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Old 07-18-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
GuiriCule
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Default BIAB top off water

Hi,

I have done my first brew in a bag. It is now fermenting and bubbling nicely. I did have a quick questions though:

In all of the threads I have read, you start the mash with more water than your intended batch so as to end up with the right amount at flame out. Is it best not to top off the wort to the right amount. I am doing a 2 gallon batch and topped off the wort with just under half a gallon of very cold water which helped cool it more quickly (I haven't yet got a cooling system). I got my intended O.G. spot on so this shouldn't be a problem and it is fermenting nicely at the moment.

Am I likely to get off flavours because of the top off water? (I used bottled so there should be no problem with contamination). Is there any reason all the advice states to use the full batch amount?

Any advice would be great. By the way, I just love this forum. I think it has taught me all I know for many years.

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Old 07-18-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
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Basically as long as the water was clean you'll be fine.
Having all the water in at the beginning is to increase efficiency of what is otherwise thought to be a more inefficient process. Although for most people BIAB seems to give a decent efficiency anyway, at least with a full boil-volume mash.

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Hi smh, thanks a lot for the response. It's good to hear that the end product won't suffer, I only have a small brewing kettle and am doing small batches but this gives me plenty of opportunity to experiment with different grain, hops, processes etc.

Regarding the efficiency, it was not great but I am not complaining. I got about 60%.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #4
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I do 3 Gallon batches because I'm the only beer drinker in the house. I use full boil volumes in a canning pot and get 70-80% efficiency. You can get one of these pots for ~$20 on amazon if you want to move to larger boils. Just dont' chip them or they rust.

I suppose that I should ask, was your OG taken after addition of the water or before? If it was before then you've diluted the OG and will probably have a watery tasting product.

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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Hahah, it sounds like you know me!! Taking the reading before diluting it with water sounds exactly like something i would do!! This time i got it right though, and the OG was taken right before I pitched the yeast, after the addition of extra water and at more or less room temperature (22C is that early 70s F?).

Thanks for the tip about the pot. - will have a look, the only problem is that i am using the kitchen hob and it only just has the power to keep the boil on the amount i am brewing with at the moment so upgrading may cause problems.

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:56 PM   #6
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The extra water is added to the boil kettle,not the mash. Even with the PB/PM BIAB that I do,water amount to grain amount is far more exacting with mashing vs steeping. I use 2 gallons of local spring water for 5-6 pounds of crushed grains. Mash at 152-155,depending on the recipe for 1 hour. since I use a 5 gallon SS stock pot,& sparge the 2 gallon wort to 3.5 gallons boil volume for what will be a 5 gallon recipe. Since the grains make up about 50% of the fermentables,I save the extract addition for flame out.

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Old 07-18-2013, 08:16 PM   #7
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I use a normal stove too, it's a bit of a bear to get going but I can boil 4 Gallons on the large burner. That's my typical approach.

Anyway, take a wait and see approach. If it tastes watery then you'll know why. I suspect it will be just fine. Things are more forgiving than we typically think.

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Old 07-23-2013, 12:37 AM   #8
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I use a 1500 w hot plate I bought from a resturant supply online store. Cost over $100 but it's worth it. I can boil 5 gallons if needed. Check Target or WalMart they have SS pots in 3,4,5 gallon sizes and the price is not bad.

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Old 07-29-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
The extra water is added to the boil kettle,not the mash. Even with the PB/PM BIAB that I do,water amount to grain amount is far more exacting with mashing vs steeping. I use 2 gallons of local spring water for 5-6 pounds of crushed grains. Mash at 152-155,depending on the recipe for 1 hour. since I use a 5 gallon SS stock pot,& sparge the 2 gallon wort to 3.5 gallons boil volume for what will be a 5 gallon recipe. Since the grains make up about 50% of the fermentables,I save the extract addition for flame out.
he might be refrencing no sparge mashing, where you mash with the full boil volume.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:37 PM   #10
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I had a beer that I wanted a 90 minute boil on this weekend. Since I could only fit 4 Gallons in my pot I just used an extra 3qts in a separate vessel and tea-bagged the grains into it to rinse them off. I squeezed the grain into this second vessel and boiled for 60 minutes. Then cooled that as low as I could get it an added it to the first pot after the boil. This helped cool the whole batch down a bit faster and avoided the need of a larger pot. Still 75% efficiency.

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