Brewing Shortcuts

So, after about 20 batches in 2 years or so of brewing, I have begun letting some processes fall by the wayside in the hustle of cooking up a brew. This includes ditching the dishwasher for bottles, and instead spot-checking them for mold, rinsing them and then letting them sit in sani for 15 minutes, then being pulled out to dry. I think my favorite innovation is taking a full step out of the bottling process by making the bucket redundant: I can bottle in 2 steps (fill and cap) with no help using this method. The brilliant fix? Masking tape around the top of the carboy to create a friction fit for the siphon, enough tension to keep it from falling onto the cake but little enough to be able to easily move it as the beer level in the fermenter drops, with the siphon connecting directly to the filler wand.

Admittedly, I haven’t tried this method with any carbonation scheme besides carb tabs in individual bottles, so the priming sugar addition could be tricky. Interestingly, I have not seen any infection or negative effects from using this process, with the possible exception of a loss in head retention on some bottles due to them not drying out all the way from the sanitizer. So what about you? Are these dumb ideas or do you also use shortcuts that don’t seem to affect the quality of your beer?

I use something similar to bottle, but I pressurize the fermenter with CO2 and use a stainless racking cane, hose, and bottling wand to fill each bottle. Adding sugar is easy - I use a small scale, a little cup, and a funnel to weigh out each addition (based on the volume of the bottle) so each bottle gets exactly the right amount of sugar.

I sometimes do a 30 minute mash and boil. I adjust the hops and boil off rate to make up for the shortened boil

I sometime leave the boil a gallon short and add it as ice instead as a chilling mechanism…cuts chill time with the IC down to 5 min or so