Homebrew Day Hacks: Time Saving Tips to Shorten Your Brew Day

Homebrew Day Hacks: Time saving tips to shorten your brew day.

Like many homebrewers I am frequently challenged to find time to brew. Work, family and even other hobbies demands our time, so when we brew we usually need to be efficient at it. With that in mind, here are some ideas for “hacking” your brew day plans and processes to shorten the time commitment.

Stage Your Brew Day

Probably the most effective way for me to shorten my brew day is to stage my equipment and ingredients the night before. For me, staging includes gathering my recipe / notes, equipment, ingredients and water. Pots and mash tuns are readied and placed in the brewing stand. Water is filtered and measured into sparge pots. Brewing salts and acids are weighed / measured then added to the water, ready to for heating the next brew day.

If you mill your own grains, staging is the perfect time to mill them so they are ready for the brew day mash. To ensure freshness, I keep mine covered in a PET bucket until ready to mash. Any other equipment likely to be used the next day is laid out during staging. If equipment calibration is needed, staging is a good time to do that as well.

For me, staging reduces my brew day by at least 30 minutes.

Clean As You Go

After staging, cleaning equipment while going through my brewing steps probably saves me the most time on brew day. As I finish using equipment, it is cleaned, sanitized and put way. Done sparging? Then clean the vessel while you wait for the boil. Mashing complete? Clean the tun while you boil.

This “clean as you go” practice allows me to avoid some of the end of brew day clean up drudgery. In fact, this practice likely shortens my brew day by another 30 minutes.

Consider Other Brewing Methods

Depending on which brewing method you follow today, consider other methods that are either shorter or involve less equipment clean up. If you are an all-grain brewer, consider brewing with extract instead. Eliminating the mashing/sparging processes can easily save you an hour or more.

Adopting fewer vessel processes like no-sparge or BIAB can significantly reduce time spent cleaning equipment. Also, no-sparge or Batch-sparging can shorten your brew day if you currently fly sparge. Keep in mind that changing your brewing methods will require adjustment in other areas of your brewhouse (e.g. water volumes, efficiencies, etc.).

Post-Brew Day Time Hacks

We all want to be drinking our homebrew as quickly as possible, right? Try these hacks:

  • Fine your beer during the “cold-crash” process to speed up beer clarity
    • Using fining agents (e.g. gelatin, isinglass, etc.) during your cold- crashing combines activities and speeds up clearing your brew.
  • “Burst-carbonate” your beers to shave carbonation time
    • From the good folks at Brulosophy, here’s the burst-carbonating details along with other useful carbonation information: Burst Carbonation

Other Brewing Time Hacks

A final and potentially more controversial timesaving hack to consider is to challenge conventional homebrewing wisdom. Potential timesaving can be found in shorter mashes and shorter boils (e.g. less than 60 minutes). Also, save time by dry hopping your hoppier brews in your primary fermenter. Eliminate the extra steps of adding hops to a secondary vessel (e.g. carboy or keg).

If you love lagers as I do but balk at the weeks/months time commitment, consider fermenting them at ale temperatures. I and many other homebrewers have successfully shortened lager fermentation by fermenting at ale temperatures, with no ill effects. Using this approach, I can turnaround a tasty lager in as little and a month. Experiment and see for yourself.

These are my “hacks”, share yours by commenting on this article below. Prost!

One thought on “Homebrew Day Hacks: Time Saving Tips to Shorten Your Brew Day”

  1. I want to try brewing some things myself, but I want to make sure that I do this right. It makes sense that I would want to get the right kind of containers for this! I’ll get all of my stuff together so that I can brew it all on the same day.

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