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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB Brewing > 15 bbl BIAB brewery?
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:26 PM   #1
jcmcdowell
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Default 15 bbl BIAB brewery?

FIRST- I live in a small town and we are working toward opening a nano in Montana. We have a propane 3 keggle system now and I have the bits and pieces for a 55 gal drum 3 vessel electric system.

SECOND- we want to add a whiskey distillery to the operation as well. 330 gallons of beer distills down to about 1 50gal barrel for aging. Some distillers don't boil the wort, some do.

EDIT: We want to open a (legal) nano brewery and micro distillery in a town of 750 people

That being said.

I have a chance to buy a 500 gal round SS creamery tank that is jacketed (for cooling) with a lid for cheap. I'm thinking it would be great to be able to use the tank as both mash tun and boil kettle- hence the BIAB method. Welding is not an issue.

HEAT- I've seen boil kettles used for stills that use a 'bain marie' method to boil the mash for distillation. I could heat the vessel by installing 6- 5500w 220v elements to a PID (3 phase power) and filling the jacket with high temp veg oil (smoking temp 400 deg). I know expansion is 10-20%- the jacket would be open to the atmosphere with an vertical expansion pipe, it doesn't need to fill the jacket completely, just above the elements.

HLT- I could run 2-3 instant hot water heaters in series to step up the ground water temp (from 45 deg on avg) with the last unit being adjustable to dough-in temp and sparge temps (I have 200amps 3 phase power and 200 amps single phase power available).

Getting all that out of the way- I was thinking of the 300l Braumeister method but after picturing cranes, hoists, hot grain, I decided to take a step sideways.

Since the method involves pumping wort UP through the malt pipe and recirculating that back into the outer vessel, what about have a malt pipe OUTSIDE the main vessel. I have a 55 gal SS drum that I could put a raised false bottom, bottom inlet with valve, and a top 'screen' with a port that goes back into the main vessel. Similar to Braumeister- use two screens for each with the finest in the 300 micron range.

Both vessels would be insulated on the exterior.

The wort is pumped UP through the exterior malt pipe and drains back into the main vessel.

No vorlauf needed.

Sparge in a traditional 3 vessel method by reversing pump from bottom of malt pipe into main vessel. A sparge head sprays water into top of malt pipe until gravity is hit or volume (including the 55 gal of liquid is accounted for).

Kettle is heated to boiling- process continues like normal.

Malt pipe vessel is on tippy dump to safely clean out.

LIMITATIONS- how much grain you can put in the malt pipe vessel. 300 gallons of beer would need about 600 lbs of grain (12 bags) for a 1.050 ABV beer.

ISSUES- efficiency. Because the RIMS and traditional sparge method, any ideas what the efficiency range would hit?

I've read a few posts from Aussies on JUMBO or large scale BIAB but they were still picturing lifting a bag.

It sure would save a lot of space, electrical wiring, plumbing, and dumping & cleaning of the malt pipe vessel is easier than getting into the 500 gal creamer tank and shoveling it out by hand.

Budget wise, buying a $60,000+ system is not an option.

So WHADDAYA think?

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Old 11-26-2013, 03:46 AM   #2
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I think a 1 ton hoist is rather inexpensive, and I am ready willing and able to stitch you a bag.

Most naysayers believe a bag would not take the weight, BUT, as batch size increases, the amount of material increases providing the needed strength.

Poly voile is very strong. I weight tested a small bag to 120 lbs without issue, a larger bag would have 20 times the material and therefore the needed strength.

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Old 11-27-2013, 06:33 PM   #3
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If you're worried, couldn't polyester strapping/webbing material be stitched on to provide support? Surely with a bag that size having straps wouldn't negatively affect efficiency. Go for it, but please post pictures of whatever you do.


Edit: just FYI, discussion of distilling is taboo on here, and this is from the 'I probably don't know what I am talking about" files.. What about a separate holding tank that you could pump the wort off into, allowing you to remove the grains from your mash/boil vessel however you like, and then returning the wort to boil? Likely more issues created than solved with this idea, but figured I'd throw it out there.

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Old 11-28-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Default No BAG method BIAB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedutchtouch View Post
If you're worried, couldn't polyester strapping/webbing material be stitched on to provide support? Surely with a bag that size having straps wouldn't negatively affect efficiency. Go for it, but please post pictures of whatever you do.
The idea is to NOT have a bag in the mash tun. I was thinking of a separate MALT PIPE vessel next to the mash tun. Recirculate the wort through the bottom like a Braumeister except it's not inside the mash tun. Avoid a bag, lifting, cleaning a bag- just dump the mash pipe vessel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedutchtouch View Post
Edit: just FYI, discussion of distilling is taboo on here, and this is from the 'I probably don't know what I am talking about" files..
Both the microbrewery and artisan distillery would be legally permitted. 15bbl kind of exceeds your legal annual home brew limits in one batch as well. I've never heard or seen of a large volume commercial BIAB or braumeister in the US. There is one 200l braumeister nano brewery in Amsterdam but nothing bigger that I can find. Home brewers are the BIAB experts for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedutchtouch View Post
What about a separate holding tank that you could pump the wort off into, allowing you to remove the grains from your mash/boil vessel however you like, and then returning the wort to boil? Likely more issues created than solved with this idea, but figured I'd throw it out there.
I was thinking big mash tun, little malt pipe vessel. Mash tun you can heat, malt pipe vessel you just recirculate the wort through the grains. That way you can continue the brewing process into the boil in the mash tun.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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I am quite confused, If there's no bag... It's not BIAB, it sounds to me like you are just using "mash pipe" as your mash tun, and your "mash tun" as a boil kettle/direct fire 'wort warmer'? But I'm a newbie so not the most reliable source of info on here. However it works out, looking forward to hearing more about it.

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Old 12-01-2013, 01:02 AM   #6
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Default BIAB no Bag?

Well, you'd have to look at the Spiedel Braumeister to see what I'm referring to exactly when I refer to Malt Pipe. It's a "one vessel" brewing system. But really it has several parts including a "malt pipe" which is nothing more than a SS cylinder with screens on both ends which holds the grain and the wort is pumped UP through the cylinder and overflows back into the main vessel. They make a 20l, 50l, 200l, and 500l. But the 500l is still too small for the smallest nano brewery for the price. check youtube.

BIAB is a method that uses one primary vessel to mash and boil the wort. You use the 'bag' to hold the grain. My bag would be a 55 gal SS drum that is NEXT TO the vessel and the wort is pumped through the 'bag' back into the vessel.

So besides the technical definition of bag and immersing the bag in the single vessel- it's a similar process.

For me, the clever part of BIAB is being able to 1) use a single vessel for mashing to boiling, and 2) the ease of removing the grains and clean up. When talking about 10bbl (310 gallons ish) that's about 620 lbs of grains- not necessarily wet weight either. SO a little outside the box, or vessel, thinking is required when considering this scale. Consider jumping in a 500 gal tun that is 6' across and shoveling out 600 lbs of spent grain- OR- just dumping the grain.

People use a hop rocket to hold the hops inside the boil kettle. BIAB is similar to that but holds the grains in the mash tun.

From an economic point of view- one 300 gallon vessel is sure cheaper than buying three 300 gallon vessel and multiple ways to heat them.

FYI- the 500gal creamery tank is a NO GO. It's insulated not jacketed and it's got a lot of mild steel in the frame that is eaten up. No way to heat- no way to boil. SO, I passed. I'll keep looking though.

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