Author Topic: Split up brew Day...?  (Read 771 times)

Offline bigpete225

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Split up brew Day...?
« on: March 16, 2018, 03:42:26 AM »
Ok, so there are a bunch of threads out there asking this question but they all seem to be from quite a while ago, so iI figures I’d resurrect the topic for fresh perspective. I would like to get a brew in this weekend (honey kolsch... already have starter going) but due to life I’m not sure I can squeeze it all in one shot. Thinking of mashing and sparging late Friday night after returning home from biz trip, like 10pm, then boiling the next morning like 7-8am.  I don’t want to be up till 3:00am... got small ones who will be up at 6:00.  So 7-ish hours  in the kettle before boil.

There are a wide range of opinions on this topic from boil for 10 min before cooling and covering to never do it unless you’re going for a sour...

Polling these readers to see what the current wisdom is...?

Offline evilgiraffe

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 03:54:49 AM »
I know your pain. I, too, have little ones, a job, and house/yard to take care of. Haha. Life!

Anyway, I've mashed overnight a couple times. Would probably save you at least an hour and a half on the other side. My not-so-scientific advice would be to start the mash a few degrees high because it's going to drop overnight more than you would ideally want. Not sure what your setup is, but if you mash in a cooler and wrap that in a few blankets, you can pull it off. Worked for me anyway.

Offline bigpete225

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 03:59:20 AM »
Setup is a cooler, yes, but I think I can probably fit in the sparge before I fall asleep. Unless leaving on the grain is the recommended process (if there is one)...

Offline 802Chris

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2018, 11:58:35 AM »
I have done this many, many times. If you have a cooler that's perfect. Mash high ~158. After mashing in wrap that sucker up with thick blankets/coats/whatever and go to bed, there is no point in staying up and losing sleep to wait for the sparge. If you have the volume I would highly recommend adding the extra volume and doing a no sparge.  The extra volume and thermal mass of liquid will help maintain the temp AND your morning will consist of only a runoff and a boil, no time wasted heating up sparge water. A kolsch is perfect for this because you most likely have a small grain bill and it will finish a little dry. PS expect your efficiency to run higher than you are used to by at least 5%.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 12:18:07 PM »
I have done this many, many times. If you have a cooler that's perfect. Mash high ~158. After mashing in wrap that sucker up with thick blankets/coats/whatever and go to bed, there is no point in staying up and losing sleep to wait for the sparge. If you have the volume I would highly recommend adding the extra volume and doing a no sparge.  The extra volume and thermal mass of liquid will help maintain the temp AND your morning will consist of only a runoff and a boil, no time wasted heating up sparge water. A kolsch is perfect for this because you most likely have a small grain bill and it will finish a little dry. PS expect your efficiency to run higher than you are used to by at least 5%.

Have you experienced any detrimental effects to the finished beer using this method? 


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Offline 802Chris

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 05:20:32 PM »
I have done this many, many times. If you have a cooler that's perfect. Mash high ~158. After mashing in wrap that sucker up with thick blankets/coats/whatever and go to bed, there is no point in staying up and losing sleep to wait for the sparge. If you have the volume I would highly recommend adding the extra volume and doing a no sparge.  The extra volume and thermal mass of liquid will help maintain the temp AND your morning will consist of only a runoff and a boil, no time wasted heating up sparge water. A kolsch is perfect for this because you most likely have a small grain bill and it will finish a little dry. PS expect your efficiency to run higher than you are used to by at least 5%.

Have you experienced any detrimental effects to the finished beer using this method?

No not really. The big thing, as I mentioned, is accounting for a efficiency and a more fermentable wort, which results in a slightly dryer beer. This can be made up for using a proper grist and  starting the mash on the high end.  Once you find your rhythm it is actually a big time saver, especially if you skip the sparge.


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Offline charles1968

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2018, 08:07:39 AM »
Agree with other posters - mash overnight with full water volume and skip the sparge. It's a revelation when you try this as it makes the main brew day very quick and simple.

Offline TANSTAAFB

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2018, 12:12:40 AM »
The biggest issue I've experienced with mashing overnight was higher efficiency and a VERY fermentable wort, so I only do it with beers I want to be very dry and I mash a little higher than usual. 154-156 is perfect. And as mentioned above, if you have the capacity to do a full volume mash you don't have to mess with sparging, especially since you'll have better efficiency.

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Offline kgs

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2018, 04:04:19 PM »
Agree with other posters - mash overnight with full water volume and skip the sparge. It's a revelation when you try this as it makes the main brew day very quick and simple.

