Has life gotten so busy that you feel like you don’t have time to brew?
Here are some tips to squeeze in a brew session and still enjoy this great hobby:
- Have a good heat source for the amount of water you are heating. Ideally, you should be able to bring your water to a boil in 15 to 20 minutes. Gas burners are a great upgrade from the stovetop. In some cases you can knock off 30 minutes from your brew day with a good burner.
- Cool down. It’s important to cool wort down quickly to get a good cold break and decrease the risk of contamination. A large wort chiller or plate chiller will do this plus save time! Keeping the wort moving during the cool down will also greatly improve your heat exchange rate.
- Partial mash: All grain brewing is fun but it really does complicate the brew day plus take more time. As my kids have gotten older and involved in more activities, I find myself going back to partial mash. I mash a few pounds of base grain/specialty grain with the “brew in a bag” concept and then come in with a few pounds of liquid malt extract or dry malt extract to get my OG correct. It’s simple, quick and it makes great beer! It is completely false that an all grain beer is better than an extract beer. If you want to make better homebrew, your efforts should be focused on yeast handling and fermentation conditions, but that topic will be saved for another discussion or feel free to stop by the store to learn more!
- “Brew in a Bag” For those of you who choose to stick with all grain brewing, try this method. One big pot and a burner is all the equipment that is needed. Put all your grain in a big nylon bag (which we sell here) and conduct your normal mash with a full volume of water. Turn on the burner to maintain heat as needed. Ramp up your temperature for a mash out at the end then raise the bag out to drain. Boil with hop additions and your done. It’s super easy and saves time without loosing control of your mash. I encourage you to try this method next time your on a time crunch and your beer reserves are dwindling!
- Kegging. So this doesn’t save time on brew day but it sure does beat bottling come bottling day! The other added advantage is that beer in cold storage gets better and better within two to three weeks compared to bottled beer at room temperature.
Homebrewing is a great hobby but sometimes it can be tough to get the time. Hopefully, one of these tips will help you get through your next brew day because the effort is always worth the end product!