I am still fairly new to homebrewing, and am on my second batch using this kit. The instructions given in the kit I don't think are particularly clear. It states that I should add 3.5 litres of boiling water and top up with cold water (up to 23 litres). It then states that it should be kept between 18 and 20 degrees.
However, what temperature is "cold water"? I live in Scotland. The first batch I did was in the winter; tap water is so cold it actually hurts your hand. Compare that with a warm region and you could be talking about a difference of 15 or 20 degrees C. Nonetheless, following these intructions I end up with the brew way up at almost 30 deg C.
What I am wondering is whether these kits are supposed to be kicked off at a higher temperature and then left to settle down to the ideal 18-20 zone?
It would far clearer if they replaced their nonsense about ratios of hot vs "cold" water, and simply told you what temperature to aim for!
So my question is: is the brew supposed to start at a higher temperaure? (to kick start the yeast..?) and if so, what sort of temperature should I aim for, ideally?