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Old 03-23-2008, 06:07 AM   #1
vmpolesov
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Default tips and tricks to save time

I figured out a couple by myself today when doing an AG batch for the first time:

1) glass thermometers suck.
2) start heating your sparge water while mashing is in progress, so it's ready to go as soon as mashing is done. I have a 65,000 BTU (i think) burner called 'little kahuna' and it takes it some time to bring 5 gal to 170 degrees for sparging.
3) hose clamps on store-bought immersion chiller suck. They couldn't take the water pressure from my yard faucet without leaking, even when tightened all the way. So I turned down the pressure. I am going to flare the ends or solder on flare fittings and make up a set of hoses that can easily be attached/detached. The thing is downright ungainly (for use, cleaning, and storage) with hoses hanging off of it and always getting tangled.
4) clean-up is a pain in the ass. I'm looking for any tips on making this easier.

question: does anyone start heating the wort while sparging is still going on? Of course you wouldn't want a full boil until sparging is done, I'm just thinking of ways to do things in parallel, and starting to heat the wort to sub-boiling while sparging is in progress seems like a potential time saver. Otherwise you sparge, then wait a while while the full kettle of wort comes up to temp.

any other time savers? pumps for example. I'm sure they're convenient but do they save time as well?



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Old 03-23-2008, 07:19 AM   #2
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Having 2 burners and 2 pots (Hot liquor and boiler for mash) is necessary to save time. In this case to save time we need $$$$.

Save hot water from your chilling the wort in buckets for clean up. Add PBW and it's easy.

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question: does anyone start heating the wort while sparging is still going on?
Sure, I always do this. I keep track of how much I collect though. You can add wort any time too if needed, especially at the end of the boil to make up for vapor losses.


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Old 03-23-2008, 07:26 AM   #3
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I like to draw up my water the night before. After the mash is done and I'm heating the collected wort to a boil, I clean the MLT. That way, I usually only have to clean the BK, IC, and misc utensils when I'm done. Pumps IMHO are a PITA. You gotta prime them, then ya gotta worry about running PBW and a rinse through them when you're done. Unless I'm doing higher level techniques like direct-fire recircing, fly sparging, or whirlpooling, I try to avoid using my pumps.

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Old 03-23-2008, 08:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmpolesov
.

question: does anyone start heating the wort while sparging is still going on?
any other time savers? pumps for example. I'm sure they're convenient but do they save time as well?
Oh ya at just past the 1/2 way point I fire up the burner and keep close watch on your temp I never let it get above 180-185 before I am done with my sparging and at that point its 10 min. till I am at boil.. BIG time saver. as for cleaning..... clean as you go, so the only thing left to clean once your in fermenters is the system. I am 6 hours for a 14 gallon gatch and I am at 90% eff. I still fly sparge you can batch sparge (I never have) But I hear your eff will suffer a bit.
JJ
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WBC

Save hot water from your chilling the wort in buckets for clean up. Add PBW and it's easy.
Great idea! I'll do that next time.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:17 AM   #6
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Another time saving trick I do is get all the grains crushed the night or week before. I also measure out all my hop additions and put them in baggies, so all I gotta do is dump em in the boil at the right times. Basically its just like one of the premade kits you get from the LHBS, but made myself. Sure saves time not having to do it on brew day.

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Old 03-23-2008, 09:20 AM   #7
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If you start heating the wort as its being sparged is ti of if ti comes to a boil before sparging is done? I had thought about doing that to save some time in the past but never did it.

For clean up I always dread it but is a necessary evil I guess.

Tom

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Old 03-23-2008, 12:44 PM   #8
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I find that treating clean up like an "assembly line" speeds things up. Take that hot water from the chiller with pbw and scrub each item down. Then, move on to the next step, which is hosing everything off. That way you're not wasting time going back and forth between scrubbing and spraying. Also, be careful not to kick your ehrlenmeyer flask or hydrometer at this point. Picking glass out of the driveway and or getting your alcohol-thinned blood to clot can add some time to the brew day. Ask me how I know

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Old 03-23-2008, 05:21 PM   #9
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My number one trick to save time is no beer till flame out.

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Old 03-23-2008, 05:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bsquared
My number one trick to save time is no beer till flame out.
there is something seriously wrong with you
JJ


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