some hot water ,dish soap a sponge to clean.

The material is a combination of break and hops . It can be filtered out or you could just throw it in the fermenter . I started using a hop bag a 5 gallon paint strainer and it does a good job of holding the hops . I do pour the break into the carboy.

fredGSX 10-02-2009 02:58 PM

Thanks you all for the reply. I tried searching on the forums using ‘bottom pot’, but all I got was 20 pages of different posts about pots and false bottoms. I have not figured out how to get the search to find posts with both words.

I feel better now because I was worried I was doing something wrong. My beer tastes good when done, so I figured it was normal, but I did not want to take a chance anymore. I have never read about hop residue and break material. I can understand that no matter what, since I am using pelletized hops, there is going to be some residue, but it just looks bad and does not smell all that great either.

When I am adding DME I pour it in at about 1lb increments. I have the heat reduced, but not off because I don’t want to wait for 5 gallons to come back to boil. I found that if I try to sustain boiling, I end up with continuous boil over’s, or at least the pot attempts to boil over.

I like to idea of using a paint strainer, but right now I am using car boys. I prefer not to put the solid matter in the carboy becasue I don't want to bring on any additional flavor from the hop residue. I am going to get a bucket though for beers which I will be adding stuff to, especially fruit. It is just a pain to get all the sticky crud cleaned out and all the fruit back out of the carboy’s little hole.

As for the pot, I realize I don’t have to bake it each time, but the pot is brand new and to clean it I was using a scrub pad. Due to that I did not want to take any chance of the oxidation not being enough. I decided to give it a couple more cycles of heat. After this batch I will just being using the pot the way it is.

Schnitzengiggle 10-02-2009 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by fredGSX (Post 1584501)
It is just a pain to get all the sticky crud cleaned out.

OxiClean, it is magical!:rockin:

HSM 10-02-2009 06:22 PM

Use Irish moss or equivalant. Whirlpool your wort and the debris will tend to cone in the middle of the pot.

Stop picking up the pot to pour through a funnel and get a cheap ass racking cane and some hose.

If this was going to be your last brewpot ever, get out a drill and install a ball valve and drain from there. I use an elbow with a brass scrubber put in to keep out leaf hops. I use an 8 gallon pot and honestly that's too small.

At the end of the day if your beers tastes good, it's all good.

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