Arguably the most important vessel in the brewhouse. This piece of equipment is used to boil the sweet wort. Wort is boiled for six reasons, I will list but not go into further detail.
I use the acronym VISCIP to remember them:
V-Volitize, boil off unwanted vapours
I-Isomerisation, changing the hops apha-acids into the wanted bitter iso-alpha-acids.
S-Sterilize, Killing unwanted microbes.
C-Concentration-Evaporation of water and making the beer stronger
I-Inactivation-Stops the mash enzymes from working to preserve beer character
P-Precipitation-Haze precursors (hot break)