Here’s some of the tips and tricks I use with the Grainfather to speed up the brew day to under 4.5 hours. We all want to make and drink good beer, but these days it seems that we are all becoming more and more time poor.
Plan your brew day:
- There is nothing more frustrating than to be halfway through your brew day and to remember that you forgot to get out that one piece of equipment in the back of the garage and you spend the next half hour trying to find the equipment.
Make a list:
- Keep a list of the brewing equipment that you tend to use and tick these off when gathering your equipment. Better than this is to have a ‘brewing cart’ which holds all the stuff you require, I got the idea of how best to do this from Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame. He makes his carts for his workshop but he has videos on how to make these cart useful and these principals can be applied to creating a brewing cart. Ensure you have all your ingredients in ample supply before your brew day.
Brew day itinerary:
- I keep a mental itinerary of what my brew day looks like, and by doing this it saves a lot of time standing around doing nothing.
i. Collect water and treat
ii. Start heating water
iii. Weigh out and mill grains
iv. Mash in
v. Collect, treat and start heating sparge water
vi. Collect and weigh out hops
viii. Start clean grain basket while waiting for the boil
x. Finish cleaning grain basket, prepare counter flow chiller and fermenter
xi. Cool and transfer to fermenter
xii. Prepare yeast and clean Grainfather
xiii. Pitch yeast
xiv. Finish cleaning
xv. Have a homebrew
Clean as you go:
- Simple really, cleaning as you go allows for less time cleaning at the end of the brew day, but also you’ll tend to do a better job cleaning when you don’t have the weight of a full brew day on you before you start cleaning.
- Delayed heating: the delayed heating function allows you to fill your Grainfather with your mash water and set a timer to start heating at a given time, e.g. fill your mash water before work and have the delayed timer set so that it is at mash temp for when you get home.
- Automated recipe: sending your recipe from the brewing community to the connect controller allow your Grainfather to carry out your mash steps, heating to near boil during sparging and alerting you to your additions.