Taste of Scorching

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BluePants

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Morning all,

So I've got a pretty big RIMS system set up and have had some batches that make me think Im scorching the wort. Ive got a 6 kW low density element in my RIMS. I'm kind of looking for someone to help me figure out if this is the problem, because I think I have a solution if it is. If its not, I'm kinda screwed trying to figure out what else it is. About a month back I had a batch that tasted like an ashtray, but also had some sourish notes to it. I replaced the heating element in my RIMS setup to find that it was basically caked with ash, additionally, I changed one of my processes related to how I clean my fermenters to step it up a bit more (I was trying to CIP them in a way).

Couple great batches in between and now the problem has crept up again just to a lesser degree. I pulled out and replaced the RIMs and Im pretty sure the ashy component went away.

My concern is in the sour aspect. I can understand the ashy component of the taste and I think that it makes sense that that would be a contributor to the RIMS and scorching. Could the sour aspect of the taste be explained by the RIMs? Or, do I most likely have two problems. Got a beer in the fermenters right now so I guess I will learn if the sour went away. I dont taste it in pulls off the primary, but in the past I havent tasted it at that point either.

Thanks for any help.
 
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I agree with Boar Beer. I can't conceive of anything that would create sour flavors pre-fermentation. As for the element, I'd try stripping the coating off to expose the copper. much easier to clean and wont corrode. i've seen a couple threads regarding this, cant find 'em at the moment.
 
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BluePants

BluePants

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You were supposed to say that it totally came from the scorching. Except it didnt, and I know that.

Crap.

Id like to see that thread on cleaning it though.
 

Sawdustguy

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Are you using the RIMS as a instant hot water heater? If you are not, why such a large element? I have a standard three vessel setup HLT-MLT-BK and I use a simple 1500 watt element in the RIMS tube for a long time with great success.
 

Quaffer

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My concern is in the sour aspect. I can understand the ashy component of the taste and I think that it makes sense that that would be a contributor to the RIMS and scorching. Could the sour aspect of the taste be explained by the RIMs? Or, do I most likely have two problems. Got a beer in the fermenters right now so I guess I will learn if the sour went away. I dont taste it in pulls off the primary, but in the past I havent tasted it at that point either.

Thanks for any help.
I know that acidulated malt is available so the sour taste can come from the malt. Is it possible that some of your malt had gone bad?
 
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BluePants

BluePants

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The system is pretty big. I brew 50 or so gallon batches. Kind of a small nano here in town.

I dont think its in the malt. I buy a pallet at a time and it usually runs out inside two months. Only open the bags right before milling and mill them the night before brewing.
 
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BluePants

BluePants

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Hey cool, another Nano. How long have you guys been up and running? I was officially licensed in October. I feel bad that I've never gone back through and posted on this site with pics since I learned a lot about RIMS, brewing, wiring, and such from using this site, but its been a little crazy since I kicked off construction in May. We had to build out the space within a commercial building and build the brewery.

At any rate, I have a bunch of pictures up on bluepantsbrew.com/blog

I currently have two different types of fermenters. I got a bunch of 55 gallon and 30 gallon stainless barrels from a winery that closed down. They are both my brewing setup and my fermenters. Also about a month ago I picked up a 110 gallon plastic conical. I'm afraid of it but careful with it (I think, and no, the batch that was sour wasnt in that).

Im still working out the kinks in the system, hence the scorching and the sour beer. The last post on there is related to my plan to go to a tankless hot water heater to replace my HLT.
 

Jumbo82

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Squam Brewing has been selling beer since August 2nd, 2010. So I guess we're just a couple months older than you. Check out squambrewing.com for some basic info about the brewery. I'm still trying to work out a lot of the kinks of my system and have lost several batches in the process. Bad elements put a nasty flavor into several batches before I realized what had happened. We replaced the elements and dumped the batches. I'm sure there will be more problems down the road, but I'm just hoping to get the majority of the kinks figured out during the slow winter months so I can be ready to hit the ground running come summer. Good luck and happy brewing!
 
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BluePants

BluePants

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Wow. We should definitely keep in touch. I think that we are both in the same position. I've already had to dump one double batch day due to the bad element problem. Sounds like we can benefit from some of each other's lessons learned. Im keeping my account load small for awhile so that when I suffer these "issues" I wont piss any of my retail accounts off. Plus Im very personal and go talk to them individually a lot which I think they are very impressed with. We're a three tier system so I cant actually do anything for them, but I can talk to them and let them know that I care.

I havent clicked the link yet, but I definitely will check it out. Curious what you guys have opted to brew to go into your market.
 

Jumbo82

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Yeah, I'm sure we could avoid some of each other's mistakes if we keep in touch. New Hampshire allows self distribution, so get to chat with each of my accounts when I make my deliveries. Sometimes they call me up when they need more, sometimes I call them up, and sometimes I just pop in if I happen to be driving by. I agree that it helps when they can put a face to the brand. Right now I have four beers on the market with a fifth in the works. In order of appearance on store shelves; Asquam Amber Ale (5% ABV session beer), Halcyon Steamer Stout (5% ABV stout brewed with oatmeal), Golden India Pale Ale (8.5% ABV imperial IPA), and most recently the Bobhouse Bitter (5% ABV ESB). Our next beer will be the Winter Wheat at 7.2% ABV. I wanted to enter the market with beers that the average consumer would recognize, then eventually start introducing more creative brews as time goes on. I sell exclusively in 22oz bombers, but I'd like to get into kegging sometime within the next year or so. I need to read your whole blog at some point, looks like it will be very informative :)
 
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