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Boiling and Topping Up

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Equipment You Will Need

DIY Corner

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Water Treatment

A Walk Through A Brew

  The Mash

Wort Collecting and Sparging

Boiling and Topping Up

Cooling and Pitching

Initial and Secondary Fermentation



A Few Recipes

Creating Your Own Recipes

Danger - Quicksand!

Frequently Asked Questions

Links and Further Reading

What Is Sensible Mole?

Contact The Head Brewer



You need to boil for 90 minutes and there is plenty to do during this time, most importantly, keep an eye on the burner from time to time to ensure a gust of wind doesn't extinguish the flame. Put the kettle on - not just for a cup of coffee but also because your yeast will need pre-boiled water which has cooled to below 25°C. Sterilise a mug in which to prepare your yeast. Wash up and put away your sparging equipment and the mash tun. (I put the spent grain (and hops) on the compost heap, some brewers use the stuff as a mulch on their flower beds.) You also need to sterilise your immersion wort chiller. Don't forget to weigh out the remaining batches of hops and get the Protafloc ready (simple instructions on packet) as well as crushing two Campden tablets. Also boil your filter bag for 15 minutes to sterilise it - liquid steriliser will rot the material but boiling it in a pan of water will clean it up sufficiently well.



adding hops and campden tablets at the start of the boil.  Hmmm, nice Busy Lizzies!!!

(While a vigorous rolling boil is essential, as shown aside, you need to strike a balance here. A boil which is neither rolling nor vigorous may lead to problems later when trying to clear your beer. However a boil which is TOO vigorous could lead to over one third of your wort disappearing over the garden wall in the shape of steam!

Don't worry, it's not rocket science; common sense will tell you when it's time to turn down the heat.)

Burner raised on breeze blocks to protect the lawn

When the liquid starts to boil, add the first batch of hops, the Campden tablets, and the last of the DLS if using the Water Analysis method. Write down the time of the start of the boil and work out (and write down) what time you should add your next batch of hops, by referring to the recipe, and don't forget to add the Protafloc and two more crushed Campden tablets 15 minutes from the end of the boil.


 a vigorous boil is essential to help clear the beer

So you've followed the hop schedule in the recipe and added the right batches of hops, crushed campden tablets and finings at the appropriate times and the 90 minutes boil has come to an end.



Stretch the filter bag over the top of the fermentation bin as shown.






jugging out the wort through the strainer



When all the wort has passed through, hold up the straining bag to drain the hops. Be careful with this stage and try not to splash - this stuff is HOT! Finally discard the straining bag containing the hops - either on the ground or in a bucket depending on how tidy you are. Don't attempt to empty the bag until the hops have cooled as they get very hot.


Topping Up

You'll never get that staining out of the bag but as long as it's been boiled thoroughly, don't worry, it's clean enough!






Switch off the heat at the end of the 90 minutes and CAREFULLY jug out the wort into the bin, through the straining bag.



holding up the straining bag to drain the hops





Depending on how lively your boil was, you'll be left with about 19 litres of liquid. If you remember the recipe is for 25 litres. Simply pour your later spargings from your stockpot into the fermentation bin to make up the difference.

Now the boil has ended and we've topped back up to 25 litres as specified in the recipe, it's vitally important that the wort is cooled as quickly as possible - airborne bacteria and other nasties are drawn to sweet hot liquids like moths to a flame. You sterilised your immersion wort chiller while the boil was taking place so now it's time to look at the process of cooling your wort and pitching the yeast...

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