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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > AG brew day in less than 3 hours... possible?
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
badmajon
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Default AG brew day in less than 3 hours... possible?

My goal is to complete an AG brew in 3 hours, start to finish. 1 hour mash, 1 hour boil.

It's the other parts that seem to get me... My last AG brewday was 5 hours. Perfect for a relaxing afternoon, but less than relaxing when you've got kids screaming in the house etc etc.

Does anyone accomplish this? What are your steps? For some reason, my brew days just take a long time, I don't even know what I spend all my time doing!

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:42 PM   #2
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BIAB can be done easily in 3 hours.

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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I think 3.5 hours is more reasonable for me. I've done it, with a simple batch sparge. If you heat water, mash in, then heat the sparge water during the mash, you can probably do it in a tad bit over three hours. You could also increase the amount of grain you're using and do a no-sparge method if you were really pressed for time.

I've found that heating up the sparge water during the mash then draining the runnings is pretty quick. Then adding one round of sparge water, stirring like a crazy person and then draining takes less than 10 minutes. I've started the boil kettle onto the flame while doing the batch sparge. That way it comes to a boil faster.

You can mash less than an hour, if you check for conversion- I've had conversion in as little as 40 minutes when I checked! It depends on mash temperature, really, but many times a warmer temperature mash (153 or higher) will be converted within 45 minutes or less.

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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The only way I can see it being possible is to either use an on-demand water heater or use a timer and temp controller to pre-heat all the water you'll need. Also factor in the time it takes to chill wort which is harder in the summer.

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:50 PM   #5
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I haven't done it in 3. 4 I can do. I hope that doesn't include cleanup.

  • Cut down mash time to 45m
  • cut down boil to 45m
  • batch sparge
  • get the most efficient chiller you can get (imo, plate chiller)
  • night before: pre-measure hops, mill grain, have brewsheet printed, fill HLT with strike water; basically stage everything

I find that the difference between my ideal time and actual is spent screwing around with the sparge. I don't have problems there, but I tend to lose at least a half hour there.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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I can easily heat 2.5-3 gallons (strike water) of water to +/- 165 degrees in 15 minutes. Dough in and mash while heating sparge water.

15 min preheat,1 hour mash, 10 minute sparge with 175 degree water, 15 minutes to boil, 1 hour boil, Clean up and sanitize during the boil, +/-15 minutes to chill, 1 minute of oxygen and pitch.

You have to be on your A game, but it can be done.

Bull

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Old 07-17-2011, 02:11 PM   #7
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My best time was just under 4 hours. One of the things I typically do is pre-boil my water the night before, and when it cools down to about 190° I put it in my tun. It still needs to be reheated some the next day, but not as much as tap water.

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Old 07-17-2011, 05:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions, I am in the process of working out a Turbo All Grain step by step process and when I get it figured out, I'll post here to help all the other stressed out dads (or those that just want to get it over with). I do enjoy brewing and like I said, if the time is mine, a 5 hour brew day is fine.

I looked at my logs and I see one of my major bottlenecks is chilling and areation. I use a counterflow chiller that is 3/8" inside- it doesn't clog much (that's why I chose it over a plate chiller) but it takes forever to actually run wort through it, like 30 minutes for 10 gallons. Oxygenation takes a while too, I use the aquarium pump method which takes about 15 minutes (and that's kinda low) for each fermentor (I use two brew pails).

Would switching to a plate chiller speed my process?

I could try to make a sanke fermentor, and buy a pure oxygen setup. That would cut out the need to areate twice (two buckets) and areation would be like, 5 minutes.

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Old 07-17-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmajon View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions, I am in the process of working out a Turbo All Grain step by step process and when I get it figured out, I'll post here to help all the other stressed out dads (or those that just want to get it over with). I do enjoy brewing and like I said, if the time is mine, a 5 hour brew day is fine.

I looked at my logs and I see one of my major bottlenecks is chilling and areation. I use a counterflow chiller that is 3/8" inside- it doesn't clog much (that's why I chose it over a plate chiller) but it takes forever to actually run wort through it, like 30 minutes for 10 gallons. Oxygenation takes a while too, I use the aquarium pump method which takes about 15 minutes (and that's kinda low) for each fermentor (I use two brew pails).

Would switching to a plate chiller speed my process?

I could try to make a sanke fermentor, and buy a pure oxygen setup. That would cut out the need to areate twice (two buckets) and areation would be like, 5 minutes.
For chilling, a cheaper set up might be a a prechiller. Prechiller in an icebath, through the CFC. If you can splash/aerate coming out of the chiller, that would be enough. I've seen some venturi type pipes coming out of the chiller into the fermenter, and that aerates as well as (or better than) an aquarium pump. Then you could chill and aerate in one quick step.

My tapwater is cold, so chilling is fast for me, but for warmer tap water folks, even a plate chiller won't be that helpful.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
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I think if I could streamline the cleanup process alone, I could probably reduce my brewday significantly. I feel like that's where my time loss occurs and it makes the day feel disjointed. Any tips from those who have streamlined it? Mash tun is a 10 gal cooler, IC, no pump.

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