Grainfather: Time/Effort Saved w/3-Gallon vs 5.5-Gallon Brew?

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johndan

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I'm considering switching to 3-gallon Grainfather (G30) batches in order to shorten the time and effort on brew days. (I have 3-gallon micro pipework already.)

For those that have experience with this, how much time and effort savings can I expect? Job demands are pretty high right now, so I've put off brewing for quite a while (with the exception of a nearly completely lost batch of Black is Beautiful stout a few weeks ago that—I won't go into it—resulted in almost no usable beer). If I switching to 3-gallon batches is really a time-/effort-saver for others, I might give it a shot.
 

NSMikeD

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Anvil 6.5 brewing 2.5 gals here. While I cannot speak to the grainfather I suspect general eBIAB applies. 2.5 really doesn’t save a lot if time aside from heating water. The anvil has the 220 option but I found at the smaller batch difference between 110 and 220 is negligible. I suspect 5 gallons would see a bigger difference between the two sources.
The big savings is in the wort chiller. I can cool down a 2.5 gal batch to pitch temp in 15 minutes. That really helps. Although counter flows will rival that

I find the real advantage is with consumption. 2.5 gals is 20 pints. That takes me about a month to 6 weeks to finish due to life style. I enjoy brewing, tweaking recipes and trying new ones. That makes a balance between how fast I drink and how frequently I want to brew.

If you are looking to shorten brew time also check out the folks that do short mashes and 30 minute boils (do today’s hop varieties drive off DMS in less time than the 60 minute boil?).

I’ll be following this thread.
 
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johndan

johndan

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Thanks for the advice on short mashes/boils. I'll look into it. The Grainfather has a counterflow chiller so cooling the wort isn't too bad, but the heating phases are still pretty slow.

Like you, I'm also interested in smaller batches in order to experiment. My kegerator only holds two five-gallon corny kegs, which can get slightly monotonous.
 

Coastalbrew

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+1. I have the Brewer's edge mash and boil and do 2.5 - 3 G batches with a traditional mash, vorlauf, and sparge process. My brew days are basically the same time as with a 5G batch except for shorter heat up times.

IMO where you can really save time is by modifying your process through techniques like full volume mashing, and 30 min mash and boils. Also no chill would save time as well if you are brave enough to try it (I am not that brave at this point, but I've heard it works well.) I also try to do my prep work, cleaning, mineral additions, etc, the night before if possible which also saves time on brew day.

Cheers!
 

Jag75

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I agree with costalbrew. I'm not sure you will save that much time going from 5 to 3. You can prep just like he does and even set a timer to start your heat . By the time you get up and make a cup of coffee your ready the mash in.
 
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