Yesterday evening, I did a completely un-rushed brew. Total time including crushing grain was 3 hours approximately. Not a bad number at all. I cooked and ate dinner and cleaned up, bottled some beer, and various other things. I did a full one hour mash, with a more normal grind, making a fairly "big" beer. The result was poor efficiency. I also did a full one hour boil. Chill took 5 minutes to pitch temp.
This is a big red sweet ale..........mashed at 155F, hopped to about 40 IBUs, OG 1.085. Almost 8 pounds of grain including crystal, in a 2.5 gallon brew. Hops are Motueka and Nelson. Motueka for bittering, and Motueka and Nelson at 10 min. I like the combo a lot!
Multi tasking works well with brewing, and as part of my time reduction program, it would be silly to discount this as a factor. I can blast through a brew day in a couple of hours, and from what I've tasted, the result is good. In fact my "speed brew" with the 10 minute mash produced an excellent brew. The slight sweetness produced by the under attenuation... less than one percent alcohol by volume below target, set off the hops very well. I'm wishing I'd brewed more of it! Obviously efficiency and attenuation are not the ultimate target. A good tasting brew IS. Yesterday's brew was an attempt to produce a slightly under attenuated brew along the same lines.