Author Topic: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...  (Read 2970 times)

Offline ccfoo242

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After purchasing a cheaper stainless boil kettle I worried that my crappy burner didn't disperse the heat well enough and would scorch my wort. So after lots of searching I found a post on another site that mentioned using a specific type of aluminum plate from Mcmaster-Carr, and it would do a good job of spreading the heat under the pot.

Well, I did that, and here's the result:


 :o :o :o

This happened yesterday. I heard my burner start making a racket and looked down to see molten aluminum dropping from it. I cut the gas, cursed (not necessarily in that order), then waited for the metal to cool. I was able to clean most of it out of the burner, but I have a few jets that are clogged now.

I think I'll hang the plate up in my garage as a reminder...

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 07:46:45 AM »
Wow, just wow!

Paul
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 07:48:33 AM »
I need to take a picture of the bottom...its kind of surreal to see aluminum in the shape of an icicle.


Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline bo

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 07:50:20 AM »
The only thing a plate under your kettle is going to do is slow things down.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 08:07:41 AM »
Wow.  What type of burner do you have?

Flam tamers/spreaders were talked about at the NHC a few years back by Ray Daniels.  Never had a reason to use one. What type of kettle do you have?

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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 08:13:44 AM »
Wow.  What type of burner do you have?

Flam tamers/spreaders were talked about at the NHC a few years back by Ray Daniels.  Never had a reason to use one. What type of kettle do you have?

Burner looks like this one:

Kettle is a Polarware "economy" 42 qt.

I'm fine without anything to spread the heat...this is what I get for reading too much before actually trying something out.

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline beersk

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 08:29:03 AM »
Wow, that is insane.  The person who recommended that must not have ever actually tried it, huh?
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Offline ccfoo242

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 08:30:33 AM »
I've tried to find the original post so I can tack on my result, but so far I can't.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 08:32:56 AM »
The burner I have is simmilar as to the actual burner, but a different stand.  I use a converted keg, and really don't have issues, but I don't go full bore either. Don't know of I would melt AL with the flame sttings I use.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline gymrat

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 08:59:28 AM »
I think the problem with the aluminum plate thing is there is no liquid on the other side to buffer the heat intensity. It would be just like throwing heat to your kettle if it was empty. BTW that is the burner I have been using for 2 years. And I really crank it up to boil 6.5 gallons of wort.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 09:11:47 AM »
I've never had any scorching of wort with my cheap propane turkey fryer.  Has anyone had scorching problems with some combination of burner and kettle?  I used to be worried about it but have decided its a non-issue.

That said, I did scorch some wheat I was trying to gelatinize, but it was being done on an induction hotplate and the wheat was thick as oatmeal.

Also, I've used  steel? hardware cloth square (actually its a rectangle doubled over) under a kettle that was larger than the diameter of the turkey fryer pot, and it hasn't melted.  I suppose it might serve to deflect the flame a little.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 09:13:49 AM by tomsawyer »
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Offline euge

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2012, 09:11:55 AM »
You should have used a copper plate not aluminum. 8)

Don't worry overmuch about scorching your wort. SS is comparatively poor at conduction but still does really well in the scheme of things. It is also a very poor insulator if that tells you anything.

Best thing to do is dial it back a bit (or a lot) once you've reached a boil.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline nateo

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2012, 10:11:43 AM »
I use a bayou classic aluminum pot for my boils. I (GASP!) read the instructions for my KAB-4, and it does specifically say to not light the burner while the pot is empty, because it would melt holes in it. I've never had scorching issues, fwiw.
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Offline gilby

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2012, 12:33:46 PM »
Dont feel bad I did the same thing a few years back.  I wan't to say I got the idea from Radical Brewing but I am not sure about that.  I was trying to diffuse the heat from my burner when doing decoctions because I had scorched them a few times in the past.  I switch to a steel plate and all is fine now.

Kerry
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Offline richardt

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Re: The trouble with advice from random people on the Internet...
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2012, 02:11:29 PM »
Most triclad SS kettles have a 4 mm aluminum disc sandwiched (outside and inside) by stainless steel.  Since aluminum transfers heat quickly, it spreads the heat more evenly throughout the entire bottom of the kettle compared to stainless steel alone.  Having said that, I've not noticed people having a lot of trouble with either type of kettle.  Ideally, you would have fluid (water, liquor, or wort) in the kettle before igniting the burner. 

I've got the same Bayou Classic SP10.  It strips black paint off the stand within seconds.  Rated at 185,000 BTU's (max).  Works great on my 20 gallon SS triclad kettle.