What is your cutoff time of day to start brewing?

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I always say if I'm not mashing in by noon the brew day is canceled. Instead I'll spend a few hours doing as much prep as I can to get a jump start on brewing the next day and wake up early to get going. Fill the kettle, add the salts, crush the grain, even fill out my brew sheet and all that. Did this last weekend and even pre-heated the water overnight holding it at 130 with a block of pink foam in place of the lid to slow the heat losses. Only took a few minutes to warm it up to strike temp and I was brewing. Finished by noon and got even with myself for lollygagging.
 

PCABrewing

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I prep grain and starters in advance.
Brew day usually starts at 1000 with setting up the table and moving all the gear up to the garage. By 1100 I have the kettle heating water for the mash.
Goal is to have yeast pitched and equipment cleaned and stored by 1800.
 

bwible

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I have no kids and I work from home on a compressed 3 day schedule - I work 12.5 hours a day for 3 days then I have 4 days off. I usually work Thurs, Fri, Sat and my days off are Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed. I usually brew on Mon, Tues, or Wed while the wife is at work. Like others have said, I’ve never been an early riser. I have to get up at 5:00 on the days I work (was 4:00 when I was driving to the office) and I hate that hour of the day. “With the fiery passion of a thousand suns.” Because I resent it so much I sometimes sleep til 11:00 on my days off.

But I like to have everything planned, recipe in writing, water treatment figured out, etc and be ready to start by 9 am on a brew day. When all goes well, I can be done and cleaned up by 2:30, plenty of time before the wife gets home. Sometimes I even cook dinner, too.
 

ArizonaGoalie

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I typically brew on Saturdays and try to time it so that I start my boil as the sun goes down, so the season dictates timing. I brew in the garage, which faces west, so I don't want the sun beaming in. I want to watch the sunset, crank my tunes, and savor the boil with the garage open at night. It's a spiritual experience for me.

Right now, winter time in San Diego (if you can call this winter!)

I start heating my strike water around 2:00pm
Mash in around 2:30
Start draining at 3:30
Batch sparge by 4:00
Begin the boil process shortly after
Rolling boil just after the sun goes down
Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, Rush, etc, keep me company
Done boiling between 5:30-6:00pm
Chill and pitch sometime around 6:30pm
This includes measuring OG, labeling, etc., process ends about 7:00pm
Rinse my equipment well, but save the deep cleaning for morning

If it's summer, this process begins around 4:00pm and ends around 9pm
If I'm doing a 90 minute mash, add 30-45 minutes
 

bwible

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You listed several of the reasons I haven't brewed my imperial stout in 10 years. The main reason is I lost my fascination with strong beer
I do strong beers only a couple times a year, 3 gallons. For these, I do a mash supplemented with extract in the kettle. Been the easiest way. I have barleywines from the last 3 years. I’m finishing up a RIS I brewed in May of 2020 there are only 3 bottles of left. So I’m actually planning to do that one again this week.
 

bwible

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Electric is the way to go. Setting up the night before and waking up to strike water ready to go...its a no brainer!
I have an Anvil Foundry but I don’t see the advantage. Either way, I have to grind grain. Whether I spend time doing it the night before or I do it while the strike water is heating up. So I put it on and grind the grain while the strike water heats up. Usually works out perfectly with the 6.5 and smaller batches, because I’m usually heating about 3 gallons of strike water. Now if I had the 10.5 or the bigger one they came out with, it might take longer to heat the water. But then I’d have to be on 240v instead of 120v so have to account for that also.
 

Velnerj

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Great reads! I find this very encouraging because I can barely squeeze in 4-5 brew sessions a year.

I've got two young kids (4 & 1) and a spouse who does not support the idea of me having 4-6 hours of free time. Brew days are planned well in advance and often get vetoed and postponed due to life circumstances. But when the moon is in its seventh house and jupiter aligns with Mars a brew day can occur...

In those days I wake up as early as my tired body, who has kids who still don't sleep entirely through the night, will allow: 0500 at the earliest. My target is to be mashed in by 7 am. I'm an outdoor brewer on a three vessel propane system and if I'm lucky I'm finished by 1400. I'm currently looking for looking into an AIO system so that I can cut down my brew time - having strike water ready when I wake up is a dream...

The other issue is that I'm the cook in the family and if I brew I'm not allowed to let other household responsibilities slip so that I can make beer.... So my brew days tend to take much longer than necessary because I'm tending to other needs of the family.

