I am homebrewing again (at last!). I am using a kit again, Young’s Harvest Mild, but this time added 1kg light spray malt rather than any sugar. I have also suppemented the wort with a hop tea made of 5g of Fuggles boiled in a pint or so of water for 15 minutes. I know kits are pre-hopped but I like hoppy beers so this is an experiment to tweak the flavour in that direction.
There were a couple of points I should have borne in mind along the way. First, while a watched pot never boils, turning your back on a pot of wort is a fatal mistake. I think I have it all clean but will have to pull the oven out tomorrow to make sure. Secondly, if you don’t add enough cold water and the ambient temperature is high, it can take a very long time for the vat of wort to get cool enough. I should have started earlier and had more ice on hand. Of course, if I had boiled the wort with less water in the first place, it would have allowed a greater proportion of cold water and quicker cooling as well as probably avoiding the overboiling incident.
In the end, I pitched my yeast at a specific gravity of 1.036 at 29°C (which equates to about 1.038 at 20°C). That should be cool enough for the yeast to get established and to avoid development of unwanted flavours. Now to wait and see what it does over the next week or so.