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Old 11-19-2005, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default Hot breaks and hop management

I use a 7.5 gallon kettle for brewing extract + specialty grain + hop recipes. So far, so good. However, what tends to happen is that the foam that builds before the hot break keeps going for quite a time (10-20 minutes) before the hot break. In that time, the hops bubble up with the foam and coat the sides of the kettle above the wort.

I have avoided the boil over so far by managing the flame, but I wonder whether I am cheating my beer of character when what seems like a fair amount of hops is out of the wort. I scrape it back down into the wort as best I can.

Is there a better way? What do you all do to keep the hops where they belong? I am guessing hop bags would help, but are there other ways?

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Old 11-19-2005, 07:19 AM   #2
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What I do (taken from the Palmer book) is add my hops after the extract goes through the hot break. I add the extract, boil it for a bit, 10-20 minutes, however long it takes, then add the hops and start my timer. Seems to work well for me.

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Old 11-19-2005, 01:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catfish
What I do (taken from the Palmer book) is add my hops after the extract goes through the hot break. I add the extract, boil it for a bit, 10-20 minutes, however long it takes, then add the hops and start my timer. Seems to work well for me.
Catfish: That would work well the the hops to boil for the entire hour, but doesn't that make your beer darker by boiling an extra 20 mins?

I scrape mine back down into the wort the every time any hops stick to the sides.
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
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that's what i do too. i do 90 minute boils and start my hop additions after the first 15 minutes. and yes, HB 99, it does make the beer darker, but also enhances the maltiness of the beer. for an extract brewer that can't lose that much volume, a 75 min boil would work, and it will make it a little darker, but i don't think it would make that much a differnce on the SRM scale? plus, i just use my big stainless spoon and swirl wort around to get the hop gunk off the sides of the kettle if they boil up when added (which they normaly do).

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Old 11-19-2005, 03:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeRoux's Broux
that's what i do too. i do 90 minute boils and start my hop additions after the first 15 minutes. and yes, HB 99, it does make the beer darker, but also enhances the maltiness of the beer. for an extract brewer that can't lose that much volume, a 75 min boil would work, and it will make it a little darker, but i don't think it would make that much a differnce on the SRM scale? plus, i just use my big stainless spoon and swirl wort around to get the hop gunk off the sides of the kettle if they boil up when added (which they normaly do).
DRR: Thanks, but it was a rhetorical question.

This is one of the reasons why I always recommend using as much extra light/light malt as you can in the boil before use of the darker malts to bring the brew into style.

Boiling the lightest malt possible does not impart too much carmelization coloring to the brew as if you started off with amber or canned malt for instance.

All in the learning process.
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:06 PM   #6
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I also wait for the hot break before adding the hops. I've found putting the hops in earlier causes too much foaming. I keep the wort to a roiling boil, but not a vigorius boil, where the foam layer is about 1/2 inch thick.

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Old 11-19-2005, 05:38 PM   #7
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I also wait for the hot break before adding the hops. I've found putting the hops in earlier causes too much foaming. I keep the wort to a roiling boil, but not a vigorius boil, where the foam layer is about 1/2 inch thick.
That's a good idea for all-grainers.

I use DME and some grain. I try my best to keep the color as low as I can get it that's why I use a lot of Extralight DME as my base.

I've tried late-brewing (boiling only 1-2 lbs of DME for the full 60 mins and adding the remaining DME after 45 mins) with some success.
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:46 PM   #8
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As for the hop problem , I use whole hops which won't ride up as easy on the foam as the dusty pellets. Just a suggestion...

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Old 11-19-2005, 05:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
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As for the hop problem , I use whole hops which won't ride up as easy on the foam as the dusty pellets. Just a suggestion...
You are correct. There are a lot less hops to scrape back down.
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Old 11-19-2005, 06:56 PM   #10
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Thor, check out freshops.com. You can order whole hops by the oz and it's a good outfit. If you brew alot check out hopsdirect.com they sell whole hops by the pound. Whole hops will solve your boil break /hop delimma.

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