A brew question that I haven't seen an answer to yet.

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Hound_Dog

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I know it may sound kinda odd, but I was wondering if during a boil if it is better to let it boil vigorously into a foam, or turn back the heat for a contained calm boil. Thanks for any opinions ,thoughts or knowledge on the matter.

-HD
 

Ceedubya

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My guess is you'll get different answers here but I try to keep it at a medium pace. I don't get too vigorous. Especially if I am extract brewing, and not doing the late extract addition thing. I don't want to scortch it.
 

viking999

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It shouldn't get to the point where it develops a foam, unless of course we're talking about a hot break foam. If it's foaming, it's on the verge of boiling over. Starches (and potentially other stuff) in the wort cause water vapor to form into bubbles at the surface. If new water vapor bubbles are being formed at a rate faster than the old ones are popping, a foam will build up and eventually boil over. Even if you keep it from boiling over, a thick layer of bubbles can push the hops out of the wort and onto the sides of the kettle above the surface, preventing the important parts of the hops from being extracted into the wort.

Ideally, you want a rolling boil, where there is a steady stream of large bubbles disturbing the surface of the wort, but no foam.
 

digdan

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The hot break is important to break down the long complex sugar/starch strings in the malt. In otherwords... boil the crap out of it until the foam "erupts" and once it settles back down you can keep a nice controlled boil. If you are using all your liquid/dry malt in your pot then you will need to keep the boil down low to prevent too much carmalization as well, unless its called for by the style you are brewing of course.
 

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