Skimming

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

Moderator: slothrob

Skimming

Postby brewmeisterintng » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:34 am

Reading some posts on cold and hot breaks lead me down a research road this weekend as in all my years of brewing, I have never skimmed the wort. Dave Miller's book gave me the best view of what the hot break really is.
He says its the flocculation of tannin and protiens during the boil. If you take a spoon full of boiled wort under a light you will see obvious particles of break floating in it. You will not get a hot break if your PH is low. Break material is harmful to the fermemtation and flavor of the fisished beer to include chill haze. He recommend whirlpooling to limit the amount of break material transfered to the fermentor. With that being said, I don't see skimming as a way to remove all the break meterial and some might confuse the foam formed at the begining of the boil as break material. Just food for thought...
User avatar
brewmeisterintng
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:47 pm
Location: Clarksville, TN

Postby slothrob » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:07 am

My understanding was that the foam is protein (and tannins, apparently) that will make up a portion of the break material. When this protein precipitates as the "break", the foam diappears. If this is true, while the foam may not be all the hot break, it would make up some potion of it.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Hot Break

Postby brewmeisterintng » Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:31 pm

Lets just say for argument sake that the foam formed at the beginning of the boil is break material. Even if one did skim it off, there will be break material left from the cold break. Couldn't one just let it fall out of suspension and syphon the wort off the break material (both hot and cold) left in the bottom of the brew pot.
User avatar
brewmeisterintng
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:47 pm
Location: Clarksville, TN

More about skimming

Postby billvelek » Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:23 pm

First, obviously a brewer is going to need to pay attention to his kettle at the beginning of the boil, otherwise, it will foam over and create a mess. I don't know that it is any harder to skim the foam off rather than stir it in; I've done both, and maybe I'm in error, but it seemed that the skimming was easier (once each scoop is out of the pot, there's no worrying about that part anymore). Except for first wort hopping, skimming has been a 'no brainer' for me; FWH changed that because of the hops commingling with the hot break.

Second, I've read in a number of articles that hot break material (in contrast to cold break) is not very good for your beer, and that removing it is better than leaving it in there. I'm sure that that is a debatable point, but ... just in case ... I'm confident that there is no harm in removing it, so why not do it. Different strokes for different folks. And as for having it accumulate as trub, ... well, after blowoff, the less trub in the carboy, the more beer. Does it make any measurable difference? Well, I'd 'guesstimate' that I remove close to a bottle of beer in break material by skimming.

Heck ... I thought that most brewers skimmed. 8)

Cheers.

Bill Velek
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
Running BTP v1.5.3 on WinXP 2005 SP3 w/AMD Athlon 64@3800+, 1GigRam, Res 1024x768
User avatar
billvelek
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
 
Posts: 801
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Arkansas, USA

Postby cozrulz » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:13 pm

Interesting...It could also depend on the type of beer you were making. Gives me something I can test out.
User avatar
cozrulz
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:38 pm

Postby Peanutt » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:10 am

So let me ask you guys a question then. During the boil when the hops is floating on the top with the rest, should I be skimming it off with my spoon?

Sorry if this is a dumb question but I've only done 4 brews so far.

Thanks!
User avatar
Peanutt
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:16 pm

Postby slothrob » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:59 am

I wouldn't skim the hops off during the boil.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Skimming

Postby brewmeisterintng » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:42 pm

I pretty much thought this was a dead thread as no one has convinced me that skimming foam is any more or less beneficial. It is a brewers preference in my opinion. I have read a lot of literature on brewing and have found very few references on the subject of skimming. I personally do not skim the foam as I see no reason.
User avatar
brewmeisterintng
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:47 pm
Location: Clarksville, TN

Skimming...again

Postby wottaguy » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:56 pm

The way I see it, the foam formation that occurs, may be actually caused by the protiens and other stuff that compose, or make up the hot break. I see it as the begining of hot break formation, which is a good thing for the wort and eventually for the beer. I never skim because i feel that the wort and beer needs this hot break material to form in a healthy way and in a good amount. Without a good hot break you won't get a good cold break as the protien development has not fully occured in the hot break stage. You run the chance of taking out some hops...the protein break material, and you may end up with a beer that won't clear up and may have a haze to it. These statement are only from my point of view and personal observations, and from some books that I have read through the years, and I could be incorrect. But I don't see any need to "skim" during the boil. I have other things to do during this time.
Anyone else??
Visit my blog @ http://www.wottashomebrewblog.blogspot.com

On Tap:
HL Pale Ale
HL Lite Lager
Bottled:
HL Simcoe Pale Ale
HL Wizeguy Weizenbock
HL Reveur Saison
HL Dry Stout
HL Kentucky Common
User avatar
wottaguy
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:00 am
Location: Florida

Postby slothrob » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:27 am

My impression was that Penutt was asking specifically about skimming off hops.

Skimming foam is an option, but I wouldn't skim off HOPS or you will reduce their contribution to the beer. It may be a small amout of hops removed, so may be insignificant, but it's difficult to know, so I wouldn't do it.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston


Return to Techniques, Methods, Tips & How To

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron