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Monday, August 20, 2007
Getting Started in Homebrewing - Boiling the Wort
After adding the extract and returning to a boil, the dark extract was now officially "wort" and on its way to becoming beer. Nothing too exciting happens during this boil. I stirred occasionally, perhaps just out of boredom.
I've heard people talk about hot-side aeration and its potential to introduce off-flavors. Although this seems to be more of a topic for all-grain brewing, I took care not to stir too often or too vigorously. But even though I tied a good luck goat (the Ayinger goat to be exact) to the spoon, maybe I was a bit too vigorous as the spoon fell into the boil!
Near the beginning of the hour-long boil, I dropped the bittering hops in from the prepackaged bag. The good thing about kits is that everything is nicely measured out with clear instructions. The bad thing is that for people like me who want to know as much as possible about every ingredient and every step, some of those details are omitted. Like, in this case, what type of hops were used for bittering and which type for aroma. But, no worries, as I progress through my brewing experience I'll have plenty of opportunity to get intimately familiar with probably more than I ever thought I might.
During this almost 60-75 minutes of boil time, I read through the directions again and made sure that the wort chiller and fermenting bucket were ready for their next step. I cracked open a beer and took a breath. Maybe this wasn't as difficult as I first thought. Ah, but we've only just begun.
As the boil stage neared completion, following Adam's advice I placed the wort chiller in the boiling pot approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled end of the boil. This was a way to sanitize the wort chiller, which I had already given a once-over in the sink. With about 5 minutes remaining in the boil, I dropped in the aroma hops.
Check back again soon for the next stage of chilling the wort.
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Wow - seems like a lot of work to me. When the process can be reduced to microwave then refrig - may take a shot at it. Meanwhile, the part of "cracking" open a beer and taking a breather sounds like the best part of the prep to me. All kidding aside - Good Luck - hope all the hard work pays off.
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