OP has some very experienced brewers responding that they do not do runoff until morning, so take that into account, but I have done no-sparge mashes and run off the mash the previous night and had the kettle on the stove ready to go. I do 3-gallon batches so I boil on the kitchen range, which makes the workflow perfect (wake up and turn on the range before I even get my coffee water going; by the time I'm fully awake, the wort is close to boiling). I haven't noticed any detrimental effects to the finished product.

I always do no-sparge mashes anyway, so no adjustment needed for my favorite recipes. Love the bready fragrance when I get up, and it cuts the brew day in half.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 08:25:36 PM »
If you can do a really short mash like only 40 minutes, then heat the mash to bring temperature up to 170-175 F to kill the enzymes before going to bed, everything should work out great.  Simple as that, really.  You can runoff and sparge in the morning.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 08:27:52 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2018, 01:15:28 AM »
If you can do a really short mash like only 40 minutes, then heat the mash to bring temperature up to 170-175 F to kill the enzymes before going to bed, everything should work out great.  Simple as that, really.  You can runoff and sparge in the morning.
Exactly what I would do. Mash till full conversion, then pasturize, then bed.

Offline charles1968

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 08:48:02 AM »
Agree with other posters - mash overnight with full water volume and skip the sparge. It's a revelation when you try this as it makes the main brew day very quick and simple.

OP has some very experienced brewers responding that they do not do runoff until morning, so take that into account, but I have done no-sparge mashes and run off the mash the previous night and had the kettle on the stove ready to go. I do 3-gallon batches so I boil on the kitchen range, which makes the workflow perfect (wake up and turn on the range before I even get my coffee water going; by the time I'm fully awake, the wort is close to boiling). I haven't noticed any detrimental effects to the finished product.

I always do no-sparge mashes anyway, so no adjustment needed for my favorite recipes. Love the bready fragrance when I get up, and it cuts the brew day in half.

I do the runoff in the morning as there's a theoretical risk of spoilage after the wort temp falls below about 120F. This doesn't happen in a coolbox, so isn't a problem with my set up. And I suspect the risk us exaggerated.

My usual routine is get up, start runoff and leave it to have a shower, get dressed, have breakfast. Runoff takes care of itself while I'm getting ready. The wort is then ready to boil. I usually do a 30 min boil to save a bit more time.

Offline 802Chris

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2018, 12:40:14 PM »
If you can do a really short mash like only 40 minutes, then heat the mash to bring temperature up to 170-175 F to kill the enzymes before going to bed, everything should work out great.  Simple as that, really.  You can runoff and sparge in the morning.

This should definitely work, especially if you are concerned about over attenuation for a certain style. The reason I recommend not waiting to runoff/ramp is so you don't have to wait for runoff/ramp lol. I am impatient and pressed for time usually, so it's strike water in... bedtime.

Offline bigpete225

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2018, 09:03:28 PM »
Thanks everyone for your feedback.  Gave this a whirl and from a process perspective, it worked out great.  Went full volume and took the advice of 802Chris and mashed at 158 (hit it dead nuts after throwing in a couple handfuls of ice cubes).  Wrapped up the cooler in blankets and went to bed.  After 8 hours I had lost about 12 degrees.  Runoff and boil were normal.

Now, oddly, I didn't hit the OG I was expecting considering the length of the mash.  I was figuring I'd hit around 1.052 and the OG ended up at 1.046.  Not the end of the world, just found it unexpected.  Pitched Wyeast 1010 that I had done a starter on and it took off and showed plenty of activity after about 5 hours.  Fermented at 64 degrees... right about mid-range for this yeast.  Now however, airlock activity is null and gravity yesterday was down to only 1.025.  I figured after 9 days it would definitely be lower than that.  I guess it's still a little early to worry, but beginning to wonder if it got stuck which seems odd considering it was low gravity, right temperature and I know the yeast was viable.  Anyone have experience with this yeast?  I've got a saison with a similar issue (different yeast) but I'll save that for a different thread...

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Split up brew Day...?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2018, 09:13:30 PM »
When did you add your ice cubes?  If you needed to cool down from 160-something to hit a (very high IMO) mash temp of 158 F, most of your enzymes were likely killed off in the few minutes in 160s.

If so, at this point I might recommend adding US-05 or a saison yeast to dry it out more if you don't like an FG of 1.025.

Also should ask... How are you measuring the FG?  If with a refractometer, hopefully you are aware that refractometers don't work so well for FG unless you pump the result into a calculator.  Also in any case, ensure your hydrometer or refractometer is calibrated.
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