Author Topic: Cheap kettle turned wort black?  (Read 734 times)

Offline Brewtweak

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Rocky Mount, VA
    • View Profile
Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« on: August 04, 2014, 07:18:45 PM »
Tonight I bought a cheap little 8qt stainless steel pot at walmart. I wanted a pot to do starters in. When I say cheap I mean, like $7 so very cheaply made I'm sure. It did say it was SS but surely a lesser grade. Anyway, I was making a 1 L starter with extra light DME. I used my typical 3.55 oz DME, 2 drops of fermcap S and a pinch of wyeast nutrient. I first washed the pot thoroughly then preboiled about a gallon of water in the pot and discarded this water. Then I added 1200ml of new RO water and mixed in my 3 components. After a 10 minute boil, my wort was cloudy and black/gray... like nothing I've ever seen before. I tossed it and redid the starter in a Teflon pot from the Kitchen and this did fine. Has anyone ever experienced this from a new cheap pot?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 07:20:25 PM by swlusk »
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2160
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 07:34:39 PM »
I did have an issue with 2 of the same Polar Ware 10 gallon pots. Upon the initial cleaning of both pots a TON of black/grey stuff came off of the pot. It took a while to get it all off and the company seemed surprised when I called about it.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7700
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 07:46:37 PM »
Did it say anything about the SS on the packaging? Or what is the brand? We have a SS Wallmart pot that was from the wife's parents kitchen when we closed out the house. It had been used, but was fine. Looking up the brand I found it was 304, which is good for what we do.

If it was new you could have been getting some manufacturing oils off.

Boiling to season should not be required for SS. I would give a new pot a wash with hot soapy water to remove any oils.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Brewtweak

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Rocky Mount, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 07:59:34 PM »
Did it say anything about the SS on the packaging? Or what is the brand? We have a SS Wallmart pot that was from the wife's parents kitchen when we closed out the house. It had been used, but was fine. Looking up the brand I found it was 304, which is good for what we do.

If it was new you could have been getting some manufacturing oils off.

Boiling to season should not be required for SS. I would give a new pot a wash with hot soapy water to remove any oils.
I think it's walmarts house brand. It's a "Mainstays". Doesn't really say the type of steel used and a search didn't yield much info. I did give it a good wash with a free & clear dish detergent, I may not have scrubbed enough. One difference between the first and second starter worts... I used 2 drops of fermcap S in the first but not in the second. I wonder if maybe my fermcap has gone south? Perhapsa 1-2 hour soak in PBW can clean up any residuals...
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Online Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5174
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 08:08:14 PM »
Green scrubby and some bar keepers friend is the first thing that touches a new pot for me. Doubt it was the fermcap. Pretty odd situation.

Online dmtaylor

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2192
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 03:58:24 AM »
Maybe the steel is too thin and you scorched your extract.  Otherwise this should not be happening obviously.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline Brewtweak

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Rocky Mount, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 06:16:42 AM »
Maybe the steel is too thin and you scorched your extract.  Otherwise this should not be happening obviously.
Didn't think about this. Quite possible, the pot is very thin. 
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2599
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 11:15:26 AM »
I've never seen wort so scorched that it turned grey. That sounds more like the finish was coming off or manufacturing oils. I would return the product as defective.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline mattybrass

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 164
  • Another round please!
    • View Profile
Re: Cheap kettle turned wort black?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 12:53:54 PM »
I got a small 2g kettle from midwest supplies on clearance for doing starters, its awesome.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/small-batch-stainless-steel-brew-kettle-1-7-gallon.html