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The Magic of the Boil

Much of what becomes beer is made in the kettle. From our Illustrated Guide to Homebrewing, here’s a look at what’s going on in there and the many decisions we can make along the way.

Dave Carpenter Mar 12, 2023 - 15 min read

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Double, double toil and trouble / Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
— The Witches, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth


The boil, the fourth essential step in brewing beer, is the main event on brew day. This is where newborn wort reaches its full potential and becomes fully developed yeast food. If you brew indoors on your kitchen stove, your house fills with the heady aromas of malt and hops. If you brew outdoors on a propane burner, you find yourself drawn to the brew kettle, as if it’s some kind of mystical cauldron. And, in some ways, it is.

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