Author Topic: Boiling starters in a flask  (Read 7340 times)

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Boiling starters in a flask
« on: December 30, 2011, 07:10:36 AM »
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?
Jimmy K

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Offline LittleBoy

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 07:27:28 AM »
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...

Offline hokerer

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 07:34:29 AM »
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.
Joe

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 07:37:15 AM »
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.
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Online Pinski

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 07:40:56 AM »
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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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 07:50:32 AM »
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.
Boiling to ice water is of more concern for me too as it would be a real bummer to break a flask and lose a starter.  I like to more gradually reduce the glass temperature by holding the flask with a oven mit and running it under hot tap water and gradually reducing the temperature of the flowing water until it's cold. Then I place the flask in a large bowl fill it with cold water. Finally displace the water in the bowl gradually with ice cubes until it's mostly ice. Has worked well for me with no crackage.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 09:30:25 AM »
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.

I use this in my starters and in my boil kettle.  One or two drops is all you need.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline denny

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 09:35:26 AM »
Tried boiling in a flask a couple and for me it was more hassle than it was worth.  I now boil and cool in a pot, then xfer to a gal. glass jug.  No boilovers, no worry about breaking the flask, and the jug is twice the size of the flask.
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Online theDarkSide

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 09:38:37 AM »
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.

I use this in my starters and in my boil kettle.  One or two drops is all you need.

I use this stuff too and it works great.  And it doesn't have any affect on you, as my picture here indicates:



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Offline tygo

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 10:28:26 AM »
I boil in the flask, use fermcap, and move the flask from the stove directly to a sink full of cool tap water.  Never had any problems with it but maybe I've just been lucky.  I guess that could be one of those things that works just fine until it doesn't. 

I like making them in the flask because it's quick and easy and the starter vessel is automatically sanitized.  No need to mess around with a pot and a flask and a funnel etc.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 10:41:36 AM »
I like boiling in a flask because it helps me achieve my definition of awesome.
Jimmy K

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Offline narvin

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 12:04:27 PM »
Another vote for fermcap. One or two drops and you'll have no boilover issues.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2011, 03:31:08 PM »
I used to boil in a flask on a glass-top stove, but that ended when I had a minor boilover and that resulted in a cracked and destroyed 4L flask.  Definitely not worth it.  I now boil in a pyrex measuring cup in a microwave oven and then transfer the cooled starter wort into the flask.  Much safer, and the potential and severity of boil overs is reduced.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2011, 07:55:27 PM »
I boil on the stove in a 4l flask with some fermcap, then put it on the stirplate to let it cool overnight, then add the yeast.  No boil overs or other problems.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Boiling starters in a flask
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 08:33:07 PM »
I boil in a flask on the stove with fermcap then chill and move to a stirplate. Boilovers are far and few between. I have found this method to be very practical.
Ron Price