I hadn't really brewed since last fall - I spent the winter working on my brewing rig and only just recently got it into some kind of usable state.
During most of that time, I also wasn't really following things here on HBT... So I returned to find all kinds of new methods and info, including no chill, CRDFM a la brutus 20, silicone tubing instead of a sparge arm a la sabco, etc
So I decided to dive right in and try all of the above; I did a 5-gal batch with the brutus 20 style 2-vessel CRDFM method, then drained into a 6-gal winpak per the no-chill method.
*edit: I also conditioned the malt, another first for me, and was very impressed with the results!*
I would say that it was one of the easiest brew sessions I can remember (since the extract days, at least) and to top it all off, it seems I achieved 75%+ efficiency with an OG of 1.055, which is right on par with my better results with the 'normal' process in the past
I plan to automate it a bit further by adding my HERMS heat exchanger into the mix, and would also like to automate the control of liquid level in the MLT (perhaps a blichmann autosparge, but ideally something electronic that'll mesh with the BrewTroller), but even as is it was a nice low-effort session.
Thanks to all you guys who figured out all these techniques to make a homebrewer's life easier
Click for larger image