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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 295 34.87%
I use a 3 vessel system 340 40.19%
I don't brew all-grain, I'm an extract brewer 100 11.82%
What's BIAB? 22 2.60%
I use a system that doesn't fit into the other categories 89 10.52%
Voters: 846. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-03-2012, 03:16 PM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy_B View Post
It's still brewing in a bag - just not a single vessel.

If I had a practical way to do a single vessel BIAB and maintain mash temperature while I'm out grocery shopping, etc. I would. I only recently started using the cooler because my keggle was losing way too much heat. With that being said, the cooler BIAB setup allows for more flexibility because I CAN sparge if I want to, freeing up space in the cooler for a larger batch or a higher gravity brew. The extra time required for the cooler BIAB vs standard BIAB is VERY minimal. With this method I can brew a batch is 3.5hrs from setup to everything cleaned and put away...there's no way I was doing that on my old 3 vessel system.

As for cleaning the mash tun...There's no need to scoop grain out of the cooler or get in the nooks & crannies - just pull the bag out and all that's left in the cooler is a bit of wort. A quick spray will clean it out completely. It's literally a 1 minute procedure.

It all comes down to what works best for you. This is my 3rd variation of brewing that I've used (3 vessel single tier, 1 vessel BIAB, 2 vessel BIAB), and for me, it works the best.


Totally fine this works the best for you. I commented because I don't believe there are any significant time or cleaning savings between the rigs (especially since you clean your tun/cooler while the boil is going). As you pointed out there are personal preferences which matter the most to each brewer

You pull a bag out, I dump my tun (we both spray with a hose). Both are literally a couple minutes to do. Tippy dumps take out the lifting for 3 pot system users.

I agree on the heat loss issue in the mash, but I don't personally like plastic so I opted to build an eherms and insulated my stainless kettles. Again a personal preference only.

I would guess that your 3.5hrs vs. my 4hrs would be heating time differences [I heat use 25g in my HLT and do 11G batches] . In either case a 30 minute difference isn't super significant in my book.

If I plan ahead a little I can wrap up a 60 min boil brew in just over 3 hours by prepping the night before (cleaned and put away). I am not trying to say I can brew faster, rather that I can get away with a batch with the wife easier because I can split up my time to less in one given day.

Happy brewing
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:28 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
That's fine, that you're speaking from personal experience. But I think that I'd quit brewing if I had 8 hour brew days!

Depending on if I'm fly sparging or batch sparging, my brewdays vary from 4-4.5 hours total, including clean up.
Yooper, please review for me how you do an all-grain batch in 4.5 hrs. I'm not doubting you or trying to trap you, rather I'd like to get my sessions down to that short. I'm a 3-vessel brewer and even on my best days I'm in it 5.5 hrs.

thanks
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:56 PM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beavdowg View Post

Yooper, please review for me how you do an all-grain batch in 4.5 hrs. I'm not doubting you or trying to trap you, rather I'd like to get my sessions down to that short. I'm a 3-vessel brewer and even on my best days I'm in it 5.5 hrs.

thanks
I totally agree if I had 8 hour brew days I would hardly be able to brew.

I don't know yoopers process but I can tell you what I do to get those same length brew days.

Doing 5 gallon all grain and batch sparging I average probably about 4-4.5 hours with cleanup. The trick for me is good preperation and multitasking. l always have the next step ready to go and I utilize my mash and boil time to clean up what I can and prepare other things like my yeast. I weigh out and crush my grains while my strike water is heating up. While I'm mashing I weigh out and divide up my hop additions and whatever else ill need for the boil. I start heating up my first runnings as im doing my sparge. I find little things like that add up to a huge amount of time in the end. I'm huge on efficiency, I can't stand taking 5-6 hours to do something I know I could do in less time. Some people enjoy kicking back and having an all day brewing event...not this guy. Hope you find that helpful.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:09 PM   #174
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Thanks Thirsty. So, I am always trying to do all those time savings things too but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. I should clarify, I said I'm a 3-vessel brewer which, technically, I am, but I'm also a single burner guy. I think that's a big time adder. My "HLT" is really a 7.5 gal pot that I bring my water to temp in and then lift up by hand and pour into my MLT for both strike and sparge water. So I can't start my boil kettle for the boil until I'm draining my 2nd sparge as the only burner I have is being utilized to heat sparge water. I really would love to build a true 3 vessel, single tier, electric system but I just don't have the electrical knowledge or welding expertise to build such a monster. That's sort of my dream system though.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:13 PM   #175
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I do 5 gallon BIAB batches in under 4 1/2 hours on a stove. Straddling 2 gas burners I can get the nearly 7 gallons of water I need to a rolling boil. While I'm mashing, I'm getting things cleaned and 'starsanned' and even have time to relax a bit.
After the mash, I take half the grains out (as the bag is too heavy to lift) and use a Lowe's paint bucket and another bag to hold the wet grains while they drain. I then lift the bag out the kettle and set on a colander to drain, light the fire (and FWH if desired).
Sometimes I need to mini sparge to get to my liquid level and I squeeze the bags well too. As it's starting to boil, I get my hops ready. Before and during the hop additions, I clean the grain bags and other things I've dirtied and prepare the fermenter for use.
I could go on but the only time it takes me longer is a few months in the summer when chilling my beer goes from 15 minutes to 35-35 (painful). Included in this time is mopping the kitchen so my wonderful wife won't beat me up.

