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How long does it take you to AG?

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How long?

  • < than 3 hours (I'm super-human)

  • 3-4 hours

  • 4-5 hours

  • 5-6 hours

  • > 6 hours (I'm sub-human)


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Soulive

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Assuming you're doing a single 5 gallon batch of a modest OG, how long does it take from crushing/heating water to pitching? I did it in 4 hours yesterday and I felt like I was forgetting something because it didn't take longer...
 

Professor Frink

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I've been averaging between 3.5 and 4 hours for a normal sized brew. I've found that when I put my first runnings in the kettle right on the burner, it comes to a boil quicker and eliminates the need for a mash out.
 

ohiobrewtus

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I'm also usually at 3.5-4 hours for a 5 gallon batch. 10 gallon batches add 30-45 min from heating more strike/sparge water and bringing 13+ gallons to a boil.
 

FSR402

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Professor Frink said:
I've been averaging between 3.5 and 4 hours for a normal sized brew. I've found that when I put my first runnings in the kettle right on the burner, it comes to a boil quicker and eliminates the need for a mash out.
How would that change the need for a mash-out?
 

Professor Frink

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FSR402 said:
How would that change the need for a mash-out?
When I run the first runnings into the kettle on the burner, it heats up above 170 in a matter of minutes, ending all the enzymatic activity, so if I mash for 60 minutes, the first runnings are at 170 degrees at about 65 minutes. There's probably some residual conversion in the sparge, but I think it's minimal. I'm not against mashing out, it just seems that it's always thrown my volumes off.
 

david_42

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FSR - most of the enzymes are in the first runnings, so by heating them immediately the enzymes are de-natured and conversion stopped.
 

Orfy

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I have done it in 3 hours but I'm happy to take longer.
I get conversion in under 30 minutes when I mash.

Heat Mash Water 20 minutes (set up mash tun, weigh ingredients)
Mash 30 minutes (heat up sparge water and kettle)
Batch sparge 20 minutes, start heating first runnings whilst batch sparge
Get to boil 20 minutes
Boil 60 minutes (Sanitise carboy)
Cool 20 minutes (Put all equipment away, clean with water from) IC
Drain and Pitch 5 minutes

=<3 hours.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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orfy said:
I have done it in 3 hours but I'm happy to take longer.
I get conversion in under 30 minutes when I mash.

Heat Mash Water 20 minutes (set up mash tun, weigh ingredients)
Mash 30 minutes (heat up sparge water and kettle)
Batch sparge 20 minutes, start heating first runnings whilst batch sparge
Get to boil 20 minutes
Boil 60 minutes (Sanitise carboy)
Cool 20 minutes (Put all equipment away, clean with water from) IC
Drain and Pitch 5 minutes

=<3 hours.
If I'm usually doing single infusions, when would I not be able to mash for 30 minutes? Assuming I've acheived conversion, I'd like to cut my mash time down to 30 minutes...
 

Professor Frink

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Soulive said:
If I'm usually doing single infusions, when would I not be able to mash for 30 minutes? Assuming I've acheived conversion, I'd like to cut my mash time down to 30 minutes...
If you're mashing at a higher temperature, or if you have a really big malt bill you would probably need longer, but like Orfy said, I think most mashes are pretty much done after 30 minutes, since the malts today are so highly modified.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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Professor Frink said:
If you're mashing at a higher temperature, or if you have a really big malt bill you would probably need longer, but like Orfy said, I think most mashes are pretty much done after 30 minutes, since the malts today are so highly modified.
What would you consider higher temps?
 

Orfy

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Soulive said:
If I'm usually doing single infusions, when would I not be able to mash for 30 minutes? Assuming I've acheived conversion, I'd like to cut my mash time down to 30 minutes...
Well modified malts should convert in around 20 minutes with a single infusion. If you doubt it then do a starch test after 20 minutes.

You can also get an indication by taking a teaspoon of the mash at 5 minute intervals and tasting. You can actually taste the starch changing to sugar.

Iodine test at 0 minutes

and at 30 minutes


Why not do an experiment with 1/2 a pound of grain in a pan on the stove top.

Add water and raise the temp to 155 and see how long the conversion takes?

