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Brew day is exhausting!

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wsmith1625

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Velcro dogs, I love it though. lots of off-leash play time helps. gets a little better after 8 years.
My guy is 8 and has a fenced yard to run around with my other dog, a hound mix we rescued. He is still needy as ever, food driven, and loves to be right up in my face. Gotta love them.
 

amber-ale

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I can't believe nobody has suggested this, but try doing a few extract batches for a quick brew day. Save the all grain batches for when you've got more time available.

I would still consider the suggestions already made to make your all grain brew days more efficient. I prep the day before so I can get right to brewing. Good luck and RDWHAHB.
:mug:
WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! get a "ready to use" wort and completly eliminate (for the winter) the boil at all! Just ferment ( or at worst , boil plain water, cool, add both do fermentor and you are done)

No smell and your brew day will shrink to about 20 minutes!. Fiesta brew has good kits (I think Brewhouse is temporarily out of production, but it was good too).
 

bwible

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Homebrewing is definitely a labor of love.
I brew 5 gallon batches mostly in the kitchen, and all my stuff is in the basement (kettles mlt, mill, tools for brew day, mash paddle, etc..., so I get it. Been doing it for about a decade. I have to lug a few things at a time up and down stairs as I need them and it's a pain. I have gotten a few plastic bins to put the odds and ends in so it makes it a little easier but I'm still hauling stuff up and down. Until I can make a designated brew space its just the way I'm livin'.
Same here. I brew smaller - 3 gallons, but same idea.

My biggest problem is I have to carry the hot pot and wort chiller down the basement steps post boil to cool because that’s where the nearest faucet is I can hook the wort chiller to. The kitchen faucet has a spray head that there is no way to attach it to and the mrs. doesn’t want to give that up.

I make many, many trips up and down basement steps because that’s where everything lives and I am also tired by the end of the brew day. I’m getting north of 60 now and I’m saying the same thing. I need an easier way.

I have an Anvil Foundry 6.5 but thats limited to an 8 lb grain capacity which narrows the beers you can even make 3 gallons of, and honestly it has its own problems that make it less than enjoyable to use.

Extract is an option, I say every time I do an extract batch how much quicker and easier it is. Extract is more costly though. I know other guys in my club make really good beers with extract, and there’s no reason to knock extract or look down on extract - though some do.
 
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NitrogenWidget

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My guy is 8 and has a fenced yard to run around with my other dog, a hound mix we rescued. He is still needy as ever, food driven, and loves to be right up in my face. Gotta love them.
my lab hound mix is the same way.
whenever I make biscuits out of spent grain and PB she will stand under the cabinet i keep them in until I give her a few.
visitors ask if i giver her attention because she is right there looking to get pet.
I spend a quarter of my work day scratching her behind the ears.
 

bobeer

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Same here. I brew smaller - 3 gallons, but same idea.

My biggest problem is I have to carry the hot pot and wort chiller down the basement steps post boil to cool because that’s where the nearest faucet is I can hook the wort chiller to. The kitchen faucet has a spray head that there is no way to attach it to and the mrs. doesn’t want to give that up.

I make many, many trips up and down basement steps because that’s where everything lives and I am also tired by the end of the brew day. I’m getting north of 60 now and I’m saying the same thing. I need an easier way.

I have an Anvil Foundry 6.5 but thats limited to an 8 lb grain capacity which narrows the beers you can even make 3 gallons of, and honestly it has its own problems that make it less than enjoyable to use.

Extract is an option, I say every time I do an extract batch how much quicker and easier it is. Extract is more costly though. I know other guys in my club make really good beers with extract, and there’s no reason to knock extract or look down on extract - though some do.
Look into no chill brewing. That way you don't have to lug that hot wort downstairs. You can bring the fermenter to the wort- if the wife let's a kettle hang out on the stove for around 24 hours. Just remove the kettle from the hot stove and put a lid on it and around 24 hours later itll be good enough to put into a fermenter. (If you're doing a whirlpool hop addition just wait until wort gets to 180 degrees then toss in the hops and stir them around and put the lid back on.) Then you lug THAT downstairs to ferment, haha, but at least its not hot and most fermenter buckets have a handle.
I used to use a 5.5 gallon cooler mlt so I had the same limitations as what youre describing. I think my absolute max was 12 lb of grain. I did this for years only brewing 3 and 4 gallon batches but I brewed a ton of different styles so I didn't mind it too much. As you said it though it comes with its own set of problems to use a small mlt full time.
 

