brew time: just how long anyway???

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brew time: just how long anyway???

Postby bredmakr » Fri May 17, 2002 11:47 am

Would like to know how long people spend making beer. Typically it takes me 6-8 hours to do an all grain batch, 5-7 hours partial, and 3-5 hours for extract. The differences make the extra time spent well worth the investment. However, now that I have a son and another on the way my available brew time is drastically reduced. So until he is old enough to mill the grain and watch the boil I have to come up with ways to reduce brew time. Want to know if I'm spending too much time during brew sessions or if this is in line with what others experience. The times quoted include set up, brewing, and clean up. Anyone have any good time saving tips?
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My routine

Postby andytv » Fri May 17, 2002 3:53 pm

I typically spend about 4-5 hrs making a 10gallon all-grain batch. Here's how I save time: 1) Grind the night before brewing. Not does this save time, but it prevents airborne grain flour yuckies from infecting your beer. I find that the grain stays fresh enough in a sealed bucket. 2) Start the water heating early. I wake up at 6:00am on brew day and turn the burners on under my mash liquor pots which are already full from the night before. I keep them on medium, so there is no boil over. This may be a little dangerous though, if the burner blew out, your house would fill with gas. Anyway, I set my alarm for 7:00 and when I stumble into the kitchen, the water is up to temp. Other than that,I clean constantly while brewing. Brewing provides enough "doldrums" that there is no reason that anything but your brewpot would need cleaned when your all finished. Right now, i spend way too much time waiting for the boil. Once i get a bigger burner, I expect to shave off another 30min at least.

I have my first kid due this month, so let me in on any secrets you may have for combining brewing/babysitting.

Andy
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Plastic boil kettle

Postby Freon12 » Fri May 17, 2002 5:13 pm

And a really big microwave. I have found that thermal loading on beer being heated to boiling can have a nasty effect on taste and head retention. Don't put a jet engine under the kettle, it will heat faster, but you won't like the results. Overheating the beer causes DMS to come out but causes some astringency, nonenzymatic browning etc. Careful there pyromaniac type dude.
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Be nice to your wife....

Postby Fraoch » Mon May 20, 2002 2:57 am

If you wish to continue brewing mash beers when the wee one arrives, take this advice and be nice to your wife. The simple fact is that you cannot juggle kids and brew, ive tried at 1 month old and it took 12 hrs and alot of hassle, boil over etc. Now i have an arrangement where my wife keeps my boy occupied on mash days. I also now make 10 gal batches once a month but am soon upgrading to 15 gals.
If you upset your wife then forget brewing on that day, discard your starter and cracked grain and put your recipe on hold.
my boy is now 10 months and it is getting easier in that i can hold him in one arm during sparge etc but kids and hot temps dont mix, your wife is the key. PS i didnt tell you this OK?
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that's a given (hehe)

Postby stumpwater » Wed May 22, 2002 1:36 pm

If you brew and have kids (I have 5 lol), you should always be nice to the wife. I have similar time constraint issues so brew day becomes a pretty big effort. I have upped my batches to 10 gallons and am now in the process of collecting the equipment to make 20 gallons in a day. Why not? There isn't that much more effort in watching two mash tuns.
Best advice however is to make sure you and your spouse make personal time for each other. Raising a family can be tough and sometimes you have to be selfish and take a little "me" time. (Just make sure that your wife gets as much "me" time as you do or, er, well you'll figure it out.)
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Thanks

Postby andytv » Thu May 23, 2002 10:08 am

Thank you all for the advice. Unfortunately, my wife plans on working weekends, with me in charge of the child. I'm just going to have to find a way to brew & babysit simultaneously, which shouldn't be too hard, since newborns just sleep all the time right??? right????. So now, not only will the kitchen be crowded with fermentors, mash tuns, etc; there will also be a baby swing, a walker, and the works. Gonna make for some funny pictures. As always, neccesity is the mother of invention, so perhaps I'll come up with some brilliant time-saving techniques, who knows. Thanks again all

Prosit der Gemutlicheit!!
Andy
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Oh to be a fly on the wall

Postby Fraoch » Fri May 24, 2002 2:04 am

Newborns sleep a lot??????? I remember saying that when sleep wasnt more precious than gold. Good luck Andy, some how i just know that this is your first. Everyone reckoned i'd give up brewing when my son came along but i managed to prove them wrong. You just got to do as big as poss and plan well before hand. As i say, good luck to you and your wife, when we dont hear from you on the forum we know you are a dad!!!
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Jet Engine

Postby andytv » Fri May 24, 2002 9:28 am

Although I admit to being a bit of a fire aficianado, I don't intend on getting too carried away with my burner. Right now, my 15gal brewpot spans two burners on my kitchen stove. It's really not enough to bring that amount to a good rolling boil. My boils are very weak, and as a result, I do have occasional DMS issues. My intention is to use the 130KBTU from my turkey cooker, but If you recall from previous posts, I'm not completely confident that inside use is safe with respect to CO production. Also, I have free gas, so I'd want to convert it from LP gas to natural gas. Based on your experience, would it be safe to light a natural gas burner of that size indoors??

Andy
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