Quantcast

Funny story of unexpected mess from brewing!

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

ezatnova

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
By now I've brewed 6 or 7 batches of beer, always using a large pot on the stove. Of course, during the hour+ boil, tons of grainy, sugary steam billows out of the pot. One night, we noticed that all around our kitchen ceiling, above the cabinets, were hundreds of little brown drips of liquid. The steam was condensing and forming liquid on the walls!
Then, we were giving the house a thorough cleaning before Christmas, and just about the same time, as I was in the guestroom and my wife was in our bedroom (all the way on the other side of the house as the kitchen), we both noticed these strange, brown , sticky drip marks on the far walls. We were baffled for a while, then it hit me...more beer steam! My scientific conclusion is that the steam made its way all through the house, and the far walls of those two rooms are "exterior walls" so they were colder than any walls that just faced other rooms inside thr house, hence condensing the steam!
Anyway, just thought it was pretty amusing. I can't be the only one to deal with this mess! I'm REALLY sure you are supposed to boil without a lid on the pot, correct? If I'm right about that, I might hang some plastic partition at the kitchen entranceway to trap that steam next time!
:tank:
 

Evan!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Messages
11,835
Reaction score
107
Location
Charlottesville, VA
Yeah, you want to boil uncovered so that you can boil off all sorts of unwanted volatile compounds.

What you need to do is get yourself a propane burner and start brewing outside.
 

rabidgerbil

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 29, 2007
Messages
1,005
Reaction score
40
Location
Seattle
Now I know that you can boil off volatile oils and things like that, like in the hops, but, to the best of my knowledge, the rest of the "beer steam" that you are talking about is just WATER... so that brown stuff that is coming off the walls is the normal junk that builds up on the walls in a house over time, vaporized food grease, smoke particles, etc. That is the stuff that you are always told to wash off the walls before you put down a new coat of paint. I lived in a rental house once where we had to take 409 to the walls and ceiling, because of all the gunk that was on them from previous tenants.
 

cubbies

Tastes like butterdirt
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
1,919
Reaction score
10
Location
St Louis MO
SWMBO is not very fond of me brewing inside. She hates the smell, she hates the mess...there is nothing she likes about it. So, just the other day we noticed above the stairs to the basement, which are just outside the kitchen, there was brown drops on the wall. She was like what the *^#@ could have spilled up there. I knew right away when I saw it what it was...but i was not about to say anything.
 

Soulive

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2007
Messages
4,266
Reaction score
27
Location
The Middle of NJ
rabidgerbil said:
Now I know that you can boil off volatile oils and things like that, like in the hops, but, to the best of my knowledge, the rest of the "beer steam" that you are talking about is just WATER... so that brown stuff that is coming off the walls is the normal junk that builds up on the walls in a house over time, vaporized food grease, smoke particles, etc. That is the stuff that you are always told to wash off the walls before you put down a new coat of paint. I lived in a rental house once where we had to take 409 to the walls and ceiling, because of all the gunk that was on them from previous tenants.
Agreed. Condensations just bringing out the funk...
 

cheezydemon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,917
Reaction score
15
Location
The "Ville"
+1

I designed and built my range hood. I saw that it was $250+ just for the unit so I took $100 and bought some powerful duct fans and some nice oak.

I thought it was quiet, which it is....from the kitchen. If you go into the dining room it sounds like there is a corvette in the attic, but who cares? I only run it when I need it, and man, it SUCKS!
 
OP
E

ezatnova

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
Soulive said:
Agreed. Condensations just bringing out the funk...

I'm really sure it's not just water boiling off of the brew. I mean, I was curious enough to taste the brown sticky drippings on the wall and it tasted just like wort. Also, the whole house smells strongly of wort when doing the boil. If it were only H2O boiling off, it wouldn't really smell much. I think there's wort components in the steam!
 

pjj2ba

Look under the recliner
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
3,377
Reaction score
230
Location
State College
Hmmm.........I'd be betting that the previous tennents used a lot of candles or were smokers, not neccessarily of cigarettes! The sugars in the wort are non-volatile. You might get a little in the kitchen from spray from the pot, but not into another room. Maybe some oils, but there isn't much oils in malts, even less in extracts. The condensation was just dissolving the crud already on the walls. If you were to carefully blot a spot, nut rub it, I bet the area where the spot was is lighter than the surronding area.

