I won't speak for Bug but my system, similar to his AFAIK, is also 4.5-5.5 hours start to finish. You nearly spend that mashing and sparging.
While I can, it varies as I said from 3 *to* 4 hours mashing and sparging.
30mins grinding grain
already done at lhbs
30mins getting water for mash up
Whoa, takes me like 15 mins or so...sounds like you need a bigger burner ;^)
I find a longer mash produces a more malty profile, and I *do* like malty flavors
George Fix tried to sell me on short sparges too, but I found that a slow(er) sparge made for cleaner and clearer worts with my system.
90 mins to get to boil and boil
Boy, you *really* do need a bigger burner IMHO! Takes me ~20 minutes on average to get to boiling, and I usually boil longer than most do cuz I have more to boil and I get far better hop utilization (like 30-33%) this way.
30min clean up
I usually clean up as I go, so the time is actually included in my brewing day.
3 hours on the couch watching TV
Now yer talkin my language ;^)
7.5 hours, much shorter and I got to watch the NASCAR race.
I still watch the races, and make my wort too -- guess that makes me a multitasker?
Why such a long mash Zymurgest??
Mostly for flavor and color development. Melanoidins wait for noone!
1.5 to 2 hour mash, everything I have read says that isn't neccessary?
That's why I've become a contrarian brewer. Just because someone somewhere says you get conversion in 15-20 minutes doesn't necessarily mean that the mash is done with all the complex biochemical pathways available now does it?
Can you explain?
Well, I hope that I have, but just in case I haven't, after 35 years brewing homebrew, and 25 of those years doing all grain, I've come to some unusal conclusions.
1.) Most info in the homebrewing literature is apocryphal at best and disinformative at worst.
2.) What works for one brewer at his/her brewery may or may not work for someone else in another locale, and most likely won't.
3.) While generic information may be profitable in terms of general interest, and will produce reproducible results, this is not always the case. I'd like to think that I'm a pragmatist when it comes to brewing homebrew, and I've found a lot of things that have been suggested in the past may or may not work as advertised. After running numerous experiments, I've come to the conclusion that if you are brewing good beer then you are doing something right. If you are brewing GREAT beer then you are doing something well indeed, and your processes and procedures may not reflect similar results outside of that context. I brew and continue to brew what my fellows in the Oregon Brew Crew
would call great beer. I enjoy making it, drinking it, and sharing it. What it all comes down to IMHO is this: what is it that works for you that produces the desired outcome that you seek? Answer that question and you are well on your way to producing great beers IMHO. And, as always, YMMV
Ttyal, and ilbcnu!