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Old 06-20-2007, 04:52 AM   #1
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Default How long are your brew sessions?

I am talking from sanitizing through brewing to clean up. I seems to take a lot of time to brew my extract batches and I am sure that if I used an IC I could cut some time off but I started to clean everything at like 4:30 - 5 and was washing up everything at close to 11 tonight. One corner that I was able to cut was I put a 1.25 G of water in one pot to steep my crystal malt and in my brewpot I had another 2 gal covered on high racing to boiling so that when I was done steeping I could dump in the tea and not have to wait all that long for the pot to come to a boil.

Is there such a thing as boiling too vigirously? I lost about a gal tonight over the 60 min boil. It was a very nice rolling boil but I am wondering if I should back off the heat a bit.

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:01 PM   #2
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I've never really timed it but this past weekend I brewed a stout. Started at roughly 10:30ish, parked the carboy in the basement at 1:50 (I remember looking at my watch right then) and I was finished with clean up by probably 2:30-3. The previous weekend I brewed a hefe and got started early, about 8:00AM, and I know it was done around noon. Given those two sessions I guess I average around 4-5 hours for a brew session.

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:18 PM   #3
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Don't you guys do any prep work?

Premeasure malt? Grind grain? Make a yeast starter a day or 2 before brew day? Soak items in sanitizing solution? Sanitize bottles DURING the boil? Wash/rinse used items in the sink once done with them...clean as you go method)?

My brew sessions are usually only 3 hours tops.

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Don't you guys do any prep work?

Premeasure malt? Grind grain? Make a yeast starter a day or 2 before brew day? Soak items in sanitizing solution? Sanitize bottles DURING the boil? Wash/rinse used items in the sink once done with them...clean as you go method)?

My brew sessions are usually only 3 hours tops.

Agreed. 3 hours tops with clean up. Sanitize during the boil. Really, the brewing session is the fastest for me. I usually get to sit around and drink a brew of chew the fat with a friend that always sees me sitting in the garage. Moochin beer.
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:28 PM   #5
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multitasking is key
Extract boils are USUALLY well-behaved after the hot break so that time can be used more efficiently. No need to sanitize anything that touches the wort before the boil is over so sanitize while boiling. Use of a no-rinse sanitizer will save time and water. If you use dry yeast you can proof it while steeping the specialty grains.
Just a couple of tips

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:30 PM   #6
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I've brewed twice so far, and both times have been 3 and a half hour sessions. That is from the start of washing and sanitizing everything, to washing my brewpot after the fermenter is safely stowed away.

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:36 PM   #7
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I'm also at around 3 hours.
I bag specialty grains while I'm bringing water up to steeping temps, measure hops while the grains steep, and sanitize during the boil.

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:45 PM   #8
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During the actual brew I have a lot of downtime but I usually spend that time reading my latest BYO or checking the internet. I steep my grains for 45 minutes and boil for 60 and given the time it takes to get 2.5 gallons to steeping temp and then to a boil on a stove top I have 2.5-3 hours right there. HB99, do you use a turkey fryer by chance? What are your times for steeping and boil? There's no way I could get it all done in 3 hours

I measure the malt right before it hits the water usually just because I use DME and it really likes to suck up the moisture in the air which there's a lot of on brew day. I buy my grains from my LHBS and they're already ground, just have to dump them into a grain bag and then into the water. I do make a starter 2-3 days in advance. I didn't include that because that's not something I do the day of brewing.

The times I listed include hauling all my brewing gear from the basement to the kitchen the day of brewing, filling a bucket with sanitizer and putting everything in for a soak. The only bottle I have to santize is my carboy and I do that during the steep/boil. I usually do clean up the smaller items as I go but most of the clean up has to wait till the end, the brew pot, strainer, funnel, hydrometer, big wort spoon, etc.

EDIT: Wow...a lot of posts appeared between when started this post and when I actually posted it. Guess it doesn't pay to try and post at work, LOL.

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Old 06-20-2007, 02:49 PM   #9
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Depends on the size of the mashes, how much sparging, whether I'm doing one or two batches, etc.

Usually, I'll do an AG and a PM side-by-side. If the AG is so big that it needs extended boil-down time, then that adds time, but typically I'll wake up at 5:30, mash-in by 6, and be cleaned up and aerating wort by noon.

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Old 06-20-2007, 03:12 PM   #10
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Extract seems to take me between 3 and 4 hours depending on how well I multitask. I typically get a lot of other beer related stuff done while the boil is going on.

Now ask me how long it takes to bottle...

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