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Boil Kettle

The boil kettle is another 20 gallon stainless steel pot with a 5500watt 240volt ultra low density electric heating element controlled by a PWM (pulse width modulation) circuit and ssr. This controller varies the lengh of on time for the element which allows control of the rate of boil.

The kettle is used to boil the wort. Typically the wort is boiled from 60 to 90 minutes depending on the grain used. Boiling is necessary to sanitize the wort. It also removes proteins created during the mash that would cause hazy beer. This is called the hot break. Boiling also drives off unwanted compounds such as DMS (Dimethyl sulfides) which could cause unwanted flavors.

During the boil, hops are added at a predetermined time. Hops added early on and boiled the longest will add bitterness to the beer while hops added near the end of the boil will add hop aroma and taste. Various hops can be used to achieve different aromas and flavors for different styles of beer. Other additives may be added to the boil depending on beer style. Some examples would be honey, candi sugar, and spices.

One of the best tools to aid in brewing is a refractometer. It measures the amount of sugar in the wort. This way you can tell if your brew is going to be what you planned for as far as origianl gravity. It can be used during fermentation and at the end of fermentation to measure residual sugar and calculate % alcohol in the beer.

Towards the end of the boil fining agents such as whirflock, irish moss, or pvpp (Polyvinylpolypyrrolidone) are added to the kettle. These additions help proteins combine into larger clumps and settle to the bottom of the kettle during the boiling and chilling process. This results in cleaner, clearer beer.

A few minutes before the boil is finished, the boiling wort is recirculated thru the pump system and the chiller. The boiling wort sanitizes the pumps and hoses to prevent contamination once the wort is chilled.

Now that the boil is done the wort needs to be rapidly chilled.

 

To the Chiller