Author Topic: Skimming hot break questions  (Read 2143 times)

Offline Philbrew

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Skimming hot break questions
« on: December 08, 2016, 08:24:52 PM »
I've never skimmed hot break but there have been comments in resent threads that suggest that it's a good idea.  Which brings up the questions:  What?  Why?  How?  How much?

1.  What?  Hot break is the foam that forms (and wants to crawl out of the kettle) during the first 5 minutes of the boil.  Is that correct?

2.  If the answer to 1. is yes, why skim it out of there? What is the negative impact of letting the foam subside and leaving it in the wort.

3.  How?  What is the easiest and least messy way to skim?  I'm thinking a shop-vac would work well.

4.  How much do you want to skim?  As much as possible?  Is some hot break good to have in the wort?
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 08:33:45 PM »
Have you ever had a boil over? Was that batch the best you ever made?

If you are like me, that means 1.)yes and 2.)no...

For yeast health, and repitching slurry it has its negatives to skim the hot break.  (Correct me if I oversimplify this) The aged beer is "better" when the proteins are skimmed out.

I would not say shop vac your hot break is a good idea, a large spoon works...

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« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 08:44:46 PM by JJeffers09 »
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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 08:48:01 PM »
I've never skimmed hot break but there have been comments in resent threads that suggest that it's a good idea.  Which brings up the questions:  What?  Why?  How?  How much?

1.  What?  Hot break is the foam that forms (and wants to crawl out of the kettle) during the first 5 minutes of the boil.  Is that correct?

2.  If the answer to 1. is yes, why skim it out of there? What is the negative impact of letting the foam subside and leaving it in the wort.

3.  How?  What is the easiest and least messy way to skim?  I'm thinking a shop-vac would work well.

4.  How much do you want to skim?  As much as possible?  Is some hot break good to have in the wort?

I use a hand held strainer to scoop it up.
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 09:02:10 PM »
I've never skimmed hot break but there have been comments in resent threads that suggest that it's a good idea.  Which brings up the questions:  What?  Why?  How?  How much?

1.  What?  Hot break is the foam that forms (and wants to crawl out of the kettle) during the first 5 minutes of the boil.  Is that correct?

2.  If the answer to 1. is yes, why skim it out of there? What is the negative impact of letting the foam subside and leaving it in the wort.

3.  How?  What is the easiest and least messy way to skim?  I'm thinking a shop-vac would work well.

4.  How much do you want to skim?  As much as possible?  Is some hot break good to have in the wort?

1. No I don't think so. I think hot break are the proteins in the wort. The foam(often called foop), may contain some hot break but its certainly not all of it. I see hot break formation after 5-10 minutes into boil( after foam subsides).
All brewing literature states hot break must be removed. Usually by means of a whirlpool for us.
2. My foam is small and bright white, I do not remove it, as I boil with a lid, that has a small opening. professional breweries are not skimming.
3. I don't think it will hurt anything either way, it usually sticks to the side of the kettle.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 09:19:04 PM »
I've never skimmed hot break but there have been comments in resent threads that suggest that it's a good idea.  Which brings up the questions:  What?  Why?  How?  How much?

1.  What?  Hot break is the foam that forms (and wants to crawl out of the kettle) during the first 5 minutes of the boil.  Is that correct?

2.  If the answer to 1. is yes, why skim it out of there? What is the negative impact of letting the foam subside and leaving it in the wort.

3.  How?  What is the easiest and least messy way to skim?  I'm thinking a shop-vac would work well.

4.  How much do you want to skim?  As much as possible?  Is some hot break good to have in the wort?

1. No I don't think so. I think hot break are the proteins in the wort. The foam(often called foop), may contain some hot break but its certainly not all of it. I see hot break formation after 5-10 minutes into boil( after foam subsides).
All brewing literature states hot break must be removed. Usually by means of a whirlpool for us.
2. My foam is small and bright white, I do not remove it, as I boil with a lid, that has a small opening. professional breweries are not skimming.
3. I don't think it will hurt anything either way, it usually sticks to the side of the kettle.
So I've been removing (most of) the hot break via my whirlpool.  I'm confused, why do people refer to "skimming the hot break"?  Or are they confused?
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Offline The Beerery

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 09:34:00 PM »

So I've been removing (most of) the hot break via my whirlpool.  I'm confused, why do people refer to "skimming the hot break"?  Or are they confused?

