The Inline Mash

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Owly
The Inline Mash

Like others, I have made efforts to reduce my brew day. I brew small batches, 2.5 to 3 gallons, and recently dumped my two 3 gallon fermenters and replaced them with a Big Mouth Bubbler. I was brewing once a week..... or more. I brewed 73 all grain brews in 2015, about 2/3 of them 3 gallon brews, and 1/3 2.5 gallon brews. That adds up to a LOT of hours brewing over the course of a year.

I developed the "Inline Mash" as part of my program to reduce brewing hours. With the inline mash I dough in with hot tap water at 130F, fast heat to 145 (modified propane burner on kitchen stove produces very large flame). At 145, I pull the heat back to a temp rise of about 2 to 3 minutes per degree F. (for a 20 or 30 min mash). This process involves stirring frequently, but it's pretty darn quick. The results are excellent conversion efficiency and attenuation. My crush is fairly fine, and I use BIAB / dunk & stir sparge. 20 min gives me a consistent good result, but I always monitor brix with a refractometer as I approach 155 to make sure it has peaked.

I rarely boil longer than 30 minutes....... There are some beers that benefit from a longer boil, but not many. My efficiency is in the low to mid 80's typically, which is good enough for me.

I use a 2500 watt floating heater of my own design to accelerate the temp rise to boil, along with a cranked up burner on my kitchen stove, and a large home made immersion chiller. I am super organized and have a system for everything. Including crushing grain, getting equipment out, clean up and put away, my typical brew day is 2.5 hours, about another 20 minutes for a 5 gallon brew due to heat and chill times.

H.W.

drew
drew's picture
Nice to see a way of trading

Nice to see a way of trading the labor (aka stirring) for a quick brew day. 2.5 hours is pretty ripping fast!

Owly
Took quite a few refinements

Took quite a few refinements and experiments to get there, and of course only really applies to BIAB due to the time it takes to drain wort off a regular mash tun, and the fine crush requred......... I've been contemplating building an in-bag circulator similar to the Sous Vide, with slots in the top and an impeller driving wort down to the bottom of the bag, using a hot plate and PID controller to maintain mash temp..........but for a 20 minute mash is it worth it?

This evening I plan to do a "no boil" no chill brew using a 20 minute mash and a "hop decoction" boil, boiling about 1/3 of the wort with the hops, and using that boiling wort to hit sterilizing temp of somewhere around 165 or 170, and allowing it to cool over night. This should be obscenely fast if you don't count in the over night cooling. My target time is 1.5 hour including clean up, crushing grain, etc. Needless to say, the transfer, pitch, and kettle clean up will be deferred to the next morning, but will be counted.

H.W.