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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: brewmonk on August 20, 2011, 12:30:23 pm

Title: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: brewmonk on August 20, 2011, 12:30:23 pm
I'm one of those extract guys who looks over at the "big kids" doing all grain and want to play.  ;D

I was curious what the average brew day length is for you guys, from beginning prep to process to final cleanup.
I'm looking at doing something simple like a mash in a bag on the stove top. I've seen that some people have a fancy set up and can do it really fast, and others just take their time, but what would be an average (if there is one) length of time.  My schedule is limited but maybe not too much.

Thanks.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: ukolowiczd on August 20, 2011, 01:43:01 pm
I first want to say that when I looked at all grain brewing from an extract brewers perspective, I too thought it impossible. But since I did my first all grain, I haven't looked back. It really isn't that much more difficult but does add probably about 3 hours. The thing an all grain brewer is doing that an extract brewer isn't is pulling out the sweet wort from the grains rather than using extract. I like just buying a mash/lauter tun. You can mash easily right now by just putting in 10 lbs. of grain and hot water into a cooler to get a mash temp b/w 150-155F. Let it sit for 1 hour. Then you need a lauter tun with holes on the bottom for the grains to settle out. You'll pour hot water (168-170F) over the grains, slowly for an hour. Wha-la! You've got your wort! I lauter out about 6.5 gallons and boil in a 7 gallon pot so I don't have to add water at the end. Once you get this process done, you'll find tons of new toys to add to make your beer better and better. But I promise you, once you do all grain, your first beer will be so much better than all your extract versions (although not to insult anyone; I personally have never made a better extract beer).

Overall you'll be adding about 2 1/2 - 3 hours to your brew day (1 hour mash, 1 hour sparge/lauter and 1/2 - 1 hour of getting liquids to temps).

2 of the many suppliers where you can buy cooler mash/lauter tuns for under $150.

http://www.homebrewstuff.com/index.php

williamsbrewing.com
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: tygo on August 20, 2011, 01:44:56 pm
It takes me around 5-6 hours from start to finish depending on how long I'm mashing / boiling.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: a10t2 on August 20, 2011, 01:45:36 pm
4.5-5.5 hours, depending on the length of the mash and the boil.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: denny on August 20, 2011, 02:14:35 pm
1 hour sparge/lauter

You can cut that down to 15 min. by batch sparging.

It takes me about 4 1/2 hours for my average single infusion batch from the time I run water to the time I finish cleanup.  Depending iin the beer, sometimes I'll extend the mash or boil for an extra 1/2 hour beyond that.  I have a situation where I have most of my stuff set up all the time, so I don't have to deal with getting it out and setting it up.  You can see my equipment and method at www.dennybrew.com .
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: jamminbrew on August 20, 2011, 02:15:19 pm
The first time I did an all grain brew, it took me over 8 hours. I have since refined my methods, and can do it in 5-6 hours.  Time well spent, if you ask me.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: jeffy on August 20, 2011, 02:44:02 pm
The first time I did an all grain brew, it took me over 8 hours. I have since refined my methods, and can do it in 5-6 hours.  Time well spent, if you ask me.
For me, the quickest would be just over four hours and the lengthiest about six, depending on the mash schedule and the boil time.  I get some prep work done the day before, setting up the equipment and milling the malt.  Having more than one burner helps speed thing up, I think.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: tonyp on August 20, 2011, 02:50:31 pm
Just did my first all-grain batch and it took around 5-6 hrs total, but now that i've done the process i think i can cut that down by atleast an hour
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: Mark G on August 20, 2011, 03:14:55 pm
I've got it down to about 4 hours on brew day, but I do most of the prep work the day before. I'll mill the grains, prepare my water, and get all my equipment out the night before brewing. Then I set up an electric bucket heater in my HLT and put it on a timer so the water is at, or close to, strike temp when I wake up in the morning. I'm guessing that if I skipped the day before prep, my brew day would be closer to 5 hours.

And batch sparging is your friend...
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: ukolowiczd on August 20, 2011, 03:46:34 pm
Is batch sparging simply pulling out all the wort at once, adding all your sparge water, mixing and pulling out the wort again? Or do you add sparge water in steps? Do you guys find that this is just as effective as fly sparging?
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: denny on August 20, 2011, 04:13:40 pm
Is batch sparging simply pulling out all the wort at once, adding all your sparge water, mixing and pulling out the wort again? Or do you add sparge water in steps? Do you guys find that this is just as effective as fly sparging?

Your first description is correct.  It's at least as effective as fly sparging and in some cases even moreso.  I average about 85% efficiency with batch sparging.  See www.dennybrew.com for details.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: skyler on August 20, 2011, 04:58:39 pm
I would whole-heartedly recommend anyone new to mashing to first try batch sparging before deciding whether to try fly sparging. It is far faster and easier, and it typically requires less equipment. The margin of error is also far bigger with batch sparging, so little beginner errors are not so damning on the final product.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: cheba420 on August 20, 2011, 06:48:08 pm
Depending on boil time...5.5 - 6 hours from start to finish.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: alan_marks59 on August 21, 2011, 06:30:45 am
Hey Gang! Don't forget the clean up time...

