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Old 01-19-2009, 04:28 AM   #1
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Default Preventing Boilovers

I saw in the latest Zymurgy that a fan mounted or otherwise angled at the top of the wort will slow or prevent a boilover. I searched here to see if anyone else had this bright idea (smacking myself in the forehead, say it with me, "Why didn't I think of that?" Well, seems the good people here are split on it. Others, I see, recommend tossing stainless nuts into the boil to facilitate nucleation. Others squirt water on the boil as it threatens to go over. Others simmer. Others say get a bigger kettle already. OK.

I have a fan. I thought about getting some nuts (hee-hee), but thought of another idea. I have an extra set of silverware in the basement. Could I throw a few forks (stainless steel) in the boil? Would accomplish the same as a a handful of stainless nuts and bolts? I can't say I fully understand the physics of this anyway.

Can someone enlighten me?


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Old 01-19-2009, 04:33 AM   #2
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A spray bottle with water, or if you're outside, the garden hose with a fine mist.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:36 AM   #3
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The advantage the nuts and bolts have over silverware is they have much more surface area for their size and are less smooth - all the threading adds lots off places for propagation of little bubbles.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:43 AM   #4
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:47 AM   #5
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Here is an easier solution; next time just drop a few (2-3) clear glass marbles in the bottom of your brew pot before boiling and you wont have to worry about boil overs. The marbles move around much better than bolts/nuts and actually do a decent job of preventing scorching. And NO they wont explode or leach chemicals into your wort.

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Old 01-19-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Note that the fan method will cause a greater volume to be boiled off. I'm not saying it will be a huge difference, but the greater the air movement at the surface of the boil, the more water gets boiled off.

I just use a hose with mist/spray (drinking water safe RV hose).
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 944play View Post
+1 on this...

I can fill to nearly an inch on my stove top pot and quite high in my turkey fryer kettle, get a full boil going and take a nap between hop additions with NO worries about boilover.

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