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First Attempt BIABasket Nut Brown Ale

Can anyone review this BIABasket process for 5 gallons of finished Nut Brown Ale? This is summary of a process I have been working out mentally, so may sound familiar to any that read my other posts. This will be my first time to use my new rig, which is a propane fired single vessel (Keggle) with a 800 micron grain basket, and a recirculation “pipe” feeding from the top of the Keggle with holes in it extending through the center of my basket. I plan to recirculate at as high a rate as possible. Do any of you with BIAB, especially using a grain basket, experience see any potential issues?

Here is what I plan to do. The grains are from a NB Nut Brown Ale all grain kit.

  • I have an 8.5 lb grain bill, and the total amount of water will be 7 gallons based on;
    - 5 Gallons to the fermentation vessel
    - 0.43 Gallons (0.05 Gal/lb x 8.5 lb) for grain absorption
    - 1.46 Gallons boil off (1.17 Gallons x 1.25 Gal/Hr)
    - 0.1 Gallons left behind in trub
  • Lightly spray the grain to moisten it, and mill to 0.036 inches with my monster mill, and add it to my grain basket
  • Lower the grain basket into heated water in the Keggle to stabilize at 154F and hold for 60 minutes for saccharification rest, recirculating with the center fed pipe the entire time
  • After 60 minutes, raise the grain basket out of the liquid, raise the water temperature to 170F, and lower the basket for a 10 minute mashout, recirculating as before
  • I’ll do an iodine test in here somewhere
  • After 10 minutes raise basket, press grain, and dispose of grain and set grain basket aside
  • Bring the wort to a boil and start a hop schedule, hops directly in the boil (no basket) recirculating during the entire boil;
    - 1 oz Fuggle pellets for 60 minutes
    - 1 oz Fuggle pellets at flameout
  • 5 minutes after flameout, catch all trub possible with a 400 micron basket held under the return port to the keggle (I tried this before with 2 oz pellets for an extract brew with no clogs)
  • Chill to 65F with a plate chiller into my Big Mouth Bubbler, aerate wort by splashing with the lid on, and pitch dry Nottingham Ale Yeast
  • Allow to ferment - I don’t have any questions about the fermentation part, just the above

Thanks much if you have any suggestions, and cheers!

I would just skip the mash out or kick the burner on before pulling the basket. If your squeezing anyways I don’t see the point. Just my thought.

To add: A mash out step is often used during fly sparging to stop conversion before the rinsing of the grains. Since this process takes another 30-45 minutes before the wort is heated to a boil. Or with a batch sparge to improve flow through the grain. With BIAB your pulling the grains and going right to a boil.

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If you pull the basket and heat to 170° the temps will drop once you put the basket back in. I don’t BIAB so I’m not sure if a mashout is necessary but if you do one you’ll want the entire mash to hit 170°.
With that said I doubt a mashout is necessary as you aren’t sparging.

You really need to brew with your set up… Axing questions about your equipment and hoping some one can correct your ideas will not work…
Do you know what your kettle can handle?
Do you know how to manipulate your water?
Do you know your points per gallon potential of the grist you use?
Even more important… Do you know how make an above average brew?
Best you can do is brew and compare your results…

Sneezles61

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Doing a mash out is a waste of time in homebrewing a 5 gallon batch. Just drain and boil. It is especially useless in biab. As far as wetting the grain before the crush thats not going to gain anything but gummed up rollers.

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This ain’t an exact science and I think .1 gallons trub loss is pretty optimistic. Good place as any to start though. Using your system is the only way to nail down real numbers. Use it and understand there are always variables. For example, I always aim for 5.5 gallons to the fermenter with the expectation I’m going to have some trub loss and some loss from goo in the fermenter. You’ve got to break some eggs to make an omelette. :sunglasses:

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Mash out isn’t necessarily a waste of time. It depends on how you brew, specially in the sparging process. I fly sparge so my mash enzymes continue to work for about an additional hour. By mashing our I’m setting the fermentability of the wort and thus body.
Additionally grain ‘conditioning’ is a method to increase the pliability of the malt prior to milling. The theory is you’ll get more intact husks which will aid in lautering. I’ve never tried it so I can’t comment on whether or not it made a difference. If I was a BIAB I doubt I would even try it as there is no sparge or a very quick sparge.

Maybe a mash out if you fly sparge but even then probably a minimal difference. Mash for 45 min and start your fly sparge. Nothing wrong with fly sparge and I realize you are trying to replicate for your commercial size batches but for the 5 gallon home brewer I’d add fly sparging to the time wasted column

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@MikeBeer if you want to do a mash out then do a mash out. The only way to decide if it works for you is to try it. Will it make a noticeable difference in the final product probably not with the BIAB method. But in the end that’s for you to decide.

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I couldn’t agree more. I started out with fly sparging and mash out myself and glad I did.

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Your process looks fine but has some steps I don’t find necessary. That being said, IMO you should develop a process that works for you and that you’re happy with.

I don’t feel a mashout is necessary and haven’t done one for years. I don’t condition grain because I use a bag as a filter. Depending on how tight the filtration of your basket is you may or may not need to do so.

Run your first few brew days how you like and decide what works for you and what you can eliminate.

Thanks you guys with the excellent practical suggestions, which along with my original motivation (making brew day easier, without compromising beer quality) helps me with my starting process. I’ll use the process I described, except for the below changes, then I’ll modify my process through trial and error.

  • No grain conditioning (wetting with sprayed water) prior to milling
  • Aim for 5.5 Gallons into the fermenter versus 5 Gallons to account for trub loss
  • After the 60 minute saccharification rest I’ll leave the basket of grain in the Keggle, raise the temperature to 170F, and pull (and squeeze) after a 20 minute mash out period (this will denature enzymes, preserving my fermentable sugar profile, and thin the wort to drain better and therefore improve efficiency)
  • Do an iodine test a few times to see where I am, in case I need to make on-the-fly adjustments in mash duration, for example if after 40 minutes it appears I have extracted sufficiently I’ll move directly to mash out.

After I do my first brew with my new rig and this process, I’ll come back here and provide some results. Who knows, maybe I can help some other brewer with BIABasket. Again, thanks and Cheers!

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I meant to mention this earlier after reading @WMNoob 's post. I shoot for 5.5 in the fermenter as well. Another thing to consider is volume loss in your delivery system, ie, tubing, chiller and pump. Mine holds about a quart. Easy to siphon out but if you’re not going to remember to calculate it into your required volume.

With regard to aeration I’ve found that if I control the flow into the fermenters correctly it splashes and creates a big foamy head. I figure tha0t’s about as aerated as it needs to get.

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Tip: when draining into the fermenation vessel run it through a strainer or colander to diffuse the liquid and help get it aerated good enough for ales. Lagers I get a bit more aggressive

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Iodine is also a waste of time… I believe even after a half hour, you’ll have sweet wort… Not going to put my neck in a noose, but you’ll get the MOST sugars after an hour… 2 hours… quite sure it will be the same as an hour…
Yeah, splash as you fill the fermenter BEFORE you pitch yeast…
I’ll be looking forward to your out come… Tell us your grainbill and we can get you an estimated starting gravity… This where you’ll find your efficiency… Mine is at 80%… So I adjust my poundage to hit the gravity and quantity…
Sneezles61

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