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Old 08-23-2013, 03:53 AM   #1
knope
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Default A few things I learned in my first BIAB!

I did my first BIAB about two weeks ago, an Oktoberfest with Notty. New pot, new burner, new chiller, first all grain, first BIAB, first mash, first 90min boil. I think I kinda threw myself into the wolves with this one. I just wanted to share a few things I learned. Hope this helps someone!

1. My aluminum pot + basket does an OK good job at holding temperature. It's far from perfect, but I only had to turn the burner on once in a 75min mash. That said, the temperature of the wort outside the basket compared to the grains inside the bag can be off by 10F!

2. It's always good to have a checklist. One that reminds you to turn off your burner before or right when you open the faucet for you immersion chiller. It's also good to brew with friends who remind you that you didn't turn off the burner.

3. Overall I got an efficiency of 64%. A little low, but the mash didn't come out to be perfectly smoothly. A little consistency and I should be OK.

4. Rope + ladder to lift your basket and let it drain into the pot is excellent. I did a mash out, but next time I think I might rinse the grains with the wort while I have it hanging over the pot.

5. 50ft immersion chillers are great. Even with 80F tropical island tap water I got the wort down to 90F or so in about 10min.

6. Low fermentation temperature = long lag time. A single rough shake does help a lot! It went from no bubbles on the first two days to non-stop for the rest of the week! Should have pitched more yeast/made a starter. Pitched around 65F IIRC.

7. Tropical summer heat is no match for a good swamp cooler. Swamp cooler bucket wrapped in a sleeping bag, thick old tee-shirt over the fermenting bucket and interchanging water bottle 2 to 3 times a day. Temperature got into the 50's when I had to use more bottles because I wasn't going to be home for most of the day but it's Notty. Notty can take anything you throw at it!

Can't wait until its ready!

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Old 08-23-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
mtnagel
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Congrats. I did a 17 lb grain bill for my first BIAB! Turned out great.

As for #1, I wrap a blanket around my pot and hold it with bungee cord and put a blanket on top.

I also used the rope and ladder trick and it did work well, but now I use a grill grate over my pot and I think it's easier. Just lift and let enough of the wort drain out until you can lift it high enough to slide the grate under. Works better when you have a helper, but I usually do it myself.

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Old 08-23-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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you grain crush is likely the cause for the low efficiency. what i have done is work on all my techniques and now i'm always dead nuts on 70%. now it's time for a double crush of my grains to see how it will improve. i like to change one thing at a time so i can see exactly how something changes my outcome.

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Old 08-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #4
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I have no thick blankets but I put a couple of think towels on top and it helped hold the heat pretty well. Grain was double crushed (I lurk a lot!). I think I just need a little more experience with the equipment so I can get a little more efficiency, but more importantly at a consistent rate.

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