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Third time was supposed to be a charm

Had my first boil over tonight. I have to admit, I know it was my fault, but I’m really bummed. I was making the Hope and King Scotch extract kit and I had just added the DME. I was going to try irish moss tonight for the first time to see how it worked. I returned the kettle to the heat, got it boiling and I set my timer for 5 minutes (so I knew when to add the final hops) and checked to make sure everything was good. It looked ok, so I stepped out of my kitchen into my living room to grab my beer, I picked up a letter I received in the mail and I heard the kettle boiling over. Ran the 5 feet back to the kettle and got it off the burner, but I think I lost a good bit. My timer said 4:20 left - 40 seconds. 40 SECONDS!!!

I was able to recover, I think, and I only added 2 gallons of water and got my OG to 1.065 (a bit higher than the 1.060, but I want to guarantee I actually have something worth fermenting). We’ll see how it turns out. It doesn’t look good. I thought Irish moss was supposed to keep all the junk in the boil kettle but all it’s done for me is keep all the sludge together - it still ended up in my primary. Unless the irish moss is supposed to precipitate the proteins and stuff during the primary I may scrap this one and start over. Blargh.

Relax, you haven’t done anything that will ruin your beer. Yes, the Irish Moss is for clearing the beer during the primary. If you are worried about having another boilover, you want Fermcap-s.

You’ll be fine. The Irish moss will make the sludge come together and then fall to the bottom in the primary.

Yeah, it sounds like you’re a-OK if you hit your OG and your volume is right.

I had my first boil over on Saturday. I did my first full boil, and was doing 6 gallons in 7 gallon kettle. When I added the DME I had to strike a balance between pouring in the extract and stirring to keep the boil down. The rise was instantaneous. Fortunately I’m well acquainted with such things, as I have boil overs all the time when making pasta. Right about the time that the level hit it’s peak I finished pouring the extract, tossed the bag aside, and started turning down the burner. I almost prevented it, but the slightest bit of fluid slipped over the edge before I got things under control. Made me feel like I earned my wings. :wink:

If my 7.5 gallon kettle weren’t too wide to make contact with the Brinkmann turkey fryer temp sensor, it would’ve been avoided entirely. Anyone have one of these and come up with a way to override the temp sensor? I figure it’s safe (haha) since I’m not using oil and can’t hit the cutoff temp (375*).

You’d be surprised how little you actually lose in a boilover unless it goes for awhile (no watching tv in the house while the kettle is going). I really like the idea of lowering the flame to almost nothing so that the boil moves to a slow simmer before adding large amounts of hops (more than an ounce) because that tends to make it foam up and I also stir it until it settles after additions.

DME is a dirty little broad for boils too, I AG but use DME for starters and always use a really big pot so as not to boil over because it always seems to try.

Now, letting your buddy help you on brew day and not paying attention to whether or not he has closed the valve on your keggle before opening the valve on your mashtun? That’ll cost you. about 2 gallons of IIPA sweet wort in my case. (Ok, so it was more my fault for not checking my equipment but I like to blame him).

I know this would not have helped since you were out of the room when it happened but a large spray bottle of water will really help you beat down a boil over if your on top of it and paying attention. Sometimes that is enough to get you past the boil over threat

No worries. Just keep in mind that people did this 10k years ago. If they can do it, you can do it.

Others may have experienced this but I find that when you add things to the boil, they sometimes take a 5 to 45 seconds to start boiling up. I find hop pellets to be a big culprit. I add an ounce and nothing happens for 10 seconds then you get a big foamy head on it.

Regardless, I’m sure your beer will be fine. I would have been concerned that you may have lost some of the dry malt extract but it sounds like your original specific gravity was completely unaffected. With a partial boil, all you had to do was add a little more water when you put it in primary, which you did.

Hope it turns out great! My first three beers were duds. I screwed up bottle fermenting on the first, primary fermenting on the next, and tried to ferment a lager at 70 degrees (the nastiest beer I’ve ever tasted). The fourth was great and they’ve been great ever since. Keep your head up!

:cheers:

Thanks for the replies everyone. Seems like everything is ok. I was just bummed a heck last night. My primary is fermenting so heavy with my yeast (I do starters in the lab I work in) that the sludge on the bottom is being shot around the inside of the carboy.

As far as the spray bottle with water, I’ll look into that. Whenever I add extract, hops, DME, etc. I remove the kettle from the heat source while I stir in the added ingredients. Once they are sort of “in” I put it back on the heat source and bring it back to a boil while stirring. Ah well, live and learn.

Thanks again for the help folks!

Your best bet for preventing a boil-over is to add a few drops of Fermcap-S to the kettle when it begins to boil. Works like a charm. I’ve used it while making maple syrup for the same effect.

Does a great job of keeping kreusen down in the fermenter to prevent blowoff too. I consistently ferment 6-6.5 gallon batches in an Ale Pail.

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