General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

Boiling starters in a flask

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Jimmy K:
I began making starters a while ago and recently got a flask. I like boiling the starter in the flask, but have a hell of a time dealing with foam from the boiling wort, which wants to shoot out all over the stove. Any suggestions on how to deal with that?

LittleBoy:
Used a flask for the first time last week.  Was really tentative about cracking the glass on the stove.  So I kept the heat at "medium".  Did not see much foaming but did lower the heat once I saw a decent boil.

Sure was nice to use the flask!  Now what to do with the half gallon glass jug i was using...

hokerer:
Back when I used to make starters that way (use canned wort now), I too was never comfortable with boiling in the flask.  I chose to eliminate the boilover issue by boiling in a regular pan.  This also speeds up the chilling process in that I could ice-water bath chill in the pan before pouring into the flask.  Great way to kill a flask is to take it off the burner where it was boiling and plunk it in an ice-water bath the chill.

Jimmy K:
A lab flask shouldn't be much worry on the stove - this is what they are made for. Hot stove to ice water might be a little too much for it though.

Pinski:
There's a product called Ferm-Cap that comes in little 1 oz. dropper bottles. One drop in a 2L flask has kept my starters of that size from foaming out/boiling over.  Works well for preventing wort boil overs as well. Some folks have concerns about using it as it is silicone based. I've decided to only use it only as needed which for me ends up being only occasionally in starters boiled in the flask.  If I boil in a pot and monitor closely there's no need.

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