After the malt extract is added, the pot is brought back to a boil, which is the main boil for 60 minutes—at different times during this boil hops can be added for bittering, flavor and aroma.
Our flavoring hops (added the last 15 minutes of the boil) are pictured here below in processed pellet form, vacuum sealed in metallic astronaut-like packets.
Hops come from a tall green vine that sprouts small green blossoms resembling little green pinecones. There are many varieties of hops you can purchase depending on what flavors you want to bring out in your brew. For the malty brown ale we’re using the “British Kent Goldings” variety of hops.
Once the last phase of boiling is done the brew kettle must be cooled down quickly. This is done by putting the kettle usually in the kitchen sink filled with ice. When the kettle liquid is cooled to the correct temperature, yeast is added. But first, the liquid must be siphoned out of the kettle into what is called a “car-boy.” I know not why this large 5 gallon glass bottle that resembles the ones you get bottled water in is called a “car-boy,” but it is. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the kettle in the ice bath, or the siphoning process, because I was pretty tanked by then from all the beer tasting and I forgot to play paparazzi. We also had to walk to the corner store for extra ice, so that further distracted me from my photo-journalistic endeavors. But I’m betting you have a healthy imagination for the time being, and are able to picture these missing steps in your minds eye.
Here is our magical ingredient, yeast! The type of yeast we’re using needs to be refrigerated, however, for this part of the process the yeast has been taken out of the fridge to reach room temperature. It all has to do with bringing everything to the correct temperature for fermentation, the longest step of the brewing process. This usually takes two weeks plus. For our purposes, we waited 2 weeks until the last phase of our homebrewing--bottling!
Stay tuned for Homebrewing for Beginners Part 3, Bottling!