Its my first post here and I just got my fourth batch into the fermenter. This batch used a new brew kettle considering the old one was an ancient enameled kettle and was chipped and flaking (not good flavors, I suspect). The new kettle is Stainless and holds 5 gal, and is rather thin. I noticed when I was cleaning up that there was scorching in the pattern of my electric stove element on the bottom of the kettle.
Do I need to worry about this? Will it impart an awful burnt flavor? Will there be chunks of burnt extract floating around in the beer?
If I do need to worry what can I do to avoid this in the future? This last boil was 4 gallons and I needed to keep the stove on high just to keep the boil going. I assume this is because the kettle is so thin and therefore losing a lot of heat. Is there a good way to insulate a kettle like this?
I usually don't keep a lid on the kettle because in my experience so far, it has always boiled over when I put the lid on. Maybe there is a trick to keeping the lid on and not boiling over, but I don't know it.
Does your #1 imply that you think the scorching happens right when the extract is first added, and that when well mixed there will be nothing to scorch?
I think in general I would like to boil with lower temps (closer to actual 212degF), so I will experiment with insulating the kettle. Maybe a towel wrapped around?