After fiddling with my propane burner and a few different ways to chill the wort, I finally realized that it was time to stop stalling.
I had to understand that this would only be the first of MANY brew attempts. There probably would be some mistakes, but the best way for me to learn not to touch a hot pot has always been for me to burn my hand.
So I ran through the list in my head: 1) Clean and steralize all equipment that will come in contact with beer; 2) Start boiling 2 gallons of purified (not distilled) water in the boiling pot; Once boiling, remove pot from the flame, introduce the malt extract at a reasonable rate, stirring into the boiling water until completely dissolved; 3) Add 3/4 of the hops to the boiling water/wort mixture; 4) Return pot to the flame, boil mixture for 60 minutes; 5) Add remaining 1/4 of the hops; 6) Remove pot from the flame (turn off flame, keep pot covered and chill the wort mixture to 68 degrees (use whatever chilling method that is available to you); 7) While wort is chilling, add 2 gallons of chilled water to the glass fermenter/carboy; 8) Once wort is chilled, use funnel to transfer wort to the glass carboy; 9) Add yeast to glass carboy; 10) add additional cold water to bring the level of wort to the 5 gallon mark on the glass carboy.
Ok so that is what I did.
My biggest issue in the boiling stages of this process was “boil overs”. It seemed like every 5 minutes I was either stirring the boil or lowering the flame to prevent a boil over. The foam would rise to the top and most of the overflow foam seemed speckled with flecks of hops. I learned that there are certain chemicals that you can add to the boil in order to prevent this.
My other big issue was chilling the wort. I did buy a copper coil (immersion chiller) but I was unable to get the proper fittings to hook it up to a hose or faucet. So I used the sink full of ice method. This took way too long. I ended up getting impatient and I did not chill the wort as long as I should have. This had explosive results that you can read about in my post regarding Day 2.
All in all, I am glad that I just finally went for it. The only way to really learn to do something is to jump right in. Now I will just have to wait for the initial fermentation, then the bottling and bottling fermentation, then we will see what how my first brew turned out.
For now, I have this: