Shortening my brew day

Post #1 made 1 month ago
Hi Guys,

I've been brewing for a while now. I have always used the BIABacus for my recipes. And I have pretty much followed the brewday process as discussed in The Commentary (see https://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=190). This includes a 90 minute mash followed by a 90 minute boil, and a 15 minute mash out. My numbers are pretty spot on based on this process. Having said that, I would like to try and shorten my brew day, perhaps starting with a 60 minute mash and 60 minute boil. What advice do you have on any adjustments I might have to make?

Thanks,
Steve
    • SVA Brewer With Over 20 Brews From United States of America

Re: Shortening my brew day

Post #2 made 1 month ago
Steve,
Do you intend to keep the 15 minute mashout?
In my experience (almost always brewing ales of >5.5% ABV from OGs of >1.050) the mashout is not adding anything.

As for mash time and boil time, I have posted a link* to a bunch of charts that include one showing that you do indeed get more fermentable sugars from the grist if mashing for 90 minutes compared to 60 minutes. The curve flattens out and >90 min is not the same.
If you mash for 60 min and a) increase the grain weight or b) accept the lower amount of extractables from the unchanged grain weight that's OK as your choice. Those who strive for maximum 'brewhouse efficiency' make their comparisons among their consistent methods - if they mashed for 90 min and got higher efficiency, would they change???? I don't worry about that. If time is more important than 0.004 in a specific gravity reading, then go for 60 min.
As for boil time, it is probably more about the evaporation total than the total time. True, there are some heat related / flavor-related happenings, but I have no idea if, in your recipe, they are finished by 60 min, or keep going through to 90 min. The rates may vary with the increasing concentration. How about boiling more vigorously to [hit a volume target sooner] rather than shorten boil time to [a specific number on a clock and take whatever evaporation you got]? Would it taste different? I do not know and I do not brew the same recipe again close enough in time to make fair comparisons.

To sum up = 1) mash longer than 60, shorter than 90 if you must, 2) eliminate the mashout 15 min, 3) boil more vigorously until you have evaporated the right amount and the boil will take less than 89 min.

* See the chart in the middle of the second row at http://bit.ly/2pnFnSH

Re: Shortening my brew day

Post #3 made 1 month ago
Another alternative, that also comes with risks & rewards is overnight mashing.

My best advice though is to try different methods & use what works best for you.
G B
I spent lots of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered
I've stopped drinking, but only when I'm asleep
I ONCE gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Great Britain

Re: Shortening my brew day

Post #4 made 1 month ago
Mally: What do you think of this experiment comparing an overnight vs 60 min mash?
http://brulosophy.com/2018/01/08/mash-l ... t-results/

ShorePoints: The more I read on mash and boil length, it seems like yes there is a measurable difference but that difference is insignificant to drinkers. I guess I could take a known good recipe and just shorten the mash and/or boil length, and see if it is noticeable. The problem is that I will have observation bias since I know I changed the process. And sure, I'm not saving that much time but why spend it if it's not perceptibly helping?

In any case, thanks for the input!
    • SVA Brewer With Over 20 Brews From United States of America

Re: Shortening my brew day

Post #5 made 1 month ago
sheets - You are correct. There are many ways to get to beer. If the drinker likes the result, it doesn't matter how it was made.

You made me realize that I am still fixated on yield / throughput and I should be open to other ways of getting to the desired product without so much concern for yield.
Thanks for the timely awakening.. :thumbs: I am planning to use Kveik Voss yeast soon and have been reading about raw ales...https://byo.com/article/raw-ale/
The brew day could be longer on the clock but require less activity by the brewer.

Re: Shortening my brew day

Post #6 made 1 month ago
ShorePoints wrote:
1 month ago
sheets - You are correct. There are many ways to get to beer. If the drinker likes the result, it doesn't matter how it was made.

You made me realize that I am still fixated on yield / throughput and I should be open to other ways of getting to the desired product without so much concern for yield.
Thanks for the timely awakening.. :thumbs: I am planning to use Kveik Voss yeast soon and have been reading about raw ales...https://byo.com/article/raw-ale/
The brew day could be longer on the clock but require less activity by the brewer.
Kveik will definitely shorten your fermentation time. Have you looked at Lars Blog for details on how to use Voss? See http://www.garshol.priv.no/download/far ... kveik.html.
    • SVA Brewer With Over 20 Brews From United States of America

Re: Shortening my brew day

Post #7 made 1 month ago
Yes, thanks, shetc.
Larsblog opened new worlds for me, not to mention that I need to learn more geography as well. I'll brew the Kveik first batch with what I have on hand. In spring (about 3 months from now) I'll look to harvest spruce tips and juniper branches. That got me into tree identification sites and recipes for simple syrups and poultry glazes. I did have a beer made with spruce tips at Odd Alewives in Waldoboro, Maine, that was excellent.

Re: Shortening my brew day

Post #8 made 1 month ago
shetc wrote: Mally: What do you think of this experiment comparing an overnight vs 60 min mash?
http://brulosophy.com/2018/01/08/mash-l ... t-results/

ShorePoints: The more I read on mash and boil length, it seems like yes there is a measurable difference but that difference is insignificant to drinkers. I guess I could take a known good recipe and just shorten the mash and/or boil length, and see if it is noticeable. The problem is that I will have observation bias since I know I changed the process. And sure, I'm not saving that much time but why spend it if it's not perceptibly helping?

In any case, thanks for the input!
I had read that experiment, and it seemed odd that the beers with different OG & FG would be undiscernable. Maybe it shows how much leeway there is in a brew day :dunno:

For me personally, I have no interest in saving time, or cutting corners. If I decide to brew I make no other plans for that day, and it is a hobby after all so just enjoy the process.
I do try and make sure I can be as efficient as possible though, and that goes for yield, water use & power consumption.

The only thing stopping me from trying overnight mashing, is it will take more power to reach a boil than straight after the mash.

:drink:
G B
I spent lots of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I squandered
I've stopped drinking, but only when I'm asleep
I ONCE gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From Great Britain
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