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Old 12-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #1
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Default First BIAB not getting off to a great start.

First BIAB not getting off to a great start. Even with 50 batches done in the cooler... once you change your process you can't take anything for granted.

For example: Although the online calculators estimate that 8.5 gallons of water and 14lbs of grist should fill 9.63 gallons of kettle... it actually took up a little over 10 gallons of kettle. Guess who has a 10 gallon kettle? #making_a_mess

Now I am just trusting that the high mash-in temp will hold enough for conversion over 60 minutes because I don't want to open that mess up again anytime soon.

Mash out should be fun. I'll keep you posted.

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Old 12-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Mash dropped from 156 to 149 over 60 minutes in an insulated kettle in a drafty area. I'm not too worried about it; starch test came back clean. This is a clone of the SN Celebration Ale from a recent BYO article which says to mash at like 158. I started at 156 cuz I'm chicken and it'll be OK.

I raised the temp no problem and now am contemplating how to handle picking up the bag.....

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Old 12-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #3
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Good luck, nutty. Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you. In fact I'm going to do my first BiAB soon, so I'm hoping to leach advice off your lessons learned. Let us know how it goes and what you might do different/same next time.

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Old 12-16-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutty_gnome

I raised the temp no problem and now am contemplating how to handle picking up the bag.....
I've had success with a hook and pulley system in the garage.

Ignore the beer in the foreground.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:00 PM   #5
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The pulley is critical when you get up to 10 gallon batches in my opinion. I still hold the bag over my pot for my 5 gallon batches for 15 minutes and that's murderously annoying.

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Old 12-16-2012, 08:57 PM   #6
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Good Luck. Im doing a BIAB batch right now as well. Only 5 gallons though, i got my brewing rig all put together today so im hoping to minimize messes and make the whole brew day easier.

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Old 12-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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Hi nutty gnome, I did my first BIAB yesterday. Two batches. 1st Belgium Tripel had a 15 lb grain bill. Second basic special bitter had a 10 lb bill. There were a few hiccups and the first one was an organize fire drill. I place the grain bag on a rack over the brew pot and let it drain. Because of the big grain bill the bag "muffin topped" the pot and some dripped down the sides, on to the deck...the smaller grain bill did not muffin on me. I also batch sparked about 4-5 qts over the bag. All in all it was lots of fun using new technique. Two brews start to finish 9.5 hrs (that is set-up to clean up). Best of luck. Merry Christmas

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Old 12-16-2012, 10:09 PM   #8
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So now its cooling. For what its worth it was a 5.5 gallon batch of celebration clone. Bag handling was dicey because I hadn't really thought about how much the bag weighed with grains and water. I ended up inverting a plastic rubbermaid collandar in a spare brew bucket and put the bag in there. It drained well but was tough to pull back out of the bucket.

I was surprised to note that I didn't need the .5 gallon of sparge to reach my pre-boil value. I lost one gallon from the initial 8.5 strike water leaving me my goal of 7.5. I had figured I would lose 1.5 gallons to the grains so that needs looking into.

Next time, I will deduct a gallon from whatever the calculators say about the volume needed to mash 14 lbs of grain. What a pain in the arse to clean that up. I'd rather add sparge water than clean mash from the floor.

As for efficiency: I had figured the recipe for an efficency of 70% but hit much closer to 80. This is in-line with what the shopowner said to expect so I was pleasantly surprised.

I liked not mucking about with the cooler and next time I'm going to find a grill grate to lay across the kettle. That should handily solve the problem.

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Old 12-16-2012, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutty_gnome View Post
Next time, I will deduct a gallon from whatever the calculators say about the volume needed to mash 14 lbs of grain. What a pain in the arse to clean that up. I'd rather add sparge water than clean mash from the floor.

I liked not mucking about with the cooler and next time I'm going to find a grill grate to lay across the kettle. That should handily solve the problem.
Yes lessen learned, alway mash BIAB conservatively within your kettle limitations, say a 1/2 to 1 gallon low, then you can add hot or boiling water back in to reach the kettle limits...

Yes, a grill grate, collander or even a mash paddle placed across the kettle rim makes it easier to take the weight of the bag while draining. Or just drop the bag in your cooler and collect those runnings later on...good luck on honing your process...other than the issues you descibed, the bag work OK for ya?

Simple strap to a hook in the cieling makes easy work...
http://www.harborfreight.com/set-of-2-1-inch-x-12-ft-lashing-straps-67386.html
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfrisby

I've had success with a hook and pulley system in the garage.

Ignore the beer in the foreground.
How do you ignore the westy 12! Good for you sir. How was it?
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