Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All Grain Part 3, The Boil


A few weeks ago, we posted some basics on All Grain Brewing.  Part 1 of my All Grain Brewing descriptions dealt with mashing the grain.  Next, we focused on the batch sparging, in  part 2.  While the process isn't overly difficult, access to the simple steps for reference can be beneficial.

Today we'll dive into the boiling phase of brewing.

The Boil:

As a precursor, all grain will require a larger boil pot, as we will perform full boils.  The wort at the end of the boil will be the final amount going into fermentation.  In our example, we will start with about 6 gallons of wort, with 4.25 expected to remain after an hour boil.  (This will vary depending on the the nature of the boil.  My experience  result in close to this amount.)  An electric stove may not be suitable to substantially heat the larger pot, and quite possibly, there may not be enough head room to fit the pot on the stove.  For these reasons, a propane burner and 7 gallon pot have been selected for the job.  This is basically a turkey fryer kit, available through Home Depot or other cooking or hardware type stores.

  1. Turn on the heat, and place the pot over the fire.  I keep the cover on the pot as it heats up, to encourage quick heating.
  2. It may take up 15-30 minutes to bring the liqueur to a boil.  Be cognizant of the temperature, as a hearty foam (the heat break) will occur as it begins to boil.  You want to be cautious for boil overs.
  3. The the heat break occurs, I use the stir stick and swipe it off and into the yard.  The materials aren't necessary, and there seems to be debate on whether good or bad to keep the heat break material.
  4. After the foam subsides, maintain a rolling boil, and add your first hop addition.
  5. Hops added at the beginning of the boil area considered bittering hops.
  6. Keep track of the time, the 60 minutes will begin when the bittering hops are added.
  7. With 20 minutes remaining I add a whirfloc tablet (irish moss) as a fining agent.
  8. At this same 20 minute mark I place the immersion wort cooler into the boil.  This will assure that it is sanitized.
  9. Add any remaining flavor or aroma hops as called for in the recipe.
  10. At the 60 minute mark, remove from heat, and proceed to cool the wort as quickly as possible.
  11. Everyone's process will be slightly different, but I incorporate both the wort chiller and a cold water bath.  Expect at least 30 minutes for cooling.
  12. After cool, place the wort into the carboy, aerate, and pitch the yeast.