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Boiling the Homebrew

Now that your brewpot is full of hot grain tea, it is time to add the extract. If you have not done so already, turn the heat off completely. If you add the extract while the heat is on, you risk scorching or burning the extract, which will give the beer a burnt taste and leave you with a nasty cleaning job.

Adding the Extract

With the heat turned off, add the extract to your brew pot. Stir thoroughly to dissolve all of the extract.

If your extract came in a plastic pouch, snip off a corner of the pouch- an opening of 3 or 4 inches will allow the extract to flow out quickly but will give your more control of the flow. to get all the extract out, fold the pouch in quarters and squeeze it from the top as you would a tube of toothpaste. You can also widen the opening of the pouch and then spoon some of the hot liquid from your brewpot into the pouch to dissolve the remaining extract.

If your extract came in a plastic tub or a metal can, open the container and pour the extract into the pot. A rubber scraper will help you remove most of the extract. To get every last drop, ladle some of the hot liquid from your brew pot into the container and let the remaining extract dissolve, and then pour the liquid back into your pot.

Once all the extract has been added to your brew pot, stir well to dissolve all of the extract. This will take 5 minutes or so, depending on how much extract is being added, and how hot the water is. Once all of the extract is completely dissolved, turn the heat back on and bring the brew to a boil.

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 heat off.



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