Boiling and Cooling
Beginning the Boil
Figure 42: Placing a large towel on the floor helps soak up spills and makes clean up much easier later. Four out of five spouses surveyed did not like sticky floors. The bag of ice will be placed in the bathtub later to help cool the wort after the boil. The fermenter has been cleaned, sanitized and is ready to go.
1. Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil in a large pot (>4 gal.). Pour this water into the fermenter and leave it to cool. Now bring another 3 gallons of water to boil in the brewpot. You will be boiling the malt extract in this water and diluting this concentrated wort with the water in the fermenter to make the total five gallons. Some water will evaporate during the boil, and some will be lost to the trub. Starting out with something closer to six gallons will ensure that you hit your five gallon target volume. When the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, re-hydrate the dry yeast packet(s) as described in Chapter 6- Yeast. Although many people skip this step with fair results, re-hydrating it assures the best results.
3. Add all the malt extract to the hot water and stir until dissolved. Make sure there are no clumps and scrape the bottom of the pot with the spoon to ensure that no extract is stuck to the bottom of the pot. It is very important not to burn any malt that may be stuck to the bottom when the pot is returned to the heat. Burnt sugar tastes terrible.
4. The next stage is critical. The pot needs to be watched continuously in case it starts to boil over. Return the pot to the heat and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.