Ways to prevent or deal with boil overs??

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Ward Chillington, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    So I was looking around the site for ways to avoid a boil over and I'm not finding too much on it. After yesterday's bone headed move where I was distracted by a boil over, I think you understand me wanting a solution...

    So far I know there's the constant stirring method, blowing on it or moving the kettle off the burner. I've been trying a method I got off of a Brew Strong episode using a spray bottle full of distilled water but that didn't happen fast enough.

    So the question is, how do you deal with it?
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Get a bigger pot?
    I know a wooden spoon laid across the top will stop pasta from boiling over, but not sure if that works for wort

    I actually almost had one the last brew day. Thankfully I turned down the gas in time but a little bit came out.
    I usually watch it like a hawk when it gets to 200F until it hits a nice boil
     
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  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    you can scoop the foam off the top as it forms, also you can use fermacap or defoamer
     
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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Electric!!! :) I don't know how many times I've boiled over using a propane burner but since I've got a 5500w heating element and a "rheostat" control to knock the power down instantly, I don't think I've had more than a few spoonfuls dribble over the side and that's just because I was getting greedy with the boil early on. And I sometimes start with wort almost at the 14 gallon level in a 15 gallon pot. I can get it right to the brink of a boil and bring it to a simmer while I skim the foam and then crank it up a bit.
    With gas, I just baby sat intently for the first 15 or 20 minutes of a 90 minute boil. And it would still get away at some point if I had it going pretty energetically.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Just before your wort starts boiling, cut off the heat for about 15 minutes, then resume your boil.
     
  6. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Hot break killer ♨
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! The hot break will occur then with the proteins in flocs rather than solution, no more foam.
     
  8. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    what about marbles?
     
  9. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Ping pong balls. Float enough on top to cover the pot. Never tried it but...

    Me - I just use a big pot. 15 Gallons for seven gallon boils = zero boil over.
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Mine is 11 gallons. Sometimes I still have to cut the heat.
     
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  11. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I like overkill
     
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  12. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    ChicoB...I'm headed that direction. My LHBS has a Brewers Best pot that I've been eyeing every time I go in there. Now I just have to overcome my pride in being a cheap bastard.
     
  13. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Fermcap-S works well and carries over to the fermenter too. I boil just over 8 gallons in a 14 gallon BK, so don't use it in the kettle, but do for starter wort and in the fermenter.
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I have the 11 gallon Megapot - great investment! You don't think about a kettle being anything other than a metal container until you have a nice one....
     
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  15. vthokiedsp

    vthokiedsp Member

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    i have a 10 gallon pot and routinely boil 8.5 gallons without boil overs, or at least minor boil overs. 3 major things have contributed to the reduced boil overs.

    1. Fermcap (or other silicon anti-foaming agent). This also helps with keeping high krausening yeasts from going super crazy. Keep it at just regular crazy but manageable.
    2. Gentle hop additions. Don't throw 1 oz of hops in at once. It erupts, esp if they're cold. I usually sprinkle across the surface area of the pot and add them little bits at a time and stir simultaneously while adding.
    3. I keep my boil ferocity to a minimum. This helps with boil overs and keeps evaporation losses lower. the temperature of the boil is the same at a vigorous boil and a slow boil. i've never had issues with bitterness utilization at a less vigorous boil.
     
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  16. AHarper

    AHarper Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that when I had a muslin bag draped over the top of the boiler - so I could add in, and keep separate, the hops that when the boil started the bag "burst" all the boil bubbles and quelled it sufficiently to keep the level of the boil below the top of the pot. It all depends on how much you are boiling really...
     
  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Never had a boil over. Get a bigger pot:rolleyes:. I've got 10 inches above my boil level though if I ever do a double batch I think I'll know about it.
     
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  18. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That means you're not making big enough batches.
     
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  19. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    So here's another boiling question.. so if I'm looking at a 1 hour or 1 1/2 hour boil and I start the clock while I am still draining my tun, have I really boiled the whole batch for the required time?
     
  20. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    You don't start the boil timer till it's boiling, I have never taken long enough to drain to be boiling while draining though.
     

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