Author Topic: BIAB thoughts?  (Read 9908 times)

Offline JackKerley

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BIAB thoughts?
« on: February 15, 2014, 07:45:56 PM »
I'm new to home brewing and started with an extract/grain kit and moved to AG for the second batch. To quickly create as many styles as possible, and to gain more experience, I've been using BIAB to create three-gallon batches. Thus far--four batches--I've found no problems … gravities line up closely to the five-gallon recipes I convert to three, and I like the typical usage of a single Wyeast packet or WL vial (I'm using a stir plate to enhance count). Anyone else have any thoughts pro or con, grim or amusing, on experiences with BIAB?

Offline merfizle

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 08:07:05 PM »
For beers below 1.050 BIAB beers are hard to beat.  IMO.

Mark
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Offline walloon

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 02:54:36 PM »
Count me as a huge fan of BIAB.  Using BIAB and getting over the "standard" 5 gallon batch size have enabled me to brew more often and spontaneously.
 I started brewing in 2000 and quickly went from extract to all grain. I used a three vessel gravity-driven system: HLT, Mash tun, and boil kettle with propane burner. Some great beers were made but the set up took a while and the brew day was long. There was no way to leave a brew set up in place outside so every brew day involved pulling out multiple coolers, a ladder for gravity fed sparge, and the time to tend to an open flame from the propane burner. I am not a young man so hauling rubbermaid coolers with sparge water onto a ladder was not a pleasant task. Also many times all the prep for brew day were ruined by horrible weather since the propane burner required outdoor use.
The goals were 1. Brew indoors and 2. Make brewing more spontaneous and less labor intensive. Don't get me wrong, I loved making the beer , but getting a brew day in required a long period of dedicated time to tend an open flame, good weather, and a good back. It got to the point I only brewed three times in four years (young children make it difficult to have the dedicated time!)
The solution: I now use BIAB with an electric turkey fryer. I started doing this about 5  years ago and for me it works perfectly. The Masterbuilt/Cajun Injector electric turkey fryer uses a standard outlet and the heating element is not very powerful. I added some insulation and have done batches from 2.5 to 5 gallons with no/problems. The fryer comes/with a stainless steel basket which is perfect for keeping keeping the grain bag off the heating element. I usually do do batches of 2.5 to 4 gallon size which work well with the power of the heating element and the size of the fryer kettle.
For me this is perfect. Electric: no tending an open flame and I brew in my garage- even with the door closed when the weather is horrible. BIAB: I fill the kettle one gallon at a time once for all the water requirements - no ladders! - and dont have to haul anythng until I drain into the fermenter and move it to the fermenting frig. Most importantly - no open flame to worry about. Even during the boil , no worry of boilover with a smaller batch, I do other things around the house. I just keep the timer with me to remind me when to add hops, whirlfloc etc.
Vive BIAB and the smaller batch!
I have brewed four times since the new year and three of those days the weather was horrible - snow or rain. Using my old system I would have only brewed once outdoors. Yes the batches were smaller but I got two 2.5g and two 4g batches done instead of one 5g on the outdoor propane system.
Also by doing smaller batches I have brewed beers up 1.068 starting gravity. If you stop thinking every batch has to be 5 gallons you can do quite a bit.
I LOVE BIAB
 

Offline dlb

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2014, 09:29:50 AM »
nice well written post there walloon. some of it rings true with me.  i have only tried the biab once.  good results , and i think i'd like to use it more often. i have a small chest freezer i use as a fermentation chamber and i can only fit one 5 gal. in there at a time , but can fit two 3 gal. better bottle type fermenters.   jackkerley , you wrote that you have converted 5 gal. recipes to three.  please excuse a newbie question.  what method did you use for that ?.   i've been wanting to do the same thing.    did you do that in "beersmith" .      dave.   

Offline Brewmex41

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 03:30:58 PM »
I like BIAB for some of the already stated reasons. I like doing 1 gal test batches this way too, because heating and cooling take no time, I can boil on my stove, or if I am feeling even lazier, on the turkey fryer and have it boiling in no time. Then I'll throw the stock pot in the spare fridge and pitch the yeast a couple hours later.

I have a buddy that just started brewing. He does extract and I am trying to talk him into doing a couple 1 Gal BIAB brews to get him comfy with All Grain.
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Offline MacLeod9Brewing

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 11:12:05 AM »
... please excuse a newbie question.  what method did you use for that ?.   i've been wanting to do the same thing.    did you do that in "beersmith" .      dave.   

On Beersmith It's pretty simple to convert any recipe. Just select the Icon with the 2 kegs in the upper left hand corner after you have entered your recipe in with your current settings and presto-change-o... a new recipe with perfectly calculated conversion is at your fingertips.

