Author Topic: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help  (Read 1532 times)

Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« on: May 23, 2015, 06:31:08 PM »
Hey guys recently have encountered a problem with my propane burner and my SS kettles. Tons of black carbon soot build up on the sides and bottoms. I moved to out door brewing a while back before that i was using the same kettles on a Natural Gas stove w/ no problem.

Any body know how to prevent this problem other than stop using propane...?

i've soaked and scrubbed like crazy and most of it came off but on the next brew it was back again!

Thanks for the help!
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Offline duboman

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 08:08:45 PM »
The stains will scrub off with barkeepers Friend, easily.

What you Need to do on burner is adjust the air intake so you get a nice blue flame and that will virtually eliminate the soot from occurring.
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 08:27:42 PM »
i see. so am i getting too much air or not enough air? I looks like the cover that controls the air flow might not be working properly. maybe just replace the gas line for it?
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Offline duboman

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2015, 09:33:40 PM »
Not sure what burner you have but not enough air, mine has a rotating wheel with slots to adjust, YMMV
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 12:08:41 AM »
I think it's not enough air that causes the excess carbon build up. On some of the cheaper burners--Banyo, etc.-- it seems that they are not geared to provide the heat levels that we need for brewing. With my SQ14 it burned blue and clean as long as I wasn't pushing it for too much heat. During the winter or when I was trying to boil 10-12 gallons, it was tough to mix the gas and air to get it hot enough. So, I went with enough heat but ended up with the sooty build up on the kettle.

I finally got tired of getting soot on my clothes, pot holders and counters and upgraded to a Blichmann burner. Now I get enough heat and enough air, and voila, no soot.
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 12:42:48 AM »
Did you change the jets from NG to Propane. The oriface will be smaller for propane. Your symptom is that your flame is rich (to much fuel for the amount of air) causing soot. If you can't give it more air, give it less fuel.
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 12:57:20 AM »
I think it's not enough air that causes the excess carbon build up. On some of the cheaper burners--Banyo, etc.-- it seems that they are not geared to provide the heat levels that we need for brewing. With my SQ14 it burned blue and clean as long as I wasn't pushing it for too much heat. During the winter or when I was trying to boil 10-12 gallons, it was tough to mix the gas and air to get it hot enough. So, I went with enough heat but ended up with the sooty build up on the kettle.

I finally got tired of getting soot on my clothes, pot holders and counters and upgraded to a Blichmann burner. Now I get enough heat and enough air, and voila, no soot.

this is all good info. i will say the burner is the "Dark Star" $50 so cheap end...

i think the air flow is not working at all...
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2015, 01:07:43 AM »
Did you change the jets from NG to Propane. The oriface will be smaller for propane. Your symptom is that your flame is rich (to much fuel for the amount of air) causing soot. If you can't give it more air, give it less fuel.

didn't change anything on the burner its stock dark star burner.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2015, 01:20:52 AM »
Did you change the jets from NG to Propane. The oriface will be smaller for propane. Your symptom is that your flame is rich (to much fuel for the amount of air) causing soot. If you can't give it more air, give it less fuel.

didn't change anything on the burner its stock dark star burner.
Re read, got it. Make sure burner jets are not obstructed. Open the air inlet all the way. Check for spider nests of other foreign stuff in the air passage.

Looked at the NB page, it has an adjustable regulator, so open the air inlet full, light it, adjust the regulator down a little so that the flame is blue.
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BJCP National
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Online tumarkin

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2015, 02:54:58 AM »
if your burner is adjusted properly, you shouldn't get excessive soot buildup. but if it's a problem, you can use an old camping trick. take a little liquid dish soap and rub it over the bottom of your kettle, (and up the sides if they get black buildup). the soot will wash right off. easy peasy.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline majorvices

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2015, 12:56:05 PM »
I have a large burner (like 120,000 BTUs) for a 1 bbl system that had the same problem. There is not a damper on the burner as the jets are designed to regulate the air intake. I got tons of black soot until I adjusted the height of the burner. Lowered it a few inches and the soot went away completely.

Offline jimmykx250

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2015, 05:29:43 PM »
I had a dark star that did the same thing. Contact customer service. Providing you are the original owner and can prove it with receipt they will ship a replacement burner. My new one works fine. It shipped free of charge by the way. Impressed me with customer service!!!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2015, 05:32:44 PM by jimmykx250 »
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Carbon Build up on SS Kettles - Help
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2015, 10:34:14 PM »
Update: I took the entire thing apart today and gave it a good scrape and clean it took all of 20 min. The whole head was pretty oxidized (outside storage is not the best idea) but i cleaned it up well and put it all back together and turned on the gas and it was burning "clean" basically invisible in the sunlight so i think i may have solved the issue for now.

thanks for the tip duboman as i picked up some Bar Keepers Friend but have yet to use it on the kettles...

Thanks for all the help the real test will be saturday when i brew again.
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