Hi I am new to brewing and this forum. I am in currently brewing my second beer…extract method. I would like to try the BIAB method since both beers came out slightly darker than I would have liked.I have a stand up campchef 2 burner propane stove and a single turkey fryer stove with a 7 1/2 gallon stainless steel pot with spigot. I was thinking about adding 2 second pot for two brews with the spare single burner for more hot water if needed.I also crash chill my wort pot in a large ice bath.
I would like to brew a BIAB method beer with all grain kit. If I can, what is the method using the equipment I have?
All you really need with your equipment is a bag - the large mesh ones that NB sells should fit nicely in that pot. Beyond that, though, you’re really going to want some type of chiller. Hot water baths work fine for extract for a partial boil, but once you get up to a 5-gallon batch it doesn’t work so well. You’ll really appreciate having one.
The second pot would work really nicely - one could hold your mash water and the second could hold some sparge water. Back when I did BIAB, I would heat a second pot of water, and at the end of the mash, I’d pull the bag, let it drain, and then put it in the second pot for the sparge. This really gives you a nice efficiency boost and doesn’t require quite as large of a pot.
So with this mash bag I should be able to use any 5 gallon all-grain kit and just follow the BIAB method? Also are there any special water quality requirements tap vs bottled vs distilled water for BIAB?
Sure, any of the 5-gallon kits will work for BIAB. It’s just an alternate method for all-grain brewing. Of course, the grain bill will decide how easy or difficult it will be, so you might want to start with something of low to moderate gravity - wrestling 30# of wet grain is not a great way to get started.
Water can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. The best thing to do is to get your water tested by Ward labs to find out what’s in it, and get familiar with a water calculator such as Bru’n Water. If that seems too complicated, it would probably be best to start with bottled distilled or RO water and use an online calculator to figure out how to adjust it to the right pH for the grain bill.
Or the simplest thing to do would just be to roll the dice and use your tap water, knowing that you may not get the best results. If you’re on city water, at a minimum you’ll want to treat it with Campden to get rid of the chlorine and chloramine.
When you figure out your plan, post it for feedback and I’m sure the folks here will get you on the right track. :cheers:
I would strongly suggest a bigger pot. I have the 15 gallon Bayou Classic with a built in thermometer and spiggot as well as a false bottom. I have done several BIAB brews and they all turned out great. What I do find is that I usually need to increase the amount of grains from the normal recipe due to the decreased efficiency of BIAB. Google BIAB forums and you will find a forum (down under) that has a bunch of cool guys on it. They have an excellent BIAB calculator that will help you to get your ingredients perfect. One big pot is really all you need.
Reduced efficiency isn’t really a BIAB thing - it’s a no-sparge thing. It’s all in how you go about it. If you’re doing a one-pot BIAB, then essentially you’re doing a no-sparge batch, which will result in lower efficiency. When I was doing BIAB I would mash in one vessel, pull the bag, and dunk it in another vessel to sparge. With a good stir, you can easily get higher efficiencies via a finer crush than you can in a typical mash tun set-up. :cheers:
I sparge by pouring water over the grain bag after I pull it and get very high efficiency and more importantly great beer. I’ve actually adjusted my crush gap wider to keep effiency in the low 80s rather than reduce my grain bill. That’s a whole other topic of discussion though.
Bottom line is BIAB is just another mashing method where the bag takes the place of a false bottom, bazooka tube or braid.
Another thing with BIAB I did was to set up a pulley with a rope to hold the grain bag. It it a bit of a chore if you don’t have one. Also I’m wanting to go to double batches but even with my big pot I don’t think that is possible.
So for the guys that sparge can you tell us how the water volumes differ? I normally use the BIAB calculator but have never used the sparge feature. (google BIABacus)
Initially I double crushed my grains but after talking to some BIAB experts I just do a normal crush and can’t see any difference in efficiency.
[quote=“Scalded Dog”]Another thing with BIAB I did was to set up a pulley with a rope to hold the grain bag. It it a bit of a chore if you don’t have one. Also I’m wanting to go to double batches but even with my big pot I don’t think that is possible.
So for the guys that sparge can you tell us how the water volumes differ? I normally use the BIAB calculator and it doesn’t account for sparging.[/quote]
Just use traditional batch sparge water-grain ratios and sparge to get your pre-boil volume. Simple as that. I have a ratchet pulley too. Invaluable for the 12 gallon batches.
