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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 34.96%
I use a 3 vessel system 336 39.95%
I don't brew all-grain, I'm an extract brewer 100 11.89%
What's BIAB? 22 2.62%
I use a system that doesn't fit into the other categories 89 10.58%
Voters: 841. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-18-2012, 12:39 PM   #151
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Some folks use multiple bags to divide the load and make handling the weight easier. Like most things, there isn't a one size fits all solution. I'm thinking that the best setup in terms of size, cost, and capability lies somewhere in between a 1 and 3 vessel system....the MLT+BK combo is quite nice. You can use the BK as a HLT for the mash and sparge. Drain your runnings into a bucket, add sparge water from the BK, then drain the MLT into the BK, and add the contents of the bucket. All the benefits of a 3 vessel system, except you're also using a bucket (which you have anyway for cleanup, etc.).

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Old 11-18-2012, 02:28 PM   #152
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This is where I'm ending up. I built a 25 gallon E-BIAB system to get 10 gallons output but now that a buddy and I are brewing together on this system we each only get 5 gal. It's so easy to use buckets and an ice chest to batch sparge in that our next batch will go for 22gallons into the fermenters. I think this will be the happy place for me.

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Old 11-18-2012, 03:21 PM   #153
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That's exactly what I've been doing on my last handful of brews. I reuse the bucket that I mill my grain into as a dunk sparge bucket. It's there, why not put it to good use.

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Old 11-24-2012, 01:56 AM   #154
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first off with BIAB your efficiency is effected because it's kind of hard to finish your mash and get the full boil volume without adding more water and some DME or LME to get your starting gravity. That's a waste of money and second it's heavy. I'll stick with my 3 tier system.
Why not just call it partial mashing!!

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Old 11-24-2012, 04:14 AM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adixon3
first off with BIAB your efficiency is effected because it's kind of hard to finish your mash and get the full boil volume without adding more water and some DME or LME to get your starting gravity. That's a waste of money and second it's heavy. I'll stick with my 3 tier system.
Why not just call it partial mashing!!
This is not the case. I have done uber ghetto biab in a crappy cooler with a paint strainer bag. You do what anyone does if the efficiency isn't the same as the recipe. You add more grain. With my $14 investment in all grain equipment, I get 65% pretty consistently. Most recipes assume 70 or 75%. So I need maybe another half pound of grain. That costs me another buck or so per batch. It would take hundreds or more of batches before this even reaches the break even point on a 3 tier system.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:34 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adixon3
first off with BIAB your efficiency is effected because it's kind of hard to finish your mash and get the full boil volume without adding more water and some DME or LME to get your starting gravity. That's a waste of money and second it's heavy. I'll stick with my 3 tier system.
Why not just call it partial mashing!!
That has not been the case for me either. I have never added water or malt extract. On the last brew I over shot my predicted OG. 75% efficiency is normal for me.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adixon3 View Post
first off with BIAB your efficiency is effected because it's kind of hard to finish your mash and get the full boil volume without adding more water and some DME or LME to get your starting gravity. That's a waste of money and second it's heavy. I'll stick with my 3 tier system.
Why not just call it partial mashing!!
I like how someone that has never done a BIAB can make a statement about the process like its fact.

I only BIAB, get 70% efficiency consistently and haven't used DME in my past 20 batches.

I call it all grain brewing because that is what it is.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:28 PM   #158
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My efficiency went down very slightly when switching from BIAB to a cooler mash tun. Squeezing all of the sugar out of the bag helps a lot. But my trub was reduced significantly and my arms were no longer sore after a brew day.

Another reason I switched to a cooler mashtun was to increase the amount of grain I could use and to help maintain my mash temp. My kettle shed about 5F every 15-20 minutes.

I keep the bags around incase of a stuck sparge. There have been a few times that I've had to shovel my grain into a bag to finish my runoff.

Why would anyone assume that you have to add DME for BIAB? Obviously it's someone who doesn't know anything about BIAB...besides, if your efficiency was consistently low, most people would adjust for it by adding more grain...not buying expensive DME. Some people should read before making stupid statements on the interwebs.

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:03 AM   #159
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Tradition I guess? I like the way I'm doing it now. I use a RIMS system built around a rectangular cooler + manifold, with batch sparging. Everything else has changed, but that same cooler has been with me for about 10 years! It's easy to use and clean, and I have yet to find the limit on how much grain it will hold.

BIAB sounds cool, but I haven't tried it or read up on it much, so I really don't know anything about it. To turn the question around, what is the advantage to BIAB? Is it just to avoid having to buy / modify a cooler?

The part about handling a big bag of wet, hot grain doesn't sound all that appealing, and (from cleaning my hop bags) it seems like washing out the bag would be kind of a pain. Again, I don't know much about it, so maybe those are both solved.

I'm sure it's a lot easier than a lot of the stuff I did early on.

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:17 PM   #160
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My all grain adventures started out on a 3 vessel single tier system. Brew days were long, there was a lot of lifting involved for cleaning, extra time spent cleaning, more steps involved, the possibility of a stuck sparge, etc. I then decided to give BIAB a try and loved it - only problem was that I'd lose too much heat during the mash (because I'm a mash in - then go out and grab groceries kinda guy lol). I then decided to throw a cooler in the mix, but still brew BIAB style to retain all the benefits of BIAB. My process now involves a single pot/burner & a cooler. I made a bag to fit a cooler, mash in that with the full amount of water required for the brew, then gravity drain back into kettle. This method provides a stable mash temperature, allows you to quickly drain the cooler without worrying about a stuck sparge (and no lifting of a heavy grain bag required), and provides the quick/easy cleanup of BIAB. The additional benefit to this method is that you can follow a traditional batch sparge method if you want to do a higher volume, or higher gravity brew. Below is a quick video I did up on one of my brew days to show how easy it is to drain the mash using this hybrid BIAB method.



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