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Old 10-06-2009, 02:38 PM   #1
Aug 2009
Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 2,509
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My brew days are just that. Days.

Yesterday I did a double batch of Ed's pale ale as a PM. I figure, nominally, it's 1/2 hr to heat the water, 1 hr to mash, 10 min to "sparge", 20 min to heat to boiling, 90 min boil, 20 min cooldown, 30 min transfer to carboys.

That's 4 hrs, 20 minutes total, in a perfect world. It took me over 7 hrs.

Now, I had little problems. Realized after the mash that my digital thermometer was bunked, (apparently after its third swim in wort, it got a little wonky). I had to run out and grab iodine to test my conversion...(still got it converted....even though it was probably around 145-150, not 155 where I wanted it).

Other than that though, I still wasted 2 hours in gathering all my stuff, getting ready to go, sanitizing, washing, cleaning up, organizing, etc.

My thoughts to speed things up are:
*get rid of the hop's a PITA to juggle this and the IC, and a PITA to clean.
*renovate the garage so that everything is ready to go, (instead of squirreled away), and install a sink/tap.

So, who out there has tips for accelerating a brew day?? There's got to be a way to do this without spending an entire day every week....that's 1/7th of my life! Even pure extract brewing takes me like 5 hours...PM takes 7, so god help me when I go all grain! I need some time to drink it still.

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Old 10-06-2009, 02:44 PM   #2
May 2008
Jinan, China
Posts: 293
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I just try to do all the various odds and ends (organizing, measuring, etc.) during all the "dead time" IE, mashing etc.

Can you think of any parts of the process where you know that you're adding time?
I'm going to sneak in with the flowers and look innocent.

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Old 10-06-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
Sep 2009
New Smyrna Beach, FL
Posts: 39

Sorry, I don't see the problem. Some things in life are meant to be a process and that is a large part of the experience or the joy. Maybe you should add a beer or three to you list of tasks to do while brewing.

If that doesn't work, install a TV in the garage and watch you favorite sporting event while brewing.


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Old 10-06-2009, 02:51 PM   #4
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,885
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I brew AG, usually in 4.5 hours.

So, let's see. One thing is length of boil. I never do a 90 minute boil, unless I'm using a ton of pilsner malt. So, it's a 60 minute boil. You only have to mash until conversion, but I usually do a 60 minute mash. Heating the water takes about 20 minutes. I combine tasks. So, my typical brew day:

8 AM- start mash water on to heat. Gather the MLT and HLT, and crush the grain.

8:20- mash in. Start heating sparge water, and find hoses for the IC. Gather the rest of the stuff out of the basement that I missed the first time during the mash.

9:20ish: Drain first runnings. Add first round of batch sparge. Put first runnings on to heat. Drain second runnings, and then add the second round of sparge water. Drain those and add to the boil kettle.

9:45- all wort added. Wait for boil. Measure out hops, and mix up sanitizer.

10:15- wort boiling and hot break over. Add first hops. and set the timer for 60 minutes. Add hops when needed. Clean MLT and put things away.

11:15- start the chilling. Sanitize fermenter, hydrometer, siphon tubing, thermometer and airlock. Make sure yeast starter is about 65 degrees.

11:45ish- Transfer to the fermenter, and start the aerator (aquarium pump). Clean up everything and put away.

12:15- Pitch yeast, cover, and airlock. Wash the yeast starter jug, and put that away. Everything else should already be put away, but might need to mop up a bit.

That's my day, in a nutshell.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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Old 10-06-2009, 02:59 PM   #5
Edcculus's Avatar
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,546
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Heres some stuff that might help.

-Preheat MLT with hot tap water. Pour in 170*F water, then let cool down to strike temp before doughing in.
-Crush grains the night before
-Measure all water the night before
-Spend the first part of your brew day getting all of the everything in order
-If you use StarSan, always keep some pre mixed with distilled water. I like to keep a keg and a squirt bottle handy.
-Heat your sparge water during the mash.
-Clean as you go!!!!!
-Run the numbers in beersmith the night/day before. Make sure you have -everything set correctly so you arent trying to do on the spot recipe adjustments.
-Use silicone or heat reisistant tubing to drain the runnings from your MLT into the BK so you can heat the wort while you sparge.
-Do you need to boil for 90 min? The recipe called for it, but if there is no pislner malt, you can always adjust it in Beersmith for a 60 min boil.
-Use Fermcap in the boil. This eliminates chances of boilovers so you can accomplish other tasks (like cleaning) while the boil is going.

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Old 10-06-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
Beer Dude in the Sunset
mrk305's Avatar
May 2007
Posts: 1,708
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Fill your stike water & sparge water pots the night before. Have someone else turn the stove on 15 minutes before you get home.

All of my hoses, autosiphon, airlocks are stored in a cooler filled with bleach water (from cooling). I don't have to sanatize. I just have to rinse. I usually have an extra bucket filled with bleach water. When I empty one, I just pour the bleach water form that bucket into the dirty one and splash a little more bleach in.

Mobile mashing. On days when I am buying and brewing I put my cooler filled with strike water (add 3 degrees) in the back of my truck and head to the LHBS. I stir in in the parking lot & mash on the way home.

I brew all grain and do 90 minute boils. It takes me 5 hours. Saturday I did two batches in about 7 hours. The second batch mashed for about two hours because I only have brew pot.
Carport Brewery, Lilburn GA

Any advise offered after 10:00p.m. should be regarded as questionable
I can't brew until something is empty

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Old 10-06-2009, 03:41 PM   #7
JesseRC's Avatar
Oct 2008
San Antonio
Posts: 1,766
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Originally Posted by mrk305 View Post

Mobile mashing. On days when I am buying and brewing I put my cooler filled with strike water (add 3 degrees) in the back of my truck and head to the LHBS. I stir in in the parking lot & mash on the way home.
That there is hardcore

Primaries: Mojave Red (AG)
Kegs: Hibiscus Saison (AG), Orange Kolsch (AG) , Cocunut Porter
Future Brew: Wee Heavy

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Old 10-06-2009, 03:53 PM   #8
Apr 2009
Riverview, FL
Posts: 311
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I recently got my process down to 3.5 hours. The key things that changed for me where a better burner (hurricane from NB), a March Pump, and Shirron Plate chiller. I only do 60 min boils since I normally don't use pils malt and I clean as I go/prep next step while I am waiting. Measuring out water the night before also helps immensely. If I have some extra better bottles lying around (only happened once) I fill them with my strike and sparge volumes so they are already on hand. Also since my HLT is electric I can have the water in it heating while I am setting everything else up. Also be sure to keep a bucket of sanitizer handy you never know when you will need it.
Primary 1: Cedrella Vanilla Porter
Primary 2: Empty
Primary 3: Empty
Primary 4: Coastal Red
Primary 5: Empty
Secondary 1: Empty
Secondary 2: empty
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:55 PM   #9
Jul 2009
Savannah, GA, US
Posts: 294
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If you drink a few more beers while you brew, you'd be surprised how fast the day goes..
Furry Friend Brewery

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Old 10-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #10
CDbrews's Avatar
Aug 2009
Posts: 345
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clean/set things up while heating water or mashing, and be organized. organization is the best way to save some time

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