bwible

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Look into no chill brewing. That way you don't have to lug that hot wort downstairs. You can bring the fermenter to the wort- if the wife let's a kettle hang out on the stove for around 24 hours. Just remove the kettle from the hot stove and put a lid on it and around 24 hours later itll be good enough to put into a fermenter. (If you're doing a whirlpool hop addition just wait until wort gets to 180 degrees then toss in the hops and stir them around and put the lid back on.) Then you lug THAT downstairs to ferment, haha, but at least its not hot and most fermenter buckets have a handle.
I used to use a 5.5 gallon cooler mlt so I had the same limitations as what youre describing. I think my absolute max was 12 lb of grain. I did this for years only brewing 3 and 4 gallon batches but I brewed a ton of different styles so I didn't mind it too much. As you said it though it comes with its own set of problems to use a small mlt full time.
Yeah that’s what I have, 5 gallon cooler that holds about 12 pounds. For 3 gallons its fine. I just did a 1.085 old ale with all grain and no extract and that’s right about the limit. When I want to do a barleywine or RIS I can supplement with a can of LME or a couple pounds of DME.

3 gallons works out to a case plus a six pack. I went to 3 gallons because I’m the only one drinking beer in my house. The wife will occassionally drink a dark beer or two. I fully agree about having variety and different styles. I love it. I have 9 cases in bottles and (2) 3 gallon kegs in my kegerator.

I recently acquired a 15 gallon converted keg mash tun but have yet to use it. I may try a parti-gyle with it one day and try to get 3 beers out of one mash. Talk about a long brew day.
 

WESBREW

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Same here. I brew smaller - 3 gallons, but same idea.

My biggest problem is I have to carry the hot pot and wort chiller down the basement steps post boil to cool because that’s where the nearest faucet is I can hook the wort chiller to. The kitchen faucet has a spray head that there is no way to attach it to and the mrs. doesn’t want to give that up.

I make many, many trips up and down basement steps because that’s where everything lives and I am also tired by the end of the brew day. I’m getting north of 60 now and I’m saying the same thing. I need an easier way.

I have an Anvil Foundry 6.5 but thats limited to an 8 lb grain capacity which narrows the beers you can even make 3 gallons of, and honestly it has its own problems that make it less than enjoyable to use.

Extract is an option, I say every time I do an extract batch how much quicker and easier it is. Extract is more costly though. I know other guys in my club make really good beers with extract, and there’s no reason to knock extract or look down on extract - though some do.
There are adapters to hook up many different hoses and faucets together. but if everything is in the basement, how about getting an electric cooktop to plug in downstairs?
 

bobeer

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Yeah that’s what I have, 5 gallon cooler that holds about 12 pounds. For 3 gallons its fine. I just did a 1.085 old ale with all grain and no extract and that’s right about the limit. When I want to do a barleywine or RIS I can supplement with a can of LME or a couple pounds of DME.

3 gallons works out to a case plus a six pack. I went to 3 gallons because I’m the only one drinking beer in my house. The wife will occassionally drink a dark beer or two. I fully agree about having variety and different styles. I love it. I have 9 cases in bottles and (2) 3 gallon kegs in my kegerator.

I recently acquired a 15 gallon converted keg mash tun but have yet to use it. I may try a parti-gyle with it one day and try to get 3 beers out of one mash. Talk about a long brew day.
Sounds exactly like my old setup. Brewing those small case+ batches is where it's at. Can't beat the variety!
I'm where you want to upgrade to and I can say it's worth it for the bigger mlt and the no hassle limitations. I got a 10 gallon cooler from a buddy and tossed the old smaller mlt shortly after. Can still do half batches if I want in the big mlt with no issues.
 

bwible

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There are adapters to hook up many different hoses and faucets together. but if everything is in the basement, how about getting an electric cooktop to plug in downstairs?
Don’t know how you hook a wort chiller to this, but if there’s a way, I’d love to see it.
 

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Don’t know how you hook a wort chiller to this, but if there’s a way, I’d love to see it.
I like the basement cooktop idea as well, but yeah depends on where you spend most of the time right now.