YMMV,
Alan
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: Malticulous on August 21, 2011, 01:35:29 pm
All day. I don't do much else. It's my day off.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: Wheat_Brewer on August 21, 2011, 05:09:35 pm
I always do some prep, so if you were to add up all the time it would probably be around 6 hours.  That takes into account my recipe formulation, buying my ingredients, making a starter, and generally getting the equipment out and ready.  On brew day from moment I touch the first pot for cleaning to the moment I've cleaned everything is on average 4 hours (almost to the minute).  I've refined my process pretty well so that while I'm cleaning I have the strike water heating, while I'm mashing I'm cleaning for the next step, etc. 
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: Jimmy K on August 21, 2011, 05:22:13 pm
5 - 6 hours for me from when I first start getting equipment out to when I've finished cleaning and putting things away. I do 5gal batches and batch sparge. 

A lot of that time is spent waiting - waiting for water to heat, waiting for the mash to mash, etc. I've found now that I'm very familiar with the process that I can do other things during brewing. Just set a timer/get a digital thermometer with an alarm so you don't forget about it. (This does not apply to the boil, I wouldn't leave that alone). So the extra time is not such a big deal.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: rjharper on August 21, 2011, 08:32:15 pm
All day. I don't do much else. It's my day off.

+1.  Sunday morning, I go get bagels and coffee to go, grab the ice on the way home, start sometime between 10 and 11, and I'm done cleaning up by 5ish.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: ukolowiczd on August 21, 2011, 11:20:09 pm
I don't want to take over this strand with Batch sparging questions but Denny and Skylar, why do I fly sparge? Denny, I read your webpage and it seems too good to be true. I can't wait to experiment with a batch sparge beer. So what benefits does fly sparging have and what about beers in the 1.060-1.100 range? Can you batch sparge there?
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: a10t2 on August 21, 2011, 11:30:45 pm
So what benefits does fly sparging have and what about beers in the 1.060-1.100 range? Can you batch sparge there?

Other than a small efficiency gain (always less than 5%) there's no benefit to fly sparging. You can batch sparge any mash. The higher the gravity, the thicker the infusion needs to be, assuming you're trying to get equal runnings.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: ukolowiczd on August 21, 2011, 11:40:59 pm
 The higher the gravity, the thicker the infusion needs to be, assuming you're trying to get equal runnings.
[/quote]

Does thicker mean less water per lb, like instead of 1.25 quarts/lb, 1 quart/lb? Or do you mean just more water and barley b/c it's a higher gravity beer, thus thicker mash?
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: Hokerer on August 21, 2011, 11:55:09 pm
Does thicker mean less water per lb, like instead of 1.25 quarts/lb, 1 quart/lb? Or do you mean just more water and barley b/c it's a higher gravity beer, thus thicker mash?

What you said first.  If you use your standard ratio with all that extra grain, you'd end up with too much first runnings so use a lower ratio.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: Hokerer on August 21, 2011, 11:59:48 pm
So what benefits does fly sparging have and what about beers in the 1.060-1.100 range? Can you batch sparge there?

Other than a small efficiency gain (always less than 5%) there's no benefit to fly sparging.

I would state it Other than a small potential efficiency gain (always less than 5%) there's no benefit to fly sparging.  Fly is more complicated so there are more opportunities for error (channeling, pH issues, oversparging, etc.).  Yes, if you hit every aspect of fly dead on, you might get a slightly higher efficiency, but batch sparging, by virtue of it's simplicity actually gives the average homebrewer better odds at getting higher efficiency.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: pehlman on August 22, 2011, 06:18:17 am
Just did a brew today and Id say it took me about 7 hours from start to finish... or  what I call, from "cleaning to even more cleaning" :D
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: glastctbrew on August 22, 2011, 12:54:25 pm
Takes me 6 to 6.5 hours from the time I drag my gear from my basement to the patio and then have it cleaned and put away.  Take away all the equipment movement and I'm looking at 5.5 to 6 hours from milling through clean up.  Takes less when I batch sparge by I am trying to mimic  commercial brewing techniques so I fly sparge unless I'm in a rush.  (Yah, I have the pro brewer dream  ;D)
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: chezteth on August 22, 2011, 01:50:27 pm
It takes me 5-6 hours to brew, including getting all my equipment setup then cleaned & put away.  If you do a step mash or decoction mash this time will probably be extended.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: dannyjed on August 22, 2011, 03:12:49 pm
Hello, my name is Dan and I'm a batch sparger.  4-6 hours.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: JKL on August 22, 2011, 04:02:34 pm
Hey Gang! Don't forget the clean up time...

