What is your cutoff time of day to start brewing?

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Knightshade

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My last two brew days, I haven’t made the decision to brew until sometime after 9 in the morning. Kids haven’t been home or were busy doing something else all day, wife is content with sewing/baking and doesn’t have any interest in going anywhere. Bored…WTH, guess I’ll brew today.

That means that I haven’t started mash in until almost 11am and hooray for having dry yeast on hand.

But, clean up extending into the evening and just..bleh.

So, curious what time do you prefer to start vs how late is too late for your brewday. (Vs days, I know some of you will break apart stuff into multiple days. I’m talking Setup to Cleaning/Breakdown)
 

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I have a 5 year old, so I'm always planning ahead. And about 10AM is the latest I can start a planned day, otherwise I'm not done before she gets home from kindergarten. No way I could get much done with her around in the afternoon or on a weekend. The idea of "WTH, I guess I'll brew today" is only a dream for me!
 

Dland

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Usually I brew on Sundays, no chance of work related interruptions, but if I'm not mashed in by 11AM, I'll skip it. Today I mashed at 9:45, right now waiting for boil to finish. I should done & put away by 2:30, good thing, it is supposed to rain this afternoon.

In any case, I like to have cleaned up well before dark, and I don't really enjoy drinking while brewing any more, makes things too difficult.
 

teesherv

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When kids were little, I had to plan well in advance, break my brew day into 2 (night before mash), and have everything dialed. Start time was 6-7am and I was done by noon. Now that kids are older (youngest just turned 18 yesterday), I have a lot more time on my hands, but I still won't start after 11am. Granted, I do smaller batches, BIAB, and now use an all-in-one system so a "WTH, I guess I'll brew today" is much easier to pull off compared to years ago before I downsized.
Last week, I decided to start at 11am and put away my last piece of equipment by 2pm.
 

Golddiggie

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I leave my brew stand setup all the time to make things easier on myself. I've found that if I start filling the MT and HLT by about 10am, I have the batch in fermenter by 4-5pm. I clean the MT out while the BK is getting up to boil. Makes it easier at the end since I'll only need to rinse out the BK before letting it soak with PBW (electric system, I like to let it soak to clean the element after brew day).

I like to have the fermenter (conical) ready the day before, to make it easier on brew day.

I have, at times, filled the MT and HLT the night before. But with my setup it doesn't take long to get the water into both. I do make starters several days (depending on the starter schedule) in advance. I'll be getting one going today for brewing next weekend.

Since I crush the grain on brew day, I can tweak the recipe right up to when I weigh the grain out.

I plan to get the system fully ready during this week for next weekend. I have one fermenter I need to empty then clean. The one that will be getting used has PBW in it (started the soak the other day) and that will be sent into the second conical when I clean it. I'll sanitize the one with PBW in it for a couple of days and then drain that. At that time, I'll also run the Starsan through the plate chiller to get it ready (closing it off once done). I'm kind of hoping the new plate chiller will arrive before the weekend. Plus that I'll have time to make the mount for it. I have the material on hand to make the mount, just need time to cut, drill, machine and then weld it up. I'll use that as the base for the mount when I get the stainless brew stand made.

For which day I brew, it depends more on the weather (more temperature this time of year) and if anything else is going on. I got a new pew pew yesterday and I want to give it some exercise. Which would be one day the coming weekend.
 

tripelthelightfantastic

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Brewing in the kitchen, using nature to chill water on the balcony overnight for my immersion chiller means setup and pre heat the mash water the night before (normally around 62degC when I wake up) with a mash in no later than 6am during winter and 4am during summer.
 

mashpaddled

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No kids so I have a lot more flexibility. These days I usually start brewing around 12-1p. If I have a lot to get done I might start around 10a.
 

TandemTails

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I like to be heating my water up by 8am, but in the winter that isn't always possible due to it being so cold out. As long as I've cleaned my kettle and everything before dark, I'm happy.
 