To tell you the truth I don't generally go less then 45 minutes and very rarely to a iodine test. I just taste it to make sure it's sweet. Why would the startch not convert? My temps and volumes are correct and the grain is malted.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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Thanks Orfy, I am confident in the conversion but I was wondering if there was any other reason for longer mashing. If conversion is the only concern, I'm shortening my mashes...
:mug:
 

Evan!

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My efficiency always ends up lower if I skip the final conversion step at 158. Not sure why...but when I mash in my cooler rather than direct-fire stepping it in a kettle, I lose like 10%.
 

Orfy

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My efficiency always ends up lower if I skip the final conversion step at 158. Not sure why...but when I mash in my cooler rather than direct-fire stepping it in a kettle, I lose like 10%.
What temperature are you mashing at? I mash close to 158 and batch sparge above 158.

Thanks Orfy, I am confident in the conversion but I was wondering if there was any other reason for longer mashing. If conversion is the only concern, I'm shortening my mashes...
It will affect how fermentable the wort is. If I was making BMC then I'd leave it 90 minutes but I like malty brews. One of the reasons for mashing out is to stop the wort becoming too fermentable.

I realy think that 45 minutes is more than adequate and you can reduce this further.
 

Bobby_M

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Iodine tests are easy enough. I take between 5-6 hours for a 10 gallon batch but it's mostly due to lack of preparation and organization. I probably spend 30 minutes refining my recipe as the water is heating and inevitably, I'm still milling when the water reaches strike. Then I'm looking around for my mash paddle and thermometer. Once I have my brewstand completed, I'll easily shave an hour.

The other consideration is if you enjoy taking your time or not. I don't mind taking all day. I'll put tunes on or listen to a Jamil podcast. It's the time I get away from SWMBO and the kids so I'm not in a hurry.
 

Lil' Sparky

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5 gal, 3.5 hrs, add a little for step mashes.

10 gal, add an extra 30 mins for heating more H2O

08-08-08, ~ 6 hrs :drunk:
 

IowaStateFan

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My last brew session took exactly 5 hours from the moment I lit the fire under my strike water until everything was cleaned up and put away. I brewed in the kitchen and my stove is not really adequate. I'm certain I could shave at least 30 minutes off that using my turkey fryer, but that hasn't been an option recently. I'd really like to get it down to 4 hours because finding weekend time to brew has been a real challenge. Most of my weeknights are available for brewing but I turn into a pumpkin around 10, so that makes 5 or 6 hour brew sessions difficult.
 

zoebisch01

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Professor Frink said:
If you're mashing at a higher temperature, or if you have a really big malt bill you would probably need longer, but like Orfy said, I think most mashes are pretty much done after 30 minutes, since the malts today are so highly modified.
Yeah I concur, but you gotta be careful though. Some maltsters (I think I had some Munton's malted Wheat once) that can go really long (like 90 minutes long). Plus the other gotcha I have unfortunately experienced is where you get some malts that have a really low Diastatic power where they normally have great Diastatic power. I had this happen with a Munich once that it wasn't until I actually dug online to find numbers from the maltster that it made sense. :(

Thank goodness for the Iodine reaction! :D
 

Professor Frink

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zoebisch01 said:
Yeah I concur, but you gotta be careful though. Some maltsters (I think I had some Munton's malted Wheat once) that can go really long (like 90 minutes long). Plus the other gotcha I have unfortunately experienced is where you get some malts that have a really low Diastatic power where they normally have great Diastatic power. I had this happen with a Munich once that it wasn't until I actually dug online to find numbers from the maltster that it made sense. :(

Thank goodness for the Iodine reaction! :D
+1, I had the same issue with Munich I used as a base for my Baltic Porter - my efficiency was crap.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Yep, I brewed an all-munich beer with a buddy a few weeks ago. It took about 60 mins for full conversion.
 

FSR402

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david_42 said:
FSR - most of the enzymes are in the first runnings, so by heating them immediately the enzymes are de-natured and conversion stopped.
I understand that part of it. I also fire up the first runnings but that does not raise the grian bed temp, which is also what a mash-out is meant to do.
That's why I asked.
 

Kevin Dean

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Interesting question and interesting tidbit about 30 minute mashes.

I might just do this experiment tonight in a crock pot to see what difference, if any there is between a 30 and 60 minute mash with some Maris Otter. 30 minutes isn't a HUGE chunk of time to worry about saving, but it would mean less fussing about my temp dropping a little bit and perhaps more boil while it's still light outside... I really need to get a halogen lamp for my backyard...
 

