BIAB/No-chill clarity

I know this kind of thing has been posted before, but I’m a few pints in and I can’t get over how clear this beer is. It’s a pumpkin ale that I BIABed and no-chilled. I’ve never subscribed to the clarity issues with BIAB nor the chill haze myths of no-chill, and this beer is “clear” proof of that :roll:

My camera phone is crappy and doesn’t do it justice, but it’s so clear I could read subtitles on my TV from across the room through this pint:

Damn! Looks great!

Any additives? Either during the boil or post fermentation for clearing? Or extended cold crashing? Whatever you did you did great it looks like.

No additives whatsoever, and no clarifying agents. I don’t do a true cold crash either. My fermentor sits in a water bath that is held at 62 degrees with an aquarium heater. After two weeks I turn off the heater, which allows the temp to drop to about 50 degrees for an additional week before bottling. I hate the water bath, so I’m looking into getting a small ceramic heater to warm my fermentation closet, but I need to build/buy a temperature controller first.

:cheers:

I’m about to take the BIAB plung myself, so this is good news. As for your heater, I have an old apartment size fridge I use. I built a two-stage thermostat to control temps (cheap one off Amazon with parts from Radio Shack…cost about $30 to build). The fridge compressor takes care of the cold and heat comes from a $12 heater I got at Lowes. So far it has been working great. The thermostat keeps the temp within +/- two degrees.

Interesting…what precautions do you take, if any, to prevent infection?

The beer looks great!

[quote=“ickyfoot”]Interesting…what precautions do you take, if any, to prevent infection?

The beer looks great![/quote]

Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation. The myth of infection with this method has been beat to death. Google “no chill”, you’ll find everything you need. The Australian method uses a sealed container to chill in. You dump the still-boiling wort into the container and seal it. It’s basically like canning, so you can pitch the next day (like I do) or some people even store the wort this way for later fermenting or for use in starters.

There are brewers out there who say they “no chill” but really all they’re doing is leaving the wort in the kettle to cool. This is my mind is closer to open fermentation, and has higher risk of infection. True no chill, as it was initially described, uses a sealed container to ensure the wort is packaged in a sanitized, heat sterilized, air-free container.

I can’t think of any reason why BIAB would be considered inferior to any other mash/lauter method. The only limitation of no-chill in my mind is hop utilization. I’ve read that you don’t get the aroma from late additinos because technically they aren’t late. I did buy one of those plastic jerry cans to give this method a shot but have never gotten to it. Maybe its time.

Oh, and nice looking beer by the way! I do love a super-clear beer. A lot of mine are not that clear, I dpon’t stress about it but its pleasant to have one drop brilliantly every now and again.

[quote=“CliffordBrewing”][quote=“ickyfoot”]Interesting…what precautions do you take, if any, to prevent infection?

The beer looks great![/quote]

Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation. The myth of infection with this method has been beat to death. Google “no chill”, you’ll find everything you need. The Australian method uses a sealed container to chill in. You dump the still-boiling wort into the container and seal it. It’s basically like canning, so you can pitch the next day (like I do) or some people even store the wort this way for later fermenting or for use in starters.

There are brewers out there who say they “no chill” but really all they’re doing is leaving the wort in the kettle to cool. This is my mind is closer to open fermentation, and has higher risk of infection. True no chill, as it was initially described, uses a sealed container to ensure the wort is packaged in a sanitized, heat sterilized, air-free container.[/quote]

Great thanks!

I definitely wouldn’t do this in a kettle, I’m way to paranoid about infection.

With a lid that fits decent I don’t see where that is any kind of significant risk in letting wort cool in the kettle over an extended period. I suppose if I were going to do that, I’d probably drape a clean towel over the kettle/lid just to knock down dust that might come in when the wort contracted and sucked in some air.

agreed, this is a kettle whose contents have been 212* or higher for at least an hour!

my love of BIAB espoused in a prior thread

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=115208&hilit=biab

The only other drawback is you do seem to lose some efficiency on higher gravity brews.

What kind of bag are you all using? When I’ve done brews in a bag, I use a big mesh fabric bag, I think it’s 4’x5’ maybe. It might be the coarse mesh one Northern Brewer sells. I wonder if it’s too coarse?

[quote=“tom sawyer”]With a lid that fits decent I don’t see where that is any kind of significant risk in letting wort cool in the kettle over an extended period. I suppose if I were going to do that, I’d probably drape a clean towel over the kettle/lid just to knock down dust that might come in when the wort contracted and sucked in some air.[/quote]I’ve cooled 5-gal batches overnight in my walk-in with plastic wrap along the edge to seal the lid (6-gal stainless turkey fryer, so it’s nice and smooth). The wrap actually shrinks from the heat and then hardens, so in the AM I have to cut it off.

The material you want is called “viole”. The mesh is very fine, so fine that you can more or less powder the grain and not much gets through. You can buy viole at some fabric stores, but you can also find viole curtains at Walmart for $4. The curtains provide enough fabric for 1-2 bags, depending on your vessel.

I agree with the well-fitting lid comments. I’ve actually done this method too, I just feel safer with the sealed container for the bigger batches. I’d hate to spoil 8+ gallons of brew due to nasty air getting sucked in.

Hrm…is there any reason not to just cover the entire opening with plastic wrap and then put the lid back on?

The idea of not running water through an IC seemingly forever is very enticing. I suppose, though, that this would have important implications for doing a hop stand…does it affect hops utilization even if you just do standard boil additions, particularly flavor/aroma additions?

Because I’m lazy and not much of a seamstress, I found this dude, who makes a bag (I believe out of that curtain material, it feels cloth-y, not plastic-y).

http://www.bagbrewer.com/

Huge, huge huge endorsement. He sews 4 handles onto the top, and will make it so it custom fits your kettle. IIRC, around $30 shipped.

[quote=“ickyfoot”]Hrm…is there any reason not to just cover the entire opening with plastic wrap and then put the lid back on?

The idea of not running water through an IC seemingly forever is very enticing. I suppose, though, that this would have important implications for doing a hop stand…does it affect hops utilization even if you just do standard boil additions, particularly flavor/aroma additions?[/quote]

There are a lot of threads in this, mostly on HBT. Here’s a good one to start with, although it is 132 pages:

In theory you’re supposed to get increased bittering due to the slower cooling, so some people have advocated an adjusted hop schedule. There’s a chart on that thread somewhere on how to do it. However, having played with the schedule I actually prefer the outcome if I don’t adjust the hops at all. True, if I’m trying to clone a recipe it might have slightly more bitterness, but I’m going for consistency in my own recipes rather than trying to recreate somebody else’s. I also use a hop sock, which I pull at flameout, so I may get slightly more isomerization from residual oils, but in my mind I’m more or less halting the processes by removing the hops.

Like I’ve said, I have a 36qt cooler mash tun and an immersion chiller, but it’s been close to a year since I’ve used either. I think a lot of people are under the impression that the only reason to BIAB or no-chill is if you lack proper equipment, but I can honestly say that I HAVE the proper equipment, but I have been doing it this way because I truly enjoy to process and the outcome better. And that, in my mind, is the reason we do what we do.

:cheers: