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Old 11-10-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default What's the most effective thing for shortening a brew day?

I just got done with another 6+ hour brew day, and I'm wondering what i need to buy or build next in order to cut down on the time spent. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy brewing and it's delicious results, but there comes a point when you have to make things more efficient.

I'm currently doing all grain, batch sparging, chilling with an immersion chiller, and gravity draining from the keggle into the fermenter. It seems like a lot of the time is eaten up lautering, chilling, and draining the keggle.

So what was your best upgrade at this point?

P.S., this time is in addition to me grinding all my grain and collecting all my water the night before.

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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Drink more beer....seems shorter

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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I can't imagine it taking very long to chill or to drain the keggle. To speed chilling, make sure you move/stir the wort around the chiller and make sure the water for chilling is as cold as possible. Keep a good flow of water into the chiller, for faster chilling.

Lautering for batch sparging takes less than 10 minutes, so I can't imagine that being slow, either.

Can you type out a rough timeline, so we can see what's going on?

Like this:

Bring water to strike temp- 20 minutes
mash- 60 minutes
etc.

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Collecting water from night before would lengthen my brewday. I collect hot water from hot water heater the day of. Shorten's my time to get to strike temp.

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Grains, hops, water ready the night before. When I stared using a counter flow chiller that knocked off a solid 15 minutes as well.

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:45 PM   #7
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How long does it take to get a boil going?
The size of the burner you use could be an issue.
Once my mash is set, I might weigh out my additions for my boil, then have a beer.
I start this sparge water when the mash is getting close to done so that its done in time, but I don't have to run the burner to hold the temperature for a long time.
I'm not sure where you can save a lot of time after that. The mash needs as much time as it needs, your boil is for a pre determined amount of time.

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Old 11-10-2012, 07:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmanwell View Post
Grains, hops, water ready the night before.
This is a big one. Other little things like washing equipment during mash or in between hop additions helps. I scoop spent grain from the mash tun right next to the kettle so I can watch for boil overs and be ready for 60 min addition as soon as I see the boil. I also start heating my sparge water as soon as I mash in.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I can't imagine it taking very long to chill or to drain the keggle. To speed chilling, make sure you move/stir the wort around the chiller and make sure the water for chilling is as cold as possible. Keep a good flow of water into the chiller, for faster chilling.

Lautering for batch sparging takes less than 10 minutes, so I can't imagine that being slow, either.

Can you type out a rough timeline, so we can see what's going on?

Like this:

Bring water to strike temp- 20 minutes
mash- 60 minutes
etc.
This was all for a ten gallon batch

Bring water to strike temp- 30-40 minutes on stove inside (saving some propane...)

Mash-60 minutes

Lautering-this seems pretty slow, I would guess on my time here to be approximately 30-45 minutes, it was draining really slowly. Maybe add some rice hulls to make it drain faster? Beersmith did say that I got 80% efficiency, so my crush may be too fine.

Bring to boil-probably 20-30 minutes. The banjo burner really gets after it.

Boil-60 minutes

Chilling-40-45 minutes or so. I haven't measured the temp of my incoming water, but it's probably fairly warm (maybe a prechiller?). I am constantly moving the chiller around and stirring the wort. I use a 50' "ribcage" chiller.

Draining into fermenter- 35-45 minutes. I used whole hops today and used a SS scrubber on my pickup tube to filter them out. It was draining pretty slowly.

Moving fermenters, pitching, cleanup-60 minutes

Probably doesn't add up, but I started at 8 AM and finished around 3 PM. I also didn't time heating up my sparge water correctly, so that added about 15 minutes.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmanwell
Grains, hops, water ready the night before. When I stared using a counter flow chiller that knocked off a solid 15 minutes as well.
Water ready the night before?
I use hot tap water to start. It saves little time getting the water temperature.
I do make sure the grain is up to room temperature by setting it out the night before. When I get my mill and start milling at home I'm a pre weigh them so that brew day goes faster.
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In secondary
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In primary
Honey wit

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