JJinMD

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Similar to others, I have little ones running amok so I usually have to plan the brewdays out weeks in advance. Then, on the day of, I get the earliest start possible. Most recently, was last Saturday, New Year's Day, perfect since everyone was up so late, I got a super early start. Up at 5am, fill the kettle, start heating. Then inside to make coffee, then outside to grind and mash, then inside to make breakfast, then outside to drain (I do BIAB), then boil, then chill, then into the FV, then inside to make lunch, then back outside to cleanup. Didn't finish until around 1pm, but that was only because my neighbor chatted me up in the driveway for a while and I know for sure I really wasn't moving too quickly that day.
 

Elric

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No set schedule, all about what works on a given day. Sleepless night I may start at 5am, if inspiration strikes in the evening and I want to do a last minute brew I’ll get started if I don't have priorities the next morning. Think latest I have ever started was 8pm and I wrapped up around 2am. I generally prefer to brew in the morning, but if afternoon or evening makes more sense on a given day I'll just roll with it. Since I brew indoors for almost all my brews the weather or amount of daylight never limits my brewing choices.
 

Sammy86

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I have a 5 yo and boy girl 2 yo twins so like the many brewers above my brew days are planned weeks in advance.

I brew on Saturday mornings, I set everything up the night before. Set the Brewzilla to start heating mash water at 4:30 AM for a 6-6:30 mash in. I'll wake up at 5:30, wet condition the grain and mill it. Dough in let it rest for 10 minutes then start recirculating. If something unforseen happens (kids up late in the night/I hit snooze whatever) I pretty much have until 7:30-8 AM. After that its a no go and I live to brew another day.
 

RyPA

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I prefer to be done by dinner time, so I rarely will start beyond 12-1pm.

@Sammy86, after reading your post I am really considering going all electric soon. I am/was thinking of spending ~$150 on an electric element to supplement my boil, but now thinking of holding off and plan for all electric. Setting a timer to start mash water well before you begin to brew sounds awesome, among the other advantages to the electronic gadgets/timers you get with electric.
 

crazyjake19

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8am cutoff, typically. Usually I start at 6am and I'm wrapping up around 9:30am at the latest. If I start after 8 I won't be done until lunch or later.
 

SRJHops

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I have 3 small kids and have tried lots of different things, especially during quarantine. (I brew on the kitchen stove.)

I've mashed overnight and wrapped the tun to keep it warm; mashed and lautered and kept the kettle wrapped on the stove overnight (heat off); and powered through and did the entire "brew day" after the kids were in bed (makes for a late night). All of those worked.

But now that the kids are back in school, my goal is 9 am to 3 pm.

What really helps is to prep the water the night before and put the mash water on the stove and sparge water in the hot liquor tank. Then I start heating the mash water when the kids are having breakfast. As soon as they leave for school I can crank the tunes and mash in.
 

jcfontario

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Being retired, I have a lot of flexibility in timing that would not be possible with kids around. I do a stove top s2.5 gallon partial mash (with about half the grain), a partial boil with the 2.5 gallon, add LME then cool in kitchen sink and top up with water for fermentation.

With this set up, I can start grinding the grain around 1130 and have it in the fermenter and be all cleaned up by 4 pm. SWMBO prefers that I be out of the way before she starts making dinner;)
 

Sammy86

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I prefer to be done by dinner time, so I rarely will start beyond 12-1pm.

@Sammy86, after reading your post I am really considering going all electric soon. I am/was thinking of spending ~$150 on an electric element to supplement my boil, but now thinking of holding off and plan for all electric. Setting a timer to start mash water well before you begin to brew sounds awesome, among the other advantages to the electronic gadgets/timers you get with electric.

