Place the fish bones with water (not the 4 quarts) to cover in a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and drain off the water in a colander. Rinse the bones well under cold running water, then put them back in the pot with the 4 quarts cold water and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low an simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let cool completely and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer in 2- to 4-cup containers for up to 1 month.
Yield: 3 quarts