Single-layer vs. triclad brewpot

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Whatsgoodmiley

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Extract Brewer here. I am currently using a 5 gallon SS single layered brewpot. I have had issues with caramelizing/scorching wort. I've had an imperial saison end up being darker and sweeter than desired (it also didn't fully condition in bottles). I contribute this to the scorching of the sugars in the kettle, which leads to the creating of large complex/unfermentable sugars. Similar results are being seen in my mead (haven't finished it but it's dark). I've since upgraded to using a burner rather than my gas stovetop, but have not upgraded my kettle. I've found a nice looking, very well priced triclad (or at least thick-bottomed) kettle online. I'm saving up for my wedding but I also want the beer I'm brewing for the wedding to all appear dark and taste too sweet. Would buying this kettle (larger and thicker than the one I have now) probably remedy this issue? Keep in mind, it is not due to a lack of stirring or removing the kettle from the heat before adding the malts.

Thanks in advance.
 

whovous

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This gets me in full cognitive dissonance mode.

First answer: All other things being equal, better equipment should result in equal or better results.

Second answer: If your process is wrong, it does not matter how good your equipment is, High enough temps can scorch most anything, I suspect.

Third answer: Triclad is marketed as being a better heat conductor than simple stainless. It could very well be that a process with a surplus of heat for the stainless pot will have even an even greater excess of degrees with a better conducting bottom.

Choose one or more, but my gut reaction is that you can change your process for free, so that's the first thing to try.
 
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Whatsgoodmiley

Whatsgoodmiley

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My wort would scorch even while using my stovetop gas burner, which took at least 40 minutes to develop a boil, even with my stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. I just don't think it is an issue with technique; I'm still open to that though. I don't want to make anyone think I have technical hubris here.

I've always thought that better conduction would lead to a more equal distribution of heat across the bottom of the pot, instead of one localized area receiving all of the heat and scorching the wort.
 

jddevinn

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I (like many many people) use a 5500w electrical element SUBMERGED in the wort to boil 15+ gallons without any scorching of wort.
 
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Whatsgoodmiley

Whatsgoodmiley

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Wow that's pretty incredible! I've never heard of that method before! I wish I'd heard of that method before I spent $60 on this burner!
 

whovous

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Very good point on better conduction avoiding hot spots.

But electricity really is a wonderful thing. Maintaining constant temps is so easy, even an idiot like me can do it.
 

jddevinn

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Wow that's pretty incredible! I've never heard of that method before! I wish I'd heard of that method before I spent $60 on this burner!
You need control for the element too. Look in the DIY thread there are builds that costs $100 and ones that cost multiple thousands. My point here is that that element is probably stronger than the stove element and does not scorch the wort with direct contact.... so the element shouldn't be scorching either.
 

krackin

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I (like many many people) use a 5500w electrical element SUBMERGED in the wort to boil 15+ gallons without any scorching of wort.
I've done the same thing on wood fired stoves.
 

Vandulus

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For someone who started with single-clad kettles and finally moved to tri-clad, I've definitely noticed much lighter brews since switching to tri-clad. That said, I'm sure there are temperature control techniques for keeping scorching to a minimum. I tried using an aluminum heat spreader to help with scorching and didn't have much luck. I find that tri-clad is much more forgiving of temperature control swings than single clad.
 
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