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Old 01-28-2013, 05:11 PM   #1341
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Originally Posted by mirogster View Post
MMJfan what's your sparge methode (and temp ~170 ?)
I only have a 7.5 gallon brew kettle, but I also have a 5 gallon kettle. So I mash in about 5.5 gallons of water in my 7.5 gallon kettle at whatever strike temp the recipe I'm using calls for. Once the mash is complete, I then heat the kettle to 170 for my mash-out.

While that is going on, I then heat about 2.5 gallons of water in my 5 gallon kettle to 170. After my mash-out is complete, I then transfer the bag from my 7.5 gal kettle to my 5 gal kettle and let it sparge for 20 minutes.

Then I combine the wort from both kettles and proceed to the boil.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:34 PM   #1342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMJfan

I only have a 7.5 gallon brew kettle, but I also have a 5 gallon kettle. So I mash in about 5.5 gallons of water in my 7.5 gallon kettle at whatever strike temp the recipe I'm using calls for. Once the mash is complete, I then heat the kettle to 170 for my mash-out.

While that is going on, I then heat about 2.5 gallons of water in my 5 gallon kettle to 170. After my mash-out is complete, I then transfer the bag from my 7.5 gal kettle to my 5 gal kettle and let it sparge for 20 minutes.

Then I combine the wort from both kettles and proceed to the boil.
I think if you hung your bag over the BK, and poured your sparge water over the grains you might get a little better!
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:22 PM   #1343
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I did my first BIAB this weekend - thanks to this thread and the wealth of information, it was a success! I double "milled" the grains using a blender - and got 73% efficiency, which I was pleased with. I hit the OG of the recipe, but was 1/4 gallon shy of total volume. I'm using a 7.5g kettle - to resolve this issue I will either dunk sparge or pour sparge (ladel method). Overall, very pleased!

The only real issue I had was temperature control. Prior to BIAB I had done 4 partial mash recipes with success. These were done indoors, in a 9qt pot and I was able to maintain temps easily. They did not drop 1F in 60 minutes.

For BIAB, I used an Aluminum turkey fryer in my garage. To maintain temps, I wrapped it in several layers of towels, with a towel and blanket on top and had two heaters blowing on it. Outdoor temps were about 50F, but probably 60F in the garage. I was surprised to see the temp drop 2F in about 15 minutes. I slowly heated it back up to 152F and saw it drop again 2F in another 20-25 minutes. There was very little head space.

I understand heat loss is an issue in cold weather with BIAB. Is the loss of 1-2 degrees a big deal (i.e. should I not worry about it)? I'm thinking of trying reflectix but will likely upgrade the pot first after I make sure BIAB will work for me.

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:59 PM   #1344
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I think if you hung your bag over the BK, and poured your sparge water over the grains you might get a little better!
Maybe once the weather starts to warm up and I start brewing outside again I might give that a try. During the winter I brew inside and my method above works well and it's less of a mess which is always important to SWMBO...

Just wondering why that method of pouring the sparge water over the grains would be better than sparging the grains in the kettle for 20 minutes?
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:04 AM   #1345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMJfan

Maybe once the weather starts to warm up and I start brewing outside again I might give that a try. During the winter I brew inside and my method above works well and it's less of a mess which is always important to SWMBO...

Just wondering why that method of pouring the sparge water over the grains would be better than sparging the grains in the kettle for 20 minutes?
I try to picture it as if your "cleaning" the sugars from the grain. That basically what your trying to do. I think you'll get it "cleaner" pouring the water through the grains, rather than dipping the grains into the water.

