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Old 04-22-2013, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default Any way to speed up the brew day?

It takes me, from heating up my sparge water, to cleaning out my keggle at the end, 7 hours to do a 10 gallon batch. I know I can do a few things to speed up the process (like getting a separate keggle and burner to heat my sparge water).

What has helped speed up your process on brew day?

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:00 PM   #2
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See, my problem is my brew day is MY day. I don't necessarily want to speed it up. Know what I mean?

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:09 PM   #3
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I got a personal trainer to shout "encouragements" at me; also at the kettle (to speed up the boil). Not sure they worked though...

I was able to cut a brewing day down to 6 hours (maybe 5.5 with the wind at my back) by running a dedicated HLT, MLT, and Kettle (standard 3 vessel operation). With the HLT you can reduce time by jusrt heating "enough" for Mash-In, then again for any steps, and finally sparge water. You can cut some time during the mash if you finish with ~15 minutes at 158*F (I get good conversion with 30 minutes at 150 then 15 at 158 for 45 minutes total thanks to these modern malts).

Really the best "time saver" was to take a day off in the middle of the week when the kids are at school/daycare and the wife is at work. I still like to try to optimize the timing of each run but I don't feel under the gun to finish so it feels like a hobby again instead of a race.

My best advice is to sketch out you process on a timeline and see where you could shave a little off here or there, maybe squeeze an hour or so out in the process.

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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What are you using for chilling? have you considered a large plate chiller?

What type of burner are you using? If it's taking forever to heat your water maybe upgrade your burner?

I haven't been brewing for that long but when I got into it I went straight to AG. I bought a banjo burner and a 40 plate chiller (thermenator). My brew days don't seem to take near as long as what people describe on here. I just try to clean and stay on top of things throughout the entire process so that I dont have to do it at the end. ****disclaimer, by no means am I a pro

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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The biggest thing that has shortened my brewing day is FermCap. It allows me to walk away from the kettle and clean stuff while I'm brewing. After transferring to the fermenter, usually all I have to clean is the chiller and the kettle.

I also speed up my sparge. Sure, it lowers my efficiency, but at a cost of a couple pounds of grain, it's worth my time.

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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On paper my usual 10 gallon day goes about like this...
Set-up and system and heat strike water - 30min (mill grain while heating).
Dough-In to 111* - 10 min
Step to/at 150* - 30 min
Step to/at 158* - 15 min
Mash-out/Recirculate - 10 min
Lauter/Sparge (fly) - 50 min
Boil - 60 min
Chill/Pitch ~30 min (plate)
Clean-up - 60 min

A nice lean 4:55, however...In practice I can generally count on adding at least an hour for hiccups, breakages, and (in the case of cleaning) general lollygagging, sandbagging, goldbricking etc.

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:20 PM   #7
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Going back to extract and PM

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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A new burner certainly helped. I think the next move will be a stand, to reduce the grabbing 11 million things and putting them together aspect.

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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Make cider...5 minutes pouring juice on top of last week's yeast cake and done!

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #10
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I love brewing. I don't want to make my time shorter. If anything, I'd like to prolong the time I have brewing. Brewing time is the only time I in my life that I feel like I'm accomplishing something.

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