1 Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2018 6:05 PM

Gday all you crown urn biabers,
Over my last few brews I’ve noticed that my rolling boil has turned more into a simmering roll.
It concerns me due wanting to boil off any unwanted substances that are required to boil off.

I was my kettle with citric acid every time I use it, although have noticed a slight build up over the concealed element.

I’ve heard of cut out of the kettles before and don’t think it’s right really cutting out as such, just concerned I’ve got a dud as I’ve only had it for 6 months or so.

I’m thinking I will give it a massive clean when I get home again and see how it goes in the next batch.



2 Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2018 8 PM

A clean oughta fix it. I only get full-blown cut-outs when using rye (rye is an arsehole), but if I'm a bit lazy cleaning it then yeah, I certainly notice more roll, less boil.

3 Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2018 8:01 PM

Try giving it a scrub with some stainless steel wool next time you clean it with the acid. It won't cause rust problems, I've been doing it for ages. It will bring it up nice and shiny though.

The reason it does that is because crap from the grains and probably the water as well (minerals etc.) builds up on the element cover, and tricks the urn into thinking it's boiled dry in the case of a total cut out. I have had a few boils cut out near the end every now and then, usually when I'm brewing lagers and do 90 minute boils. My 75 minute boils for ales don't have any problems. My solution was a stainless steel wire brush to scrub the element cover before the boil and also late in the boil if required, it works really well.

I do notice that at the beginning of the boil it's very vigorous, probably more than what would be considered a rolling boil, and then it calms down as the time goes on. I don't usually end up with a simmer though, unless it gets close to cutting out completely due to too much crap buildup.



4 Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2018 10:15 PM

Thanks lads you have just confirmed what I was thinking.
Starts off fine, and I walk away do some gardening or play some guitar and leave it be for 45 before chucking the whirlfloc in. When I come back in the next 10 mins I really notice the drop in vigor.

Funny you say rye, that was in the last one that I really noticed the drop. Benny’s big red rye was the culprit!!!! Damn your delicious beer Benny.

I’ll give her a clean, whack some steel wool over the main bits and pieces and whack another brew on. Then see what happens.

Not sure what to do next really, hoppy pale, dry Irish stout. Hmm never done a stout.

Anyway thanks lads, hopefully no issues after the big clean.


5 Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 9:05 AM

One idea is to go to kmart or target or BigW and buy yourself a $10, 10mm thick yoga mat, cut to size and wrap it around your urn, trimming to fit around your tap etc. The one I bought was nitrile rubber foam (stated on the label) in a nice shade of blue, my favourite colour. Nitrile rubber can withstand temps of up to 120c, which is slightly over spec for most yoga and pilates activities, including the Downward Facing Dog, and The Pregnant Cat. Mine has survived at least 65 boils and going strong.

This will mean your element will not have to work as hard to hold a boil if it has a thermostat. If it doesn’t work with a thermostat it will mean your boil will be more vigorous, which might show up with a higher boil off rate. May be handy for winter brewing if you brew in a cold garage etc.

But yeah the rye is notorious for the KRudd building up on the element. This is why I had to tip two batches from scorched wort. I don’t have the cutout as I built my own electric kettle. So that ‘s why for the mash I converted to a small HERMS system. Part of the reasoning was I wanted to run step mashing for most brews, to break down glucans (43c rest) for better flow through the grain without needing to use rice hulls all the time and a 55-56c rest (protein rest) to reduce chill haze while still running no chilling.

KRudd usually builds up on the element when there are still starches in the wort. They burn on the element at fairly low temps. Once converted to sugars, this is much less likely. One way to avoid this is to make sure you calculate the proper strike temp to land at your target mash temp, to avoid having to add heat once you have mashed in, for at least about 15 minutes anyway, as after that time the bulk of starch conversion will have taken place.

6 Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 11:17 AM


Nitrile rubber can withstand temps of up to 120c, which is slightly over spec for most yoga and pilates activities …

And yeah, KRudd is the worst.

