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Noob BIAB?

Hello! I am trying my second brew and first BIAB tomorrow. I have run everything on a calculator and need around 4.5 gallons of water. I only have a 5 gallon stockpot so I am afraid I will overflow if I do a full volume mash. My question is can I mash with say 3 gallons and top of with the rest of the water to what my preboil volume would be? Also If I dont do this could I reserve some of the water and do a dunk type sparge then add it in to the kettle? If I do this is it necessary to heat the sparge water as well?
Thanks for the input!

Yes you can mash with a 3 gallon configuration, you will lose volume due to grain absorption. So you could have, say 2 gallons of 170* water heated and dump through yer grain after you’ve pulled it out of the boil kettle. I think you may be alright with 4 gallons of wort in yer kettle and be able to git a good enough boil for hot break and boil off volatile compounds. Do pull the kettle off when you add yer hops tho. IT WILL BOIL OVER. Also, you can top off yer fermenter, some still do and I did when I first started and had no ill effects. I will say, that it causes the yellow flags to go off in my mind tho… Sneezles61

Could you resize the recipe to fit the equipment?

Thanks for the replies guys. Would I have to use hot water to sparge? Also I would reduce the volume but I already weighed my grains and put them together in a ziploc bag for storage ha. I only bought enough for this recipe ha . I guess I could uniformally mix it and take them out though.

You may want to buy some fermcap.

Another option would be to divide the grains in half and do to batches and just combine them in the fermenter. This way you could do two vigorous boils and end up with the volume you want in the fermenter, about 5.25 gallons. In the mean time get a 8 or better yet a ten gallon kettle.

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What are your guys opinions on good value kettles?

How much you want to spend? Aluminum or ss ? I got a nice thick aluminum from Amazon.

I like SS, I bought some old dented kegs and converted to keggles, nice. I am chomping the bit to git my hands on a spike brewing kettle tho… so, if you pay attention, you will be brewing for many years, so save up and git what could be come yer best friend in the whole wide room, for many years too! Sneezles 61

I kinda agree except IG like me you have a limited budget any large vessel will work. Right now I’m brewing for a lot of people

I would like to stay in the 70 dollar max range at this time I would say. I think I’m gonna mash with less and sparge this go around and then look for a new kettle. Thanks again for the input guys

So other then infection what is the real harm in topping off in the fermentor vs adding during the boil?

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I wouldn’t wpry about infection I jus like for all my water to touch the grain and fully get the benefit of all the hops. Probably doesn’t Mater much I’ll bet it comes out better than an extract batch. Good luck and keep us informed

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