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Old 03-22-2010, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default Easy way to speed up an Extract + grains brew day

This is so simple and obvious I'm surprised I haven't seen it mentioned before.

Do you want to cut an hour off of your brew day? Well here's an easy way to do it if you're brewing extract + steeping grains....use 2 pots!

Here's what I did yesterday and it worked great. I took my 5 gallon pot and filled with 4 gallons of water and threw it on the propane burner and started heating it up. While that was going I took another smaller pot and put about 1 gallon of water in it to steep my grains in. I heated that pot to 155 deg and threw in my grain bag. Since I'm using two pots I can have my main pot at a boil right about the time the steeping grains are done. I pulled out the grain bag and then went back to my main pot took it off heat and added all the extract...that's right I added all of it. This brought the level up to just about the top of my 5 gallon pot. Now here's the other trick. I took a big measuring cup and took about 1/2 gallon of the wort from my brew pot and threw it in the pot I steeped the grains in...so now I've got roughly 4 gallons left in the brew pot and about 1 1/2 in the other pot for a total of 5 1/2 gallons.

I brought them both to a boil and brewed as normal from that point. Then with 15 minutes left I dumped the smaller pot into the main pot (plenty of room now due to evaporation) and dropped in my wort chiller, finished out the remaining 15 minutes and cooled it down.

So what did this do? Well, rather than bringing 1 pot to 155, sitting around drinking beer for 30 minutes, then topping that pot off and bringing it to a boil, I was able to bring my main pot to a boil at the same time. Easily cut an hour off my brew day. The second advantage is I was able to do nearly a full boil. After transferring to my fermenter I only needed about 1/2 gallon of top-off water. Plus with the larger volume I felt like it would be ok to add all the extract and not worry about the wort darkening too much since it wasn't so thick. This also saved time since I didn't have to do a late extract to keep the color where I wanted it, which takes time too. You have to remove the pot from heat, stir in the rest of the extract and then bring it back to a boil....probably shaved another 15-20 minutes there.

What do you guys think?

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Old 03-22-2010, 12:54 PM   #2
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This is what I have been doing recently and it is awesome! Saves OVER an hour because you can also get the malt extract dissolved and up to boiling by the time the steeping grains are done. I can get my 2-5gallon batches from start to end of cleanup in about 3.5 hours or less.

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Old 03-22-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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You just lost an hour of drinking time on brew day!

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Old 03-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #4
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Hah. I'm usually too busy to drink during brew day. Typically I'll find a half gone warm pint near the stove when I'm all finished. I'd say more of the satisfaction is when I'm finished and plop on the couch and crack one.

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Old 03-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
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You just lost an hour of drinking time on brew day!
+1 Way to take the fun out of it
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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Do you loose any hop utilization? I guess not no different than adding top off water.....huh

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Old 03-22-2010, 01:41 PM   #7
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Do you loose any hop utilization? I guess not no different than adding top off water.....huh
I don't think it makes any difference if you were doing a late extract. If you were adding all the extract up front anyway then it should increase your utilization some since you're diluting the extract into a larger volume of water than you normally could.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:50 PM   #8
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Sounds good to me! Adding cold LME will ruin your water temp and add a good 25 minutes or so to get it up to boil.

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Old 03-22-2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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I don't mind brew day taking a while, especially if I have music going and a cold beer to drink. I do my best to keep it like a hobby and not work.

To each his own, though. Congrats on finding a way to be more efficient.

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Old 03-22-2010, 02:40 PM   #10
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I don't mind brew day taking a while, especially if I have music going and a cold beer to drink. I do my best to keep it like a hobby and not work.

To each his own, though. Congrats on finding a way to be more efficient.
My brew day usually starts about 9:30am though. I bottle what's in the fermenter and then while I've got everything clean I usually go ahead and start the next brew after lunch. Sure I could start the next brew while bottling but that cuts a little too deeply into my beer drinking...I mean beer making afternoon time. This method cuts just enough time off to keep the whole day enjoyable for me without really adding any extra work.
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