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Old 07-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #201
MrZ2U
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So far I have done just partial mash brews and had some mixed results I think based on Ph and water volumes and was thinking I should work those out before going AG but this seems easy enough to jump to so a few questions and I might just do this next time.

They have a 10gallon Rubbermaid water cooler at HomeDepot for only $39.95. I know the idea of this is to do it all in one pot but wouldn’t involving this cooler work just as well, perhaps a little better? Get the strike water up to temp, move it to the cooler with the grain bag. Move it back to the kettle and mash out?

Am I missing something with that process? Logic seems to dictate the temp would be more solid like this right?

Also, I am looking at it like this, I have to buy a strainer basket (not comfortable with just the bag) or could just buy the cooler.

Thoughts?

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Old 07-21-2011, 07:31 PM   #202
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.

They have a 10gallon Rubbermaid water cooler at HomeDepot for only $39.95. I know the idea of this is to do it all in one pot but wouldn’t involving this cooler work just as well, perhaps a little better? Get the strike water up to temp, move it to the cooler with the grain bag. Move it back to the kettle and mash out?

Am I missing something with that process? Logic seems to dictate the temp would be more solid like this right?
One of the main draws of BIAB is the simplicity of it, while your method would work, if you have a 10 gallon kettle, mashing with 8 gallons of water is going to be pretty temperature stable. While you can buy a basket, I use a $5 steamer screen that fits in the bottom of my kettle and keeps the bag off the bottom. I've used a voile curtain that I butchered as my bag and it is very strong. When it comes time to mash out, I fire up my burner, get up to about 172F and then pull out the bag and lay a grill grate across my pot. Let the bag drain and then I'll press as much liquid as possible out of it using my kettle lid. IMO adding the cooler is adding a few unneeded steps and complicating the process more than it needs to be.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #203
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I hear ya...and defer to your experience on the temp thing. Plus, I am in Austin so its hotter than necessary these days so I may be worried about nothing really. I have a keggle so volume is not an issue. I guess I was just thinking that it is about the same cost for that cooler or a basket so explore the pros and cons of the options as such.

I will do one or the other, I don’t feel comfortable with the bag only. Now the basket, aluminum or stainless and what size? Seems like 24qt ought to do it? The hole in my keggel is just shy of 13 inches and it is not a perfect circle so I don’t know how much if any that limits me. I do have room to open it up to about 15 inches or so if needed and I might do that anyway…no good way to cover that hole though, at least not at the moment.

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Old 07-21-2011, 10:04 PM   #204
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I also have a keggle but so far I haven't used it for BIAB. I think that keggles retain heat very well because they have such a large thermal mass. All that hot water and grain and steel retains heat for a long time. One problem I've run into with my keggle is the narrow opening at the top. When I cut the top from the keg I could only get a 12-inch diameter cut. I haven't found any baskets that are large enough to be useful that would fit into a 12-inch diameter opening.

I've been contemplating using the keggle for BIAB using only a voile bag but I haven't tried it yet. I've got my process down so well with my other kettle and metal basket that I just haven't been able to push myself to try something new...

So for now my keggle sits in the corner, unused and lonely. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it. I'm sure one day I'll come up with something.

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Old 07-21-2011, 11:11 PM   #205
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I hear ya...and defer to your experience on the temp thing. Plus, I am in Austin so its hotter than necessary these days so I may be worried about nothing really. .
Its 100F here in South Central PA today, so we're getting a dose of Austin weather. I would actually worry about the sun and the heat actually heating my mash higher that 155 right now lol.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:32 PM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrZ2U
So far I have done just partial mash brews and had some mixed results I think based on Ph and water volumes and was thinking I should work those out before going AG but this seems easy enough to jump to so a few questions and I might just do this next time.

They have a 10gallon Rubbermaid water cooler at HomeDepot for only $39.95. I know the idea of this is to do it all in one pot but wouldn’t involving this cooler work just as well, perhaps a little better? Get the strike water up to temp, move it to the cooler with the grain bag. Move it back to the kettle and mash out?

Am I missing something with that process? Logic seems to dictate the temp would be more solid like this right?

Also, I am looking at it like this, I have to buy a strainer basket (not comfortable with just the bag) or could just buy the cooler.

Thoughts?
I use the bag in a cooler method and it works great. I tried doing the one pot BIAB method and I just couldn't maintain stable temps. I guess there is one more thing to clean up, but I haven't found that to be a big deal.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:50 PM   #207
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So I really want to try this. I love extract brewing for its simplicity but I want to add more complexity to my beers that I just can't get without using grains. This might be what I'm looking for (I'm ultimately lazy and I love home brew).

Basically, if I want to do 5 gal >1.060 batches I will need at least a 15 gal pot?

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Old 07-22-2011, 12:45 AM   #208
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Basically, if I want to do 5 gal >1.060 batches I will need at least a 15 gal pot?
I successfully brewed a 5-gallon Hopslam clone (OG 1.098) using a 10-gal kettle. It turned out to be one of my best beers to date.

If you want to brew batches larger than 5-gallons then you'll need a 15 to 20 gallon kettle.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:44 PM   #209
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I will do one or the other, I don’t feel comfortable with the bag only. Now the basket, aluminum or stainless and what size? Seems like 24qt ought to do it?
I bought a 42 qt pot with a basket from Academy for $50 for my BIAB. They seemed to have quite a selection of pots and baskets. If you're set on the basket, you may want to check them out. And the bigger the better, if you go too small you may not be able to do big beers.

Oh and I'm in Pville too.

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I fire up my burner, get up to about 172F and then pull out the bag and lay a grill grate across my pot. Let the bag drain and then I'll press as much liquid as possible out of it using my kettle lid.
The grill grate is an awesome idea. I think I may have to steal it. I was looking for a way to get the runnings without holding the bag up.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:46 PM   #210
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I successfully brewed a 5-gallon Hopslam clone (OG 1.098) using a 10-gal kettle. It turned out to be one of my best beers to date.

If you want to brew batches larger than 5-gallons then you'll need a 15 to 20 gallon kettle.
Thanks Seven, I saw that. I was a bit concerned as I had thought you mentioned it was tight but do-able.

I'd rather have more than enough room then not enough. My present BK is a 7.5g and I've been cursing the day I didn't buy a 10 gal instead, just didn't want to make the same mistake.
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