Boil over issues

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BeeRad77

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Switched from doing small batches on my stove to full sized batches on a burner about 6 months ago, and I can not seem to stop getting boil overs. I have done six 5 gallon batches now, and I keep boiling over out of a 15 gallon converted keg. I never once had this problem on the gas stove in my kitchen. I am dealing with about 8 gallons of liquid because I lose so much to evaporation (another problem I can't seem to solve). Maybe it's just something stupid I am doing? Any suggestions?

I have tried
- turning the heat down as far as I can get it during the boil without the flame dying
- adding the extract earlier when the water is cooler.
- skimming the foam off constantly with a spoon.

Thanks.
 

54BelAir

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An easy way to stop the boil over is to use fermcap during the boil. I haven't come close to a boil over since I started using it. I love it.
 

Yooper

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Do you have a ton of foaming, and then a hot break? After the hot break, it'll settle down and not come close to boiling over.

I'd try some Fermcap-S in the boil- two drops per gallon, to help with the boilovers. I've boiled over 5 gallons in a keggle also, so I know it's possible! But the Fermcap helps. Once you get a hot break, it should really settle down. I suggest boiling nice and hard until you get a hot break, and then turn the heat to just maintain a rolling boil.
 

Hopleaf11

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How about just backing the heat element off and stirring like crazy when you see foam rising. I use an anti foam material (swear it's just Elmers glue) for starters but I'm not keen on using it for a full boil on brew day.
 

Beezy

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I was a dj for years. Was like a pro the first day on my turkey fryer. Starts coming up I back it off to just before it goes out. Then start bringing it up and down when necessary. After a few minutes that all goes away and you can let it rip. Fermcap is for sissies.
 
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BeeRad77

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It goes away after the hot break. I will go ahead try the fermcaps. I have been dj-ing that thing so much I think I wore out my original Foghat vinyl, and the water bottle was no match. Thanks
 
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I keep my spray bottle of star san solution next to me when boiling. If it starts to get out of hand like its going to boil over i spray it a few times and it subsides.
 

Hopleaf11

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WildGingerBrewing said:
I keep my spray bottle of star san solution next to me when boiling. If it starts to get out of hand like its going to boil over i spray it a few times and it subsides.
That's a waste of starsan bro.
 

Beezy

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It goes away after the hot break. I will go ahead try the fermcaps. I have been dj-ing that thing so much I think I wore out my original Foghat vinyl, and the water bottle was no match. Thanks
Bro any dj worth his salt keeps 2 copies in the crate. I only leave myself a gallon headspace. Keep on scratchin'.
 

prrriiide

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I do 10 gallon full boils in a 12 gallon lobster pot. Never used fermcap, never had a boil over (except on the stove top with my primer...:mad:).

I just watch the pot and when it starts to get foamy, I back the heat down with the regulator. When the foam falls I crank it back up. Lather, rinse, repeat, until I get past the hot break. I'm basically just stepping the heat up v...e...r...y s...l...o...w...l...y. You have to be really patient doing it the way I do, but it works for me. Besides, homebrewing is not an immediate gratification endeavor.

It sounds to me like you're trying to get to the rolling boil too quickly. You have to just kinda nudge the heat up bit by bit. If you get it too hot too quick, there's no way to avoid the boil over because it won't cool back down quickly enough for the foam to fall.

EDIT: upon re-reading your OP, I see that you're dropping the extract into the boiling (hot) pot. Don't do that. Get the water boiling, then kill the heat. Shut it off. Then add the extract, stirring thoroughly, and re-light the fire. Then follow the above advice.
 

Beezy

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I didn't think of that the dj method is probably easier for me because I have an aluminum pot.
 

unionrdr

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I have to turn my electric stove all the way to 10 to boil after the steep at 150-160F. That foam comes up really quick,but just stir like mad for the 3 minutes it'll last. Done. I got one of those 2' long white plastic paddles from Midwest to make doing that easier.
 
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