Over 2.5 hours 7 - 14.5%
Under 2.5 hours 41 - 85.5%
Under 4 hours 10 - 5.2%
4-5 hours 66 - 34.6%
5-6 hours 71 - 37.2%
6-7 hours 34 - 17.8%
Over 7 hours 10 - 5.2%
That is a pretty interesting spread of results for both categories. I’m surprised that more extract brewers aren’t under the 2.5 hour threshold, without a mash/sparge and often with a partial boil I assumed that more brewers would be down in that zone.
Most of the variation probably comes down to equipment (hotter burners and better chillers help cut time off), and choices (longer boils, complex mashes, sparging rate/technique, and lower pitching temperatures would all add time). The "choices" are partially more a result of the sorts of beers people like to brew, but there are still many choices to be made for any type of beer.
I am pretty deliberate with my brewing so it often takes me pretty close to 6 hours from grinding the grains to pitching the yeast. I pretty much always do a 60+ minute mash and a 90+ minute boil, and neither my stove nor my chiller are particularly effective. Taking that much time doesn’t bother me much as I generally enjoy the leisurely breaks during the process to relax and have a beer.
As much as I enjoy my long weekend brew days sometimes I need to get a beer brewed faster. When I need to cut time I will shorten my mash a bit (although I have yet to try anything under 45 minutes), shorten my boil closer to 60 minutes, and speed up my sparge a bit at the expense of some efficiency.
If anyone else has tips on how they shorten their brew day I’m sure people would like to hear them.