YMMV,
Alan

Geez, If I were to include everything that it takes me to pre-clean, setup, post-clean etc..etc. I bet I spend almost as much time as I do brewing.  I try to get all that together during the week and the day before.  Without setup/cleanup I usually finish in about 5 hours.  I could cut it down if I had a plate chiller and I didnt do a recirc. 

I also like the idea of using electricity to pre-heat my strike water.  I could do that while I sleep and wake up in mash in.  Gotta look into that. Thx!
-J.K.L.
     
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: denny on August 22, 2011, 05:27:11 pm
I don't want to take over this strand with Batch sparging questions but Denny and Skylar, why do I fly sparge? Denny, I read your webpage and it seems too good to be true. I can't wait to experiment with a batch sparge beer. So what benefits does fly sparging have and what about beers in the 1.060-1.100 range? Can you batch sparge there?

I batch sparge every beer I make.  Depending on the size of your cooler, you might have to do a couple batch sparges for very large grist bills, but for 5.5 gal. of beers up to maybe a 90ish OG I can do one sparge and be fine.  My efficiency is the same or better than many fly spargers I know.  You should give it a try and decide for yourself!
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: bluesman on August 22, 2011, 06:37:50 pm
My brewday usually begins around 10am and ends at 5pm. This is a fairly typical schedule. I take my time and spend a lot of that time doing other things inbetween processes. I could compress that schedule but really see no need to do so at the present time. I usually pour my first pint at flameout.  :)
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: eltharyon on August 22, 2011, 10:53:21 pm
Yeah I like to take all day doing it, say dough in around 10.  Finish clean up by 6.

There are little short cuts you can take, batch sparging is one.  Any chance you can take to heat anything that has to be hot should be taken.  I don't do a real mash out, I just light my flame under my 1st runnings, keep it low but generally they are 180-190 when I'm starting to run out my sparge, So part of the volume is closer to a boil.

Of course that being said, I generally step mash and take my good time where I can, its my day off.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 22, 2011, 11:13:00 pm
Hello, my name is Jeff and I mainly do fly sparges and 10 gallon batches.

My minimum time was 4.5 hours, but that did not include set up the night before , which is an hour.  The maximum time was 10.5 hoiurs for a Bo-Pils, and I had set up the night before.  Just saying that if you change process, you can lengthen the time (double decoction, long boil, chill to 40F all add to the time).

For 5 gallons I could knock off some time as it would take less to heat and cool.

For Denny - I will do more batch sparges in the future.  I need to try the braid to get a better flow rate vs. the false bottom in the old round cooler I have.  My efficiencies have roughly been the same batch vs. fly.

Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: denny on August 23, 2011, 03:25:27 pm
For Denny - I will do more batch sparges in the future.  I need to try the braid to get a better flow rate vs. the false bottom in the old round cooler I have.  My efficiencies have roughly been the same batch vs. fly.



Jeff, my experience is that if you have a good fly sparge system, your efficiency will be pretty much equal between the 2.  And just to be certain you understand, a fast runoff is an advantage, not a requirement, for batch sparging.  But my informal testing does seem to indicate that you can get clearer, more trouble free runoffs with a braid than a false bottom.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 23, 2011, 04:53:18 pm
For Denny - I will do more batch sparges in the future.  I need to try the braid to get a better flow rate vs. the false bottom in the old round cooler I have.  My efficiencies have roughly been the same batch vs. fly.



Jeff, my experience is that if you have a good fly sparge system, your efficiency will be pretty much equal between the 2.  And just to be certain you understand, a fast runoff is an advantage, not a requirement, for batch sparging.  But my informal testing does seem to indicate that you can get clearer, more trouble free runoffs with a braid than a false bottom.

The reason I have been playing around with the barch sparging is to see if I can take time out of the brew day.  Advantage -yes.

On my pico system, I can get very clear runoffs.  That false bottom fits tight to the keg sides, so once you vorlauf and set the grain bed, it is very clear.   

One other reason I have been playing with the old round cooler, is that with the 2 mash tuns, I oculd have a combined 100 quarts of space.  That way I could make a 10 gallon batch of beer that would be in Fred's OG range.   ;D   
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: denny on August 23, 2011, 05:04:04 pm
That way I could make a 10 gallon batch of beer that would be in Fred's OG range.   ;D   


Keeping up with the Bonjours, huh?  ;)
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 23, 2011, 05:11:36 pm
That way I could make a 10 gallon batch of beer that would be in Fred's OG range.   ;D   


Keeping up with the Bonjours, huh?  ;)

Of the several he belongs to, my club is one, so - yes.

Been thinking of a Thomas Hardy type beer for a while.  Might as well do a 10 gallon batch to see how it ages.
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: bonjour on August 23, 2011, 05:32:16 pm
Been thinking of a Thomas Hardy type beer for a while.  Might as well do a 10 gallon batch to see how it ages.
;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: So, how long to do a 5 gallon all-grain batch?
Post by: gymrat on August 24, 2011, 02:56:50 pm
Set up to cleanup takes me 7 hours every single time. And I really don't see what I can cut to make it any faster.