1. Plan Ahead
A little planning can go along way. A day or two ahead of the big day is a great time to inspect your equipment, make sure you have all of your ingredients, and remedy any issues that you find. Go ahead and make a hard copy of your brew schedule. My brewing software has failed in the past and having a schedule saved the day.
2. Prepare Ingredients Ahead Of Time
Even with all of the planning in the world brew days can sometimes smack you in the face with new problems. Weighing and crushing grains a couple of days early won't hurt the quality of your beer. I measure out my hops, yeast nutrient, and other additions a day ahead of time. You may not have time to measure out the next hop drop when your have a kettle that wants to boil over or the wind keeps blowing your flame out.
When the boil has settled down and the wait side of "hurry up and wait" has arrived be productive. Start sanitizing your fermenter and older cold end equipment. This is a good time to hook up your wort chiller and catch on on your notes in the brew journal. (you are taking good notes aren't you?) Look for ways to to be productive during "dead time."
4. Clean As You Go
Cleaning as you go ties into multi-tasking but is a huge time saver. Clean up time after the airlock is in-place sucks! While the boil is rolling you can go ahead and clean out you mash tun. Clean tubing and sparging equipment. I use the same brew bag as a false bottom and as a hop filter so I have to clean and sanitize the bag as soon as the boil starts.
5. Don't Drink Too Much While You're Brewing
We're brewers. We love beer. Beer can sneak up on even the best of us. Drinking too much during a brew day cannot only harm the final product; it an be dangerous. I have failed to take an OG measurement after a few beers. I have also tripped over a propane tank and nearly fallen onto my boiling kettle. Brew early in the day and take it easy until after the yeast is pitched
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