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Old 02-21-2014, 03:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by newnick View Post
Not that it matters much but, I heat the water with the basket and bag already in the pot. That way there is no temp drop from the basket.
Makes sense with a basket this size stored in a cold garage . Looks like it's a go for this weekend. I've set aside Saturday to finish up some plumbing to make things ready for brew day on Sunday. Decided to brew up 20 gallons of a dark lager. I saved the yeast from a five gallon batch of Bohemian Pilsner; so about a quart of slurry after decant. It's been stored at 34F for three weeks now. Given the amount of healthy yeast needed for proper fermentation; I'm wondering if a cup of slurry per 5 gal is adequate. Thoughts? Thanks in advance...

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Old 02-23-2014, 05:47 AM   #12
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Default Brew Day Tomorrow

Parts arrived yesterday so I spent the day tweaking "Ruby" to make tomorrow go as smooth as possible. In the first pic I upgraded the March pump housing to stainless & added a three way valve to the inlet side of the pump. Now I can draw from either kettle with a quarter turn of the valve without unhooking any hoses. This will make both recirculating with heat during mash & sparging much easier.

The second pic shows how I will gravity feed mash temp water to both kettles from the HLT after the grist has been added to initial strike water & temps have stabilized. I will initially start with eight gallons of strike water in each kettle & add water as needed to top off kettles while carefully maintaining proper mash temps.

The third pic shows how I plan on monitoring mash temps. I put together a second "hops spider" and added a second thermometer. (the hose clamp makes for a great way to hold it in place ). It's easy to pick up with one hand while stirring with the other & of course...makes adding hops a breeze after installing a hops bag when it's time to boil.

The fourth pic shows how I plan to use the March pump to sparge each basket until desired volume of wort is reached. One hose has to be changed out in order to accept sparge water from the HLT.

The last pic shows how I plan to "chill the wort". The challenge with a lager will be chilling it from boiling to 50 degrees F in a reasonable amount of time. To do that I'll be re-using the HLT & have equipped it with a screen to use as an "ice water bucket". I mounted a water pump to the frame & adapted fittings to transfer cold water thru the chiller plate. If all goes well, I should have 22 gallons of wort fermenting away at lager temps in a few days.

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img_1694.jpg   img_1692.jpg   img_1699.jpg   img_1698.jpg   img_1704.jpg  

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Old 02-26-2014, 06:21 AM   #13
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Default Concurrent Double Batch BIAB Dark Lager

Sunday went exceptionally well! Even better than expected.

Garage temp was about 40F so I fired up the wood burner & started profiling the water in all three kettles while things warmed up. A couple of my brewing pals showed up around 9:00 am to help. I decided to start with 10 gallons of water in all three 15 gallon kettles. We only milled the grains once; because I knew we were going to be recirculating with direct heat to maintain temps; which on this system brings efficiency way up.

I used an all grain recipe that I tweaked...an easy drinking dark lager with an OG of 1.048. When we finished sparging the bags; the full volume pre boil (about 13 gal) gravity came in at 1.046. After boiling our post boil or OG was 1.054. We pitched the Bohemian Lager yeast I saved from another experimental FV BIAB batch, & split it between the four carboys.

I made an effort to capture some of the day on video; was more consumed with keeping track of everything so it doesn't cover much...just an overview...

Concurrent Double Batch BIAB Video

At the end of the day I still had the same three pots to clean, the same amount of hoses, fittings, buckets, & everything else to clean. I also had to sanitize 4 carboys instead of two; prepare twice as much yeast as normal; & find space to house twice as much fermenting wort . Brew day consisted of about 6 hours from the time we started heating water until the time we put the carboys in the fermentation chamber. Very close to a normal 10 gallon all grain brew day...with an end result of 20 gallons instead of 10 .

In recap...my personal experiments & experiences using BIAB have been very positive & have produced some very good beer. I'm looking forward to brewing up many more...


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Old 02-28-2014, 08:21 PM   #14
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great set up shows some great outa the box thinking.....

i'm trying to do a temp controlled recir using a pump, a ranco temp controller and a HVAC propane water heater module to fire off my burner when temp rise is needed.

considered electric brewing but that element in the wort just turns me off......

nice set up you have ! make mine look like trailer trash.....

GD

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Old 03-02-2014, 07:25 AM   #15
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Default BIAB Beer Clarity

One of the things I've noticed about using a bag to brew in; is the amount of cloudiness in the wort after it's been chilled to pitch temps. Before I could even brew up this double batch of "Dark Lager", I knew I would need lots of yeast. On 1/18 I brewed up a full volume 5 gallon BIAB batch of Bohemian Pilsner (still experimenting with BIAB) in one of my 15 gallon kettles with the primary purpose of saving enough yeast for the bigger experiment. A week earlier I pitched two packs of WYeast 2124 into a 4 liter starter on a stir plate to build the yeast count. Chilled & then decanted the starter until needed on brew day.

After brewing, it was in primary fermentation for twelve days at 48F followed with two days at 58F for "D" rest. Cold crashed at 33F for one week & racked into a corny keg for secondary. I saved the entire primary yeast cake after washing. This was the yeast we split evenly & pitched in the above video.

Three days ago after lagering in the secondary corny keg at 33F for 25 days, I transferred it into another corny keg using this technique...

Lager Transfer

Today I pulled a sample & was surprised with the clarity as well as the taste. For a Pilsner brewed for the yeast cake...it turned out real good given the short amount of lager time . Can't wait to see what it taste's like in another month...

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Old 03-03-2014, 01:19 PM   #16
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That is a cool set up, for sure. I need to make myself one of those hop spiders. I've used a hop bag before but got away from it, need to start again.

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Old 03-28-2014, 07:21 AM   #17
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Default Conversion To EBIAB?

I would like to convert to all electric, & yet keep the burners in place for backup. We installed a solar system last year & would like to use electricity to offset the high price of propane.

The garage has 50 amp service & could be dedicated to only that on brew days. Is that enough service to use three 5500 watt heating elements at the same time to get the job done? Ideas & input welcome from those with experience.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 04-25-2014, 06:43 AM   #18
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Default Double Batch EBIAB

Both of the Lagers brewed earlier turned out fantastic! So good I've adopted "brewing in a bag" as my preferred method of all grain homebrewing. The Bohemian Pilsner eventually cleaned up so well most think it's a commercial beer. The dark lager is now a house favorite.

I've thought about going electric for some time now & decided "Ruby" would be the perfect donor for "dual purpose" brewing. As a result electricity will be used 95% of the time while in it's dedicated position in the garage. If the opportunity arises to brew in a remote location (like wet hopping at the local hops farm in August) I can roll it into the trailer & use propane for a standard three kettle brew day. The electrician who installed our solar system will be here next week to pull new wires to the garage for 70 amp service & install two dedicated 30 amp outlets for dual controllers. The "double batch BIAB got me to thinking about adding heat elements below the Bayou Classic baskets & came up with some thoughts after a little research.

I started a thread here about how I had the kettles welded up for the fittings. Things have fallen into place like sliced butter & I couldn't be more pleased with the results thus far...

Here's the setup for a double EBIAB. Each kettle has it's own heating element beneath the baskets about a half inch off the bottom of the kettle
img_1797.jpg

I ordered two controllers from Dave at "High Gravity". One is PID controlled specially designed for stand alone BIAB's. Perfect for maintaining desired mash temps. The other is a manual on-off with a manual dial to control the boil & heating up the hot liquor water for sparging
img_1798.jpg

Everything at this point is mocked up & ready to go except mounting the controllers to the wall. Should be ready to "test" brew a batch next week
img_1799.jpg

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