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #176
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I do 5.5 gal. batch sparged brews on a single burner in 4-4.5 hours from the time I start drawing water til the time I finish the cleanup. Grain crushed the day before.

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #177
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Denny, would you please list out the approximate times it takes you to do each step as clearly I'm screwing something up. My grains are always crushed before brewday as I have them crushed at the brewstore.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #178
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I'll try....

Heat the mash water as I organize other things...put the pickup tube in the kettle, get out the fermenter, get my water addition ready...maybe 20 min.

Mash in and rest...about 65 min. Meanwhile start heating sparge water, sanitize fermenter, clean off IC

Vorluf and runoff mash, take first runnings gravity sample, stir in sparge water, vorlauf again, runoff sparge...about 15 min., 20 if I'm slow

Bring 7.5-8 gal. wort to boil....maybe 20 min.

Boil for 75 min., starting hops after 15

Chill to 60F....about 15, maybe 20 min.

xfer to fermenter, pitch yeast, aerate...maybe 15 min.

cleanup whatever i haven't cleaned as I went...20-30 min.

I think that all....just over 4 hours if I added right.

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #179
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I figure I will throw in my 3:15 minute brew day in the mix, which turns into about 4hrs when I don't do some of the night before prep I listed below. This is for 11G batch

1. Fill HLT the previous night and turn on the heat set to 180F and heat (fill 2 more 5 gallon buckets with water) Shut off once at 180F and hit the sack.
2. Prebag grain previous day
3. Morning of brew day flick on HLT, mine is well insulated, so it only take a few minutes to reach 180F. (15mins)
4. while hlt is heating up, crush grain.
5. put in 180F into HLT and use cold water to offset to strike temp. (5-10 mins)
6. Mash in (start clock) (60 mins)
7. Add cold water to HLT to offset heat from 180 to mash temp (say 154F), set recirc, etc. (this lets me get my HLT nearly full for the use of my eherms)
8. in last 10 minutes of mash, shut off recirc and heat HLT to 180F
9. at end of mash, add full volume of batch sparge water for preboil volume, stir, vourlaf one minute and transfer. (10-15 mins)
10. Boil, chill, clean, etc. (bring to boil (15?), 60 to boil, 15 to chill; 10 to transfer; 15 to clean BK)

(I prep hops, yeast, and clean the tun in the down time of the boil)

number 3-10 (which I would do on a brew day) can be accomplished by me in a little over three hours (~3:15).

My times are estimates for each process but I must be wrong because they don't add up. I do know I started my bitter brew day at 8:45 and was done at 12:00pm.

An 8 hour brew day would be hell. If I wanted to keep brewing I knew I would have to learn to speed it up or my wife would not be having it.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:00 AM   #180
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First I have to say that brew day is not a chore nor is there any reason to try to rush through it. I like to brew with a friend and usually we brew a 10 gallon batch and each take 5 gallons home to ferment and bottle.

Still, I'm about 4.5 hours on a 5.5 gallon batch and 5 hours on an 11 gallon batch. That's from taking the kettle out for heating water to putting the last thing away and drinking and socializing as much as possible while its all going on. I think the big variable is how much time it takes to heat water. Since I got my high pressure burner, it's shaved a good hour off the process. I only have one burner but don't find that to be much of an issue.

It takes about 20 minutes to get 7.5 gallons to strike temperature of 170F. During that time I get out all the mash equipment and set it up.
My grain is ground at the LHBS. I add the water then the grain to the Rubbermade mash tun and now I have 60 minutes to socialize and drink beer though I do have to get another 7.5 gallons of water to my mash out temperature of 180F.
Getting the first run out takes about 20 minutes. Then I add about 6 gallons of the sparge water, stir and let it set about 10 minutes.
Here is a time saver, during that 10 minutes I put the first run on the burner and start getting it to the boil. I run the second runnings into the BK while its still heating. As the water level drops to just above grain level I add the 1.5 gallons of sparge water that is left, careful not to disturb the grain bed. The process for the second runnings is also about 20 minutes, but when I'm done the BK isn't too far from boiling, say another 10 minutes for about 13 gallons of wort.
The boil is 60 minutes. Again more time for drinking and socializing. On a cool evening its nice to huddle around the BK on the deck. Now is a good time to bring out the starsan and get things sterilizing as well as the chillers.
Cooling the wort is a pain, this process can be shortened. I'm still using an immersion chiller. Actually I use two. One is in an ice bucket so the hose water is chilled going into the one that's chilling the wort. This process still takes a good 30 minutes for a 10 gallon batch, half that for a 5 gallon batch.
Draining the BK into the fermentors is about 30 minutes. This includes giving it a chance to settle after the chiller comes out.
So let's see, that's 20+60+20+10+10+60+30+30 so far for 4 hours on a 10 gallon batch. There is a few minutes between some of these steps, and I am drinking the whole time too, so say 4.5 hours to get the fermentors set and loaded with yeast. 30 minutes for cleanup.

A brew buddy helps make the whole day more fun though doesn't speed the process a lot. I enjoy brew day, it's not a race, however you do it, just enjoy.

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