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Old 07-11-2011, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default What's a hot break?

When referring to the boil..what is a hot break?

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Old 07-11-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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When referring to the boil..what is a hot break?
Protein clumps.

It's when the boil is going along just fine then suddenly all hell breaks loose and foam spills over the top.

The foam is caused by proteins in the wort that coagulate due to the rolling action of the boil
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Regardless of what type of brewing you do (extract vs. All Grain) it is what occurs when you have finished collecting the extract (either from laturering in all grain or adding LME of DME) and the brewer is approaching and begining the boil. Simply, it is when the wort begins to foam like crazy and homebrewers usually scramble to grab the oven mits and move the pot off of the heat to avoid a boil over.

Don't quote me on this but I believe it has something to do with proteins coagulating in the wort and producing the foam.

To combat this, you can use a product like FermCap-S or I usually toss a few hops in to get the oils in the hops into the wort. Sometimes I will add a drop of Olive Oil or Vegitable Oil to help break up or prevent the foaming

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Old 07-11-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
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Hot break is the foam that forms and rises right before the wort boils. Once it is boiling it will look like clumps.

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Old 07-11-2011, 04:14 PM   #5
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I watched some home brewing videos (Brew's How To's) and found that when they hit hot break and the foam began to appear they used a sieve to skim it away. I have used this in my last few batches and found it help prevent a boil over, though I am not sure if this is consider good practice.

Can anyone give their 2 cents?

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Old 07-11-2011, 04:41 PM   #6
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I watched some home brewing videos (Brew's How To's) and found that when they hit hot break and the foam began to appear they used a sieve to skim it away. I have used this in my last few batches and found it help prevent a boil over, though I am not sure if this is consider good practice.

Can anyone give their 2 cents?
1 spray bottle of Star San and 2-4 squirts on a mist setting and the break goes right down into the boil...
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:54 PM   #7
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1 spray bottle of Star San and 2-4 squirts on a mist setting and the break goes right down into the boil...
Or even just good old fashioned H2O.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:06 PM   #8
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I have done something similar in the past as well, keeping a tray of ice cubes available during the first 30 minutes of the boil.

If I remember correctly the guy in the video said that it was better to remove the 'protien scum' from the wort. I am just curious if this is actually the better for the beer, so if its better to leave this coagulated protiens in the wort.

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:19 PM   #9
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If you don't scoop it off, it still shouldn't end up in the finished product if the break was good.

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Old 07-11-2011, 06:24 PM   #10
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Or even just good old fashioned H2O.
Yea, just use water. A few sprays and the foam subsides considerably. If it comes back up, hit it again.

Also, the protein clumps will eventually settle in the fermenter to form trub (along with a variety of other things) so there's no need to remove them. With a good cold break and/or finings, proper bottling transfer, and a solid conditioning process it won't effect the beer at all.
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