Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Get advice on making beer from raw ingredients (malt, hops, water and yeast)
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floydmeddler
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Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by floydmeddler » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:44 am

So... I brewed a mammoth Russian Imperial Stout yesterday. OG came in at 1.110 :shock:. I had to boil for around 6 hrs in order to reach that gravity. Safe to say that lessons have been learnt with regards to overshooting efficiency on big ass beers!!

Anyway... After I filled the fermenter, I noticed that the element had a black layer caked on to it. I was expecting it to taste burnt and horrible and accepted that this may be a beer that i'd need to dump. It cracked off very easily and when i tasted it, it literally tasted of absolutely nothing. Crackly nothingness. Weird!

Being a stout, the beer tastes burnt/smokey as it would do. I'm not getting any 'fag ash' flavours like I've done in the past with a scorched element. However... it's difficult to say as it's such a big fecker of a stout.

Any ideas as to why the black flakes didn't taste burnt? And... might I have gotten away with it?

Floyd

chris2012
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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by chris2012 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:48 pm

What kind of element was it out of interest? I had problems with kettle style elements always going black. But haven't had issues with my SS LWD element thus far.

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by floydmeddler » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:40 pm


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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by floydmeddler » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:13 am

Sad sad day. Just had a sniff of the beast as the ferment kicked in. Big burnt/ashtray smell coming from it.

10 hrs wasted not to mention the ££.

Testing hobby sometimes. Especially when you’ve two young kids. Big brew days are few and far between.

Going to let this ferment out to see what FG comes in at. Will brew again in a few weeks and that one will be EVEN BETTER!!!

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by IPA » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:36 am

Did you use any sugar ? If so did you dissolve before adding it to the boil ? Were the hops whole or pellets and were they contained in either a hop sock or spider ?
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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by Jocky » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:57 am

Sometimes learning to brew great beer means learning a lesson in what your brew kit can and can't do.

I've had the same thing and had to dump am ashtray beer. In my case I had too much flour getting through to the boil, and since that I've been more careful in lautering.

I think in your case a 6 hour boil might have done it. Stuff gradually cakes up on electric elements until it burns.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by floydmeddler » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:22 am

IPA wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:36 am
Did you use any sugar ? If so did you dissolve before adding it to the boil ? Were the hops whole or pellets and were they contained in either a hop sock or spider ?
Hi IPA. Yep - used sugar and treacle. Di solved and stirred in after 'flameout'.

Hops were pellet and were loose as always.

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by floydmeddler » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:25 am

Jocky wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:57 am
Sometimes learning to brew great beer means learning a lesson in what your brew kit can and can't do.

I've had the same thing and had to dump am ashtray beer. In my case I had too much flour getting through to the boil, and since that I've been more careful in lautering.

I think in your case a 6 hour boil might have done it. Stuff gradually cakes up on electric elements until it burns.
Hey Jocky. I was thinking the 6 hr boil didn't help matters. That and switching on the element as soon as it was covered in super thick and sugary wort and then not stirring it at all. Could kick myself. Been brewing 11 yrs and made that schoolboy error.

Next time, I'm going to keep stirring the wort as it comes up to boil.

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by john luc » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:36 am

There is low density elements you can get that don't burn the wort. Was thinking too that a mash run made with a pot sat inside a larger pot containing the elements and water would make a better mash tun
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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:11 pm

Yeah i had an element pop in a pale beer and it was fine. I’d at least see it through to the end.

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by Jocky » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:24 pm

floydmeddler wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:25 am
Hey Jocky. I was thinking the 6 hr boil didn't help matters. That and switching on the element as soon as it was covered in super thick and sugary wort and then not stirring it at all. Could kick myself. Been brewing 11 yrs and made that schoolboy error.

Next time, I'm going to keep stirring the wort as it comes up to boil.
Would certainly help.

I've found with the normal 2.4kw kettle elements that you get a bit of protein/break material on the element at the end of the boil, and sometimes that has the odd darker spot on it. I can imagine that the longer you boil the more that layer thickens up and the greater chance of burning.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by floydmeddler » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:18 pm

I could hook it up to a PID and dial it down a bit perhaps?

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by IPA » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:37 am

floydmeddler wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:22 am
IPA wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:36 am
Did you use any sugar ? If so did you dissolve before adding it to the boil ? Were the hops whole or pellets and were they contained in either a hop sock or spider ?
Hi IPA. Yep - used sugar and treacle. Di solved and stirred in after 'flameout'.

Hops were pellet and were loose as always.
LP

Reading your revelation about starting the boil before the copper was full seems to be the answer. Why I asked about hops was because a few years ago I found that if whole hops were not contained in a sock or spider the element had virtually no discolouration after the boil
Don't know why but it works every time. Perhaps it's just another wonderful property of the hop.
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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by j444fog » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:21 pm

Try whacking some plum flavouring, or vanilla flavouring in after fermentation has finished, to see if you can disguise the taste, turn it into a plum Porter!

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Re: Scorched Element - Have you ever gotten away with it?

Post by floydmeddler » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:58 pm

IPA, It has been a sore lesson.
J444fog, nice idea, but i'd forever be searching the background for that taste. I would never enjoy it.

Ah well! I'll update when I brew it again. May even do my first pictured brew day post for the first time in absolutely years!

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