Nevertheless it's all worth it when the beer hits its mark. A 5 gal batch will last me around 3 months.
 

bwible

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@Velnerj, you need to put your foot down and insist on some equality. It should be a fundamental human right to home brew at least 4 times a month ✊
Well a marriage should be about supporting each other. And there are always trade offs. Doesn’t your spouse have a hobby or something they enjoy spending time doing?
 

Sammy86

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I have an Anvil Foundry but I don’t see the advantage.

Really? You don't see the advantage of waking up to strike water ready to go and all I have to do is pour the grain in the AIO and not having to wait? Seems like a no brainer to me. Having 3 kids under 5 time is of the essence and if I'm mashed in by 6:30 im completely done and cleaned uo before nap time and have the entire afternoon to be with my children...again, no brainer
 

The_Antikveik

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Well a marriage should be about supporting each other. And there are always trade offs. Doesn’t your spouse have a hobby or something they enjoy spending time doing?
Absolutely, and I actively support my lovely spouse to pursue personal interests and develop culturally beyond the daily grind and inevitable family responsibilities. We all have a right to enjoy some free time pursuing our individual interests. Without that, we're not enjoying life. It's what makes us human. Home brewers :mug:
 
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bwible

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Really? You don't see the advantage of waking up to strike water ready to go and all I have to do is pour the grain in the AIO and not having to wait? Seems like a no brainer to me. Having 3 kids under 5 time is of the essence and if I'm mashed in by 6:30 im completely done and cleaned uo before nap time and have the entire afternoon to be with my children...again, no brainer
Its the same amount of time either way. Whether I break into some time spent the night before or I do it all on brew day. But yeah, I’m in a different situation since I don’t have kids.
 

wepeeler

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I usually brew on Thursday after work. I get out anywhere between 2-4 in the afternoon, so I usually start between 2:30-4:30. Done with cleanup anywhere between 6:30-8:30, depending on the style I brew. I have Fridays off, so occasionally I'll brew on Friday morning. Usually done by noon or 1 if I do a Friday.

Now I want to brew...
 

The_Antikveik

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I'm now seriously thinking about writing a very stern letter to the UN (probably an email, tbh, due to spiralling costs associated supply chain issues) to lobby for fundamental human rights so home brewers - especially in the Czech Republic - get the rights they deserve to brew at least 4 times a month. To hell with fudged UN 'happiness' stats sponsoring flag-wavers on the periphery of civilisation. We demand the right to home brew as often as we like, especially as you have to inflate demands early in the dark art of lobbying tactics. It's more sustainable, more equitable and more home brew ✊
 

JaggersBrewingCo

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Between kids and everything I try to get everything together the night or so before. Also brewing in the bag, no chilling and few other things I can brew nearly anytime. But I normally try to be at mash in during sunrise.
 

Redpappy

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I have to say, hearing some of the times people start is interesting.....

For me(BIAB'er here), I brew every other Friday. I start anywhere from 7AM to 9AM. finish up, start clean up ( I tend to soak my kettle) have lunch with the wife, then go and finish up around 1-2 PM. Then I sit down to have a nice Homebrew.

The latest that I have done is starting at 1PM.

Brew day for me is going to be changing a tad bit though, some days I will be doing a double batch ( one for dad) so it will be a very long day on those.

Since ?? have came up no the subject, My wife (who does not drink and is not involved) does not plan on doing anything on fridays (if she is off) in support of my home brewing.. so supportive :).

edit:

As far as my cut off time, I would say 3 P.M would be my cut off time, but haven't gotten to that point as of yet.
 

Steverus07

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I brew on a Unibrau 10G and I brew just about at any time I can make it work. Also having a young kiddo and a wife who’s a doctor amidst a pandemic makes me very sympathetic to OP.

I’ve been able to brew in the mornings on a few of the days where I have a work holiday but kiddo goes to daycare. I’ve been able to skate out of work in the early afternoon (1pm ish) and used a Brülosophy short & shoddy method (40min mash, 30 min boil) to facilitate prepping kiddos dinner at 5 just after transferring to fermenter.

I’ve even setup my rig while kiddo was happily playing in the evening, filled it with water around 5pm and set to my strike temp. I largely ignored it otherwise until putting him in bed at 7. After prepping my grist I was mashing in by 7:30 and in bed around midnight. Tough to do when I also wake up early to run, but sacrifices must be made. I wouldn’t wish the late night on myself, but it is a workaround for being an available parent and brewer when the kiddos are younger and need more direct supervision.
 

Newtobrewing85

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I usually try to start around 10-11 but I’ve started as late as 2 before. Thankfully I don’t have any crib midgets running around so as long as my wife is at work nobody cares but the dogs.
 

