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Old 10-03-2006, 06:58 PM   #1
davidv53
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Oct 2006
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Hi--

I just cooked up my first wort yesterday and the fermentation process is beginning. I came upon some problems having to do with my equipment and cleaning during the process, and was wondering if anyone could answer my questions, as I have quite a few of them!!

First of all, I bought a no rinse cleaner. It said to combine one tablespoon with one gallon, so thats what I did. I then used a sponge to sponge it around for approximately two minutes in my stainless steel pot and my primary fermentor. I also sanitized my hydrometer and thermometer. Questions: Do I have to sanitize my stainless steel pot each time before I use it? And Is it OK to use this little amount of sanitizer, or should I used 5 gallons and let it soak? Also, is it ok to use the things I've sanitized before they've completely dried? My cleaner says it contains no bisulfates, organic compounds or phosphates.

Second--After boiling the wort, I put the pot in a cold bath to cool the wort quickly. However, I heard a noise and it sounded like the pot was warping. Upon inspection today, I saw it was a bit worped (not too much, just a little ridges where it was sitting on the burner). Is this OK?? Am I doing something wrong?? I bought a 50 dollar 5 gallon stainless steel pot, so I figure it is pretty good quality.

Third- After boiling the wort and emptying it into the fermentor, there is a dark, crispy like residue on the inside of the bottom of my pot. I'm having a very hard time getting it out. I think it must be burnt sugar...does this mean I added the malt too fast? I let the water come to a boil, then added the malt and I stirred while adding it, but added it all at once (the dry and liquid extracts) a bit quickly. In order to clean this residue of the inside of the bottom, I now have put some soap in the pot to allow it to soak. I read somewhere after this that its a bad idea to clean out with soap, but is there a way to get the residue off without using soap? Now that I have already used soap this time, is there anything I should do to decontaminate the pot?

Fourth- The outside of my pot is burned a little bit where it was in contact with the burner. Do I need to use lower heat? Should I get/do something to distribute the heat better on the bottom of the pot?

Sorry so many questions, but I'm a beginner and I just want to make sure I am doing things right and don't ruin my expensive equipment!! Thanks a bunch in advance!

 
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:06 PM   #2
TheJadedDog
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Okay, I'm new too but

1) What sanitizer did you use? I use OneStep and usually make 2 gallons to sanitize my fermentor and other brew day equipment using a process similar to the one you describe; so far no problems (I usually let it sit in my fermentor with my equipment soaking in it right up until I need to use it). You do not need to sanitize your brew kettle since you will be boiling water in it and that will kill any nasties. If you're using a no rinse sanitizer it should be okay to use before it is dried.

2) I'm not sure why your pot would have warped but it shoudn't be a problems with a SS pot as long as it didn't crack.

3) Sounds like you may have some scortching going on here. Next time, remove the pot from the heat when you add the extract and then return to boil. I've been using oxyclean for all my cleaning and it works wonders.

4)This might also explain the burns on the underside of the pot but I'm not sure as I use gas heat.

Hope this answers some of your questions, others here know a lot more than I do but it doesn't sound like you need to be all that worried.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:13 PM   #3
davidv53
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Oct 2006
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I used one-step also...

So any problems from the soap should be ok in the pot then?? That is good to know. I think I will heat up some water in there a few times just to rinse it out after I get the soap out anyway.

But still...what about this residue on the bottom??? Is that normal?

 
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:19 PM   #4
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There is no issue using soap for general cleaning of your stainless pot, it is just that it needs to be rinsed thoroughly. DO NOT USE BLEACH IN YOUR STAINLESS.

Also, there is no need to sanitize your boil pot. It, and the wort, will reach temps high enough (boiling) to kill anything. For everything else, sanitize.

FWIW, all of my gear gets washed with normal non scented dishsoap and sponge after use. My primary and carboys get bleach/water mix, as they have had beer living in them for a couple weeks.

When it is time to brew/rack/whatever, I rinse thoroughly, since everything is already "clean", and then I santize, if needed. I use Starsan.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
But still...what about this residue on the bottom??? Is that normal?
It's your extract burned onto the bottom.

Do as TheJadedDog suggests and:

1) take the pot off the heat
2) add the extract, and stir until you are absolutely sure that it is completely dissolved, then stir it a couple more times just in case.
3) return pot to heat and return to boil.

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Old 10-03-2006, 07:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
Questions: Do I have to sanitize my stainless steel pot each time before I use it?
No, you don't have to sanatize it at all, just make sure it's clean. You only have to sanatize stuff that comes in contact with the wort after it's boiled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
And Is it OK to use this little amount of sanitizer, or should I used 5 gallons and let it soak?
Just use the right proportions and you're fine
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
Also, is it ok to use the things I've sanitized before they've completely dried?
Yes. Personally, I like Star-San - you can even use stuff with the bubbles right on it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
Is this OK?? Am I doing something wrong?? I bought a 50 dollar 5 gallon stainless steel pot, so I figure it is pretty good quality.
That's not a high quality stainless pot. I've never heard of that happening, but you're not doing anything wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
does this mean I added the malt too fast? I let the water come to a boil, then added the malt and I stirred while adding it, but added it all at once (the dry and liquid extracts) a bit quickly.
Next time, turn off the heat when you add. You scorched it a little bit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
I read somewhere after this that its a bad idea to clean out with soap, but is there a way to get the residue off without using soap?
You just don't want to use anything scented as a general rule, but that's more for the post-boil stuff too. Consider using PBW (Professional Brewers Wash). It's a good, strong cleaner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv53
Do I need to use lower heat? Should I get/do something to distribute the heat better on the bottom of the pot?
I know there are ways to distribute heat better, but just improving your mixing process should help. I wouldn't worry about the burn marks.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:34 PM   #7
davidv53
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Oct 2006
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Thanks a whole bunch, all these answer help immensely, sounds like there is not much to be worried about. Bubbles haven't started in my airlock yet, but I can feel pressure on the lid, so hopefully soon...if not I'm sure i'll be back on here later with more questions. Thanks a bunch!


 
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:34 PM   #8
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I've got three words for cleaning your stainless. Bar Keepers Friend.
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