16 gallon MT/BK. Mash is kind of on the thick side for some bigger grain bills on a 12 gallon brew but it’s easily workable.
Example my last brew day was Vienna Lager, 1.047 expected OG, average sized grain bill at 18.25 lb, mashed in with 36 qts of water so almost 2qts/lb of grain. Pulled the bag with the ratchet hoist and sparged by pumping sparge water over the grain bed as the bag hung over the kettle. 1.045 pre-boil gravity. OG 1.052. Ended up with about 11.5 gallons after the boil for about 5.5gals in each of my two carboys. I still need to close my mill gap a little to make my efficiency a little more predictable and consistent.
Danny, can you explain what your sparge method is? Do you use a sprinkler of some sort? I would think it would be a bit more difficult sparging over the grain ball because it’s a bit compacted at that point. If you had a fryer basket the sparge water would flow through the grain bed much better. Have you taken a pre and post-sparge gravity reading? If I could increase my efficiency equal to say batch sparging or better there would never be any reason to change. Maybe I’m being to fussy about this?
The grain bed is really no more compacted than it would be sitting in the bottom of a cooler mash tun. I open the top of the bag, drop my hose in there and pump water slowly from the HLT(ball valve 1/4-1/3 open. I sometimes use a little diffuser on the end of the hose when sparging but only when I remember that i have it.
Yes I take gravity of first runnings and then a pre-boil. I’ve occassionally taken a second runnings gravity just to make sure I never get below 1.010. I’ve never gotten close.
I think you could compare what I do to leaving the valve partially open in a cooler tun and pumping the water in, except my filter(bag) is probably finer than most braids or bazooka tubes so it restricts the flow a little more.
Before I had the pump I would just use a half gallon pitcher and pour the water over the grain. That worked fine too.
Danny is right. I can get the same efficiency BIAB as I get in my tun. I do all my 5 gallon batches biab. The only reason I don’t do bigger batches in a bag is my big bag hasn’t come in the mail yet. It should be here any day and I’m going to try doing bigger batches.
Just looked back at the above mentioned Vienna brew notes in Beersmith 2. The first runnings gravity was 1.056. Didn’t measure 2nd runnings just pre-boil and OG. Gravity readings were taken with a hydrometer and temp corrected.
Thank you for the replies. I have just measured a large heavy bottomed stainless steel chef’s pot I picked up years ago. It holds just under 17 gallons of water. I plan on drilling whole 2 inches from the bottom for a spigot . I would like to a some type of thermometer if possible. Any recommendations for a a non weld spigot and temp gauge would be appreciated.
Go to http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/ for detailed instructions and parts lists for installing a spigot in your kettle. You do not need the very expensive chassis punch specified by the electric brewery to cut the hole in the kettle. Invest in a digital caliper (cheap at Lowes), measure the diameter of the nipple/spigot shank, then take the caliper with you to the hardware store and measure the available hole saws. Use the hole saw with lots of cutting oil and run the drill very slowly. Once the hole is cut, dress the raised edges very gently with a fine, round file.
Works great and lasts for years.
Edit: I located my spigot about an inch from the bottom so I would leave less wort in the kettle. Two inches shouldn’t be a big problem, but you may want to tip the kettle to minimize deadspace loss.
[quote=“Old_Dawg”]Go to http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/ for detailed instructions and parts lists for installing a spigot in your kettle. You do not need the very expensive chassis punch specified by the electric brewery to cut the hole in the kettle. Invest in a digital caliper (cheap at Lowes), measure the diameter of the nipple/spigot shank, then take the caliper with you to the hardware store and measure the available hole saws. Use the hole saw with lots of cutting oil and run the drill very slowly. Once the hole is cut, dress the raised edges very gently with a fine, round file.
Works great and lasts for years.
Edit: I located my spigot about an inch from the bottom so I would leave less wort in the kettle. Two inches shouldn’t be a big problem, but you may want to tip the kettle to minimize deadspace loss.[/quote]
I located my about an inch from the bottom as well, then fabricated a dip tube on the inside so that I leave only about a pint in the bottom when I drain the kettle. I think I got the idea from mullerbrau if I remember correctly. Check out mullerbrau.com
I also used a hole saw though I wasn’t quite as meticulous about the measurements or drilling oil as Dawg…I guess I lucked out…