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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Why doesn't everyone just BIAB?




View Poll Results: How do you brew?
I BIAB 294 35.00%
I use a 3 vessel system 336 40.00%
I don't brew all-grain, I'm an extract brewer 99 11.79%
What's BIAB? 22 2.62%
I use a system that doesn't fit into the other categories 89 10.60%
Voters: 840. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-24-2012, 01:27 AM   #131
Prymal
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I brewed an 11 gallon 22 lb Biab this weekend in a keggle. That was a heavy as hell bag but I made it work. I got 79% efficiency to boot. I average 76% on beers ranging from 1.050 to 1.110.



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Old 04-24-2012, 02:02 AM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalkdust41485
Yeah, I personally dont make a consorted effort to "clone" brew.

I find that people who try to brew a "clone", constantly compare their beer to the original. Sure, that's the point of a clone, I get it. But if I want to brew a Dogfish Head 90 Minute, and it comes out a shade darker or slightly sweeter, then does it really matter? I'm not Dogfish Head, I don't work for them. I see the point for one's own sanity that it is exactly the same. Maybe I'm just reading into it a little too much.

The same goes towards the method. I've read a couple people now who have compared BIAB to conventional breweries. Of course a big brewery is not going to BIAB. It makes no sense for them too. It's just not practical with 300+ gallon tanks. BIAB is more for the homebrewers who brew 5 gallons every couple of weeks... My last grain bill was 11.5 pounds. I cant imaging manually lifting 20+ lbs of grain. I probably would never do that. But there is plenty of ingenuity in the homebrewing community and have seen plenty of people that have derived other means (mechanical) of lifting/draining the bag with larger brews. I've stated before that I'd really have to decide if I'd want to go down that route when I get to brewing bigger batches.

Basically, my point being that:
1. BIAB is not a commercial brewery thing; it's pointless to do it if your intentions are for commercialization of your brew. (Although, there's not really anything different about the ingredients themselves. Grain is grain, water is water... I could give you a recipe that I just BIAB'd and scale it up to commercial sizes and use it with a different method, right?)
2. For the sake of lifting hot, wet, sticky grain, BIAB can be a PITA. But I just don't mind it.
3. I feel that if I try to clone a beer and it comes out close enough to the original, then Woooo Hooo! I made beer!

And as always, RDWHAHB!
+15.5! Well said.


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Old 04-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #133
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A minor variation here - I mash in a bag then transfer the wort to the kettle. Pretty close but no bag in the kettle. Mashing in a bag has been worry free and never a stuck sparge. The wort runs crystal clear ...

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Old 04-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Domes View Post
Actually, I've never checked if 5.2 works. I don't have a meter and the strips are unreliable. Has anyone ever checked this? Does it work? I'm really curious now.
Yes, many people have checked many different times. The consensus is that it doesn't work most of the time. If happen to have just the right water and are making just the right style, it may work. In general, it doesn't. It also adds a lot of sodium to your beer which can affect the flavor. I personaly experienced all of that.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #135
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i'm building a new biab system as i type this. my biab is a giant bag capable of fitting into my brew kettle.(this is the hard part, finding that bag) my brew kettle has a false bottom and the ball valve. put the whole bag in the kettle and line it well. you want there to be almost no area that is not IN the bag. you want your bag to line your kettle as best as possible. then fill with water, heat it up to a striking temp then add grains and check temp and stir. when comes time to drain wort, drain it into another kettle and let the bag drip(this is my guess, you want this to happen yes?) until you can lift it, or until it is as dry as you would like. then you can repeat with a different bag for the whole 60 min boil with the bag and the false bottom to filter everything else out too.

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Old 04-24-2012, 08:12 PM   #136
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Quote:
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when comes time to drain wort, drain it into another kettle and let the bag drip(this is my guess, you want this to happen yes?) until you can lift it, or until it is as dry as you would like. then you can repeat with a different bag for the whole 60 min boil with the bag and the false bottom to filter everything else out too.
Well, I'm not one to say that the process you stated wouldn't work (it would), but the point of BIAB is to remove the bag without draining the wort into another kettle. You just lift the bag out and then the wort that is left behind is then heated to a boil and the process proceeds normally.

If you wanted to use another bag during the boil for the hops is a personal preference. I do use a hop bag and like that I don't have to worry about having any extra "stuff" clogging my make-do straining filter and/or getting into my primary. But really, it may not hurt at all of having it in my primary. Again, just personal preference.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #137
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I'm very interested in how you're batch sparging in a cooler while using something "much simpler" than a 3 vessel system.
I batch sparge with a cooler mash tun and a boil kettle. I use 2-3 buckets/pots to hold/transfer my water/wort.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:56 AM   #138
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Didnt read through all of this,but biab is good for ease of stovetop and smaller batches.If i had a mashing setup i would use it,but i dont need it and dont need to spend the money on it since i only have 2 gallon fermenters anyway.3-4 # of grain is easy to work with.If i knew for a fact having a mashtun and spargearm etc. would make better beers-i would consider it.That being said nylon bags make me a little uneasy,been thinking about using organic cotton bags.Then i get to thinking if im going to be spending more why not invest in a pot/false bottom sparging setup instead.To eliminate cooking a bag with my grain.Ive noticed alot of coolers say not to use hot liquids also,usually on the bottom,i dont know what that is all about exactly but ive seen a few instances where people have had warped coolers or something.I just would rather use stainless steel/glass to make beer.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:06 PM   #139
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I've used the same cooler for 419 batches. It warped many years and hundreds of batches ago. It makes no difference.

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:38 PM   #140
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I fully recognize the the beer we brew is likely more toxic and has more long term damaging effects than plastic ever could. However I am in the boat that I try to use as little plastic as possible in brewing and life, especially when heat is involved. This has been one of the reasons that pushed me to get a metal tun after doing 3 BIAB batches since I was using a nylon sparge bag.

Again I fully concede that this is a personal choice rather than a rational fear



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