FYI that sprayer probably just screws onto the end of the hose that is in the faucet hanging over the sink. Pull it down and have a look. Might find an adapter to go from the end of that hose directly to the chiller? Easier said than done if it's an unusual thread size, but may be possible.
 

bwible

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I like the basement cooktop idea as well, but yeah depends on where you spend most of the time right now.

FYI that sprayer probably just screws onto the end of the hose that is in the faucet hanging over the sink. Pull it down and have a look. Might find an adapter to go from the end of that hose directly to the chiller? Easier said than done if it's an unusual thread size, but may be possible.
I just took a look and I see what you’re saying. The top of the sprayer does screw off then the sprayer screws off the hose. Don’t know why I never thought to look at that before. I’ve only been in this house since last July. The hose end is a male fitting but it’s a bit smaller than the wort chiller needs. I am going to try to find an adapter. Or maybe I just have to replace the water in barb fitting on my wort chiller with a different size. Thank you! This is why I am on here. You guys are the best!
 
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WESBREW

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If you have water plumbed in the basement id definitely go for a single induction burner and do the whole thing down there. theres some powerful ones out there. if not, you'll figure out a way to get that hose on the faucet.
I have a hose with sink faucet thread on one end and garden hose thread adapter on the other. if it comes down to it... hose clamps and step-down barbs.
Or-you could even have a plumber t off a valve with whatever fitting you want just to use for the brewery.
 

LittleRiver

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Look into no chill brewing.
I've done no chill for my last two brew sessions, and I'm liking it.

I already have an efficient process (brew takes about 3:45), and I have a nice recirculating immersion chilling rig, but it's even even nicer when I don't even have to take it off the shelf.
 

bwible

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I've done no chill for my last two brew sessions, and I'm liking it.

I already have an efficient process (brew takes about 3:45), and I have a nice recirculating immersion chilling rig, but it's even even nicer when I don't even have to take it off the shelf.
I remember ages ago being told its best to cool quickly for a few reasons. Break material that falls out, but also not allowing time for contaminants to get a foothold. Thats the biggest reason for wanting to get yeast started quickly as possible.

These days with brew in a bag and no sparge brewing and hazy ipas and everything else, it seems like all the old rules are out the window.
 

LittleRiver

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I remember ages ago being told its best to cool quickly for a few reasons. Break material that falls out, but also not allowing time for contaminants to get a foothold. Thats the biggest reason for wanting to get yeast started quickly as possible.
I'm well aware of all of those reasons. But I was curious enough to try it for myself.

Regarding break material, what I've found is that if I give the kettle a good strong circular stir right before I seal it up, the next morning the break material is in a nice dense cone in the bottom center of the kettle. No problems there.

Regarding contaminants, the kettle and its contents are at boiling temp when I use stretch wrap to seal the kettle/lid joint. No problems there.

... it seems like all the old rules are out the window.
It's true that many things that were considered "rules" have been proven to be myths. You can brew excellent clear beer, with high efficiency, without sparging, in a single vessel.
 
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bobeer

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I've done no chill for my last two brew sessions, and I'm liking it.

I already have an efficient process (brew takes about 3:45), and I have a nice recirculating immersion chilling rig, but it's even even nicer when I don't even have to take it off the shelf.
Right on!! I swear... been doing it for years and I don't think I'll ever go back.
 

NitrogenWidget

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I've been working from since april I think.
Yet only thought of this last week. duh.
Crush my grains and mash in on my lunch break.
After i'm done working, yank the bag, give it a squeeze and start the boil.
Makes for an easy brew day.

I do chill while cleaning up if it isn't too late.
I have a double immersion chiller.
other wise I let the ferm-chamber fridge cool it.
 
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OP just saw your other thread trying to sell this system. This thread might not be so helpful for that sale lol. It's a good system but will be much easier to use if you can manage to store all the gear near where you brew. How about store it all in the garage (as suggested by @Coastalbrew) and brew in your driveway instead of backyard?
I’m getting ready to brew in my driveway just outside the garage. I don’t store all of the other brewing gear in garage because I am doing a 1968 Ford Bronco restoration and that creates a lot of dust.
 
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I’m going to reply without reading any other posts just to see how many people have said the same thing.

Get an electric biab all in 1 system. One pot and you can brew inside. You’ll be done brewing in 4ish hours including cleanup.
I was actually considering selling the system and go to that but I am planning to brew in garage this week. I am planning to better organize brewing accessories to make it a little easier. I can’t store brew gear in garage because of space limits and dust created doing an auto restoration.
 

