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Skimming hot break

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Geronimo

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:01 am

Skimming hot break

I've been skimming the hot break for a few batches now. Is there any reason that hot break shouldn't be skimmed off?
-- Jim
home brewing in Minnesota
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WolfMan69

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:11 am

I do it too... I "think" I read somewhere that it helps... but I "think" I read somewhere that it makes no difference. so YMMV! :wink:
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LBG Bill

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:31 am

I do the same thing. I do it so when I reach full boil I don't have boil-over issues. I've had people ask why I do it but no one has given a good reason for me not to do it. I usually hear people say that they spray water on the break to stop it from boiling over or that they use Foam Control to stop it.
I prefer to skim it off. It forces me to watch the boil until it calms down to a nice rolling boil.
Thanks!

--LBG Bill

Primary: Porter
Secondary: Relegation ESB
On Tap: Beagle Pale Ale
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T2driver

Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:32 am

Are you talking about the foam with the brown scum that forms at the beginning of the boil? If so, that is not "hot break."

The "hot break" is the white snowflakes churning around underneath the surface of your boiling (or near-boiling) wort. It's flakes of proteinaceous materials that have coagulated and are trying to precipitate out of solution, but the hydrodynamic currents in the boiling pot keep them suspended.

If you aren't seeing that, you may need some calcium in your brewing liquor or you may have a pH issue (or both).

FWIW, I'm a scum-skimmer, too.
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Brewhobby

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:35 am

Re: Skimming hot break

Geronimo wrote:I've been skimming the hot break for a few batches now. Is there any reason that hot break shouldn't be skimmed off?


You definitely don't want that stuff in your fermenter. It's a lot easier if you skim it off while it's forming than trying to filter it before it goes to your fermenter.
Primary- Czech Pilsner, IIPA
Secondary- IIPA, BVIP, Doppelbock, Baltic Porter
Kegged- A whole lotta beer
On Tap- Helles, Pale Ale, Rye IPA
Next Up- BVIP, IPA
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MullerBrau

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:41 am

I skim mine too just because it looks nasty and it gives me something to do. My last batch of DC Rye IPA, I had 23 gallons in the BK and another 5 gallons boiling in a seperate pot. As the wort evaporated I added boiling wort from the smaller pot. I have never seen so much scum as I did from that batch.
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TG

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:52 am

Re: Skimming hot break

Brewhobby wrote:You definitely don't want that stuff in your fermenter. It's a lot easier if you skim it off while it's forming than trying to filter it before it goes to your fermenter.

I just started skimming recently, but don't remember anything off about my beers before. I also whirlpool at the end of the boil and let it settle for 15 minutes before transferring the wort from the side of the kettle.

What is the boil scum and why wouldn't you want it in your fermenter? Do professional brewers skim it off?

TIA, Tom
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Duder

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:12 am

Yeap, count me as a skimmer. I go along with the "gives me something to do". Good Luck.
" Time's never wasted if you're wasted all the time."
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JimInNJ

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:29 am

Gives me something to do.

- Jim
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Mike_A

Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:30 am

I don't skim because there's no reason for me to. AFAIK, commercial breweries don't skim the boil.
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LBG Bill

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:36 am

Mike_A wrote:I don't skim because there's no reason for me to. AFAIK, commercial breweries don't skim the boil.


most commercial breweries filter don't they? I'll have to check at the local brew pubs and see what they do w/ that scum that floats to the top. See what they have to say.
Thanks!

--LBG Bill

Primary: Porter
Secondary: Relegation ESB
On Tap: Beagle Pale Ale
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Denny

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:41 am

Re: Skimming hot break

Geronimo wrote:I've been skimming the hot break for a few batches now. Is there any reason that hot break shouldn't be skimmed off?


You remove the FWH you added.... :wink:
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is.

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Mike_A

Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:46 am

LBG Bill wrote:most commercial breweries filter don't they?


I filter too, but I don't skim.
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Brewhobby

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:19 pm

Re: Skimming hot break

TG wrote:
Brewhobby wrote:You definitely don't want that stuff in your fermenter. It's a lot easier if you skim it off while it's forming than trying to filter it before it goes to your fermenter.

I just started skimming recently, but don't remember anything off about my beers before. I also whirlpool at the end of the boil and let it settle for 15 minutes before transferring the wort from the side of the kettle.

What is the boil scum and why wouldn't you want it in your fermenter? Do professional brewers skim it off?

TIA, Tom


Would you want it in yours? I skim the stuff off during the first 15 minutes or so of the boil and put it in a bowl. I've looked at it a few hours later and it looks pretty nasty. I wouldn't even want it going through my whole boil, let alone going into my fermenter. I'm not a chemist so I don't know the specifics, but from what I've read it's basically the first hotbreak that is called albumin. The Germans claim that it entrains hop constituants if it is present and results in lower hop utilization and a reduction in head retention. That's why they always wait until at least 15 minutes into the boil before they add their first hop addition. So I would say yes, they do skim the scum. :shock: I imagine it also has particles of grain husks and other unwanted material that you would prefer not to have in your wort, fermenter, or finished product.
Primary- Czech Pilsner, IIPA
Secondary- IIPA, BVIP, Doppelbock, Baltic Porter
Kegged- A whole lotta beer
On Tap- Helles, Pale Ale, Rye IPA
Next Up- BVIP, IPA
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Geronimo

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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 12:23 pm

Re: Skimming hot break

Denny wrote:
Geronimo wrote:I've been skimming the hot break for a few batches now. Is there any reason that hot break shouldn't be skimmed off?


You remove the FWH you added.... :wink:


My FWHs are in a nylon hop bag.
-- Jim
home brewing in Minnesota
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