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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB Brewing > All Grain Vs BIAB - Pro's & Con's (5 Gal Batches)

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Old 04-27-2013, 10:28 AM   #41
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I have done BIAB about 5 times and batch sparge about 15. One big benefit of no sparge BIAB is you only have to heat one pot of water. I heat 8 gallons of water to strike temp, add grains, stir, and then wait 1 hour before removing the bag.

With batch sparge I heat strike water, add grain, stir, wait one hour,then heat mash out water, stir, drain, then heat sparge water, stir and drain.

Heating three pots of water versus one is but annoying.

The total water volume is about the same either way so there is no difference is propane cost.

It's just a simplicity thing.

PS. I do both methods because I think both are pretty cool. I love the engineering part of brewing. I have done fly sparge a few times to.
Who said you had to use hot water to sparge with? I use cold water and not too much of it and the hot grains heat the water to improve the solubility of the sugar. I find it easier as I don't have to heat the water nor do I have to worry about splashing the hot water on myself. You should try it once and see how it affects your efficiency. I also don't do a mashout because as soon as the bag of grain is out of the pot the burner is on to heat to boil. That accomplishes the mashout. One pot, one bowl to set the grains in while they drain and I'm mashing.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:50 AM   #42
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1 gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds.

Grain absorbs about 0.1 gallon per pound.

So a 10# grain bill will absorb about 1 gallon of water and weigh about 18.35# when lifted out of the kettle.

A 20# grain bill absorb about 2 gallons of water and weigh about 36.7# when lifted out of the kettle.

My grain bills are usually 10-15# so I haven't had a problem lifting the bag without a pulley.
Not to nit pick, but find it interesting...A 10 lb grain bill will leave behind 5-6 lbs of sugars......a 35 lb grain bill, well drained after leaving the kettle should weigh about, say 35 lb, maybe less...I should collect some data
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:23 PM   #43
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Not to nit pick, but find it interesting...A 10 lb grain bill will leave behind 5-6 lbs of sugars......a 35 lb grain bill, well drained after leaving the kettle should weigh about, say 35 lb, maybe less...I should collect some data
Good point about the sugars. I was just trying to quantify how heavy, or not heavy depending on your perspective, a wet bag if grain is.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #44
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I have done 35 lb BIAB grain bills. I find the key is to slowly raise the bag allowing it to drain as it exits the kettle...no way you're getting the bag out in one quick lift because in the beginning it is like a 15 gallon bag of wort, haha.

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Old 04-29-2013, 02:43 AM   #45
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I will just echo some others who find BIAB great for a smaller 2.5 or 3 gallon batch. I don't need to break out all the equipment, I can chill the kettle in a deep sink and wrap up the brew day, then it's transfer and pitch. I am not dragging hoses, cleaning a plate chiller, (in fl I find immersion chillers painfully slow since my tap is about 78 degrees) etc. one kettle, can do it in the air conditioned comfort of my kitchen.

If I put more effort into a 5 gallon BIAB setup with a pulley system, I think you would still save time, but for me at least, once I'm cleaning a chiller and breaking out the propane, it's just easier to me to go with the MLT and a march pump.

Not bashing it, I think for smaller AG batches biab is the way to go and let's me brew more, saves time and for me anyway, lots of cleaning. And I don't know anyone that just digs cleaning!

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Old 04-29-2013, 02:55 AM   #46
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I BIAB smaller (test) batches and would never consider doing a five gallon batch without creating some sort of winch system. (I am not getting any younger.) I don't enjoy the hot sticky mess with BIAB.

I have the proper equipment for HLT, mash tun, boil kettle so I find it just as easy but it takes longer, which sometimes is making the fun last longer.

I don't find that I have significantly different results either way.

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Old 04-29-2013, 03:00 AM   #47
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Glad I saw this thread today as this is a topic I was just research mash tun setups after a nightmarish BIAB brew day yesterday. Long story short, I had a large plastic collander that just fit across the top of my pot. After mashing the grains I put the bag in the collander to drain. The hot grain made the collander flex and it felling into my pot and I lost a good amount of wort. In hindsight I should have seen this as a possibility but it is what it is. I intend to purchase a cooler to mash in so as not to have to mess with that again.

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Old 04-29-2013, 03:22 AM   #48
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I have brewed on a friend's all grain traditional system and I waited until BIAB to actually do it on my own. I have limited time and space to brew, with a baby and a house needing care/repair. As such, I find most of my mods are related to ease of use, and speed.

I am heating my strike on the stove as I get my equipment together, then I take my strike over to the propane SP1 "jet" and within a few minutes, I am at strike, dump grains into bag and mash. Recheck temps every 15 minutes or so, then pull grains and place into bucket with colander. Fire up burner, add run off from bag and boil for 60-90 minutes, then, ideally, no chill into an HDPE and pitch the next day. My whole brew day is around 3.5 hours. Last brew day, I brewed a double batch of two different beers in about 6.5 hours, and the extra hour was finishing my boil on the stove after running out of propane.

I have found the following "contrary" points in my use of BIAB/no chill, namely; high efficiency (80+%), no discernable DMS or astringency and crystal clear beers.

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Old 04-29-2013, 12:59 PM   #49
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Glad I saw this thread today as this is a topic I was just research mash tun setups after a nightmarish BIAB brew day yesterday. Long story short, I had a large plastic collander that just fit across the top of my pot. After mashing the grains I put the bag in the collander to drain. The hot grain made the collander flex and it felling into my pot and I lost a good amount of wort. In hindsight I should have seen this as a possibility but it is what it is. I intend to purchase a cooler to mash in so as not to have to mess with that again.

You need a heavy metal collander that fits like a glove to be successful using that method, I personally just set the bag over another pot, squeeze the **** out of it, and add the wort back in.........
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:50 PM   #50
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I have a 10 gal mash tun that Santa gave me,,,got it all set up to go AG and have yet to use it...After asking a lot of questions about sparging, quite a few members said I should try the BIAB method. I bought a custom bag from wilserbrewer, brewed up a batch of cream ale using a pulley attached to my garage door header. I watched a bunch of youtube videos on BIAB and I did not want to lift the bag with my bare hands.(accident waiting to happen) Today I'm going to BIAB for the 2nd time. This Saturday my LHBS is putting on a AG Demo and maybe after going to this demo, I may or may not go to AG using my mash tun. As a couple guys have said,it all depends what works for you. I will eventually try the AG with mash tun but I doubt I will ever go back to extracts.

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