Secret Brewing Tips

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Secret Brewing Tips

Postby l48shark » Mon Feb 04, 2002 9:49 pm

Just for grins, everyone reply with your "secret" brewing tip. For starters, here is one I learned from a homebrew club member:

Keep a spray bottle of water handy while boiling the wort. If it begins to foam up, threatening to boil over, spray it vigorously. The foam will subside back into the brewpot.

Cheers,
Ford

Want real beer? Make your own.
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Anti-Boilover Device - "Potwatcher"

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Feb 05, 2002 9:56 am

A neat device I depended when homebrewing on a stove eliminates the need to stand by your brewpot to prevent boilovers and is a called a "potwatcher". This is a 3" round glass disc that you throw into the brewpot prior to bringing wort to a boil. It displaces the oxygen that you are boiling out of solution and reduces the intensity of convection so it therefore will not boil over (assuming you have not overfilled the pot). This is actually a very old device that began use in the 1930's. You can find these in chef's catalogs and at cooking stores. I once even found one at a Walmart !
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It works?

Postby l48shark » Tue Feb 05, 2002 11:34 am

Thanks, Mesa. Now that you mention it, I did see this at Wal*Mart, but I did not think it would really work being nothing more than a piece of glass. It seemed too much like the $30 sticker you put on your cell phone battery that supposedly extends the coverage range and battery life. (Yeah, right.) Your explaination makes sense, though. Since you have had good results, I will look for one since I am headed to Wal*Mart now anyway.
Cheers,
Ford
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I swear... it works !!!

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Feb 06, 2002 9:43 am

I swear on my former designation (according to my girl friend (also former !)) as the boil over king... it works without fail. Just don't overfill the kettle. And as memory serves... it's only about $3.00 USD.
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kettle design

Postby Fraoch » Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:49 am

I recently changed my boiler to an old 55ltr s.steel beer keg but only cut enough out of the top to put your hand into( as opposed to cutting out the whole), the attempt was to limit evaporation to around 10% per hr. I found that I no longer experience boil over, although I still stand and watch as I believe it will the moment i turn my back. I used to have real problems with my old 30ltr stock pot, difficult to sustain boil and boil over when achieved. This even applies when hops are added - I no longer stir!!!
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DME Boil Over Help

Postby l48shark » Thu Feb 07, 2002 2:54 pm

So you're saying a watched pot never boils (over)? :) I threw 5.5 pounds of DME into a boil and watched it immediately form a lake on my flat top stove. Ugh. I usually use syrup, which sinks. How do you guys avoid that thick frothy head when using DME? I have less experience with it and I think I added the extract too fast.
Cheers,
Ford
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Somebody told me....

Postby dartedplus » Thu Feb 07, 2002 6:24 pm

Somebody told me that if you dissolve your DME in cool water before you add it to the brewpot, then it wont clump like it does when you add it to boiling water. I haven't necessarily tried it because I have since gone to all grain and haven't used any DME. But give it a try and let me know(let US know)
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Also

Postby dartedplus » Thu Feb 07, 2002 6:26 pm

If you are having problems with boilover....get a bigger pot
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Thanks

Postby l48shark » Thu Feb 07, 2002 6:38 pm

OK, next time I use DME, I will consider that. Thanks.
Cheers,
Ford
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Dissolving DME...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Feb 08, 2002 5:44 am

To avoid creating "rock malt" and immediate boilovers....

Place 1/2 the boil volume of water in your brewpot WARM (w/o steam). Whirlpool it until it is moving very quickly, SLOWLY pour in the DME, stopping to re-whirlpool if necessary and continuing until all is in the brewpot. Stir from the bottom up to make sure none has clumped at the bottom. Then top up with the remaining water and bring to a boil.

DME doesn't foam any more than AG produced wort, it is just how it is being added that can influence this.
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Alternate Solution

Postby l48shark » Sun Feb 10, 2002 7:28 pm

As St. Pat's approaches, I brewed a batch of Lucky Dog sweet stout today and used dark DME. I decided to use my same procedure as when I use syrup and remove the brewpot from the heat as I add the extract. This worked well. No immediate boil over and it gave me time to dissolve the clumps. Then I put it back on the heat. I did not experience a boil over this time.
Cheers,
Ford
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RE: DME Boil Over Help

Postby newbrewer » Tue Feb 19, 2002 4:36 am

I bring my water to a boil and remove it from the heat. Next I add the DME and stir until dissolved, and place the pot back on the heat. When it comes to a boil again I add hops and start the 60 min timer. A spray bottle with cold water helps too.
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Yup

Postby l48shark » Tue Feb 19, 2002 2:28 pm

That is what I tried last time and it does work well. Thanks.
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