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View Poll Results: Boiling Advice
A simmer is good enough. 0 0%
A gentle boil is perfectly OK. 30 21.43%
You need a rolling (or roiling) boil to form hot break. 101 72.14%
The hot splatter should scorch the skin off your legs. 9 6.43%
Voters: 140. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-16-2008, 09:25 PM   #1
AnOldUR's Avatar
Mar 2007
, New Jersey
Posts: 6,888
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Help settle a discussion from another thread. What do you prefer?

Some background information:
Roiling means "To be in a state of turbulence or agitation." (Yeah, I had to look it up )

The Beer Life of Brian: Importance of a Full Wort Boil

Reason: a-d-v-i-c-e . . . . i feel so stuped

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Old 12-16-2008, 10:01 PM   #2
Jan 2008
Aurora, CO
Posts: 1,337
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I think it was EdWort's thread that i remember reading a few months back. He mentioned how he does super hard boils.. basically maxing the burner out and just letting er rip. He said that with this he's gotten his clearest beers.

He wasnt the only person to mention this either.

In the past, i've used Irish Moss and done a rolling boil.. one where the wort has a good boil and everything is turning nicely. Since reading the thread, i've kept using Irish Moss but i've cranked my burner up and just let er rip. I now have the clearest beer i've ever made.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:42 PM   #3
...My Junk is Ugly...
BierMuncher's Avatar
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
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The harder the breaks, hot and cold...the clearer your beer.

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Old 12-16-2008, 10:58 PM   #4
The Pol
Feb 2007
Posts: 11,454
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Boil hard, boil often... or go home!

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Old 12-16-2008, 11:01 PM   #5
olllllo's Avatar
Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 13,330
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I think something was simmering before this thread got to a boil.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:14 PM   #6

Originally Posted by BierMuncher View Post
The harder the breaks, hot and cold...the clearer your beer.
Yes indeedy!

I understand AnOLDuR's logic. For those unversed in brewing terminology, 'gentle boil' sends a mixed message It can be difficult to bring 3-4 gallons of wort up to a boil. That's a lot of thermal mass. It has already been demonstrated that the harder the boil, the better the hot break. To risk sounding overly simplistic, neophyte brewers rush and digest inaccurate information as gospel. They are excited to brew their first batch, and suffer from 'well, if a little bit helps, then obviously more is better'. They cut corners and try to pack the maximum amount of wort into the largest pot they have. If that pot doesn't have adequate headspace, boilovers can't be contained and controlled; either by fanning the surface of the boiling wort or dialing back the heat. A mess ensues.

Certainly, a violent boil can be difficult to contain and the risk of personal injury can be very real and very serious. Burns suck, and they are painful. It's also grossly inefficient; you probably lose more heat and waste more gas by opening the valve full tilt than by regulating it a bit. When you put that pot on the stop, let it rip at the highest possible setting. The valves in a stove limit gas flow. It's what they are designed to do. Once that boil is going strong with a vigorous rolling boil, back off on the heat a smidge. It is not going to take huge application of heat to maintain the boil. Efficiency isn't just the extract and brewhouse variety; it's also about fuel consumption. If you can keep a rocking rolling boil going at 3/4, why go full tilt? Ya dig?

Pelikan, I think you need to admit wrong here, or at least acknowledge that your advice in the previous thread can be easily misread. 'Gentle boil' is not want we want; while there may be a practical distinction between simmer and boil, it takes a bit of cooking know-how to tell the difference. Simplicity, dude, simplicity. A rocking boil is what we want in a pot large enough to contain the splashing; plain and simple. A 'gentle boil' (outside of cooking parlance) ain't it.

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm thirsty. Time to pull a pint of smoked porter and unwind.


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Old 12-16-2008, 11:17 PM   #7
McKBrew's Avatar
Oct 2006
Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,204
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Can I change my poll vote, I didn't process before I clicked. I'm one of the two who voted for gentle.
Make Beer, Not War.

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Old 12-16-2008, 11:37 PM   #8
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Can I change my poll vote, I didn't process before I clicked. I'm one of the two who voted for gentle.
Done- but there were 4 so now it's three.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:26 AM   #9
May 2007
Posts: 4,474
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Originally Posted by olllllo View Post
I think something was simmering before this thread got to a boil.
And should either thread start to boil over, I'm sure you or another mod can turn the heat down. Or add some Fermcap!

I definitely get better beer when the boil is nice and strong. During my long struggle to convert to natural gas, I screwed around with a few inadequate burners that could only achieve a gentle boil...a couple of batches suffered.

Thankfully I'm back on track with my hurricane.

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Old 12-17-2008, 01:55 AM   #10
I like 'em shaved
bull8042's Avatar
Jul 2008
Fort Mill, SC
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Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Can I change my poll vote, I didn't process before I clicked. I'm one of the two who voted for gentle.
Sorry, but now you are bound by the HBT Terms of Use to follow your own advice and only do gentle boils from now on!
"I brew with a water cooler and some part from the toilet." - JohnnyO

"I do gravity feed the last gallon or two through my Therminator, but I expect you could suck start a Volkswagen before you could suck start one of these. - GilaMinumBeer

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