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So you have all your gear and are ready to brew. Get the Kettle, spoon, and ingredients out. Fill the Kettle with water allowing 4 to 7 inches or more of head space to the top. During the boil, there will be a hot break of material that will rise rapidly and will if unattended, flow over the top and make a mess !!.


Start heating the water on high. During this time, get your fermenter ready by washing with a cleanser such as Powder Brewery Wash or other cleanser to remove any organic material. One can use a small quantity of bleach in water, but you MUST rinse very well if doing so. The smallest amount ( in the parts per million - ppm ) will interact with the wort/beer and form Chorophenols. In essence, the beer will come out smelling and tasting like cleaned laundry or mediciny.... Just be thorough in rinsing if using a product with bleach in it. If you can smell bleach in the fermenter, then it probably will carry over to the finished product.


Then after cleaning the fermenter, you must now sanitize it. Understand that sanitizing is not the same as sterilizing. You can never achieve sterile which is the lack of anything alive. We just need to sanitize those things that will come into contact with the wort/beer. This will kill the bacteria and wild yeast/mold spores that exist all around us and on our bodies, in our mouth, etc.

For this, I recommend Idophor. It is an iodine based sanitizer used by the dairy industry and many restaurants for cleaning plates, glass and silverware. Very effective in just 3 min's of contact time. Follow the instructions for usage.

After applying your sanitizer of choice, let the fermenter sit with it till needed later.


Get back to your kettle. Are things near a boil? If so, open any cans or pouches or LME and DME.  Near a boil, slowly pour in the malt extract while stirring it so as not to let it hit the bottom of the kettle and get scorched. ( Of course, if you are making a smoked stout, you may want this. ) Stir it all in till it is dissolved. Then let things come to a boil. Do watch as there will be precipitate that forms and builds on the surface. This is called the hot break. It is an amalgam of peptides, proteins and starches that bind together but will soon break up under the heat. One must watch the kettle carefully during the first 10 min's of the boil. After that, things tend to settle down and the boil becomes clear.

You may add your hops at the beginning of the boil or after the break, whichever you prefer. Sometimes the addition of the hops will precipitate the hot break, bringing it on fast and furious as the hops create nucleation sites ( another fancy term for increased surface area ) in the liquid and allow the long molecules to clump together quickly. Be ready for it !


Now just stir every several minutes to keep things from burning on the bottom and let it rip for 45 to 60 mins.

  1. Start Heating the water
  2. Clean fermenter / gear
  3. Sanitize fermenter / gear
  4. Add malt to kettle
  5. Watch for hot break
  6. Add hops
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