Newtobrewing85

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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

A timer is a great idea. Damn I should have thought of that! I usually use the time it’s warming to lay stuff out but I’m sure I couldn’t figure that out to save me some time. Agreed on cleaning, cleaning sucks lol.
 

franknbeans

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I won't start past noon myself. It takes me roughly 6-7 hours to get a 5gal batch done on a Foundry from start to cleanup. I don't know how you guys can do this in 4 😓 The last beer I brewed ended up being during a big rain storm here. I had icicles on my nose and dozed off in the chair waiting for the trub to settle after chilling LOL. That day started super late at like 3pm and I didn't finish cleaning until 1am.
 

Big_D

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It’s 1:15AM here.. just doughed in my 4th and final batch over the last 36 hours! 😮

I’ve got around 13 gals of California Common in the Brewtech uni, and 6.5 gals of Dr. Taboggan’s Love Potion in the Spike CF10. This batch will go in the CF10 also bringing to roughly 13 gals.

I think I need to get something bigger than the Grainfather 30! Two brews per fermenter is going to get old quick!

83CCF8A2-B637-4B03-928B-6A46292BC8BE.jpeg
 
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superiorsat

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It’s 1:15AM here.. just doughed in my 4th and final batch over the last 36 hours! 😮

I’ve got around 13 gals of California Common in the Brewtech uni, and 6.5 gals of Dr. Taboggan’s Love Potion in the Spike CF10. This batch will go in the CF10 also bringing to roughly 13 gals.

I think I need to get something bigger than the Grainfather 30! Two brews per fermenter is going to get old quick!

View attachment 758166

Definitely need bigger gear if you want to make that much beer in a short period. I've only brewed 3- 12 gallon batches back to back to back on 2 occasions. That is about an 18 hour day using 20 gallon kettle. You are gonna be wore out after this run. No sleep?
 

Big_D

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Definitely need bigger gear if you want to make that much beer in a short period. I've only brewed 3- 12 gallon batches back to back to back on 2 occasions. That is about an 18 hour day using 20 gallon kettle. You are gonna be wore out after this run. No sleep?

It was actually 2 runs. Did 2 batches back to back.. cleaned up, ate, slept. Next day did the same thing, 2 batches back to back, cleaned up, ate, crashed!

As long as all goes as planned, I’ll be picking up some new equipment in about 12 hours or so that’ll change all of that though! 😁
 

Sam_92

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I never realized brewing in the evening was such a rarity! Back when I brewed outside on a propane burner I nearly always brewed at night. The wife and kids go to bed about the time I'm starting the boil and I have an hour to sit and drink and look at the stars and the boiling wort...

Now that I brew electric it's very seasonal. This winter I've been brewing most Sunday mornings (2.5 gallon batches) and I set an alarm for 5:30 AM. It's certainly different drinking coffee instead of beer and being finished at 10AM rather than 10PM but I do miss the stars...

In the summer last year I plugged my kettle into an exterior outlet and brewed in the afternoon. That was pretty much heaven as far as I'm concerned.
 

khannon

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I call it if I'm not ready to mash in by ~10AM.. From experience it's better this way, If I can justify (After noon..) drinking before I finish the boil, I either end with a mess or have slacked off somewhere ending in bad or un-repeatable beer.. That being said, I'm going to try a few back-to-back batches in a week or so, so we shall see where that leads.

Might be different if I was doing 2.5 or 5 Gal batches, 10 Gallons takes a bit longer to heat/boil etc.. I did love(from a time perspective) some of the 1G batches I did early pandemic, what I did not love was only having 8 or so bottles.
 

Genuine

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I'll brew whenever I can, however if it's towards the evening, the latest I'll start is 7pm. My brew day is about 4 hours so if I can finish with cleaning before midnight, It's a win. Otherwise, brewing 6-7am is great so that I'm usually done by noon and can crack open a beer to celebrate a good brew day.
 

nonamekevin

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My first batch I ever did was after work on a Friday. Extract brew from a kit, I think I started at 530pm, wrapped up at almost 10pm, and that was leaving cleanup to the next day.

Learned my lesson. If I haven't started heating water by 10am, I'll wait.
 

deuc224

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Electric is the way to go. Setting up the night before and waking up to strike water ready to go...its a no brainer!
Ill take it a step further and the night before i get the strike water ready, grind the grains, adjust the recirculation very slow and go to bed. Wake up, drink coffe, lift the mash pipe and begin the boil, I started doing this a month ago and dont see myself going back to the do it early method anymore.
 
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