Your best double brew day time?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by J A, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to do some double brew days to fill my biggest fermenters and I know I'm going to have to get my brew time down in order to do so. Right now I do a long step-mash and a really slow sparge. I also do a 90 minute boil on most batches, but I can cut that down.
    Given that tun and boil kettle wouldn't have to be cleaned thoroughly between batches I could go from one batch to the next pretty quickly. Since I use my electric boil kettle as my HLT, I'm a little limited. I may be able to set up a second boil kettle (gas-fired) so that I could be doing the second recirc mash while the first is boiling.
    What's your quickest turnaround time from dough-in to fermenter?
     
  2. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I regularly run a 60 minute mash and 30 minute boil. It's hot in my garage here in Louisiana in the summer and I like to minimize time out there. I have tested the conversion with iodine papers and have always had complete conversion after 60 minutes and I suspect that could be shortened still. I get a good break with a 30 minute boil. I do adjust my bittering hops up just a bit per the BF calculator.
     
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  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I go 9 or 10 hours, it sucks too the whole day is gone, you can save time with a 50 amp electric system running the second mash while the first boils, you have to have it to run 2 elements at the same time, the chilling is the issue wasting too much water, I stopped years ago so I could cool through my HLT coils and that prevents a back to back brew day but now I can chill down to 55 easily and ferment faster
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Conversion: Unless you're using something exotic, 30 mins single-infusion is enough for modern malts, 15 is enough for some. Just avoid the floor-malted or undermodified stuff (see Blacklands Malting).
    Boil: 60 mins is enough at Austin's altitude. You can get by with a lot less if you don't use Pilsner malt.
    The main hangup I see is chill time - was just in Houston and San Antonio (didn't get to Austin this trip) and the ground water doesn't need heating to bathe in this time of year. If you two-stage it, the water coming out of the first batch should be cool enough to cool the second batch, by that, I mean connect the chillers. Cold water into the first (coolest) kettle, output of that chiller to the input of the second (still hot) chiller, then out to drain.
     
  5. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Batch sparging would cut your time considerably.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I use floor malted Pilsner for most recipes, though I have a great Czech 2-row that would probably do the heavy lifting for most double recipes. Based on refractometer readings, I've seen substantial extra conversion after 45 or 60 minutes by stirring and/or raising mash temp. Yes, initially suspended starches will be converted pretty quickly and the iodine test will come out clean, but my results convince me that a single infusion of 30 minutes or less leaves a lot on the table. That being said, I'll probably settle for some efficiency loss in order to shave some time off the brew day. When I don't use Pilsner, I boil 60 and, again, I'd likely just stick to 2-row recipes for doubles to make it work.
    Yes, chill time pretty much doubles from winter to summer. I can pump ice water through my chiller once I've done as much as is efficient with ground water. It just means switching some plumbing around. If I'm going into my Uni, I can drop temp quickly with glycol through the internal coil so I can settle for a relatively high initial transfer temp and then get it down to pitch in the fermenter. I've acquired a couple of temp controlled fermenters that use the Peltier coolers and I don't think they'll do as well dropping temp for pitching.
    Yeah...I'll have to sacrifice some sparge time but I'm not sure I can bring myself to introduce batch sparging. I just don't want to jinx a process that's given me such solid results. I'll probably settle for a quicker fly sparge but I may do some experimenting.
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Batch sparging works just fine, don't discount it. Every medal I've won has been the result of a batch sparge. All you sacrifice is a couple points of efficiency and any chance of oversparging and extracting tannins, providing you don't heat your water too much. I agree, the Peltier units probably don't have the capacity to chill in any reasonable amount of time. I've never been comfortable with 15 minute mashes but then, I've never tried two brews on one day. Strange thing I've noticed: Now that I'm recirculating, my mash efficiency has actually dropped a bit but it makes up for it in clean wort immediately at mash-out.
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I did a couple of double batches over the last few days and they went pretty well. From first dough-in to filled fermenter at temp was around 9 hours. That was including 2 mashes at my usual mash time with fairly slow sparges.

    I collect the first batch of wort into my 30 gallon that I've acquired since I first started this thread. I've got it set up on my big burner which is in turn set on a heavy-duty shop tool dolly. I can move it around (cautiously) even when it's full.

    As soon as I get my second mash going, I can move the big kettle out of the garage and start the burner to get the wort heating. After the second mash, the second sparge goes right into the heating kettle via a long silicone hose so I don't have to move it in between batches. I could move it, but it works pretty slick to just hook it up and leave everything in place during that phase. By the time the second slow sparge is done, the full kettle is very close to boiling temperature. I collect wort from hoses and such and get the last of it in the kettle, and it's time to start skimming early break material and push the heat up a little to get a full boil.

    After a 90 minute boil, I can carefully wheel the kettle back into the garage and stage it right near my pump and HLT/HERMS kettle with room to wheel in the big fermenter. Going through a ground-water chill plate and then into the HERMS kettle filled with ice water, I can chill pretty fast. It took me about 45 minutes last night but that was ~22 gallons from 210 to a pitch temp of 57. I think I could probably shave 10 or 15 minutes off of chilling for an ale pitch or add another bag of ice and save that much time even for a lager pitch temp.

    All in all, not too bad for the longest version of my brew day (doing a Lager). If I do a pale or IPA, I can do a shorter, single infusion mash and 60 minute boil, but I'd probably add a 20 minute whirlpool in there somewhere. That might put me at 7 1/2 or 8 hours. It makes for a long day but I'll fill 4 5-gallon kegs for my efforts. Doing single, 10-gallon batches would take me about 6 hours so there's definitely a gain in overall time efficiency.
     
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Exhausted just reading about it!
     
  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Here is another way to get a double brew day or more like two for the price of one not for all but if your savvy with your hop additions and your brewing a pretty straight forward beer like a lager or pale this will work for you.

    What I do is pretty easy just cube off 23lt of wort at flame out ;).
    I brewed a light abv pale like this awhile back and cube hopped (hop stand) with a different aroma flavour hop than the whirlpooled batch.

    If doing a 90min pilsner boil you could cube at 60 and achieve similar issomerization from slow chill down.

    Anyhow thought I'd throw that Aussie Curve ball out there.

    Yes both batches don't hit the fermentors at the same time but gives you options on the secon cubed batch keep it until the first brew is done and pitch onto the slurry or opt for a different yeast altogether.
     
  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've done split batches like you describe, getting 2 5-gallon batches out of a single 10-gallon brew day. Did it recently to get an IPA and a decent Irish Stout.
    The double brew day is a different enterprise altogether. I'm filling a 27-gallon Morebeer conical using a 15-gallon brewhouse (normal batches 11 gallons into a fermenter) so it's all about producing massive quantities of wort. :cool:
     

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