Boiling the Wort
The wort (unfermented beer)
must be boiled before fermenting to kill unwanted
organisms, settle protiens that can cause bitterness,
and release the flavors and bittering compounds
of the hops or brewing spices. Our recipe calls
for a one hour boiling time.
As the wort comes to a boil,
it is prone to boil over- skimming the foam off
the top will help prevent this, as will careful
heat adjustments. Another method to control boil
over is to have a spray bottle filled with clean
drinking water- if foam starts to rise quickly
just spritz it until it subsides. If a boil over
does occur (almost every home brewer has ecperienced
this at least once), we strongly reccomend that
you turn the heat off immediately and clean up
the mess before you continue with the batch.
Otherwise, the sugars in the spilt wort will
bake onto your stove and will be virtually impossible
to clean off!
A good rolling boil (above
212 oF) will produce the best results.
Once your wort is boiling merrily, check the
clock for the boiling start time. Now you can
add the bittering hops. As an example, we will
use the hop schedule for our recipe. Recipes
vary, both in types of hops and boiling times,
so be sure to check the details for your recipe.
Our recipe calls for 3/4
oz. New Zealand Hallertaur hops. Add these, and
boil for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, it's time
to add more hops. We'll add 1/2 oz. of German
Select hops. The hops we added at the beginning
of the boil will remain in the boil as well.
We will also add a small amount of Irish Moss
(a type of seaweed), which will help to settle
protiens during the rest of the boil, and will
result in a clear finished beer.
Because we will be using
a wort chiller to cool the beer down, we will
now remove the plastic hoses and place the wort
chiller into the boiling brew. We also leave
our metal spoon in the pot and insert a thermometer.
We are doing this before the end of the boil
because we want these items to be sterilized
by the boiling wort.
After adding all this stuff,
we'll let the wort get back up to a rolling boil,
and then boil it for another 15 minutes.
We now have 5 minutes left
of boiling time, so it is time to add our aroma
hops. We'll add 1/2 oz. of New Zealand Hallertaur
hops, boil 5 more minutes, and then turn the