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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Boiling in a flask?
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default Boiling in a flask?

Every starter I've made I've boiled in the flask. I have an electric coil stovetop and everything I've read said this is a no-no. Sooner or later, the flask will break. I haven't had any problems yet, but I'd like to avoid any possibility of spilling a liter of hot sticky wort all over my stovetop (and floor, and cabinets...)

So how do other people do this? I really like the convenience and simplicity of boiling right in the flask, plus it makes it easier to chill. I thought about getting a small gas burner, but what about a fuel source? Ventilation issues? What about an electric hotplate? Will it boil 2 liters of water without taking forever?

Thanks!

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Old 06-25-2013, 03:30 PM   #2
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I have always heard that the direct contact with coils are a no-no as well, I would think a hot plate would be the same. Perhaps a small camping/packing stove running off white fuel or propane would work, just do it outside. Or you could boil the water in a stainless pan and then transfer it to a sanitized flask.

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
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They make chemistry hot plates and flasks for heating. If you have a Pyrex (or similar) flask a hot plate should be fine. If you really want to splurge, get a hot/stirplate combo

Personally, not owning one, I boil in a small pot and pour into the flask

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesIPA View Post
Every starter I've made I've boiled in the flask. I have an electric coil stovetop and everything I've read said this is a no-no. Sooner or later, the flask will break....
The very first time I tried to boil a starter flask directly on an electric coil stovetop, it cracked the glass. There was no glass-shard explosions and no huge boiling mess, but it pretty much rendered the flask useless after that. I had seen people boiling starter flasks on gas ranges, and wasn't aware that electric coils were different.

Now I've reverted back to my original method of boiling my starters in a small saucepan, chilling, and then funneling it into the flask.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:43 PM   #5
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Now I've reverted back to my original method of boiling my starters in a small saucepan, chilling, and then funneling it into the flask.
That! But sometimes I simply take my stuff to work and autoclave it
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:44 PM   #6
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I would buy a small camping/backpacking propane stove. You could still use it on your kitchen counter and it would work with your flask.

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Old 06-25-2013, 04:52 PM   #7
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I tried this method my first few times too and got worried like you did. I now use a pot to make the starter wort and a funnel to pour it into the flask for cooling and to sit on the stir plate. works fine, sanitation has never been an issue. I spray the crap out of the flask and funnel with Star San. Easier to control the foam when dropping the DME into the water in a pot than in the flask.

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Old 06-25-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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those electric coils would heat the class unevenly and cause it to crack. i boil in my flask all the time but it's a gas stove.

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Old 06-25-2013, 06:38 PM   #9
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I do a double boil. Put the flask in a pot with boiling water. I don't know if this is a bad way to do it, but it works.

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Old 06-25-2013, 09:36 PM   #10
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I just noticed mine has a crack recently too. I emailed AHS to ask, and they advocated against any sort of direct heating. Basically using it just as a fermenter rather than a fermenter/pot combo like I had been.

I had a homebrewing friend recommend using a comal (thick piece of metal tortillas are made on) to distribute the heat. Or a double boiler, but if the flask sits on the bottom of the pot it's pointless.

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