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Old 02-11-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
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Default If you BIAB...

What size vessel are you using, and what kind of beers are you making?

I've read BobbyM's thread about mashtun size (thanks Bobby) but since BIAB uses the full volume, it doesn't completely translate. I'm interested in what the BIAB elite have to say

I plan on doing the Brew in a Basket method, and I'm wondering what I can expect from certain vessel sizes. I want to be able to do 8-10 gallon batches of 1.070 IPA, and occasionally 5 gallons of the really big stuff, like barleywine/RIS. That being said, I think I'm either going to go with:

1) The 82qt Bayou Classic Stockpot + Basket:

or

2) Using a keggle I already have :


with the 62qt Bayou Classic basket:


It has a diameter of ~14" so it SHOULD fit if I open the top. I also have one of those 14 gallon "italian kettle" pots with 15" diameter :
....this can also accept a basket...and has a lower profile than a keg (important for my build).

So do you think I can get away with making that much BIAB IPA in a keg, or am I going to have to step up to the 82qt pot? I plan on doing a modified sparge of some kind, I don't see it being a problem to just pour some 170f water over the top of the basket to gain a few points. Worst case scenario, I guess I could add DME, but I would like to avoid building a system that requires this extra cost for each batch.....

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Old 02-11-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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i just made a 1.070 IPA last weekend with two bags of grain in a 15 gallon keggle. I got 82% efficiency. BIAB is the way to go!

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Old 02-11-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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Was it a 5 gallon batch? I assume you used 2 bags for easier management.....did you sparge/squeeze?

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Old 02-22-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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how to you close off the open end of the bag? I have several bags i'm planning to divide my grain bill into, but don't have a good method in mind for securing the bags closed. Any thoughts? my initial plan was to use zip ties. i'm going to mash in a cooler for heat maintenance purposes.

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Old 02-22-2010, 06:43 PM   #5
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You don't want to close off the bags. You want to be able to stir so it's better to clamp the open end to the sides of your cooler to hold it open while stirring.

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Old 02-23-2010, 07:10 AM   #6
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So I guess the question I mean to ask is,

"Who is doing 10 gallon BIAB batches, and what size vessels are you using?"

"Also, what kind of beers are they?"

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Old 02-23-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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Maybe this will help you make your decisions.

Given a 10 gallon batch and 20 pounds of malt, you'd need at least 11.25 gallons to remain in your pot when you remove the grain. The mashtun would have to be able to hold 15.5 gallons. If you got 100% conversion, the mash/runnings gravity would be about 1.052.

Since 2 gallons will remain in the grain, the theoretical max brewhouse efficiency is 83% which would leave you with 10 gallons of 1.059. in the fermenter.

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Old 02-23-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve View Post

"Who is doing 10 gallon BIAB batches, and what size vessels are you using?"

"Also, what kind of beers are they?"
I do 10 gallon batches in a 62 quart bayou classic pot with steamer basket.
I do mostly session type beers (1.040-1.050) with the occasional big beer (just did a 1.094 "quad"). I wish I had got a 20 gallon pot. Right now, I use DME to "top up" my gravity. Beer still tastes good, and I get the DME in bulk. The reason I went with the 15gallon pot is it's the largest one I could find that had the "lip" built in that kept basket about 2" from the bottom so it would clear my element. In retrospect, the basket can hold a lot more grain, but the pot can't hold all the water, so I could have modified the smaller basket for a larger pot.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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Yeah, I've been looking pretty hard at getting an Instawares 80 quart pot (21"W x 17"H), with the 82 quart Bayou Classic basket (17.5"W x 13.25"H). So, unlike the Bayou Classic pot/basket combo, there will be no "lip". It would be a bit more expensive, but probably worth it. I would be able to get the basket as deep as possible to reduce dead space...I could just add carriage bolts to the bottom for rounded feet. Also, there should be about 1.75" of clearance on either side for hanging bolts, etc.

So I figure the 20 gallon (80 quart) size should work...if I suspend the basket and rinse, I guess I could counteract the issues with volume.

I want to go big, but not so big that I can't do 5 gallon batches anymore! Would a 20 or 25 gallon pot be too big due to dead space below the element?

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Old 02-23-2010, 02:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakins View Post
The reason I went with the 15gallon pot is it's the largest one I could find that had the "lip" built in that kept basket about 2" from the bottom so it would clear my element. In retrospect, the basket can hold a lot more grain, but the pot can't hold all the water, so I could have modified the smaller basket for a larger pot.
I just used 3 SS bolts as legs to hold mine off the bottom of my kettle when I did BIAB. Can't really contribute to the OP's question though because I was doing a small batch in a 8G kettle. I'd probably use more for a bigger basket to give it better support for all that grain.
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