Yea I think there is a confusion.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 11:06:40 PM »

So I've been removing (most of) the hot break via my whirlpool.  I'm confused, why do people refer to "skimming the hot break"?  Or are they confused?

Yea I think there is a confusion.
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Offline GS

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2016, 11:36:17 PM »
I dont, and have never skimmed the foam off the top. To me, that falls under the category of "Oooh, I haven't mucked about near enough with this recipe and tried every little trick I have ever seen in the pages of Zymurgy."

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Offline kgs

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 06:16:05 PM »
I skim because it's a cooking habit I acquired prior to homebrewing, from decades of making chicken stock. Stand over the stock pot... peer into it... skim gunk into a glass mug, look at it critically... it's part of the process for me, and process is why I brew in the first place. Skimming also has the benefit that I'm watching the boil, so I don't have boilovers -- particularly important because I tend to push the limits on what I can fit into my brew kettle.

While I have no idea if skimming makes the beer any better, I would only stop skimming if I knew it was bad for the end product.
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 08:21:04 PM »
its not bad for the current batch of beer it is bad for continued use of yeast.  If you are "ranching" yeast or pitching slurry you are better off to keep the foam.
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Offline Pi

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2016, 03:01:04 PM »
I do not skimm, but after i whirpool down to roughly 12deg., i let things settle a bit before transferring to a carboy. I let that settle, then rack off. I loose about 3l. of wort, but use some of that to make another starter
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Offline juggabrew303

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 04:30:06 AM »
Wouldn't you be skimming out some of the bittering hops as well?


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Offline bierview

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2017, 09:07:11 AM »
I've never skimmed hot break but there have been comments in resent threads that suggest that it's a good idea.  Which brings up the questions:  What?  Why?  How?  How much?

1.  What?  Hot break is the foam that forms (and wants to crawl out of the kettle) during the first 5 minutes of the boil.  Is that correct?

2.  If the answer to 1. is yes, why skim it out of there? What is the negative impact of letting the foam subside and leaving it in the wort.

3.  How?  What is the easiest and least messy way to skim?  I'm thinking a shop-vac would work well.

4.  How much do you want to skim?  As much as possible?  Is some hot break good to have in the wort?

1. No I don't think so. I think hot break are the proteins in the wort. The foam(often called foop), may contain some hot break but its certainly not all of it. I see hot break formation after 5-10 minutes into boil( after foam subsides).
All brewing literature states hot break must be removed. Usually by means of a whirlpool for us.
2. My foam is small and bright white, I do not remove it, as I boil with a lid, that has a small opening. professional breweries are not skimming.
3. I don't think it will hurt anything either way, it usually sticks to the side of the kettle.

You caught my attention when you said you boil with a lid.  I've never done that as I want to reduce the volume and increase the OG.  What is your thinking on this?

Offline The Beerery

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2017, 12:17:23 PM »
Herr, wirf Hirn vom Himmel!
(Oder Steine, Hauptsache er trifft.)
Check us out at www.lowoxygenbrewing.com (Now with forums)
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Offline edward

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Re: Skimming hot break questions
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2017, 04:03:02 PM »
I used to skim hot break.  I would just use a large stainless steel mash spoon.

I stopped after I forgot to do it one time and did not notice any difference.

If I plan to re-use yeast I will let the trub settle out, transfer into a fermenter, and then pitch yeast on a mostly trub free wort.  I like doing it that way better than rinsing the yeast.