Hey guys. I’ve recently upgraded to doing 5-gallon all grain batches in the BIAB method. I’ve thought about buying a stainless steel valve and upgrading a rectangular cooler I have to try that method of all-grain brewing. Here’s my question… Instead of doing a single infusion BIAB method, do any of you do the BIAB and still drain, vorlauf, and recirculate as you would with a cooler and valve? I’ve got a 15 gallon Mega Pot so that shouldn’t be an issue. Just seems to me that you’d never have to worry about a stuck sparge and you could still do the “traditional” method of all grain brewing. Somebody set me straight please… Thanks and happy brewing

Primary: ------------
Secondary: White House Honey Porter
On Deck: Caribou Slobber

I do 5 gallon biab also. But I do a dunk sparge after draining the bag from the mash, and add the two pots together before boiling. When my crush has been good (all but one batch), I hit all the numbers pretty closely. I’ve heard of others doing biab in a cooler like you describe, I just don’t see how that would be any easier or better than what I’m doing. But as always, YMMV.



I do 5 and 10 gal batches BIAB in a 16 gallon kettle. I’ve always mashed with traditional volume mashes rather than full volume. After I pull the bag I sparge by pouring water over the grain to get my preboil volume.

I BIAB mash in a cooler; the BIAB bag takes the place of a braid or false bottom, but otherwise standard AG process. So… Brew In A Bag In A Cooler. Mostly I do it that way because of how I staged my equipment upgrades moving from extract to AG. I only got the BIAB bag for PM brews. (Which IMO is not worth it.) I intended on getting a false bottom for the cooler as the next upgrade but it hasn’t happened, and I don’t really feel the need; this system works for me. I hit my recipies’ numbers, and I enjoy the beer.

+1. This is exactly what I do, except I only brew 1.7 to 2.5 gallons at a time. After the mash, I lift the bag onto a colander and bucket, and pour hot water over the top. It’s a little bit of a pain but efficiency is maintained in mid-80s.

I should get more into the habit of just doing a dunk sparge, it’s way easier. But I also don’t like grainy stuff in my boil, and the above technique minimizes grainy stuff.

I used to do this as well. It works well.

The last brew I made was full volume biab. I added one extra pound of grain and got .052 instead of my usual .054 with the pour over. I’ll probably go back to a pour over. I generally get the same efficiency in my cooler tun batch sparging. Lately I do all my 5 gallon batches biab anything bigger goes in the tun.

Most of my brews I use the same 5G cooler with a braid that I started with. Works well with mash efficiencies between 75-80%. But with large grain bills(14 lb or more) I use 2 BIAB bags in a rectangular cooler. Have only done it 4 times so far and my efficiency was down around 60%, so I obviously need to keep practicing and tweaking.

Thanks fellas. Frenchie, when you do the dunk sparge what temperature do you have the water? Is it still roughly for 10 minutes? This would probably work for me cuz I still have my smaller extract pot around.

I use my old extract pot (5 gal) for the dunk sparge and I heat the water to mashout temp, usually in the 165-170 range. But that temp is probably not necessary since I always boil immediately after sparging. And yes, I sparge for ten minutes. And I squeeze the bejeebies out of the bag. My numbers always are good as long as the crush was good (only one bad one).

I know there is still debate about squeezing, but I HAVE to. It’s just cathartic. There, I’ve used my 2 dollar word for the day!