Originally Posted by Lost
Sounds like things are going fine - you're on your way to some excellent homebrew!
1. I would like to second the turkey fryer suggestion - it is very effective. To sell your wife on the idea just tell her that it'll let you move the mess outside and you'll never have to clean a boilover off of the stove! Better still, if you get a fryer then you've got everything you need to do a full boil and are well on your way to doing all grain batches if you so choose (all you'll need is a cooler with a false bottom/copper manifold).
2. As for the boil being weak, a vigorous boil is best because a weak boil generally results in less than optimal hop utilization - practically speaking this is a small concern. However, the boil also cooks off some undesireable compounds - most notably DMS. This is why putting a lid on the kettle or having a weak boil is probably not the best thing. DMS can have a cooked vegetable type smell that can be an unwelcome addition to your beer. Now I would not be too concerned about this either but I thought it was worth mentioning just so that you can understand why a vigorous boil is better than a simmer.
3. Relax and have a beer/homebrew - I think that's the best advice anyone on this board has ever given.
Thank you for the advice!
I assume that even a cheap turkey fryer should do me fine for this job... right? I saw one at target for around $40.00 and I could get away with that pretty easily (I think). $40.00 shouldn't put me in the dog-house too long
I'm not sure if I can sell her with that idea because with how weak my stove is... i've never had a boil-over (not even close) but still, I might be able to talk her into it.
As far as DMS is concerned, I think I have that under control. I recently racked to my secondary and took a little sample to see where i'm heading. It tasted like pretty damn decent flat beer (I even felt a little buzz afterwards!), which is exactly what i'm aiming for at this point... hopefully I didn't screw up racking to my secondary, though I'm rather confident that everything went pretty well.
Thanks again for the input!