I've used spic and span before to mop the walls and ceiling of a place we rented. My wife used to smoke. It really is amazing (and totally disgusting) how much crap builds up on the walls. I had a neighbor once who burnt a lot of candles and she had an ozone generator on a table. I was helping her do something and we pulled the table from the wall and you could really see how the ozone generator attracted a LOT of soot to the spot on the wall right behind it. I thought it was pretty cool since I didn't ahve to clean it
 
OP
E

ezatnova

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
Hmmm.........I'd be betting that the previous tennents used a lot of candles or were smokers, not neccessarily of cigarettes! The sugars in the wort are non-volatile. You might get a little in the kitchen from spray from the pot, but not into another room. Maybe some oils, but there isn't much oils in malts, even less in extracts. The condensation was just dissolving the crud already on the walls. If you were to carefully blot a spot, nut rub it, I bet the area where the spot was is lighter than the surronding area.

I've used spic and span before to mop the walls and ceiling of a place we rented. My wife used to smoke. It really is amazing (and totally disgusting) how much crap builds up on the walls. I had a neighbor once who burnt a lot of candles and she had an ozone generator on a table. I was helping her do something and we pulled the table from the wall and you could really see how the ozone generator attracted a LOT of soot to the spot on the wall right behind it. I thought it was pretty cool since I didn't ahve to clean it

All walls were painted by us when we moved in and nothing has ever been smoked in the house...and no candles. This was definitely brown sticky residue all over the walls facing exterior portions of the house, condensing the steam from the brew.
 

springer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
4,737
Reaction score
33
Location
Wappingers falls NY
I have to agree that it was not wort on the walls. The sugar does not leave the wort the only thing that is driven off is water.

I do maple syrup and if the sugar would be in the steam then the maple shed (tool shed) would be one hell of a sticky mess.I have to boil off 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Try this next time put a lid on the wort for a few minutes letting some condensation build, then remove the lid and set it upside down so the condensation pools. Taste it ... bet its tastes like distilled water ...... because that’s what it is
.
 

fishnfever

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
461
Reaction score
4
SWMBO is not very fond of me brewing inside. She hates the smell, she hates the mess...there is nothing she likes about it. So, just the other day we noticed above the stairs to the basement, which are just outside the kitchen, there was brown drops on the wall. She was like what the *^#@ could have spilled up there. I knew right away when I saw it what it was...but i was not about to say anything.

HAHAHAHA This is something that I would do:mug:
 

Donasay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2007
Messages
1,563
Reaction score
11
Location
Boston
All walls were painted by us when we moved in and nothing has ever been smoked in the house...and no candles. This was definitely brown sticky residue all over the walls facing exterior portions of the house, condensing the steam from the brew.
Think about how you distill liquid. The lighter water vapor evaporates and the heavier water/sugar (wort) stays behind. Unless your kitchen stove is absolutely blasting heat (enough to evaporate sugar and water at the same time) this is just normal condensation and not wort escaping the pot.

You should look into other causes of moisture in your home as well, it could be a mold or something.
 

jds

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
1,912
Reaction score
37
Location
Littleton, CO
+1

I designed and built my range hood. I saw that it was $250+ just for the unit so I took $100 and bought some powerful duct fans and some nice oak.

I thought it was quiet, which it is....from the kitchen. If you go into the dining room it sounds like there is a corvette in the attic, but who cares? I only run it when I need it, and man, it SUCKS!
I've already warned SWMBO: The "vent fan" on the microwave over the range is a tiny little POS. I really really want to swap it out for a exterior-vented hood that will suck your hair up on end. We're already getting goop on the ceiling above the range, and the house is less than a year old.

And I brew outside.
 

Laurel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Messages
1,499
Reaction score
13
Location
Seattle, WA
After I started doing boils I began developing brown droplets of condensation all around my kitchen too. When I saw them the whole kitchen got washed and it still happens. I didn't get brown liquid droplets when making chicken stock though. Haven't been curious enough to taste them though.
 
Top