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Old 01-22-2013, 03:29 AM   #1321
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Originally Posted by Forrest-hunters View Post
Worried I wont be able to get the grain all in the strainer if the water is lower?
IMO a strainer basket is very optional...I have one yet have never used it FWIW.

I have 20 gallon pots, and they are big!!! Like 18 X 18 inches...while it will sure work for a five gallon batch...the huge size will make a bit of an inconvenience for only a fiver batch IMHO.

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Could someone reccomend a good thermometer with a probe?
FWIW I like the simple digital stick thermometers, since you can move it around the mash and check several spots quickly...big box stores have them for like ten bucks and I have found them to be pretty accurate...get one as a spare if nothing else.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:33 AM   #1322
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Originally Posted by Fordzilla

Any reccomendations? I like the digital type with long probe so it can sit on top of the pot when its wrapped in a blanket mashing. I would possibly consider one like that as long as the probe isnt so long it inrerferes with the bag.
Not really.there all pretty much the same. Im not sure if you can order the ones they use in the Blichmann pots but I love mine. It pivots in any direction, and other than the temp reading it shows where your mash temps should be for sweeter or dry finish and where your temps should be when cooling for lagers/ales.

I think mine has a 3" probe. People say they've had trouble with it interfering with the bag but hasn't caused me any problems!
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #1323
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I love BIAB, and have done it for my last 8 or so batches. I have had no issues with it, except hitting my mash temps. I am using a 11 gallon pot, and have been making 10 gallon batches. I typically strike about 7-8 gallons of water (to leave room for the grains), and shoot for about 10 degrees above my target temp.

So, shooting for 152, I'd heat the water to 162. When doing this, my temps would end in the 140's. I would then completely struggle to get the temp up, by blasting the kettle for 60-90 seconds on the burner. I have the steaming basket insert (which my bag is pinned to), so there are a few inches in the bottom of the kettle with no grains. It seems that area at the bottom will then get very hot while the top grain bed remains cold - and I have a hell of a time measuring what my *new* temp is (mixing like a mad man & constantly moving the thermometer around).

On Saturday, I tried to resolve this by shooting for a strike temp 15 degrees above target, and had the same issue. It is quite cold out, but I work pretty quickly to mash in (and then immediately wrap in blankets and shelter from the cold).

Should I be trying to target 20 degrees above my target? Should I be uncomfortable dropping grains in water that is over 170 degrees?

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:02 PM   #1324
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Originally Posted by LateraLex View Post
I love BIAB, and have done it for my last 8 or so batches. I have had no issues with it, except hitting my mash temps. I am using a 11 gallon pot, and have been making 10 gallon batches. I typically strike about 7-8 gallons of water (to leave room for the grains), and shoot for about 10 degrees above my target temp.

So, shooting for 152, I'd heat the water to 162. When doing this, my temps would end in the 140's. I would then completely struggle to get the temp up, by blasting the kettle for 60-90 seconds on the burner. I have the steaming basket insert (which my bag is pinned to), so there are a few inches in the bottom of the kettle with no grains. It seems that area at the bottom will then get very hot while the top grain bed remains cold - and I have a hell of a time measuring what my *new* temp is (mixing like a mad man & constantly moving the thermometer around).

On Saturday, I tried to resolve this by shooting for a strike temp 15 degrees above target, and had the same issue. It is quite cold out, but I work pretty quickly to mash in (and then immediately wrap in blankets and shelter from the cold).

Should I be trying to target 20 degrees above my target? Should I be uncomfortable dropping grains in water that is over 170 degrees?
what temp are your grains? Also have you calibrated your thermometer?
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:56 PM   #1325
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Originally Posted by LateraLex View Post
I love BIAB, and have done it for my last 8 or so batches. I have had no issues with it, except hitting my mash temps. I am using a 11 gallon pot, and have been making 10 gallon batches. I typically strike about 7-8 gallons of water (to leave room for the grains), and shoot for about 10 degrees above my target temp.

So, shooting for 152, I'd heat the water to 162. When doing this, my temps would end in the 140's. I would then completely struggle to get the temp up, by blasting the kettle for 60-90 seconds on the burner. I have the steaming basket insert (which my bag is pinned to), so there are a few inches in the bottom of the kettle with no grains. It seems that area at the bottom will then get very hot while the top grain bed remains cold - and I have a hell of a time measuring what my *new* temp is (mixing like a mad man & constantly moving the thermometer around).

On Saturday, I tried to resolve this by shooting for a strike temp 15 degrees above target, and had the same issue. It is quite cold out, but I work pretty quickly to mash in (and then immediately wrap in blankets and shelter from the cold).

Should I be trying to target 20 degrees above my target? Should I be uncomfortable dropping grains in water that is over 170 degrees?
Why all the guess work, use a strike water calculator, I use one of the thousands that are available and hit my target within a degree every time!
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:04 AM   #1326
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I love BIAB, and have done it for my last 8 or so batches. I have had no issues with it, except hitting my mash temps.
I think you either need to BIAB in warmer weather, or use more insulation on your kettle. Can you mash inside and boil outside. Not sure the Aussies considered cold temp N. American brewing when they invented BIAB. I can maintain mash temps OK in my basement but likely wouldn't try it outside on a cold winter day FWIW,
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:12 AM   #1327
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ok I am thinking about about doing my first BIAB using a 5 gallon kettle. Now I am having 2nd thoughts about this, because I want to end up with a 5 gallon batch. At first I wanted to use 3.5 gallons of strike water and dunk sparge into 1.5 gallons of water in a 3 gallon stainless steel pot, then add water to the preboil to make up the difference. Now I am thinking about just doing to mini batch of 2.5 gallons each to get to my 5 gallon target volume. I think 2 4 gallon patches are more doable. I also know this is going to me a longer than usual brew day, but I just want to see how close I get with the effency. I will have the the LHBS double crack. So the question is which would be more efficent? I think two batch is better?

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #1328
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then add water to the preboil to make up the difference............... So the question is which would be more efficent? I think two batch is better?
Always more efficient to add sparge runnings to the kettle rather than water...adding water to the kettle that hasn't passed through the grains is an efficiency killer...ok in "theory".

Best solution IMHO is to use both pots! B/w the two you have 8 gallons which is enough for a 5 gallon batch....just divvy up the runnings and hops and boil in two pots...People do it all the time...search around...split boil think it's called.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:12 AM   #1329
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Originally Posted by wilserbrewer

Always more efficient to add sparge runnings to the kettle rather than water...adding water to the kettle that hasn't passed through the grains is an efficiency killer...ok in "theory".

Best solution IMHO is to use both pots! B/w the two you have 8 gallons which is enough for a 5 gallon batch....just divvy up the runnings and hops and boil in two pots...People do it all the time...search around...split boil think it's called.
I'd split the grain and make 2 separate 2.5g batches in the bigger pot. Maybe change up the hop additions or use a different yeast or something like that to see what results you get.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #1330
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I'd split the grain and make 2 separate 2.5g batches in the bigger pot. Maybe change up the hop additions or use a different yeast or something like that to see what results you get.

Oh yea hops. I forgot about them. Well the recipie calls for a first wort hop, and then hop additions at 15,10,5, and 1 minutes. So maybe I could first wort hop the first batch and add the other hop additions in the second half of the batch. I think it will be alright.

I want to blend these two together for one 5 gallon batch. I really dont want to experment too much, since this it the first time makeing this recipie.
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