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Old 02-01-2010, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Question on Boiling Foam

Did my first full wort boil on the last batch, and during clean up, I noticed there was a huge amount of hop bits stuk to the top of the boil pot, where the foam stuck to the sides. Would this cause the hops to be less useful, or are the hops pretty much used up soon after they are introduced into the boil. Should this foam be scraped down from the sides during the boil?

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Old 02-01-2010, 04:23 PM   #2
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I do scrape the sides clean if it accumulates on the side like that.

I would imagine if you had a measurable amount stuck to the sides and it was not in the boil then yes you would lose some bitterness.

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Old 02-01-2010, 05:27 PM   #3
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I always knock the hops down too. i can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want all that hoppy goodness in the beer...

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Old 02-01-2010, 07:04 PM   #4
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I had that trouble all the time, before I started using whole hops in hops bags. Now there's no leaf reside trapped on the side of the kettle, and it's a snap to pull out the bags, squeeze them with tongs, and toss.

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Old 02-01-2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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I'm looking to build a SS basket that will do the same thing, but hopefully be re-useable and easy to clean and easy to manage. I've thought about the bag, but have heard stories of the bag getting burned, or not getting good hop utilization. Since I have a huge piece of fine SS mesh, I thought I'd see what I could do. Shaping it was not as easy as I hoped though. SS can be STIFF!

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Old 02-01-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
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My bags tend to float up and down in the top half of my wort. I've never had one burn. After flameout, I tend to grasp each bag by my knot (I use the disposable muslin bags that cost, like, fifty cents each) with a pair of kitchen tongs, pull it up to drain, and then smush the bag gently against the side of the kettle with a grill spatula to reclaim some of that wort.

I think I might up my hop utilization if I allow the hops to float free, but I'm not that worried. The beer tastes good.

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Old 02-01-2010, 08:43 PM   #7
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I don't start my hop additions until after the hot break. This helps reduce the hop residue on the kettle and also the foaming in the kettle prior to the hot break. The foam is due primarily to entrained air in the grain proteins. Hops also contain proteins and contribute to the foam. If you wait until after the proteins have settled out during the hot break, the addition of the hop proteins won't create any additional foam.

To use this method remember to increase your wort volume by approximately 1/4 -1/2 gallon to compensate for the longer boil.

Also, if the protein foam gets to be too big of an issue; keep a few pennies handy. The copper in the pennies will coagulate the proteins and drop them out and help control your foam.

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Old 02-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
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I just saw this in another thread:

Let's talk about Foam Control drops (aka Fermcap)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikH View Post
I used it for the first time this weekend on a 13 gal boil (in a keggle). It worked as I expected it to to prevent a boilover, but a great side-effect was that i didn't have to keep scraping the hops off the side of the kettle back into the wort! I'm convinced. I'll be using it on all of my batches.
I used Fermcap-S with great results. This may be one solution to your hop issue.
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