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-   -   eBIAB Brewers: Basket or No Basket? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/ebiab-brewers-basket-no-basket-357031/)

jeffmeh 09-26-2012 10:33 PM

eBIAB Brewers: Basket or No Basket?
 
With all the eBIAB experience out there at this point, I would be very interested in understanding how well various basket configurations have worked out, particularly when recirculating during the mash. Do you use the standard basket, did you modify or construct one, or did you abandon it and just use the bag? If you could describe your reasoning, and the specifics of your implementation, that would be great.

aubiecat 09-26-2012 10:46 PM

I modified mine by enlarging as many holes as I could. It still doesn't flow as well as I'd like but better than stock. I just use the valve to regulate the flow. I won't stop using the basket because, for me, it simplifies handling the grain after mash.
I have gotten my hands on some 1/2" heavy duty stainless mesh that I am going to use to modify the basket even more. It should be practically free flowing when I get that done. I will still be using the bag of course.

ODI3 09-28-2012 02:03 AM

I do split batches on a stove and dont use a basket. I tried using baskets but found that they made it difficult to keep temp standardized throughout my pots.

I am planning to make a ebiab setup and dont plan to use a basket. I just dont see the point since the voile can easily hold the weight, besides it being another thing to wash.

wilserbrewer 09-28-2012 02:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ODI3 (Post 4451113)
I am planning to make a ebiab setup and dont plan to use a basket. I just dont see the point since the voile can easily hold the weight, besides it being another thing to wash.


Plus 1, I have several pots w/ baskets and have never used a basket for brewing, i just don't see the advantage as the bag can easily hold the grain, I guess less is more for me.

I have also given up the mash out for BIAB and have not missed it FWIW.

kzimmer0817 09-28-2012 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aubiecat (Post 4447454)
I modified mine by enlarging as many holes as I could. It still doesn't flow as well as I'd like but better than stock. I just use the valve to regulate the flow. I won't stop using the basket because, for me, it simplifies handling the grain after mash.
I have gotten my hands on some 1/2" heavy duty stainless mesh that I am going to use to modify the basket even more. It should be practically free flowing when I get that done. I will still be using the bag of course.

I'm still debating on the basket. They are expensive when purchased separately, but there isn't much price difference between comparable Bayou Classic kettles with or without the basket.

But I do agree with Blake; the basket makes it much easier to handle the grain. Although, using a bag that is tapered and that has straps sewn in along the opening might be less apt to make a mess.

1. are y'all recirculating during mash in order to maintain temps?

2. even though folks say that the ULWD elements won't burn the bag, are y'all using some kind of false bottom or screen over the element?

3. could the problem some face with recirculation with the basket be due to trying to pump too fast? I wouldn't think you'd need much flow.

4. I have a theory why the basket slows down draining so much - regardless of how big the holes are - but I don't have any way to prove it right now: a freely hanging bag of wet grains is stretched a little such that the tiny holes in the mesh expand slightly, perhaps, allowing liquid to flow more freely. If the bag is supported in the basket, there is no stretching of the mesh, so flow thru the bag is much slower. I guess this theory only applies when lifting the bag, not during a mash.

Thanks,
Keith

HarkinBanks 09-28-2012 02:27 PM

The one bit of caution that I would add is that if you put the bag right on the element you need to be careful not to create air pockets. If you do, your element will pop, regardless of whether it is hd or ulwd. I have blown two elements this way.

solbes 09-28-2012 02:35 PM

I have used the std baskey that came with my fryer kit for every BIAB batch (maybe 20?). I do it for a couple of main reasons. It keeps the bag off the bottom of the kettle so I can direct fire to add heat if necessary. I always mash out for an extra 5-10% efficiency so this is a must. Also it makes draining the bag so easy. I suspend the basket with a rope/pulley from the garage ceiling. Squeeze the bag with a sauce pan lid to get most of the sugar out of the grain. Super easy.

fall-line 09-28-2012 05:22 PM

I do (did) exactly as solbes described with BIAB. I loved using the basket, it was a key part of my process.

jeffmeh 09-28-2012 05:39 PM

solbes and fall-line: Do you recirculate during the mash? The biggest complaint around using the basket seems to be that it doesn't allow sufficient flow to recirculate.

I'm on propane, use a bag with no basket, have a circular cooling rack on the bottom to keep the bag from direct contact, and do not recirculate.

As I see it currently regarding using the basket:

Pros - Makes it easier to handle the mash, provides a "stand-off" from the bottom of the kettle (although that is easily accomplished in other ways)

Cons - Impedes flow for recirculation, adds another item to clean

Reasonable summary?

solbes 10-01-2012 01:25 PM

I stir in thoroughly for the first few minutes. Otherwise I only stir every 15 minutes or so during the mash (no recirc). I don't believe the basket impedes the mash conversion process at all. Yes it does add another item to clean, and mine is aluminum so oxy is a no-no. I clean out my kettle and basket with just a tad of soap. If I don't get it squeaky clean its not a biggie as the wort is boiled anyway. Just want to make sure the soap is all rinsed out.


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