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Good Friday

I’m off work on Friday and thinking about making 2 five gallon batches. I have never done 2 in one day and would like some advice from those who have.

Kind of proud of myself for actually planning in advance. That’s not my strong suit.

What do I need to know? Any tips/tricks that will help my brewday to go smooth?

I’m sure you need some info about my setup and technique, so here you go.
I fly sparge, use round 5 gallon coolers for HLT/MLT and chill with a wort chiller.

I have one 10 gallon kettle and one 5 gallon kettle. Normally I heat the strike water on the stove to conserve propane. I collect the wort in the 10 gallon kettle and boil on a outdoor propane burner.

My beers are a pale ale and a summer blonde. Thanks in advance!

I’ve yet to do a double brew day, but I would think having everything planned out, weighed out and ready to go would be the key. The less time you have to spend thinking about what’s next or weighing stuff, the smoother the day should go.

You’ll want to overlap mash #2 with boil #1, that way you’ll chill #2 as you sparge #1 and that is about as good of overlap as you can get. I guess you’d have to collect wort in a bucket or two to make that work.

Double brew days are long, I can tell you that. I’ve done a few and I love brewing but I’m wore out by the end of one of these marathons. In fact I’ve pretty much sworn off of doing it.

I almost always do two brews when I brew. You will have to consider your setup, but the real benefit of doing two is that you can start the second one while the first one is still going - saving a bunch of time.

  • I start my mash water heating - and then weigh and mill my grains while the strike water heats.
  • Once I mash in, I have about an Hour of “free time.” During that time, I weigh and mill grain for second batch, weigh out and get hops ready for first batch, sanitizing of fermenter for first batch, Also - get sparge water ready in time so that it is good to go when mash is finished.
    *Mash is finished, sparge, collect wort for boil. Turn on flame right when wort starts to collect so that it comes to boil faster.
    *After wort is collected and heating to a boil, clean out mash tun.
    *Finish any sanitizing of fermenter, etc.
    *Get mash water ready for second batch. Try to time it so that you can start your second mash with 30 minutes left in your first boil. At 30 go, add grains, start second mash.
    *Finish boiling, hop addditions, irish moss, etc. of first boil. Shut off flame, start chilling wort.
    *As the first wort is cooling, the second mash is finishing.
    *Transfer cooled wort to fermenter, add yeast, seal up fermenter, wash out boil kettle.
    *Start sparge on second mash, collect wort, turn on flame to have wort heating up as you collect.
    *. . . . . .finish out second beer like first. Sanitize second fermenter during second boil.
    *Clean up mash tun, and other stuff as first boil finishes.

Once you get in the habit, and if your system allows, you can be surprixingly efficient. I brewed 2 6 gallon batches on Sunday in about 5.5 hours - 6 hours. That is from sitting on the couch drinking coffee at 10am to sitting on my back porch drinking a beer at 3:30 or 4:00. And, there was nothing really particularly quick or efficient about this day - If I really plan things out well, I can drop down to about 5 hours start to finish.

Biggest thing is to plan it out - even write yourself a schedule or checklist the first few times because it is easy to forget a hop addition, or forget to start your sparge water, etc. Only way to go though when you are already taking the time to get everything out.

Thanks for the responses.

My plan was pretty close to the suggestions. I am using 5 gallon kits, so the milling and measuring are already done.

I have my strike water volume and tempatures written down following the receipe instructions, so that is also done.

I’ll wake up and start the first strike water on the stove for the first batch. Set out yeast. Gather boil kettle, hydrometer, spoon, strainer, fermenters/lid, airlock, hose, wort chiller and paint mixer. Once tempature is reached, I’ll dough in and begin heating sparge water. Set timer to 1 hour. Next comes recirculation. When sparge water tempature is reached, it goes into the HLT. Begin sparging/wort collection into boil kettle on outdoor propane burner. Light the burner when collection begins.

Once sparge water is in HLT, start heating strike water for 2nd batch. Collect wort and bring to a boil. Clean out MLT. Follow hop schedule. After 30 minutes of hop schedule, dough in 2nd batch. Set timer for 1 hour. Begin heating sparge water. Continue hop schedule for 1st batch. Once hops are completed, chill, take gravity reading, aerate, add yeast and seal with lid and airlock.

Clean out boil kettle. Recirculate 2nd batch. Begin sparge/wort collection to boil kettle and light burner. Collect wort and bring to a boil. Follow hop schedule. Once complete, chill, take gravity reading, aerate, add yeast and seal with lid and airlock.

Did I miss anything?

The last double-brew I did, I used 2 burners and basically brewed side-by-side. One had a 90 minute boil and one had a 15 minute boil, so that gave me plenty of time to chill and rack the 15 minute boil brew to a fermenter while the 90 minute boil finished up.

The things that proved REALLY helpful:

  • The alarm feature on my android phone. I set up a bunch of alarms for hop additions, etc… so it would go off and tell me what to do to which brew.
  • Pre-measured ingredients. I measured out everything and crushed all the grain before I did anything else.
  • Being alone for a few hours. My wife was out with my daughter for a few hours, so the lack of interruptions ensured I was paying attention to the brew day.

It was fun, and a lot less stressful than the previous attempts to brew two beers back-to-back using the same vessels.

This past Sunday I had my first go of doing 2 (5g) all grain batches in a single brew day. I didn’t really pre plan my schedule (so non effecient) and it only added an extra 2 hours (1.5 really, because I started with LB IBA which called for 90min boil. I doughed in the 2nd batch at the 30min mark of batch 1.) 7 hours total. 2 burners is key, IMO.

Yeah, 2 burners would be nice. But I would have to have 2 propane tanks as well.

Speaking of timers - good point - I use iBrewMaster on my Ipad, and they have a Great timer under the batches tab. I can bring up multiple batches, set multiple timers for each and they all start at the same time with the appropriate countdowns. I think I had about 7 or 8 different timers all going at once for boil and hops and mash, etc. Definitely a real good tool to keep multiple brews organized.

I run double 10gal batches in a brewday quite often. Once you get your method down there is nothing to it.

3, in case one runs out! There is no end.

I think you’ll do fine, just think ahead of time exactly what you need to do when, and try to keep from trying to do two things at once.

I almost always do two batches on a brew day. Get everything measured and grains milled the night before, start the strike water for the second batch warming as soon as the first batch is in the kettle, and yes use the timer on your phone to keep boil additions on schedule.

Also, I try to plan it so that the first brew is lighter in color or less hoppy than the second brew. That saves time as I don’t need to be so careful to make sure the mash tun and kettle are totally cleaned between batches. If one batch needs a longer boil than the other, I might try to make that one first. Similarly, if one needs a longer mash than the other it might be second, as it won’t hurt it to be sitting in case I mess up my timing some and get busy getting the first batch chilled and in the fermentor.

Everything went well last Friday. I brewed 2 five gallon batches in 8 hours!

The first batch took 5 hours and the second was done in 3. I would definitely do a 2 batch day again.

Very nice, congrats!!

Glad it went well for you - makes so much sense to do two at once when you can.

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