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Old 08-22-2013, 04:59 AM   #1
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Default erlenmeyer flask boilover

I just can't seem to boil starter wort in an erlenmeyer without a boil over. Today I even tried boiling on a pot until the hot break dropped, then put it in the flask and returned it to a boil, only to have it boil over. Other than additives, does anyone have and suggestions? What do you do to make your starters?

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:25 AM   #2
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I ended buying a 4l flask for a 2 or 3l starter. Before that, I would gradually ramp the temp up (2l starter in a 2l flask) on the stove and boil at a the lowest temp possible. If I took it easy on the temperature I could get away with it. Like I said though I got tired of babying the 2l flask and just bought a larger one.

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Old 08-22-2013, 05:41 AM   #3
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I recently started using a couple drops of fermcap in order to boil in my 5L Erlenmeyer and I still need to watch it like a hawk.

What I used to do is boil the starter wort in a separate pot while also boiling some water in the assembled (flask, stirbar, foam stopper) Erlenmeyer rig to sanitize. Once done drain the flask and pour in the wort with a large sanitized funnel.

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Old 08-22-2013, 06:05 AM   #4
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I used to place a long skewer in the flask. It seems to give early nucleation sites, and the boil happens a bit early and no boil over. It seems to work, but its probably all in my mind. Fermcap S is fantastic but the op asked for no additives. Personally, I've gone to Fermcap S.

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Old 08-22-2013, 06:10 AM   #5
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Other than slowly increasing heat which will take forever, using a gas stove with more precise control or getting a bigger flask, no additive free suggestions. I use one drop of ferm cap in a 2L of starter and it works great but you still need to watch it. By the time I crash cool and pour off the wort and pitch the slurry it is less than a drop total in 10 gallons which is pretty minimal. I also think I read somewhere that some of it gets boiled off so I really don't think the one drop in a starter something to be concerned about.

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Old 08-22-2013, 06:35 AM   #6
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Spray bottle with water and a hawk eye on the flask will do the trick.

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Old 08-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWhitwell
I just can't seem to boil starter wort in an erlenmeyer without a boil over. Today I even tried boiling on a pot until the hot break dropped, then put it in the flask and returned it to a boil, only to have it boil over. Other than additives, does anyone have and suggestions? What do you do to make your starters?
I had the same problem. Now I boil in a separate pot for 10 minutes. Transfer to a sanitized flask and bing to a gentle boil. It takes little to no heat on the flask if pre boiled.

I mainly just want my flask as a flat bottomed vessel I can use extremely hot liquids in and quick cool down without it shattering. Then onto a stir plate.

Extra pot involved and a few more minutes but this works okay for me
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:32 AM   #8
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Fermcap works awesome. It's good too for when you throw your bar and then have to start spinning again mid ferment.

I don't boil the starter anymore though. I just get it close and call it good.

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Old 08-22-2013, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan View Post

I had the same problem. Now I boil in a separate pot for 10 minutes. Transfer to a sanitized flask and bing to a gentle boil. It takes little to no heat on the flask if pre boiled.

I mainly just want my flask as a flat bottomed vessel I can use extremely hot liquids in and quick cool down without it shattering. Then onto a stir plate.

Extra pot involved and a few more minutes but this works okay for me
Dan, this is what I was attempting, what I didn't do was preheat the flask. It seems to be the best solution without adding non-beer ingredients. I think next time I'll make my starter wort a little higher gravity, and while it's boiling I'll boil the rest of the water in the flask, turn off the heat, add the wort, then get it back up to a gentle boil.

I wonder, though, if returning it to a boil is really necessary. I'm thinking I could sterilize the flasks in the oven, allow to cool with the foil on top, and add the boiled wort to the flask.

I'm also wondering if anyone pressure cans starter wort? It sure would save the time of boiling and cooling separate starters.

Thanks for the help, all! I'm glad it wasn't just me having the problem!
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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I boil in a pot now and chill the wort in the covered pot. I then pour it into the sanitized flash and add the yeast, then start the stirplate. I don't boil at all in my flask anymore. It is so much easier in a pot.

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