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Old 12-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default Boil-overs

I've done three extract brews to this point on the stove, so I'm still fairly new. I do partial boils for space reasons, but I've noticed that the only time I get close to boiling over is heating the wort to a boil after steeping the specialty grains and adding the malt extract. As soon as I add hop pellets, all the foam dies down and I never see the buildup come close to boiling over for the rest of the 60 min boil. Is it safe to assume that adding pellet hops will prevent a boil over?



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Old 12-27-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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No no safe at all. The pallets can have the completely opposite effect - it's a timing thing.

I've had hops MAKE a boil over!

Boil overs only last for 2 to 5 minutes, once it's done it'll never happen again . . unless you add more exact but normally not.



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Old 12-27-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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Yeah, I didn't think so. I don't usually put much credence in data collected over three trials, but I thought I would seek some tribal knowledge on the subject anyways. I'll stick to the remove from heat method when necessary. Thanks for the input.

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Old 12-27-2011, 07:22 PM   #4
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Only time I have been close to boiling over was when adding dme.

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Old 12-27-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbrew
Only time I have been close to boiling over was when adding dme.
Agreed, DME seemed to do the same for me. A bigger brew kettle would solve my problem. Hard to brew outside living in an apt.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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Ok, so the deal with boilovers is they happen when there's somethign on the surface that increases the surface tension.

As some have mentioned, you can get boilovers after adding hops, because the hops can form basically a film on the top of the boil which can lead to a boilover.

One thing that knocks down the foaming that leads to boilovers is breaking through the foam so you have a clear wort surface. This is why stirring helps. That's also probably what happened when you chunked your hops in there, you broke through enough of the foam.

Once you have a vigorous boil going, the agitation of the surface caused by the boiling is enough to prevent boil overs.

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Old 12-27-2011, 07:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discnjh
Ok, so the deal with boilovers is they happen when there's somethign on the surface that increases the surface tension.

As some have mentioned, you can get boilovers after adding hops, because the hops can form basically a film on the top of the boil which can lead to a boilover.

One thing that knocks down the foaming that leads to boilovers is breaking through the foam so you have a clear wort surface. This is why stirring helps. That's also probably what happened when you chunked your hops in there, you broke through enough of the foam.

Once you have a vigorous boil going, the agitation of the surface caused by the boiling is enough to prevent boil overs.
Thanks, that is exactly the type of explanation I was looking for. I appreciate all of your input, and happy beering to you all.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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I keep a spray bottle handy, if I start to get a boil over, I'll spray the surface to stop it. Works like champ.

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Old 12-27-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkaylor View Post
I keep a spray bottle handy, if I start to get a boil over, I'll spray the surface to stop it. Works like champ.
Yup, this works very well. I'm told (and it makes sense) that it works even better with cold water, but I always forget to refrigerate my spray bottle prior to brewing, so I can't say from experience..

EDIT: Lets be completely honest here and also add that I'm too lazy to just ice down some water and put it in the spray bottle.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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Great idea, putting that on the list of equip to buy.



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