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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 04-06-2012, 04:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I'll continue to use my 3 vessel system since it's easier for me to handle the grain and there is no bag to clean.

However, I have started doing BIAB in the house for half batches or in the dead cold of winter when I won't make myself stand out in the garage.

I think it's a great way to start in AG, or to do smaller batches. Pretty hard to recirculate a BIAB system...
Not at all with a false bottom, and a pump.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:30 PM   #12
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I brew 10.5 gallon batches often, and I "need" the HLT because no way I could pretreat my water and then use my small 15.5 gallon keggle to hold all the water and the grain. I could get a bigger kettle, I guess, but that's really not needed with my three vessel system. I also can't turn on the burner, as I brew all-electric, when I need more heat.
If/when I move to a 10+ gallon brew, then I'd definitely have to move to a three vessel system. I agree with you there!
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:44 PM   #13
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The advantage to a multi-vessel system is mostly based on efficiency, back to back or simultaneous batches, split boils, and capacity.
Yep... and flexibility (doing decoction or multi-step mashes for example).

And efficiency makes a big cost difference once you get to a certain point (15-20 gal batches, for example)
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #14
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Not at all with a false bottom, and a pump.
Well, that is true. I guess I just assumed that anyone who's spent the money on those things probably built a cooler mash tun first.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:55 PM   #15
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I think biab is a great lower cost approach to migrate into all grain. Is it a viable method of brewing? Absolutely. Too many people have proved to themselves or others its viability (including myself).
I believe it boils down to personal preference, financial capacity, ego, “bling factor”, space requirements, type of product you a looking for and so on.
Whatever system works for a particular person that gets them to where they are comfortable and happy with the end product is the system for them.
Every process has its strengths and weaknesses, choose the one that best suits your brewing journey.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:27 PM   #16
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1. Clarity - People may say that you won't get a clear beer from BIAB. To that I say, NAY!! While the WORT may be cloudier from the extra trub, i.e. "grain dust", it will settle out and you will get clear beer. I know this from experience. I've read people winning Lager categories at competitions using BIAB. There's nothing that time and a nice cold crash won't clear. The only negative that I see is that the use of a secondary is more useful with BIAB to help clarify. Now I know that this may be up for discussion, since there's a strong movement to longer primary fermentation only, but because of the fact that BIAB does introduce more trub into the fermentor I feel that I should use the secondary to help clarify the beer. I'll have to test this one and just leave my next BIAB in the primary for a month and see if I can tell a difference.

2. Extra Trub - Brewers don't like the "grain dust" in the fermentor. This can almost be 1(b) as this is related to #1. I'm assuming that people just don't like the idea of extra trub in the fermentor. I have not had any off-flavors or negative reactions to having slightly more trub in the fermentor. I have added a few steps in order to reduce the amount of trub that gets into my fermentor, including Irish Moss, the "whirlpool", siphoning the wort through a grain bag laid across my fermentor, etc. (I know this may not be entirely necessary, but it makes me feel better that I will have less trub in the fermentor, mainly wanting to reduce the wort loss due to the trub.)
i recently bought myself a fine-mesh sieve and run my wort through it before hitting the primary vessel. i've found this really cuts down on how much "grain dust" makes it into the FV. i believe the mesh a hair finer than that of my funnel's built-in filter and since the sieve is bowl-shaped, it doesn't get stuck - there is more sieve for the wort to pass through = less chances of clogging all the passages, which was a common problem with my funnel's sieve/filter.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #17
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I started all grain brewing with BIAB. I did several batches that way until I hit the limit the bag and kettle could handle. Most of my current batches still exceed BIAB capabilities. With my current keg mash tun (1/2 bbl) I can mash about 30# of grain. It easily handles 28-29# of grain at a good ratio. I also like the ability to direct fire the mash tun to increase the temperature. That's not something I would want to do with a nylon bag resting in it.

IMO BIAB is a good way to get into all grain brewing with minimal initial cost. Some people even do it for years. I just imagine that most people will hit the limits of the method at some point and then make the shift.

BTW, I wouldn't want to try to lift, to drain, a bag holding 20#+ of satirated grain while it drains.

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #18
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This is really a "why I don't AG" - Mainly there are other aspects that I should fix first in my beers (like temp control) before I get to AG. Plus (or maybe #1 in imporance) is I barely have space for my gear as it is. If my wife hadn't decided to introduce me to this hobby (and also get wine out of it for her) I think I'd have to give it up for the space it takes up. - and yeah I'm on my electric stove, so AG would have to be 3 gall max

With that said, If I had my choice? I don't know which I'd do. I'll proably look at BIAB to see if I can get the hang of the grains before investing in a lot more equipment.

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #19
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I was told by an experienced home brewer and ranked BJCP member that BIAB is some BS cooked up by Australians to make inferior beer due to their laziness.

I asked him to elaborate, he just mumbled something about it being silly, skimping on the process and tradition.

I've been BIAB for the past 4 brews. They've been some of my best, easiest and least time consuming brews.

Buck the trend, do what you want. If someone likes having 8 hour brew days with tons of prep and clean up, pumps, 3 vessels, yada-yada, cool. If I had a 3 vessel system, I'd probably use it.

However, after BIAB, any motivation that I had to purchase some extra $500+ worth of equipment to accomplish the same thing as I can with a bag and a kettle, is completely gone.

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #20
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If someone likes having 8 hour brew days with tons of prep and clean up, pumps, 3 vessels, yada-yada, cool. If I had a 3 vessel system, I'd probably use it.
The rest of your post was pretty factual... until this part... then I just rolled my eyes.

No need to get all preachy and distort reality in one fell swoop.
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...I like my beards on women. -KCBrewer

Mmm, hot and wet beef.-marubozo

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