I've always brewed with my brewster girlfriend around to help but even then I still find that I do the majority of the lifting. Moving into this time of year I know she's going to be less available to help, so I need some tips to save my back.

I brew full boils of wort, as much as 7 gallons, outside on a propane burner. My main problem areas are:

  • Transporting a full pot from my kitchen (mashing) area to the burner outside.
  • Moving from the burner into my cooling bath after the boil.
  • Dumping the finished and cooled wort into primary through my strainer.

How do you 'lighten the load' on brew days? Any suggestions as to how I might lighten those three tasks?

4 Answers 4


Get a wort chiller, immersion are really easy to make and pretty cheap to buy. That way you don't have to move the pot in order to chill. Then get a pot with a spigot so that you can simply use gravity to move the chilled wort from the boiling pot into your fermenter.

Also you could mash on your propane burner. Just need to be a bit more attentive and stir a lot more. Which if you are BIAB is a good idea anyway as it increases efficiency.

That way your brew day becomes:

  1. Mash on propane burner
  2. Remove grains
  3. Boil
  4. Chill with immersion chiller
  5. Transfer using spigot on pot to fermenter
  6. Pitch yeast
  7. Aerate (Swirl fermenter)
  8. Place fermenter in stable location

The only heavy lifting you would have to do is moving the fermenter. I do this for my brew day and it is well worth it. If you want a suggestion for a pot check out: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brewing/brewing-equipment/brew-kettles/megapot-with-ball-valve-brewmometer.html It will be the last brewpot you will ever buy. And for an immersion wort chiller: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/standard-chiller-3-8-x25-with-vinyl-tubing.html

A little bit of money will streamline your process and save you in the long run.

  • I love the idea of all of this, but have a couple roadblocks. Apr 26, 2013 at 18:39
  • (timed out editing my comment) Thanks! I would go the immersion chiller route, but there is no outside water at my apartment (the spigot is locked by mgmt). Also, I've got a nice HLT, Mash Tun, Kettle setup going - So while switching to BIAB is an option, I'm finally feeling dialed in with my gear and I really like the efficiency I'm getting. All good advice though, certainly gets me thinking. Apr 26, 2013 at 18:47
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    @MichaelMus Get a long hose and you are good to go with the immersion chiller! Also, you can mash on the burner without having to switch to BIAB. Apr 26, 2013 at 20:24
  • 1
    Yeah don't have to switch to BIAB in order to use this setup. Just what I have experience with. The key for you would be getting as much setup in one location. Apr 26, 2013 at 21:19
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    The benefit of the internet is you can get find just about anything. If the faucet is really 13/16 this adapter from Lowes should do the trick: lowes.com/pd_144148-72906-SF0036_0__?productId=3147017 Apr 27, 2013 at 15:42

I use a two vessel system with pumps, like the brutus system, this makes it a lot easier for mashing and boiling

I would recommend not straining, using a siphon would be a lot easier, also, get a chiller (immersion or plate) to prevent yourself from moving to the cooling bath.

You'll still need to move the bucket/fermenter with the beer in it, but that's probably easier.

PS: Make sure you lift with your knees ;)

  • Hey Thanks. Never thought of using a syphon to transfer my wort. Can I really use a standard syphon to do that? And what about the trub / hops? Apr 26, 2013 at 18:30
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    I used it fine for a while, if you follow the wort down the kettle with the siphon (I use an autosiphon), i.e. start from the top of the kettle and follow it down, most of the trub should be easily avoidable. Using hop bags helps to reduce the trub, but I like having some of the cold break for proteins for the yeast. Not sure if there's any science behind it, but I have found it produces nice vigorous fermentations :)
    – Doug Edey
    Apr 27, 2013 at 14:18
  • Cheers. I will try it next brew day. Apr 29, 2013 at 16:56
  • Find a Chore Boy scrubbing pad (no soap) and tie it to the end of your racking cane. It won't clog up like a hop bag.
    – jalynn2
    May 1, 2013 at 15:08

Why do you mash inside and boil outside? I brew in keggles - 13-15 gallon boils, 10-12 gallon fermentations. Fermentation is in two 6.5 gallon buckets which aren't too difficult to move (6.5 gallons weigh 52 pounds). I brew in the garage and ferment in the house, about 100' away and up 8 steps. I would like to switch to one 15 gallon fermentor, but I don't know how I would move it up the stairs. I'll probably build a temp-controlled fermentation chamber in the garage which will kill two birds.

  • I mash inside to save costs on propane mainly, in my city it's ~20 a fill and I have a nice gas stove inside that heats less than 5 gallons pretty quickly. That and it's just easier and more comfortable for me. My cooler mash tun fits in a perfect spot on the kitchen counter. As far as build goes I'm more of a runner than a weight lifter - So that ~55 lbs of water or wort is awkward to move around. I use a little caster dolly to push things around in my hardwood floored apartment, but like I said moving onto and off from the burner and cooling is tough. Thanks for the advice nonetheless! Apr 26, 2013 at 18:37
  • Put your mash tun on the dolly before filling. I.E., mash on the dolly.
    – jalynn2
    May 6, 2014 at 16:24

For moving full and closed fermenters most home improvement stores and garden centers have rolling platforms for large planters that might help. Just keep a couple hands on it as you roll it to wherever it needs to go. Other than that try to do all your brew process in one area and let gravity or pumps help with moving liquids.

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