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Old 04-23-2013, 04:40 PM   #21
LowNotes
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Brew only at midnight on daylight-savings time day, guaranteed to shave an hour off your brew time.

Everyone pretty much covered all the big reductions:

-Good burner to cut time waiting for liquid to heat
-Good chiller to cut time waiting for liquid to cool
-Do as much prep/clean as you can when waiting for mash and boil
-Plan out entire process ahead of time to reduce downtime/surprises

My brew day takes about 5 hours for a 5g BIAB AG batch, but since most of that time is waiting (60 min mash, 60 min boil, 60+ mins for my IC to chill wort) I don't mind. If I had a better chiller I could knock an hour off probably...but I usually just set it to drain into my sink and go watch TV, read HBT, or update my brew journal. If I was forced to rbew outside in bad weather or in a garage I might feel differently, but since I use my kitchen stove (luckily I have a badass "quick boil" burner and Nat. Gas) I can wander anywhere in the house and wait for my timers to beep at me.

If you could accellerate your brew-rig to relativistic speeds approaching the speed of light that might help too.

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:15 PM   #22
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If I can't take my time on a brew day, I don't brew. There's nothing worse, imo, than rushing a brew. I usually get up quite early and make myself a good breakfast to get the energy levels up. I then go through to my brew area (garage), fire up my computer and put on some music. From there I put the water on to boil and begin the brew process. As the day passes, I more than likely crack open a few beers and enjoy the day. All in all, it takes pretty much the whole day.

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Old 04-24-2013, 08:23 PM   #23
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Nothing wrong with speeding up the brew day. I know that I've had days that were longer than they needed to be. Personally, if I'm spending more than 5.5 hours, it starts to feel too long.

What are the parts of the day that are taking too long? The long parts that can be controlled seem to be:
* Heating water - bigger burner?
* Sparge/Lauter - Fly sparging takes longer than batch sparging. Full volume mash is fast too - aka no sparge.
* Getting to boiling - start heating the wort before you've collected it all.
* Chilling - The colder the water, the faster the chilling - consider using ice water. Stir the wort occasionally if using an immersion chiller. Look into no-chill brewing.
* Cleanup - clean as you go. Don't take more crap out than you need.

I like doing no sparge on smaller beers. I don't have a HLT, so it allows me to get the wort into the kettle faster and moves things along.

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Old 04-24-2013, 09:44 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whutever View Post
I measure the water and hops (vacuum packed of course) the night before and set everything out that I need (that can be). This includes grinding the grain ahead of time. This combined with batch sparging has reduced my brew days to ~5 hours if I'm on my game and don't have to make any repairs during the brew session.
Similar to my brewday except I measure hops during the mash to give me something to do. The only PIA part for me is cleaning the mash tun and getting rid of the grains. When it gets warm out, it gets iffy fast because my typical brewday is the day AFTER garbage collection. I wish I still lived in a rural setting where I could ditch it anywhere and be done.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:13 PM   #25
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I do no sparge, overnight mash and no chill. I have 2 kids and I like to play golf. 6 hour brew days don't work for me.

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Old 04-24-2013, 11:22 PM   #26
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I cut some annoying time out of my brew day by not siphoning from kettle to fermentor. I don't have a spigot on my kettle so after chilling I would have to siphon to my fermentor after waiting for the trub to settle out. Watching, watching, watching for the line between beer and trub, then trying to get that last bit. The last time, I picked up the kettle and dumped it all in the fermenter, shake, pitch, done.

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Old 04-24-2013, 11:27 PM   #27
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My typical brew day takes 4 hours for a 10 gallon batch (have dedicated HLT, MLT, Brew Kettle, and march pump) from start-up to clean up. I weigh and crush grains while the strike water is heating up. I heat up about 10 gallons total with my strike water so I can use 5 gallons of hot water to soak with star san in my keg fermenter during the brewing process. Start heating my wort after the first run-off. Clean the mash tun while wort is getting to boil temp. 15 minutes after boil to run wort into fermenter through counter-flow chiller. Clean-up after that is about 20 minutes from the counterflow and brew kettle.

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Old 04-24-2013, 11:32 PM   #28
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The best way to save time is to brew larger batches.

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:03 AM   #29
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Save time and labor...40 minute mash, 40 minute boil...no chill in the kettle, then here is the kicker...pitch yeast and ferment in the kettle...7-10 days rack to a keg and let sit / secondary in the keg for another week or two...cheers!

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:22 PM   #30
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I really enjoy making the whole brew day more and more efficient. Its just another aspect of the hobby in general that I really enjoy. I understand some people like to take their time, but the OP was asking advice on how to shave some time off of the brew day, not whether he should take his time and enjoy the brew day like 'some' other homebrewers like to.

The biggest thing that has helped me do 5g brews in 4 hours is cleaning while other parts of the process are going on. If after transferring your wort to the fermentor all you have to do is clean your chiller and kettle, then you will save a ton of time. Just don't clean during the brew day when something is waiting, for example don't clean the mash tun when the wort is done boiling and you haven't started the chiller yet. I've also started to measure out and boil the mash/sparge water in the morning well before I need it. By the time I am ready to brew, if the water is too hot then its easy to cool, if the water is too cool then it shouldn't take too much time heating it up. It takes 5 minutes to measure out and start boiling the water at 8am, then make sure to turn it off when it starts to boil, then you can come back a few hours later and start the brew day.

Cheers!

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