Electric is the way to go. Setting up the night before and waking up to strike water ready to go...its a no brainer!
 

csabi

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Set up the night before, like to have the heat on by 8am. Best I can do is just over five hours start to finish (including cleanup). I allot six hours. Try to keep a the ingredients on hand for the next batch, such that I can take advantage of a free morning, when ever it may present itself. I also need to start the yeast the night before, or if I'm really on my game, two nights. I have brewed in the evenings when my system was small, and the kids were too. Not the case any more, so don't need to burn the midnight oil any longer.
 

Chuckbergman

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I normally schedule my brew day either on a Sunday or take a day off work. Generally get started by 10am and finishing clean up by 2-3pm. I have started later with no problem. Once I brewed a beer after work, not starting until about 6pm. But it was a 30min mash and 30min boil SMaSH beer that I was experimenting with. I think I was still cleaning up around 11pm - probably won't do that again.
 

superiorsat

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I like to set the timer the night before and get mashed in around 7am. I brew 2 12 gallon batches almost every single time I brew. I don't really have a cut off. The last emergency batches I pushed through for New Years Eve I finished at 5;30 am ( don't remember what time I started but should have been done 2-3 am) and only had a couple boil time naps! 🤣 The later I start the more likely naps are involved.
 

RyPA

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That is a lot of beer. You nap during your boil?
 

eric19312

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10am is good for me. I usually will be up in the morning fine tuning the recipe over coffee, and maybe walk the dogs. *If nothing goes wrong* on the brew day I will be cleaned up before 5.

LOL yesterday I had first brew on my new mash tun and seemed like I was using a lot of water...sure enough over collected wort and had to add extra two hours to my boil to get it in range. Still got the beer in the fermentor before time to make dinner but had to finish clean up after dinner.
 
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Most of my brewdays are planned a week in advance, we have 2 kids, 10 and 12 and usually brew on the weekends the are with their other parents. (Both my wife and I have a kid to previous spouse). So I work on Saturdays until noon and brew when I get home, 15gal batches in a spike 3v eherms. My wife will turn it on and start heating water so we are basically ready to mash in when I get home from work around 1230 or 1 usually. If we brew on a sunday or when we have the kids I like to start early, it takes a while to heat that volume so I'll get up at 6am and turn it on, 8am at the latest.
 

Immocles

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I try to only brew on my days off during the week, to keep my weekends open. I like to be milling grain and heating strike water between 9 and 10AM. If I time it out correctly, I still manage a couple coffee dates with the wife during her breaks/lunch.
Thats with my current set up in the basement. I was way fast and loose when I was brewing on the stove top, especially extract kits. "Oh its 8pm and you're done in the kitchen? Hold my beer while I get my kettle..."
 

JoeSpartaNJ

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I use to start whenever I felt like it, never had an issue with my kids, even when they were younger.

Then one time I had equipment failure and everything was closed, so I had to scrap the batch. From that day forward, I have never started after 9AM (usually mashed in by 7AM these days.) That way if something goes wrong, I can get a replacement part or whatever. If its later than that, I just push it off until another day. I also just like finishing early so I can get more done in that day.
 
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I've got three girls; 11mo, 4yo, 13yo, so the schedule is pretty set during the week. I have to pick a day a week in advanced to make sure I can have a totally uninterrupted brew day. I am up and at it by 5am, like strike water is ready to go to mash in.
 

OakIslandBrewery

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No kids and I'm retired now so time is on my side. Brew day starts day one milling the grain into the mashtun and getting the HLT filled and the temp dialed in. By the next morning (7am) I'm ready then after 3-4 hours I'm cleaning up. Today now I'm brewing, it's 2 deg. outside so a perfect day to brew. Well, any day is a good day for that matter.
 

3 Dawg Night

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Another dad of young-ish kids here. I have my entire year of brewing mapped out on my calendar. Brewdays have to get moved around sometimes due to life, but I like having an idea of when I'm next going to brew, and it keeps my pipeline from drying out. A spontaneous brew day is not really a thing for me. Maybe after retirement.