FSR402

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Kevin Dean said:
Interesting question and interesting tidbit about 30 minute mashes.

I might just do this experiment tonight in a crock pot to see what difference, if any there is between a 30 and 60 minute mash with some Maris Otter. 30 minutes isn't a HUGE chunk of time to worry about saving, but it would mean less fussing about my temp dropping a little bit and perhaps more boil while it's still light outside... I really need to get a halogen lamp for my backyard...
Or start brewing earlier in the day. :D
 
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I voted 5-6 hours before reading the full post. It takes me 5-6 hours to do a 15 gallon batch, but a 5 gallon batch only takes around 4 hours. The extra time for the 15 gallon batch is mostly spent during the sparge. I've spent as long as 8 hours brewing, and my shortest AG brew day was easily shy of 4 hours.
 

Dr_Deathweed

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I am still pretty new to AG and I am using a single burner for my setup, but from the time I start to think about making it a brew day to the time I put away the last piece of equipment is about 4.5 hours
 

tbone

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Just finished my second AG batch and from cold water heating up to putting the airlock on the carboy was about 6 hours. I should be able to cut the time down after I get more experience and don't have to read/think everything out so much. :)
 

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Somthing has just dawned on me. I could be heating the boiling kettle while draining the mash tun into it, thus decreasing the time i waste while fully draining the mash then putting the boiling kettle to the fire.

perhaps i can decrease my 6 hour brew day.
 

Lil' Sparky

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Reverend JC said:
Somthing has just dawned on me. I could be heating the boiling kettle while draining the mash tun into it, thus decreasing the time i waste while fully draining the mash then putting the boiling kettle to the fire.

perhaps i can decrease my 6 hour brew day.
I think pipelining things like this is the key to a short brew session. Taking advantage of "down time" can save a lot of time. Others include:

- start heating your strike water 1st thing and finish your prep while it's heating
- making sure your sparge water is heated by the time your mash is done
- clean up everything associated with your mash during the boil
- sanitize your chiller, carboy, etc. during the boil so they're ready to go when needed
 

ajf

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Lil' Sparky said:
I think pipelining things like this is the key to a short brew session. Taking advantage of "down time" can save a lot of time. Others include:

- start heating your strike water 1st thing and finish your prep while it's heating
- making sure your sparge water is heated by the time your mash is done
- clean up everything associated with your mash during the boil
- sanitize your chiller, carboy, etc. during the boil so they're ready to go when needed
I do all of that and it still takes me over 6 hours. :)

I must admit, I could speed thing up a lot if I didn't heat my strike and sparge water on the kitchen stove, and I could cut another hour off by batch sparging; but then I wouldn't have enough time to drink, and drink, and drink ... :drunk:

-a.
 

Kaiser

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The closer the temp to 165 *F, the quicker the mash will convert since alpha amylase is just quicker than beta amylase. BUT the higher temps may not give you the fermentability that you are after.

You may try to shorten your mashes to 30 min when using mostly pale or pilsner malt and see what attenuation you start getting. When you brew the next time, keep the mash at 30 min and adjust your temps accordingly.

I need the long mash to heat the sparge water and have some down-time.

Kai
 

raceskier

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I guess I'm subhuman too.

I start the clock when I go out and open the garage door. I do overlap everything as has been mentioned. Water heating is pretty quick with a 20 psi regulator on my BC turkey fryer. I generally have been doing a 60 minute mash, 10 minute mashout and batch sparge. I haven't been heating the first runoff until the batch sparge has run, as I have been recording the gravity from the total runoff to monitor my mash efficiency. I clean the mash tun and sanitize all of the post boil hardware during the boil. I start all my accessory cleanup during the wort runoff through the chiller. By the time I have the brewpot rinsed out and everything in the kitchen sink soaking in Oxyclean, I've been right at 7 hours.
 

Lil' Sparky

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7 hrs!?!? <runs off screaming into the hills>

I've done back-to-back 5 gal AG brews in 5.5 hrs.

If every brew day took 7 hrs, that might be a deal breaker for me.
 

Wables

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My 5 gallon batches are usually just under 4 hours. I finally got my 10 gallon 2 tier keggle system up and running. My first batch on friday was 5 hours, but I can probably cut out another 15 minutes or so once I learn my new system.
 

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