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Starting all grain with biab method

Hey guys,

I am interested in starting all grain brewing and was curious if I could use an all grain recipe kit in the same way that I use the biab kits form northern Brewer. The only difference between the kits is the amount of grain. The biab kits are made for 3 gallon finish volume and I believe the all grain kits are designed for 5 gallons. I’ve been using a ten gallon kettle and start my batches with 5.5 gallons to compensate for water loss s still end with about 4 gallons in the carboy.

So my questions are, will my kettle be large enough to make one of the all grain kits work, and will I be able to use only kettle without having a mash tun and lauter tun?

Yes your kettle is perfect

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Up your volume to 6.5… it’ll take some time, but you figure out how to find your targeted final gravity… I am with Brew Cat with your kettle… Sneezles61

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Thanks guys, do I need to have the grain crushed any special way for this method? I read something about double crushing for biab but not sure if that’s necessary

I dont double crush… One time through the JSP mill and into hot water. Sneezles61

Kettle do think its fine. Try to start out with 7 gall. Your final wort volume will be around 5 to 5.5 gall of wort. Takes a few times to try. How much boil off you do have

You can, but don’t have to, double crush.

Crushing finer can boot efficiency and speed the mash. If a non-BIAB brewer crushes too fine they risk a stuck sparge, but the BIAB bag doesn’t clog like a false bottom, or a bazooka, so you can safely crush much finer, no worries.

If you don’t double crush, no worries.


Thanks for the input guys! I’ve got about a half a dozen batches of extract and biab batches completed, all which turned out very well, and I’m ready to start buying raw ingredients and experimenting more with beer smith. I really enjoy sours and want to start introducing all of these Pacific Northwest blackberries into my brew! Cheers and thanks again!

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Odells blackberry gose is tasty.

Any idea of about how many lbs of grain I could use if I have to start with 7 gallons of water?

How big is your kettle and do you plan mashing full volume or doing a pour over?

10 gallons and no plans on doing a pour over. I wil be upgrading to a 20 gallon in a couple of months

Your kettle is big enough for any amount of grain for a 5 gallon batch. I figure grain absorption at roughly .15 gallons per pound or 3/4gallon for ten lbs. So if you want a preboil volume of 7 gallons multiply the wt by .15 and add that much more water. Does that make sense? What you could do is just mash in your 7 gallons and add the water your short until you get a feel for it. By the way you can just add cold water to make it easy

Ok cool so just dilute it to get to my preboil volume? When I start a 3 gallon biab with 5.5 gallons I end up with about 3.5 to 4 gallons in the kettle post boil. I was going to just start with 7 for a ten to twelve pound grain bill and see where I end up. I have been looking into making a barley wine and that would require 20+ lbs of grain which is mostly where my question was stemming from. Planning on purchasing beer smith soon so I might just try and scale a barley recipe to 3 or 4 finished gallons

Does the strike water temperature vary on amount of grain used? The biab 3.5 gallons gave me an exact temperature and once I mashed in, the temp was perfect. Maybe I should just purchase beersmith this weekend. I ordered the 3 ipa all grain kits this week so plan on doing one Sunday

Beer smith is worth it imo.


Yes, the amount of grain and the temp of that grain can affect mash temps. I agree with @uncdeo that beersmith is worth it. It will really help you dial in your system and process.

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