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Old 06-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
BierMuncher
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Default Preventing Boil Overs - It's Simple

One thing I know for certain about brewing a clean tasting, clear beer...

You must have a good, hard, rolling boil. It burns off DMS, it promotes better protein break and make most effective utilization of your hops.

I know it first hand in my beers, and the few micro-breweries I've visited have said the same thing. "If it ain't about to boil over...it ain't boiling hard enough."

Problem is...how to prevent boil overs during a hard 60-90 minute boil. I am not going to stand around squirting water into my kettle every 60 seconds. I can blow on the beer and that helps...but again... 2 or 3 minutes and I'm turning blue.

So last night I decide to let something else take over the job of blowing (pause here for expected BJ reference).

I give you.....the fan.


Simple box fan propped over the head of the keggle...pointed down slightly.
fan_1.jpg

Standing here I could almost smell the DMS being carried away.
fan_2.jpg

You can see how hard this is boiling...but the foam being broken up by the strong current.
fan_3.jpg

Of course I brew in a clean environment and do not have to worry about june bug getting sucked into the fan and dispersed in a thousand parts into my beer.

So if boil overs are a nightmare during your brew process...try becoming a fan of the fan.

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:03 PM   #2
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couple other options....

"Phantom Brewer" from the Maltose Falcons recommends glass marbles in the bottom of the kettle:

"That's right, glass marbles, the kind kids play with. Just put about 20 of them in the brew pot. Don't worry about the marbles breaking. There're made of tempered glass and their spherical shape gives them great strength. That's why kids can bang them together day after day and they don't break. Don't worry about the heat, either. A few hundred degrees Fahrenheit is nothing to a tempered glass marble.

Instead of getting big, explosive gas bubbles popping up and blowing beer out of the kettle, you'll see a bunch of smaller, finer bubbles evenly spread over the center of the boil. This steady stream of smaller bubbles will do just as good a job of breaking up the hop resin and oil bubbles in your wort -- without the sloppy mess."

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/phantombrewer.php#20050701

Fermcap is another...

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:03 PM   #3
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A few of my club members use those clip on fans like this

I've read that it can significantly increase your evaporation rate and reduce boil time also.

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:09 PM   #4
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You can use Fermcap in the boil, can't you? Red was mocking me for boiling over a 5-gallon batch in a keggle (at least until Jester nearly boiled over a 10-gallon batch in a 25-gallon pot). I've thought anout getting some of that and experimenting with it both in the boil and for fermentation.

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
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Thats an awesome idea BM but are you at all worried about increasing your boil off rate like Germey said??

I like the marble idea too

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:31 PM   #6
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Damn. Now I have to stop at the store on my way home this afternoon for marbles and a fan for tomorrows batch.

I brew outside so I'll have to watch for June bugs wasps and bees. On second thought they would just add more character to the brew.

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Old 06-20-2008, 04:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alamo_Beer View Post

I like the marble idea too
me too...but...smooth glass kinda defeats the point of giving a gas bubble a place to form. My LHBS has some distillers supplies and in them, they have what amounts to ceramic rocks. It has pretty sharp edges, works wonderfully and does the same thing as the marbles, just better. This is the same idea as the etched glass in the bottom of a beer glass, which makes me wonder what would happen if you were to take a center punch and very gently stipple (it's ok to google) the bottom of your brew kettle.
I'll try and let you know.
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:25 PM   #8
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Maybe it's just me, but I just turn the flame down...

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Old 06-20-2008, 05:52 PM   #9
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Probably a good reason not to polish the inside of the keggle huh. Maybe a sandblasted finish would be better. How about a handfull of stainless steel jacks (also a children's toy) I bet they don't make them.

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Old 06-20-2008, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Probably a good reason not to polish the inside of the keggle huh. Maybe a sandblasted finish would be better. How about a handfull of stainless steel jacks (also a children's toy) I bet they don't make them.
Sweet... there is how I will make my first million. Contract a company to produce SS jacks that I can not only sell to yuppies who want "only the best" for their children, but also the the homebrew community as "mechanical foam dispersion units".
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