Author Topic: Skimming foam from the boil  (Read 4209 times)

Offline narcout

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Skimming foam from the boil
« on: March 07, 2011, 09:47:53 PM »
What is the relationship, if any, between the foam that forms on top of the boil and the stringy, egg-drop soup looking hot break material?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 09:49:33 PM by narcout »

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 09:52:35 PM »
It's protein, mostly. You don't see it hanging out on top after the hot break, right?  If you skim it, it won't be there to get in your way later. If you don't have problems with break material in your way later, don't worry about it. Either way, you don't want it in your beer.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 01:28:56 PM »
I like to skim off the top, because I've noticed that some of the draff from the grains will be carried up by the protein, so you can get both at once.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 01:54:29 PM »
I just let it boil over and have the wife clean it up ;D actually i pour my wort through a strainer enroute to the fermenter and it is not a problem
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 08:20:28 PM »
I just let it boil over and have the wife clean it up ;D actually i pour my wort through a strainer enroute to the fermenter and it is not a problem

You funny......

Haven't found a strainer, yet, that will catch the hot break.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 08:22:19 PM »
I just let it boil over and have the wife clean it up ;D actually i pour my wort through a strainer enroute to the fermenter and it is not a problem

You funny......

Haven't found a strainer, yet, that will catch the hot break.

I use a regular strainer with a piece of flour sacking over it.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 08:53:32 PM »
I just let it boil over and have the wife clean it up ;D
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Offline malzig

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 05:05:40 AM »
...I pour my wort through a strainer enroute to the fermenter and it is not a problem
Haven't found a strainer, yet, that will catch the hot break.
I use a regular strainer with a piece of flour sacking over it.
Using whole hops can effectively turn a strainer into a hop back, and seems to do a decent job of removing break material.  That's what I use for my small batch brewing, where losing a small volume can mean losing a high percentage of good wort, and the wort stays pretty clear into the fermenter.

Someday I'm going to collect the last gallon of wort, break and all, and ferment it side-by-side with the clear wort to see what difference it makes.  I don't want to say it doesn't matter, but I can't say that I can really cite any obvious difference in the flavor of beers I made before I left the break behind and those I made afterwards.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 05:24:16 AM »
Hi, my name is Ron and I am a skimmer.   ;D
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2011, 05:58:39 AM »
I skim when I don't first wort hop, but I tend to FWH a lot.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 06:05:56 AM »
I'm with Jeff on this one.  Because I can skim that material easily, I do it for all my brews that aren't First Wort Hopped.  There is ample evidence in my opinion that the scum on the boil has flavor negative impacts, so it seems that it is worth doing when I'm not going to lose some of my FWHs. 
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 06:10:33 AM »
I skimmed for about a year, mainly to alleviate boil overs.  When I upgraded to a bigger kettle a few years ago, I stopped skimming.  I've noticed no difference whatsoever in flavor.  The most noticeable flavor difference I've tasted recently has to do with hitting a proper mash pH and adding flavor salts to the kettle to hit an appropriate water profile.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 06:53:35 AM »
If you skim the foam, then you're more likely to be watching the pot when it comes to a boil and thus less likely to have a boilover.  If you're prone to getting easily distracted by shiny objects, then skimming gives you something to do.

I think it's one of those things that gives you a greater margin of error later on, so it doesn't do any harm.  I started doing it because of the similarity in making stocks.

As with any process in brewing, if you get good results without doing it, then don't worry about it.  Nobody said everyone has to brew the same way.  Well, if they did, they're wrong.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2011, 07:00:27 AM »
If you're prone to getting easily distracted by shiny objects, then skimming gives you something to do.

LOOK! a chicken!
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Offline glastctbrew

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Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2011, 07:06:34 AM »
If you're prone to getting easily distracted by shiny objects, then skimming gives you something to do.

LOOK! a chicken!

Nah, its not a chicken or even the kids that provide the distraction.  Its usually "Now where did I put those damn hops I weighed out 10 minutes ago ???
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