Brittleness in Argentium castings

Hi Orchid, A while back I was having some problems with brittleness
in my Argentium castings. I solved the problem by using mostly new
metal and venting my kiln better for a cleaner burnout. So anyway I
was going through my scraps yesterday and I found some old sprues
from around that time. I decided to check them for brittleness by
putting them into a vise and bending them with a pair of heavy
pliers. Every one of them broke inhalf easily and some of them have
a brownish color inside. Could this be caused by inadequate burnout
or too much old metal? What are the other factors that could cause
this? Thanks for your help. Douglas