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Cider123 12-25-2012 08:02 PM

First AG with new pot
 
I'm doing my first AG 5.5 gallon recipe with BIAB. I am going to start with 7.5 gallons of water. I have a more squat than tall 40 qt stainless brew pot.

What do you think would be more manageable?

1. Brewing on the gas burner on the kitchen stove and trying to get all that water boiling.

0r 2. Boiling in the 35 degree garage with a more powerful propane burner.


My main concern with the garage right now is trying to keep the mash temp steady for 60 minutes when it's so cold in the garage. Since I've never done it, I don't know how quickly the pot will start to cool, or how much heating it will take to raise the temp if needed. I do want to screw up the mashing temps.

Merry Christmas!

ColoHox 12-25-2012 10:53 PM

If you havent already started, I would say garage...but mostly because wifey will murder me in my sleep if I boil over in the kitchen again. A sleeping bag wrapped around your mash should hold the temp pretty well, and youll need something insulating the lid. This is my regular routine nowadays.

Its eash to hit the mash with some heat every 20min or something like that if you start to drop. It probably wont be your most consistent mash ever but definitely doable.

Whatcha making?

ColoHox 12-25-2012 10:53 PM

And 7.5 gal is really low for biab mash

Cider123 12-26-2012 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ColoHox (Post 4715176)
And 7.5 gal is really low for biab mash

This surprises me. I thought this was a common amount to start with in considering boil down, trub loss, etc.

I'm making a Belgian Wit one day this week since I'm on vacation. Here's my recipe that I put together based on several recipe threads here:


Flaked wheat 2.50 lb, mashed
White wheat 3.00 lb, mashed
Belgian pilsner 4.50 lb, mashed
1.25 oz Hallertau [4.4AA] (60 min) Hops
0.75 oz Saaz [3.3AA] (5 min) (Aroma Hop) Hops -
0.25 oz Coriander Seed lightly crushed (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 oz Fresh Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) Smack pac Yeast-Wheat

Mash in first 4 ingredients at 153F for 60 minutes.


60 min boil. Follow hop, orange and coriander additions above.

ColoHox 12-26-2012 02:36 AM

There are many techniques for biab that are thrown around here, and for everyone somebody will say "you should do it this way." When I was doing biab, I used beersmith to calculate all my water volumes. For 6 gallons into the fermenter I would use nearly 11 gallons to mash.

-2 lost to grain
-2 to boil off
-.5 to cooling
-.5 to trub

Many biabrewers don't sparge. Some squeeze the bag and others dont. I averaged ~68% efficiency when I stirred my mash a bunch and squeezed the bag (hot as s**t but worth it).

If I get a chance ill try and punch your recipe into beersmith and check it out.

ColoHox 12-26-2012 02:55 AM

From Beersmith using your recipe and the small BIAB profile:
Mash in 9.1gal water @153 for 60min
preboil SG:1.036, postboil 1.052 (assuming 70% efficiency)

I have found a thinner mash to be easier to control with BIAB. Also, crush the bezeezus out of it, as a stuck mash is a non-issue.

Cider123 12-26-2012 12:11 PM

Hey thanks for running my recipe through Beersmith. That's something I need for the future.

Wow, 9 gallons is more than I thought. Now I'm concerned if I can add that much water to my 10 gallon pot and stlll fit 10 lbs of grain reasonably???

To be safe, maybe I'll add 8 gallons to mash then pour 1 gallon of warm water though the mash bag while its draining in a colander then add that to the pot after the grain bag is removed? Sort of a sparge.

Is this to finally end up with 5.5 gallons to bottle plus .5 left in fermenter as trub?

Now I see what some folks mean when they recommend a 15 gallon pot for brewing 5-6 gallon batches.

Thanks again for your help. This can become a pretty involved hobby. I have a science background which helps but so much of this is based on field experience. No matter what, it will always taste better than Bud light.

ColoHox 12-26-2012 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cider123 (Post 4716093)
To be safe, maybe I'll add 8 gallons to mash then pour 1 gallon of warm water though the mash bag while its draining in a colander then add that to the pot after the grain bag is removed? Sort of a sparge.

Ya good idea. Shoot for 170 water and make it a sparge/mash out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cider123 (Post 4716093)
Is this to finally end up with 5.5 gallons to bottle plus .5 left in fermenter as trub?

This is for ~5 gal into fermenter, you will probanly end up bottling a little less due to the lees settling out. Trub management (ie whirlpooling) will help you leave less wort after the boil and therefore potentially use less mash water.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cider123 (Post 4716093)
Now I see what some folks mean when they recommend a 15 gallon pot for brewing 5-6 gallon batches.

Exactly why I made the jump to keggles asap.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cider123 (Post 4716093)
Thanks again for your help. This can become a pretty involved hobby. I have a science background

No problem at all. I am a scientist and that is why I have immersed myself in this. Pretty involved is right, its amazing how I justify reading about, thinking about, talking and drinking beer all day long. Whats your background?

Cider123 12-26-2012 08:46 PM

I have a biology degree and have taught all levels of high school biology. Fermentation was merely a process after glycolysis (Poor wee-beasties, they gotta get their NAD+ back somehow) until I got into brewing. Now it's so much more interesting.

Well, we are expecting close to 2 feet of snow tomorrow so I decided to fire it up today. All went well except for a few set-backs. One section of my bag went into the drink and dumped grain into the kettle. I fished it all out with a strainer before boiling, took a bit but I got most of it.
The real unfortunate thing is I didn't get the OG that I wanted. I sparged with 1.5 gallons of 170 F water and squeezed the hell out of the bag. I ended up with 5.25-5.5 gallons in the fermentor at a corrected OG of only 1.043. This will end up a session beer for sure. The wort does taste pretty good. I dumped my smack pack and am now waiting for the magic.

I'm already thinking of the next batch. Either a Best Bitter or maybe a cream ale. What kinds do you brew? Oh, scratch that, I just saw the end of your post. Some good looking stuff there. While my wife is a hop head, I like less sharp or non-heavy beers. Kolsch, bitters, English IPA,Wits.

Thanks again,
Stew

RM-MN 12-26-2012 09:01 PM

For your next brew session, make sure to double crush your grain. I typically get near the 80% efficiency by using my "Corona" mill and grinding the grain really fine. You can't wash the sugar out if the water can't reach the starch of the kernel.


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