This is just a suggestion. I'm in no way saying either way is better or trying to correct your process. I've never done any type of sparge. If you want more info on it I'd ask some of the guys using 3 vessel systems. Most important thing is have fun and enjoy that beer!
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:40 AM   #1346
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Originally Posted by ChrisL_
I live in Canada where our winters can get rather frosty. It is currently -4C/24f and 0c/32f in my garage and I am concerned about maintaining mash temps. (I will get refletix to insulate). So here is my question. Given my small batch size, will a larger pot with more airspace at the top drop temp faster then a full (smaller)pot? If so, a significant amount? My guess is that it will but hope someone with more experience can confirm. If correct I will like try to get a smaller pot
I can't answer your question about airspace because we usually push the limits of our 20 and 15 gallon kettles but I can tell you that my brew partner and I BIAB in his garage throughout winter here in Edmonton. When you BIAB, I think you usually give up some small amount of control over mash temperature regardless. Dropping a few degrees over the mash is not a big deal.

I assume that I will lose 2f so I aim 1f higher when heating my strike water knowing that I'll end up a 1f lower over the course of the mash. It's not exact what it averages out. For instance, if I'm mashing at 152f and I know I lose 6f when I dough in and stir, I'll aim for 159f. It'll move from 153f to 151f over the hour. If it's really cold, I might have to direct fire the kettle but I do that slowly and carefully while stirring to ensure an accurate temperature reading. Wrapping the kettle in a sleeping bag can be quite effective. Also, the garage will warm up from heating the strike water, even with the door partially open for ventilation.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:50 AM   #1347
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My plan is to do 2.5 gallon batches and I am looking at my turkey fryer options... If correct I will like try to get a smaller pot
Also... My advice is to buy the biggest pot you can afford and make the biggest batches it will permit. Airspace is just the absence of beer. I realized quickly that it takes no more effort to brew 5, 10 or 20 gallons than it does to brew 2.5 gallons.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:40 AM   #1348
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MMJfan thanks for the answer!! Down Under they call it dunk sparge.
Btw. gals and guys, if you're not yet familliar with biabrewer.info- I really recommend you, to go there and register.
Recently, they've released BIABAcus - something simply stunning! Despite that's only excel spreadsheet, it's very user friendly and just amazing tool ! It's in metrics and it gives you all, what you need & want for brewing
Go & give it a try!

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Old 01-29-2013, 09:54 AM   #1349
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..... with the exception of being worried about holding the mash temp in my rather chilly garage.
A small batch in a cold garage will be tricky to hold temperature, BUT, that is not saying it won't work. Conversion can happen very quickly! For small batch brewing, I would mash inside in a warm oven to hold temp., and boil in the garage, or for that matter do it all inside in frosty canada. Towels may not be the best insulation, perhaps zip an old winter parka around the kettle next time.

BIAB typically relies on the mass of grain to hold temp.

Another wild idea I just had would be to mash in your smaller kettle inside your larger kettle acting like a double boiler, this would reduce temp. swing and loss and allow you to gently heat the mash....but add difficulty
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:33 PM   #1350
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Originally Posted by robcj View Post
I can't answer your question about airspace because we usually push the limits of our 20 and 15 gallon kettles but I can tell you that my brew partner and I BIAB in his garage throughout winter here in Edmonton. When you BIAB, I think you usually give up some small amount of control over mash temperature regardless. Dropping a few degrees over the mash is not a big deal.

I assume that I will lose 2f so I aim 1f higher when heating my strike water knowing that I'll end up a 1f lower over the course of the mash. It's not exact what it averages out. For instance, if I'm mashing at 152f and I know I lose 6f when I dough in and stir, I'll aim for 159f. It'll move from 153f to 151f over the hour. If it's really cold, I might have to direct fire the kettle but I do that slowly and carefully while stirring to ensure an accurate temperature reading. Wrapping the kettle in a sleeping bag can be quite effective. Also, the garage will warm up from heating the strike water, even with the door partially open for ventilation.
Thanks, it sounds like maybe the temp wont flucuate as much as I was thinking. I will use your method of starting a touch high and let it ride through the desired temp. I will also get an idea of how much my garage will warm up when I do a test boil once I go buy my pot/burner this week.
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