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Old 03-17-2013, 07:13 PM   #61
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Hmm... I suspect I should have bought a colander before I started mashing today, eh?
I pull mine out of the mash, spin in so it squeezes a lot of he wort out. Then place it in a bucket after most of the wort has dripped out. Then i fire up my wort to start the boil, and then go back to my bag and continue to spin it tighter and tighter while squeezing it. I use pair of nitrile gloves because its pretty hot. I try and squeeze out as much wort as possible, then just dump it into the boil. Seems to work great so far. I know aother way is to use a collander and while your grains sitting in it, use a small pot lid and press the wort out of the grains.

there is a LOT of controversy on here about squeezing grains, and wether that is okay to do or not. To sum up what I have read, is, it really does not matter at all. If you think about a commercial brewer, and the pressure that is on the grain at the bottom of a mash, it far exceeds any amount of pressure you could press onto your grains in the bag. I say go for it! More wort = more beer!
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:01 AM   #62
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I went out to my parent's house shortly after swinging by morebeer for the additional bags... and she broke out her sewing machine! I left the bags with her and she's going to reinforce the stitching (turned the bag inside-out and was going to do a larger zig-zag stitch).

Anybody do this sort of thing with any luck (i.e. notice any strengthening)?

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Old 03-25-2013, 04:42 AM   #63
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Fits a 15 gallon Blichmann Boilermaker perfectly.
Good to know
Just ordered one.
Thanks
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:04 AM   #64
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I do smaller batches with cheese cloth that my wife has sewn into a pillow shape that I lay in the bottom of my cooler mash tun. She double reinforces the ends and my bags seem to last for dozens of brews. Mainly it's me that destroys them. Also I don't really lift them to get that last bit of wort. I just let gravity do the work. I never liked mashing in my boil kettle. I had tried that in the late 90's and would run into the same problems of tearing my grain sack.

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Old 03-25-2013, 05:50 AM   #65
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What's stumping me about this BIAB stuff is how you hold the bag over the kettle when draining it? Some of the custom bags I've seen have a reinforced fabric loop sewn on to the top of the bag so you can suspend the bag from an overhead pulley. That seems like a really worthwhile feature, even if it does bump the price up a bit... okay, more than a bit. Like 6x more, but, well... Seems worth it.
I use a pulley overhead, with a hangman's noose. Just cinch it around the neck of the bag, hoist it up, and wrap the rope around a cleat on the wall (yes, I live alone!).
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:00 AM   #66
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there is a LOT of controversy on here about squeezing grains, and wether that is okay to do or not. To sum up what I have read, is, it really does not matter at all. If you think about a commercial brewer, and the pressure that is on the grain at the bottom of a mash, it far exceeds any amount of pressure you could press onto your grains in the bag. I say go for it! More wort = more beer!
I really think this is broken logic. In a commercial beer batch of say 900 lbs of grain, the entire weight of that grain bill would not be focused onto any single grain. It would be dispersed evenly across the mash tun. The weight of the grain on the geographic north side if a 900 lb grain bed would not be creating any pressure on the grain at the bottom of the south side of the mash tun.

The way to measure the weight the grain at the bottom of a commercial mash tun is bearing is to take a core sample and weigh it. Even with a 3" core sample (which is generous) of a 4' deep grain bed, I would suspect that the total weight would be around 25 lbs tops.

Now compare that 25lbs to the focused force that you are putting in the bag of grain while squeezing it. A lot if you dont know your own strength but think of how many times you can curl a 25 lb dumbbell. Or how much some of you gorillas can bench press. You can EASILY put way, way more pressure on a specific grain than the weight of a grain bed on a single grain. Its a small bag and crushing it with a lid or even between coffee cups (which i have read that one guy does) would yield way more pressure on the grains because it is more focused.

However, there are two other factors to consider. One, when homebrew experts are advising against squeezing grains they are talking about not putting the grains into a fruit press under a large screw which could put hundreds of pounds of pressure evenly to all grains which would physically force unwanted compounds out of the grains....which hand squeezing a BIAB bag wouldnt be able to do. And two, many, many BIAB brewers DO squeeze the bag and either don't get off flavors, don't admit it, or can't tell. So two of those options leave the brewer in the bliss of success.

So while hand squeezing the bag likely doesn't cause the off flavors caused by tannins, the logic that its because it is less than the weight the grains would be subjected to in a commercial brewery is completely inaccurate.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:25 AM   #67
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Well just brewed again with this yesterday, 17.5lbs of dry grain. Bag held up like a champ.

As to the squeezing the grain, this is what I do, not saying it is right or wrong, just what I do. I place the wet grain bag in a bucket I have turned into a strainer by drilling holes into it. I then place another picket on top of that like a syringe plunger. In the plunger I place a 25lb weight, it squeezes the grain and gives me a grain absorption ratio of .088 gal per pound. Works great for me...

Cheers all and enjoy brewing, don't sweat the small stuff, different strokes for different folks.

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:48 AM   #68
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17.5 wow!

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Old 03-28-2013, 09:35 AM   #69
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17.5 wow!
It was a barleywine, so tasty too. The bag did well, I think I would only trust it with twenty pounds before I strengthen the seams. Really a good bag though.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:23 PM   #70
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Brewed the barleywine I had been planning (16.25 lbs of grain) in the newly re-inforced bag - went swimmingly. I decided not to double-bag it and just see how the single bag did (thanks Vellum - your post inspired me) - and it was great.

Additional support definitely seemed like a bonus... I was also careful about how much hanging it did while draining the grain (didn't want to put undue stress on the seems), but was still able to get mid-70's efficiency on a big beer (1.083).

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