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Enamel Pot and Caramelization

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chase

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I was wondering if anyone uses an enamel pot to boil in, and if they get a lot more caramelization of the extract than in another type of pot (Al or SS).
 

Sir Humpsalot

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Not many people use enamel pots because the acidity of the wort will do bad things if it contacts a non-enameled portion of the pot. I don't remember the specifics. :confused:
 

Funkenjaeger

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I wouldn't be too surprised if you get additional caramelization because enamel pots are typically extremely thin, not spreading the heat much leaving more 'hot spots' - I seem to remember always having to scrub my enamel pot more after a batch than the thick-bottom stainless pot I later replaced it with.
 

malkore

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Just try to be careful when adding your LME. I'd pull it clear off the burners if you're using an electric stove since those coils hold so much heat even when shut off during extract mixing.

keep an eye out for cheap brew pots. nothing wrong with aluminum other than its not quite as tough as SS, so if you rough house it, it won't last as long as SS.
 
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chase

chase

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Funkenjaeger said:
I wouldn't be too surprised if you get additional caramelization because enamel pots are typically extremely thin, not spreading the heat much leaving more 'hot spots' - I seem to remember always having to scrub my enamel pot more after a batch than the thick-bottom stainless pot I later replaced it with.
You had an enamel pot? Let me ask you some questions...

Could you do full boils in it? If not, were your beers consistently less bitter than they should be? Were they darker than they should be? Did your beers seem really sweet?
 

Funkenjaeger

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chase said:
Could you do full boils in it? If not, were your beers consistently less bitter than they should be? Were they darker than they should be? Did your beers seem really sweet?
No, it was too small for full boils. My beers were less bitter than they were supposed to be but that was not the fault of the pot, it was the fault of me being a noob and not adjusting the hop quantities to compensate for the concentrated partial boil. They were darker than they should have been, once again, because of me being a noob and not doing anything such as late extract addition to compensate for the concentrated partial boil - the increased caramelization due to the thin pot bottom may have contributed, but I think the concentrated boil is still the main offender.

enamel pots DO have their issues (chipped enamel means getting rust in your beer, thin bottom means scorching, etc) but the issues you are asking about sound more like common ones that are caused by doing partial boils and not compensating for that fact, not the fault of the brewpot.

I switched to a 20qt thick-bottom stainless steel pot after about 5 batches and still had the same problems for a couple batches. Then I started using the late extract addition method and using Beersmith to calculate appropriate hop additions, and everything was pretty much fine for the remaining 4-5 extract batches I did before switching to all-grain.
 

rabidgerbil

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I am currently using an enamel pot, a 20 quart canning pot. I put between 3.5 and 4 gallons of my wort into that pot, and stick the rest into a calphalon stock pot on a second burner. I have a spread sheet that I put together for figuring out how much of everything to add to each pot, so that the two are as close to each other as possible, as far as amount of malt extract, hops, etc. This way, I am able to do full boils, and I am happy with the results. That does not mean that I will not move on to a bigger and better pot that I can put on my turkey fryer, as soon as I can afford it, but for now, this works, and produces some really good beer.
 
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chase

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Well. I'm still a noobie. I've only recently done my first late-extract batch. It's in the fermentor right now. I also just got beersmith, and it is wonderful.

Last night I bought a few things as well: 8 gallon aluminum pot ($30 SCORE!), a wort chiller, and an oxygen system.

I think that means I have everything I could need now (I think).

The main problems were the scorching and poor hop utilization, I hope. So, hopefully in a few weeks I'll be drinking my first batch of drinkable homebrew.

Thanks for the help jaeger.
 

Skins_Brew

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I have enamel pot. It seems to work ok but there was some definete scorching on the bottom of the pot when i add LME. I am going to buy an aluminum pot before i make my next batch though.
 

jds

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I have a big (30 + quart) enamel pot that I've been using for full boils. Last batch, I forgot to turn off my burner before adding LME, and I got some scorching. The previous batch, I turned the burner off when adding DME, and had no scorching problems. YMMV and all that.
 
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