Typical Brew Day Time?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Donoroto, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Lately my brew days have been about 5.5-6 hours from very start by getting the equipment out to the very end of clean-up. To me, it is starting to seem like a long day. When I have some help, it definitely goes easier.

    How long is your typical brew day?
     
  2. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    That sounds about right, though I try to cut corners and time as much as possible. :D
    45min +- from digging out equipment and ingredients to mash-in. 3 hrs mash/sparge/boil. Another 45min +- clean-up.
    If am not working / looking after kids parallel to brewing, I can save about half an hour by cleaning out my mash-tun while boiling. So on a really good day when I can pretty much concentrate 100% on brewing only, I can be done in ~4 hrs. A "typical" brew day runs closer to 5+ hrs, w/ clean-up spread out randomly over the remainder of the day, when I have time to empty the mash-tun, wash out the pot(s), clean-out filters, etc...
     
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  3. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Depending on what I'm brewing and how long I'm mashing or boiling for, start to finish is typically 5 to 6 hours.
     
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  4. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    For my 2.5 gallon BIAB batches I’m usually between 4 and 5 hours, depending on how long I want to mash and boil. That’s with my grains milled the night before.
     
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  5. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Over the years I have modified my methods. I am down to about 2.5 hours, sometimes as short as two.

    Batches: 2.5 gallon BIAB
    Equipment: 4 gallons Gigawort electric mash/brew kettle

    0:00 Fill vessel with mash water
    0:05 Measure and mill grains
    0:15 Start mash
    1:00 Finish mash, turn heat up to boil
    1:15 Beginning of boil. While wort is coming to a boil, I do a modified batch sparge on the grain bag to catch all the sugar. Also measure out hops.
    1:45 End boil and transfer to fermenter. Wort is chilled in fermenter using SS Brewtech heat exchanger coils.
    2:00 Wort is cooled to pitch temperature and yeast is pitched. Cleanup is completed during wort cooling.

    2 hours is possible but I usually get sidetracked with other things and end up closer to two and a half.

    This method works for me due to small batches, fairly simple hop schedules, and some dedicated space.

    Over the years, I found that 45 minute mashes were sufficient for starch conversion, especially with a very find grind for BIAB. I also shortened the boil to 30 minutes. I have to adjust the hop schedule, but 30 minutes seems to provide a good hot break.

    I can’t advocate this length of brew day for everyone because with some systems this isn’t possible or prudent. But the short brew day gives me more chances to brew. In 2020, I was able to brew 25 batches. I know that if I had a 6 or 7 hour brew day, that would just not have been possible.
     
  6. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Member

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    I brew smaller batches of 1.25 to 2 gallons per batch. One of the benefits is a somewhat shorter brew day. I can be done from gathering ingredients and milling through end of cleanup and pitching within 4 hours, even 3.5 if I tried a little harder which I have done a few times. And this is with a full hour boil. Now I'm experimenting more with 30-45 minute boils. I've been mashing for just 45 minutes for almost 15 years already, well over 100 batches.
     
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  7. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    We go about 6 hrs with 10gal batches. Should drop off once we get used to the 65L digiboil. Water heats for mash in approx 40 min but climb to boil is about the same. Need to get a better chiller as it is the biggest waiting time.
     
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  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I am a solid 6 hours, but I enjoy the day
     
  9. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Solid 6 hours for me, longer if I have guests, probably cuz we sample while brewing. 5 gal batch.
     
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  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Long mash, long sparge, long boil for me. From the time I fill the HLT and get it heating to the time I pitch can go as long as 8 hours. I do 11 gallon batches into the fermenter and if I mash big and split boil into 2 pots, I can fill my half barrel fermenter to 17 gallons.
     
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  11. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Whew! You all make me feel better! I too am a solid 5-6 hour brew day brewer! At least I know I am not alone. I enjoy it as long as I accept it and avoid trying to rush.
     
  12. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    That’s about the time it takes me. If I do an ale it’s 6-7. Lagers are 7-9. Long mash, long boil, long chilling to 45F. It all takes time.
     
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  13. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    About 3-4 hours for me. I also use a gigawort like @Bubba Wade. I do batches either 1.3 gallons or 2 gallons depending on fermenter I’m using
     
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  14. mrskittle

    mrskittle Active Member

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    It sounds like I come in around the average time. WIth a hopstand or whirlpool, IPA brews add another 30+ mins to a brew day. As sbaclimber mentioned in the second post, having the kids around stretches out the day. It's a great feeling when you can get a few things cleaned up during the downtime of the mash or boil. I don't know about anyone else but, I can't really change gears at all during a brew. Even if it's a quick email or something, it has to wait till wort is in the fermentor. I tried to multitask during a brew when I was still pretty new and little things about the brew get missed.
     
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  15. StephaneDodier

    StephaneDodier New Member

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    It's 5 hours for me. But recently I invited family and friend to the brew session and they found this very interesting and after the brew session it was time for a BBQ ! It's interesting to combine both activity !
     
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  16. west1m

    west1m Well-Known Member

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    Yup, I'm right in there at 51/2 - 6 hours.
     
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  17. Herm_brews

    Herm_brews Well-Known Member

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    Like many others, my brew days usually cover 5.5 to 6 hours.
     
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  18. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    4.5 - 5 hours but I really don't count. I just think I'll spend half the day brewing.
    If I know I'll be home for the day and people comming around I find this a great opportunity to get the kettle out. I just prep the grains and water the night before boil and mash get extended depending on when lunch is on or guests come round;).
     
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  19. SabreSteve

    SabreSteve Well-Known Member

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    About 5 hours with milling the grains and prepping the equipment before brew day. Brew days usually fall on days I'm home with my son so I try to time it so that I can mash while feeding him lunch and getting him ready for nap and then hopefully complete my boil before he wakes up. Had a couple occasions where something has gone wrong (like a broken hydrometer test jar) where I've had to pivot and the brewday has gone a bit longer
     
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  20. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Good info. I feel a lot better about my times. Grain is milled by the Friendly LHBS so that time is zero. And as some have noted, it is fun even while watching the paint dry... err, watching the boil. I probably could cut it by an hour, but added stress is unwelcome.

    Thanks everyone. It can seem lonely at times, but it is a noble task.
     

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