I build my yeast starter on Wednesday before a Saturday brewday. I grind my grist and collect/adjust my water on Friday night after the kids go to bed. On Saturday, I wake at 6-7am, make a cup of coffee, and fire up my strike water. Depending on the recipe (60/90 minute mash; 60/90 minute boil), I can be done and have everything cleaned up by 11am-noon. That leaves the afternoon available for the wife and kids, which goes a long way for me continuing this hobby!

I have brewed in the afternoon, but that tends to put me cleaning up after dark, which I don't love. If I have to delay until later in the day, I'd rather just delay my brewday to the following Saturday, which I've done on multiple occasions. I just put my starter in the fridge, and it's good to go the following weekend.
 
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My youngest is 12 and likes to work in the brewery with me most of the time. But I like to still be able to do other things after brewday, so I try to start as early as 6am, no later than 10am. If it is a bigger beer or one that is supposed to be on the dry side like a PA or IPA (I'm working up to lagers), then I will mash in after dinner the night before and do the sparge and boil in the morning. Either way, I like to be done by 2-3pm in the afternoon.
 

OakIslandBrewery

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With no helpers (and that includes my wife) I slot an entire day for the actual brew time. By the time the brew is done there's still grain to haul out, clean the mashtun and brew kettle plus any messes I make on the floor.

A couple years ago I was forced to split my brew day. Just as I was starting the boil my wife yells down to the basement that a tornado touched down a few miles away. Well, I shut everything down and push stuff out of the way so we could huddle in the brewery. That included some food, clothes, flashlights and our pet bird Roxy. She's an African Grey. Lost power, branches down all over but we made it through the storm and I was able to resume brew day the next day. I named my brew Power Outage Porter.
 

Deadalus

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I've never been an early riser...but the earlier I can get the show on the road the better. Some times I have a couple of other issues pop up on brewday and don't get started until the late afternoon, even as late as 5:00. Of course then supper interrupts but I don't like to be cleaning up past 9:30 p.m. as I brew in my driveway and I don't like to clang around past then and disturb the neighbors. Once I get my hood finished I'll be brewing inside, so it won't matter.
 

day_trippr

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As long as I can definitely, without a doubt, be done in time to hear The Spousal Unit call for dinner, I'm good to go.
Practically speaking, as long as the rig is fired up by 10 it works out...

Cheers! (One doesn't stay married for 46 years by rocking the boat ;))
 

grampamark

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I’m mostly retired, my kids are 41 and 46, and 2 of my 4 grandkids are 18 and 22. The younger ones are 3 and 6 but I don’t plan to brew if they’re going to be at the house on a particular day. For the most part, I pretty much brew whenever the spirit moves me. I usually brew in the afternoon. If I start by 12-1 PM I’ll be done by supper time. That seems to be working, so far.
 
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Knightshade

Knightshade

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If I'm planning correctly, (which I obviously haven't these last two sessions) I'll start the yeast starter during the week, then prep the water, salts, mill the grain the night before, set the timer on the Anvil to be at temp around 0500. That leaves me plenty of time left in the day to do other stuff. I've got a 22 y/o boy (or do I need to call him a man now? thats weird..) who isn't in the house anymore and 16 y/o twins (also boy/girl @Sammy86) who would probably sleep their weekends away if we didn't keep them so busy.

Getting that late start, I'll usually have transferred to fermenter by 3'ish, but...I just seem to hit a wall after that. Everything in the cleaning just takes...foooooorrrreeeeevvvvveeeerrrrr
 

MaxStout

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I'm semi-retired, self-employed part-time WFH and I can pick the hours I work. I work my calendar around brew day, so no client calls then.

My brewing routine: Put all the gear on the counter the night before. Get up the next day, have a cup of coffee, maybe two. Eat some breakfast, read the news. Have another cup of coffee. Shiat, shower and shave, put on some grungy clothes. Have another cup of coffee.

If I start brewing by 9 or 10, I'm good. I can have the brew in the fermenter just after lunchtime, then clean and put away gear and still have a couple hours left of the afternoon for a beer or two.
 
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