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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Huge stove boil over
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:23 PM   #1
Benny Blanco
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Default Huge stove boil over

So, I made a pumpkin ale last night and man....what a disaster.

Everything went well up to when I added the hops. Now, I do know that adding hops can cause the wort to foam like crazy and I had very small boil overs before but this was ridiculous. The thing would not stop boiling over!! I literally had to stand there for the full hour and keep taking it off the burner and stir it. On and off, on and off. This completely messed up my schedule because I had to watch the pot like a hawk so I couldn't prepare my late additions or yeast or sanitize everything.

Now here is my questions: I did lose quite a bit of wort from boiling over the pot. Will this deprive my final 5 gallons of precious wort? (It wasn't a full boil so I added at the end to 5 1/4 gallons in the primary)

Seeing as how I didn't keep a consistent rolling boil due to the boil overs, will my beer suffer because of this? Were my hops utilized properly?

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Old 11-05-2007, 05:42 PM   #2
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Keep a pray bottle of sterile (boiled and cooled water) in a spray bottle handy and when it starts to boil over start pumping away. I used this method with my last brew. I did a 4 gallon boil in a 6 gallon pot and between the late DME additions and additions of hops it was very close to boiling over a few times, Sprayed with the sprayer and it would knock down the foam.

What was your volume boiled? Was it and extract recipe? If you were doing an extract and already boiling a smaller then 5 gallon boil you should be okay with what you lost.

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Old 11-05-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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It was a 2.5 gallon boil extract w/grains. Yeah, my stove looked caramelized when I was done.

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:05 PM   #4
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What size pot were you using? You can find a decent 5-6 gallon (20-24qt) stock pot pretty cheap. This will let your do 3 gallon extract boils with almost no worry of boilover and 4 gallon ones with little worry.

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:06 PM   #5
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Pictures! I love to see a good mess. It makes me feel better about my brewing skill.

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:11 PM   #6
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It was a 16qt pot. I just got this one a few months ago and it was pretty pricey. It's a high quality one. Would buying a low quality pot matter?

And persinger, sorry, no pics. I cleaned it up already. And I don't think that a bad brewing night with crazy boil overs means I have no brewing skill thank you very much...

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:16 PM   #7
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Hey Benny,

Did you use your lid, or was that removed? Are you using 2 burners or 1 on your stove? Did you turn off the heat when adding your malt extract?

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:28 PM   #8
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Yeah, I used the lid off and on but didn't cover it completely. I did take it off the heat when I added the extract. I'm not sure what you mean about using 2 burners...that would take a pretty big pot, no?

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:33 PM   #9
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You can get a 9 gal. Stainless Steel pot on ebay that includes a ball valve spigot, thermometer and lid for $99 last time I looked. It's pretty thin but you can always put a metal plate under it if you were to have a problem with scorching. Although I don't think you'd need to,

Boil overs happen, That's the reason I brew outdoors.

Trying to boil 2.5 gal. in a 4 gal. pot is gonna be risky. It's not so much the ratio of boiled liquid to pot volume but also the amount of head room. 1.5 gal. of head room is not much.

Also leaving the lid on even partially is a sure fired way to get a boil over.

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Old 11-05-2007, 06:35 PM   #10
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When I used to brew on my stove, I had to use 2 burners just to get enough heat to get a boil. My pot wasn't really big enough for it, but I just cranked them both, just depends on the stove.

After I hit the boil, I usually leave my lid off and use the spray bottle technique. I would just adjust your temps, stir every now and then and watch it. I usually get all my hops ready and in their own little bowls and put them near my kettle (usually while I'm steeping my grains). After you hit a boil, pull up a chair get a view of the TV and some beers, grab your spray bottle and kind of keep an eye on it. You should watch it while your boiling. Those boil overs can happen quick (I've had my share of them).

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