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Newb BIAB'er - got a few Q's

I’m an emerging extract brewer having done 9 5gallon kits with good success. I want to get into BIAB and have a couple questions…

Right now my equipment limitation is a 5 gal brew kettle. How big a BIAB batch can i do in this kettle? I understand i may be in the 2 gal range, and that’s OK as i want to figure out the technique and then expand to a larger kettle as necessary.

How do i calculate recipes for a small batch?

I’m sure i will have more questions, but thanks for getting me started!

You’re really only limited by your pre-boil volume. You can split your water into a mash and sparge portion so that you’re not limited to the 5 gallons total, but I think the pre-boil volume is your limiting factor. Assuming 1 gallon/hr boil-off, you need to start with 3.5 gallons for a 2.5 gallon batch, and that doesn’t leave much room for hot break in your pot and would make me nervous about a severe boil-over. Maybe fermcap would help, but you have the right idea that 2.5 gallons is about the most you can do.

I use BeerSmith 2 for water calcs, if it’s any help.

I do 3-gal batches in a 20qt pot; No problems so far. My pre-boil volume is probably closer to 3.75 gal. And yea, the pot is pretty full at the beginning; NO turning your back on it. My electric stove doesn’t quite hit 1g/hr boil-off.

I mash using a round 7gal cooler. So I’m not clear if I’m REALLY doing BIAB, or a traditional mash tun with a cloth false bottom… It seems others do the same; and it works well for me. I’m not sure if you could actually mash in the 5-gal.

Thanks guys. I appreciate the comments!

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