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Old 11-10-2012, 07:57 PM   #11
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Make sure you are prepping for the next step whenever there is a period where you are waiting.

When waiting for strike water to heat, get everything ready for the mash.
When mashing, get everything ready for the boil.
When boiling clean up and get ready for transfer to the fermenter.

That is about the best that can be done without spending tons on special equipment.

I'm waiting for the BIAB responses!



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Old 11-10-2012, 08:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevers View Post
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.
Ok, a couple questions, then! One is, you said you're batch sparging. If you're batch sparging, you add the sparge water and stir like you mean it, then vorlauf and drain. If it's "draining slow" and you have the valve wide open, then that is a big issue. It should totally drain in less than 5-7 minutes.

The incoming water for the chiller is a big factor- if your water is warm, it just won't chill effectively. You could definitely consider a pre-chiller if the water temperature isn't cold enough. In the summer, my water temperature is in the 60s and it takes longer for me to chill than in the winter when my tap water is in the 40s!


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Old 11-10-2012, 08:08 PM   #13
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A pre-chiller will probably cut about 30 minutes off of your cooling time. It makes a big difference when you have warm tap/ground water.

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Ok, a couple questions, then! One is, you said you're batch sparging. If you're batch sparging, you add the sparge water and stir like you mean it, then vorlauf and drain. If it's "draining slow" and you have the valve wide open, then that is a big issue. It should totally drain in less than 5-7 minutes.

The incoming water for the chiller is a big factor- if your water is warm, it just won't chill effectively. You could definitely consider a pre-chiller if the water temperature isn't cold enough. In the summer, my water temperature is in the 60s and it takes longer for me to chill than in the winter when my tap water is in the 40s!
Ok, what do you recommend for speeding up the lautering? Rice hulls, coarser crush? The prechiller might be a good investment. I was considering making a counter flow chiller from my current IC, so that may be pretty easy to do.

I'm not sure that the tap water here ever gets really cold.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:28 PM   #15
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BIAB can save you a few minutes but even better (although it technically doesn't save any time) is don't do everything in 1 six hour time block. I get everything set up friday night. at 8am saturday I fill the kettle and bring to strike temp, mash in and then let it sit all morning while I do other things. At noon, I'll pull the bag and boil the wort, when its done I'll just throw the lid on and leave it sit the whole afternoon while I do something else (sometimes I'll put in an icebath, other times put the chiller in and just leave it on the burner hot) In the evening, I'll hook up the chiller and cool to pitch temp, rack to a fermenter and fill everything with PBW to soak over night. Sunday morning its just a quick spray off and everything is done. The only session that takes more than an hour is the boil but I can usually lauter and 90minute boil within 2hrs. In terms of ideal process, a 4 hour mash isn't ideal (the FG is always lower than expected) and not chilling immediately could lead to dms issues depending on the recipe. But it allows me to brew AG batches on weekends that I would never have time to dedicate a 6 hour time block to.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:04 PM   #16
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I've done a lot of management of staff and processes, and it's held true for all the years I've done it that usually the best way to cut down on task time is to be highly organized.

After only two brew days so far, I can tell you it works the same way with the brewing. Brew 2 went much faster than brew 1.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevers View Post
Ok, what do you recommend for speeding up the lautering? Rice hulls, coarser crush? The prechiller might be a good investment. I was considering making a counter flow chiller from my current IC, so that may be pretty easy to do.

I'm not sure that the tap water here ever gets really cold.
I see that you're in GA- you're right, the tap water probably never gets very cold! I'm not sure what other brewers do in the south, but even if you got a CFC or a plate chiller, your tap water probably needs a prechiller or you could try recirculating ice water instead of water from the tap.

A courser crush isn't probably the issue, but I'm not sure what is. Do you open the ball valve wide open, and the wort trickles out? Do you have a piece of tubing on the "out" of the ball valve? It's important to use tubing, as it will help siphon the wort out of the mashtun.

Another thing that is helpful is to put your runnings on the boil right out of the MLT. That means it comes up to a boil much faster, and by the time you're done sparging you'd be at a boil.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:19 PM   #18
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Getting my blichmann top tier shaved hours off. No more complicated dangerous stacking set ups, better burners boil and heat sparge water faster. All and all just keeps things more organized. Im self employed so time is at a premium, shaving hours off more than paid for the top tier.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbx View Post
BIAB can save you a few minutes but even better (although it technically doesn't save any time) is don't do everything in 1 six hour time block. I get everything set up friday night. at 8am saturday I fill the kettle and bring to strike temp, mash in and then let it sit all morning while I do other things. At noon, I'll pull the bag and boil the wort, when its done I'll just throw the lid on and leave it sit the whole afternoon while I do something else (sometimes I'll put in an icebath, other times put the chiller in and just leave it on the burner hot) In the evening, I'll hook up the chiller and cool to pitch temp, rack to a fermenter and fill everything with PBW to soak over night. Sunday morning its just a quick spray off and everything is done. The only session that takes more than an hour is the boil but I can usually lauter and 90minute boil within 2hrs. In terms of ideal process, a 4 hour mash isn't ideal (the FG is always lower than expected) and not chilling immediately could lead to dms issues depending on the recipe. But it allows me to brew AG batches on weekends that I would never have time to dedicate a 6 hour time block to.
I like the idea of BIAB but I'm not sure I'd go for it as I already have all the equipment for a standard setup, and I'm not really a fan of spreading everything out over three days.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I see that you're in GA- you're right, the tap water probably never gets very cold! I'm not sure what other brewers do in the south, but even if you got a CFC or a plate chiller, your tap water probably needs a prechiller or you could try recirculating ice water instead of water from the tap.

A courser crush isn't probably the issue, but I'm not sure what is. Do you open the ball valve wide open, and the wort trickles out? Do you have a piece of tubing on the "out" of the ball valve? It's important to use tubing, as it will help siphon the wort out of the mashtun.

Another thing that is helpful is to put your runnings on the boil right out of the MLT. That means it comes up to a boil much faster, and by the time you're done sparging you'd be at a boil.
Yeah, the ball valve is wide open and I do have about 16" of tubing on the outlet to create a siphon. I was draining into the BK with the burner on but had to cut the flame back because it was already about to boil before the sparge was half done. Probably cut it back too much though.

My MLT is a 10 gallon cooler with a SS braid. I know that a lot of other people use this, so I doubt the equipment is an issue.


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