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Old 11-10-2008, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default Scorched wort and no hot break?

I brewed my first batch of beer last night, unfortunately I had to heat my wort on an electric stovetop with the oldschool heating element. I think I severely scorched my wort because there were black rings in my kettle when finished and didn't come out easily... will this have a negative effect on the finished beer (holiday spiced amber ale)? I put the kettle into ice water in my sink to cool it off and gave it a good swirl to whirlpool. But when it finally got down to about 70 F, it looked like there was a large amount of stuff even at the surface of the wort like it didn't even get a hot break.... that worried me because I tried using an auto siphon(incredibly hard to do when boiling 2 gal water with the malt extract then adding the other 3 gal after the boil and chill) and it ran incredibly slow, so I kept pumping it to speed the siphon up. I never go to the bottom with the siphon because it clogged up on me and I ended up straining the last bit through a stainless screen (found a lot of trub there). Any ideas on the scorching and how to tell if the trub has settled? Does a large amount of trub in the fermenter affect it? How do I get that out?

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:32 PM   #2
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1st - welcome aboard. Glad to have a new brewer with us.

I'm not an extract brewer, but I think you have to stir really good when you add the extract to avoid scorching. Not sure if this is what happened or not. How did it taste?

What makes you think you had no hot break?

Sounds like you had normal break material when you transferred to your fermenter. Don't worry about all the trub. It'll settle when the fermentation is complete and you siphon all the beer off the top, leaving the trub behind.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:34 PM   #3
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An electric stove is very hard to work with. I suggest a patio burner and you will not heat up the house either. Add and stir in any extracts with the burner off. Stir well because it takes a while to get mixed into the water. Now light the burner again.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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You are talking about a few issues.

As far as scorching. You need to see how it all ages out to see. Time heals most ills with beers. I will say this. The only batch I ever gave up on and threw out was because of scorching. But I waited three months to do it.

As fas as hot break, cold break, siphoning etc. There are different ways to get your chilled wort from kettle to fermenter. I do it two different ways. 1. I simply pick up the kettle and carefully pour it into the fermenter. Then I pitch the yeast. 2. When I ferment in a carboy I use a funnel and a strainer. The strainer catches all of the cold break and trub that I care to filter out prior to fermenting. This has the secondary benefit of pretty well aerating the wort on the way into the carboy.

I have never used a siphon to transfer wort from kettle to fermenter for the exact reasons you mention.

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Old 11-10-2008, 07:48 PM   #5
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What makes you think you had no hot break?
I thought maybe there was no hot break because after it cooled, the wort looked like there were "solids" or something all throughout the wort, even at the surface.... I mean the wort wasn't clear, very cloudy like.

thanks to both for the infro and quick help!
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:00 PM   #6
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Welcome!

Those solids floating around after you cooled the wort are a GOOD thing. That's the cold break. It is proteins coagulating, and it means you cooled your wort quickly enough. This coagulation helps the proteins fall out more quickly and collect in the bottom of your primary. After you rack off this into your secondary, you should end up with nice clear beer.

As far as the scorching, you may want to look into some of the late extract addition techniques discussed here (use the google search option.) You will also be able to mix the extract more quickly if you pre-heat it by putting the container of it into a pot of warm water. If you do have any odd tastes in the beer, some extra aging should help minimize them. Maybe it could even add a desirable smoked flavor!

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Old 11-10-2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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Maybe it could even add a desirable smoked flavor!
That's what I was hoping too when it happened to me but no, I got carbon flavor that came through even with aging.
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