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waxwader 01-06-2013 11:31 PM

Boil question
I brewed my first English Brown Ale a few days ago. During the 60 minute boil I noticed that a large layer of foam developed. Which I have read is completely normal, but it left a lot of sediment looking material on the sides of the inside of my pot. I did not stir this material back in I simply left it on the walls of the pot and racked the wort away from it. What was this and should I have mixed it back into the wort as the foam subsided?

jwalk4 01-07-2013 12:34 AM

I'm no boil expert, so I can't tell you everything that is going on during the boil, but I believe you are talking about the hot break material. Hot break material is basically protein strands that have clumped and coagulated together during the boil (aka not necessary to have in your boil kettle but something you probably want out of your primary fermenter).

In my experience, I also get some hop material (I use pellets) stuck to the sides of my kettle which I will stir back in. But, once again, its not something I want in my fermenter.

So, its really up to you. If you want to keep that stuff in the boil, then scoop it in; if not, leave it out. I'm sure the effect on your beer will be negligible either way.

jwalk4 01-07-2013 12:36 AM

Oh, and also if you want to keep the hot and cold break material out of your fermenter (which you probably do), then whirlpool your wort as you chill, stir it in one direction gently so as not to oxidize your beer, and the crap you want left behind should gather in the center of your boil pot.

waxwader 01-07-2013 12:51 AM

Thanks for the input. I'll need plenty as I move forward with this hobby. I definitely made an effort to keep it out of my primary. Hopefully it was hot break and was something I didn't need in the wort during the boil.

jwalk4 01-07-2013 12:54 AM

I'm sure you'll be fine. Feel free to look around the site, or Google even, for different opinions about hot and cold break materials.

Was it an extract, partial or all grain batch? Not that it matters greatly, I'm just curious.

waxwader 01-07-2013 12:57 AM

It was a partial batch.

kh54s10 01-07-2013 01:01 AM

The foaming at the start of the boil it totally normal and unavoidable. You do not need to be concerned with that.

You can transfer everything from the boil kettle to your fermenter. It will settle with time. I prefer not to loose the beer that is in the trub so I use a paint strainer bag to contain the hop residue. I then pour all but the thickest sludge from the boil kettle into the fermenter.

If there is a lot of sludge in the kettle, which is not often, I will strain some of it to get as much wort as possible.

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