Just Skimming The Surface

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crushingblackdoom

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Perhaps I've made too many soups and stocks in my life, but I instinctually skim the scum off the top of my brew as it gets to boil. I feel that, like a stock, or the world :/ , the scum rises to the top. Tannic, ultra bitter husk material & ****, yknow?
Like risidual blood and fat from bones...
Is there any evidence of this being a good or bad habit for brewing? Any chef will tell you it sure makes a difference in soups & stocks.
Thanx HBT folks! Love all the great info!
 

Yooper

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I don't scrape the "stuff" off of the top of the pot after the hotbreak as that is probably the stuff you're skimming off. After the hot break, I don't get any more scum.
 

bobbrews

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I'm a chef and I find that it helps for beers that have a ton of hops... not so much for other beers.
 

res291que

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crushingblackdoom said:
Like risidual blood and fat from bones...
Is there any evidence of this being a good or bad habit for brewing? Any chef will tell you it sure makes a difference in soups & stocks.
Interesting point would be an interesting experiment to try two exact recipes side by side one skimming hot break material and one not to see if you can taste difference
 

ChuckO

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I usually find that, by the time the hot break forms well, the boil is rolling enough that there is no scum on the surface. It's all mixed into the wort. It settles with the cold break and hops particles during whirlpool before pumping to the fermenter.
 

Homercidal

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I usually skim it off if I'm not doing anything else. In a smaller kettle it seems to help keep the pot from boiling over as easily.

I'm not sure there any other reason to worry about it. The bubbles are just proteins and whatever gunk they happen to capture along with them. After a bit they clump together and form hot break (If I understand correctly). That stuff should settle out during fermentation and you are only seeing a small portion of the total in the scum.
 

ghpeel

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I'd be concerned that the stuff you are skimming off is material that contributes to a good head. I used to skim, then read a bunch of guys like Denny Conn say that they never bother anymore, so I stopped. Beers seem fine.
 

basilchef

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im a chef too, i did the same thing out of instinct. haven't noticed a difference. I don't really know, but i feel its no different then a stock or soup/sauce and the foam is just the impurities rising to the top.
 
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crushingblackdoom

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ghpeel said:
I'd be concerned that the stuff you are skimming off is material that contributes to a good head. I used to skim, then read a bunch of guys like Denny Conn say that they never bother anymore, so I stopped. Beers seem fine.
Copy that. I trust that dude. It's more of a muscle-memory kinda thing, i guess. I just caught myself doing it, and thought, " why am I doing this? I'm not making a stock. Stop thinking about work!!" cheers.
 

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