7 Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 12:59 PM

Fair call there headmaster. I have the yoga Matt but have been using that with the big w doona to keep the heat in during mash.
Think I’ll place that on semi permanent after the thorough cleaning.

KRudd is the worst for building up starches when riding his pushy for hours on end.

8 Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 2:05 PM

It might not have to work as hard with a mat around it but I reckon that shit will still build up on it. Worth a try though.

9 Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 5:10 PM

It’s basically given me a kick in the butt to make sure I actually get it done though, so that can’t be a bad thing.
So I’m guessing just gaffa tape it on? Gaffa tape is good for everything……. taping leads down, taping timber to the roof rack, taping troublesome kids to the kitchen chairs.

10 Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 7:55 PM

You betcha, gaffa tape works fine taping across the the seam.

Remember also to also avoid adding heat until 10 to 15 mins into the mash.

11 Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 9:25 PM

Yep I won’t forget that. I haven’t been adding heat to my mash yet as I don’t think
I’ve needed to. I only loose a couple of degrees over the hour and have been getting close enough to my numbers.
My beersmith predictions are pretty spot on. Apart from a couple of times due to fermentation issues.

Down the track I’ll try step mashing but for now, I’ll learn my grains and hops.


12 Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 11:55 AM

Yeah I don't add heat to the mash until about 70 minutes in when I ramp it to 72C, then again to 78C for the mash out. Exceptions are lagers but I still wait 40 minutes before the first temp rise. You're always gonna get shit build up on the element no matter what you do, but in most instances it doesn't build up enough to cut the urn out or cause scorching of the sugars.

13 Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 2:35 PM

I used to have the same problem with mine , but I purchased a stainless steel bbq brush thing from Bunnings. It has a 35-40 cm long handle , just long enough to reach the bottom of the urn when it's nearly full , and I clean the element cover with it just after I pull the bag and again once or twice during the boil. No more cut outs or wimpy boils anymore. Consistent boil off rate of 4 litres per hour with it.

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14 Posted: Monday, April 09, 2018 7:41 PM

Did a 95 minute boil in mine over the weekend, no cut out although I did give the element an extra scrub after about 70 minutes to keep it going nicely. It wasn't really looking like it was gonna cut out but I did it just in case.

15 Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 11:55 AM

So when you guys say you have to scrub the element, is it just a light brush or do you really have to roll up your sleeves and get in there?

16 Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 2:01 PM

I just give mine a scrub with the long handled brush about 20 seconds one way then the same in the other direction 90 degrees. When it comes to the proper clean after the brew is finished, boiling citric acid + water removes most of the crap then a quick scrub with stainless steel wool removes the rest, so you don't have to put much effort in. Do yourself a favor and get some citric acid, the other benefit of it is that it doesn't have to be thoroughly rinsed like some cleaners require.

17 Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2018 3:56 PM

Watching the boil today, mine really needs a bit of a clean too. How do you use the citric acid? Just a bit of it in warm water or something?

18 Posted: Monday, April 16, 2018 5:58 AM

Mix it with water in the urn and boil it for a few minutes. Then let it cool enough to touch it and give it a scrub with stainless wool. Rinse the crap out, done.

I usually then boil some plain water in there and run it through the ball valve to remove any crap/leftover wort in it too.

19 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:27 PM

Hey dudes

I assume the build up occurs during the BIAB process? I've been using my Crownies for ages now and have never has an issue maintaining a rolling boil for 60 minutes, even in the Garage at close to 0 degrees in the middle of the Tassie winter. I never have to clean during the boil and always clean up using a scourer metal or synthetic.

I only start off with about 26 liters of wort.

Cheers & Beers
Valley Brew

20 Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 7:24 PM

Yeah I think my build up has built up over a few brews as I probably haven’t been cleaning it spotless, then the stone has something to attach it self too easier.
I’ve got myself some staino scrubbing balls so I’ll give the element a massive clean when home.

Looking forward to the next brew day. Maybe a double.

By the way Scottie, plural on crown urn……….. love it.