Offline Ellismr

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 01:02:14 PM »
I like BIAB for all these reasons.  My two major reasons for doing this technique are:
1. More control over the beer you make in terms of style and taste.
2. Cost per/batch is much lower compared to extract

For a little more money you can get a grain crusher and that really cuts the grain bill cost.  For example 2 row for me in MD is $1.90/lb.  If i buy the 55 lb bag at the shop its sold at $1.00/lb.  Un-crushed grain will keep in a airtight bin for up to a year so its safe for base malt. 

Offline ChrisS

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2014, 04:01:41 PM »
I've been doing BIAB for about a dozen brews now. I made the transition from extract to partial mash to BIAB and will probably stay there primarily for reasons of time (brew day is 4 hours or less) and comfort/convenience (brewing in the kitchen).

I hear a lot of people saying they have to reduce their batch size or limit their gravity to accomodate BIAB. Even Jake in the recent BIAB podcast said he needed an 8 gallon BK to do a 3 gallon batch. I'm not sure why. I think that may be because of the full volume mash that is typical with BIAB. I routinely brew 5 gallon batches with a 9 gallon BK. With a minor variation on the standard one pot method, it isn't a problem mashing 12 - 15 lbs in a 9 gallon pot. I just reserve a couple of gallons to sparge with and then have plenty of room to sparge through the grain bag once I lift it out of the pot. I still have a good grain/water ratio for mashing. The one modification is that I have an extra pot (my old 5 gal BK) to hold the sparge water.

Offline Ellismr

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 12:55:24 PM »
I agree with ChrisS. I have an 8 gallon pot and make 5.25 gallon batches.  My strike water is usually 6.75 gallons and once i remaove the grain bag I'm at approximately 6 gallons then i boil 60 minutes and end up with 5.25 in primary.

Offline petergarner

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 03:39:21 PM »
Count me among the BIAB evangelists. About 75% of my brews are now 2.5 gal BIAB batches, which I do on my electric range in a 5-gallon pot (granted, the mash comes right up to the brim). I LOVE the simplicity of it. I've been taking pictures and plan to put a tutorial up on my blog one of these days (years?). To my mind, with BIAB, there's almost no reason to limit yourself to extract brewing, since the only extra equipment you truly need is a bag.

Long live BIAB indeed.

Peter

Offline aimeusdietger

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 03:07:07 AM »
I'm new awesome drawer slides GSF | GSF Promounts | Get More Texas counties shapefile Info | svekenyasafaritours.com | visit masai mara safari packages from india url to home brewing and started with an extract/grain check our title 24 consultant url | find title 24 calculations out | visit calgreen checklist page | open cal title 24 website kit and moved to AG for the second batch. To quickly create as many styles as possible, and to gain more experience, I've been using BIAB to create three-gallon batches. Thus far--four batches--I've found no problems … gravities line up closely to the five-gallon recipes I convert to three, and I like the typical usage of a single Wyeast packet or WL vial (I'm using a stir plate to enhance count). Anyone else have any thoughts pro or con, grim or amusing, on experiences with BIAB?

I am a huge fan of BIAB because i can be quite lazy at times yet i still want my tasty beer. I like the ease of heating on my stove and cooling it in my freezer without going through the extraction process. Also, you can't beat the low operation cost with BIAB. Cost and time effectiveness go a long way for me.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 04:08:32 AM by aimeusdietger »

Offline AJAlexander

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2019, 07:39:55 PM »
I've only done my 2nd BIAB batch, but I was curious if I need to do a sparge with BIAB?  From what I've read, some people say to do a sparge, others say it's not necessary.  I've been doing 10gal batches.  I usually start off with 9gal strike water, and then sparge about 4 more gallons after the mash.  This usually ends up with about 10 gallons.  Could I just start with 13gal of strike water and then go straight to the boil after the grains drain?

Thanks

Offline Oginme

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Re: BIAB thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2019, 03:39:45 AM »
You can mash in any manner that you want which results in wort at the end.  The challenge is modeling it in BeerSmith.  If you are only doing BIAB brewing, then the modeling for BIAB with a sparge step becomes much easier.

The first key point to understand about the software is that it considers 'BIAB' to mean full volume mashing.  If you include a sparge step and want the software to model the water volumes correctly, then you need to make some adjustments to the grain absorption rate for the standard brewing and choose or build a mash profile which is not based upon a BIAB mash.

Some people prefer to use a standard BIAB mash profile, but adjust their equipment profile to include a volume for 'top off water for kettle' which represents a fixed sparge volume. This works well if you also use a standard mash set up and do not want to adjust the water absorption rate.

I have preferred to go with a full volume mash whenever possible, mostly because it is easier.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 05:24:10 AM by Oginme »
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