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Old 11-09-2010, 01:36 AM   #1
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Default Help on avoiding boil overs with 7.5 gallon kettle

Hi guys,

Going to start my first AG batch soon with my 7.5 gallon kettle. This is going to be calling it very close and I want to avoid boil overs. Any tips?


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Old 11-09-2010, 01:45 AM   #2
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Until the hot break is over, stay close by with a stir spoon. If it starts foaming up too much, lower the gas for a second and whirlpool the wort. As soon as it goes down, you can kick the gas back up. It will only do that a few times before the hot break is done with. Just keep an eye out when you do later hop additions. I've seen it foam up then as well.

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Old 11-09-2010, 01:51 AM   #3
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Fermcap-Google it or search it here.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ErieShores View Post
Fermcap-Google it.
Yep. I'm a new Fermcap user, and now I'm kicking myself for not using it years ago! I used to brew on the stove top- 6.25 gallons in a 30 quart pot. I had a boilover or two, but it worked ok. And just recently (three batches) I've been using Fermcap. It's great! If you use the Fermcap, you don't get much foam at all, and even a hard boil stays under control. No worries about a boil over, and you can start with 6.5 gallons or so.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:21 PM   #5
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The foam control works great. Before I discovered it I used a small clip on fan to blow air across the top of the kettle, and I kept a spray bottle of ice water at the ready.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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I've been using fermcap for years. You can have a rolling boil going one inch from the lip of the kettle, and take a nap or surf HBT between hop additions and have no worry. I've done both.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:36 PM   #7
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People's definition of "vigorous boil" is also different. You don't have to overdo it. Make sure its rolling, but don't try to make the wort jump out of the pot.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:02 PM   #8
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I've done a few things to help avoid boilovers. Generally, the foam will increase and peak as you add hops at the 60 minute mark. This is really the most imminent threat of a boilover at this point. I always feather the flame down almost to idle and stir , trying to knock down the foam. I've also fanned it and sprayed a water mister at it, with varying success. Once it breaks, you can gently turn the flame back up a little and usually just go through the rest of it without too much hassle.

A general rule is that if you're adding hops, they'll cause a bit of foam to be generated, even later in the boil. A friend and I were brewing an extract batch at his house, and even though we were 5 minutes away from the end of the boil, I haphazardly threw in the 1oz hop addition without adjusting the burner. A major boilover occurred and he lost almost 1/2G of wort.

My general rule is to always feather the flame and keep it high enough to just barely maintain a good boil, and always turn it down when adding things until you can bring it back under control.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:08 PM   #9
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I am getting a new 7.5 gallon kettle on Thursday. Until now, I boiled 5+ gallons in a 5.5 gallon pot for my all grain batches and rarely had problems with boilovers. It's a matter of watching the heat input and using Fermcap or another foam control agent.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:02 PM   #10
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My advice is to just hold about 2 gallons back in a separate vessel and slowly add it as you boil off some volume. You could also boil that in a separate pot.

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