NitrogenWidget

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I’m getting ready to brew in my driveway just outside the garage. I don’t store all of the other brewing gear in garage because I am doing a 1968 Ford Bronco restoration and that creates a lot of dust.
ground grain and mashed in on my lunch today.
I keep majority of my brewing equipment in a large round garbage can from walmart outside.
everything stays dry. sometimes spiders nest under the brim but they are no bother.

only thing not in the can is my brew pot.

I wish I had a garage.
 

kevin58

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It is exhausting. Try recording videos for Youtube at the same time.

As for storing your equipment while working on your vehicle... buy a gas grill cover. I have a three vessel system and can cover all three using one of those.
 

eric19312

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I'd say brew days can be exhausting but it's not a requirement. Smaller batches, extract brewing, lots of ways to simplify and shorten the process.

My brew days are a workout but I'm into heavy gear and significant production volumes. My job is pretty sedentary. My main exercise comes from walking my dogs. We get a couple good walks in daily and I'm into tracking steps and keeping up my counts but that doesn't really prepare me well for a long day moving gear, grain and water around my garage.

A few strategies that help me (aside from the stuff already in this thread related to being organized and pre-staging gear and ingredients day before)
- start early in the day. This helps because you will wrap up earlier and there is something about the day ending late and stretching into dinner/family time that makes it seem even longer.
- stay hydrated. It is physical activity in usually warm environment.
- no beer till late in the process. Alcohol is a sedative and a diuretic. If you are tired from the physical activity adding a sedative is just going to make it worse. Also alcohol can contribute to making mistakes and mistakes usually mean extra work, longer process...
 

iamwhatiseem

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Over the years I did many things to reduce the work and time.
First and foremost was going full volume BIAB. That cut a good 25% of time and at least 30% of the work.
Then I bought a RV hose and filter and pour the water straight into the kettle. That saved hooking the whole house filter to a bottling bucket, getting out another bucket and filling it etc. until I reached my volume... and then on brew day drag out the two old fermenters I filled with the filtered water and pour that into the kettle.
These two things reduced both time and work.
Brew day is now about 4.5 - 5 hours with an hour and a half/ hour 45 minute break with mashing. No big deal
 

NitrogenWidget

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It is exhausting. Try recording videos for Youtube at the same time.

As for storing your equipment while working on your vehicle... buy a gas grill cover. I have a three vessel system and can cover all three using one of those.
ha!
I was covering up the grill last night and thought..."hey, this would fit over my brew rack".
 

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I don't have a brewing shed or a customised space to brew in, but I'm glad I live in a house. On its own, this allows for more flexibility. I mash and boil outside, on the patio/terrace and then I move the kettle inside, in the kitchen to hook it up to water, for chilling and transferring the beer. Brew days vary, from 5 to 7 hours, depending on how cold or hot is outside, recipe, boil time, etc. I dread the cleaning and the bottling when I have to do it, but I do also get so excited when I have to brew again and then taste / enjoy the beer with friends.
 

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Then I bought a RV hose and filter and pour the water straight into the kettle.
RV hose was a big one for me too. I also got these garden hose camlocks to connect the RV hose to the kettle.

 

NitrogenWidget

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I bought an RV-hose also.
I run from the kitchen faucet through the window, through a hole in the screen the dog made. then put a towel on it to stop most of the cold in the winter time. :)
 
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I'm in SoCal, so no basements (sand+earthquakes=no fun). Our house has the kitchen upstairs, so the first 2 years was me carrying everything up from the garage to the balcony outside the kitchen to brew. No fun.

I moved to the garage/driveway and found space and that has made all the difference. It's tight, and I don't have to deal with snow (props to winter brewers out-of-doors elsewhere), but it works. I have a plan for better, but this is already better than carrying a ton of SS equipment up and downstairs every weekend.
New Setup.JPG
 

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I make many, many trips up and down basement steps because that’s where everything lives and I am also tired by the end of the brew day. I’m getting north of 60 now and I’m saying the same thing. I need an easier way.
Just wait till you're getting south of 80. Hauling 5 to 5.5 gallons down the stairs in a pail with no handles and up the stairs in a carboy wasn't a problem in 1996. I do it differently now, and, yes, I am an extract brewer.
 
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