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Old 08-31-2014, 05:30 PM   #1
mdawson9
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Default First time BIAB problem!!

Hey guys, I did my first BIAB last night. Irish Red ale with an OG of 1.054. I started with 7 gallons. The bag must have retained alot of water because by the time I boiled and transferred to carboy, it looks like there's about 4 gallons. I just took the gravity and it's 1.076!!!!! Yee Haw! So my question is can I add water to the carboy? If so, should I boil it first or is there another way to sanitize? Or am I stuck with a super strong Irish ale?
Thanks for any input!

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Old 08-31-2014, 06:11 PM   #2
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Seems like you might have been a little light on your strike water volume. What calculator did you use to derive it? What was your total grain weight? I did a 1.053 OG brew yesterday with 10.75 lbs of grain. My strike water was 8.5 gal, and I yielded 5.6 gal in the fermenter. So my water loss to grain absorption and evaporation was about the same as yours.

Did you measure your pre-boil volume? That would have been the best place to make up for low volume by adding a sparge step.

To add water now, the best thing would be to boil it and then cool to fermentation temp before adding it to the fermenter. Best to add it thru a siphon with the tube end submerged in the fermenter to avoid oxidation.

Brew on

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Old 08-31-2014, 09:30 PM   #3
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I don't know how many pounds of grain you used.. but, I would expect to have a grain absorption of about 0.15gallons/pound of grain. It varies a little.. but, I think that is a good starting point. You will be able to hone that on your next brew based on this one. Also, it is good to know your boil off rate.

My BO rate is right at 1g/hour. I typically boil for 1.5 hrs.. therefore boil off about 1.5 gallons. For a 10# grain bill, I'd lose another 1.5 gallons. So, in this case I'd be looking at about 3 gallons of water loss. Then you have hop loss trub loss to account for. It seems to add up.

So, you might consider, if making a 5g batch.. that you would be wanting to put 5g into bottles/keg. You would have to start there.. add all the losses based on your knowledge of prior brews and come up with a starting point. If you have still lost too much, you can add water to the boil kettle at the the time you are adding your flame out hops or your chiller. You can even add sterilized water into the fermenter to bring your volume up to, say, 5.2 to 5.5 gallons. I'd do it as you were chilling and take a SG sample after mixing to get your OG. Just some thoughts.

Also, consider building a measuring stick to know how much wort you have in your kettle. You can make a stick for ambient water and one for hot water as there is expansion/shrinkage during heating/cooling.

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Old 09-01-2014, 12:33 PM   #4
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Guys,
Thank you both for the advice and input. I was using the hba biab recipe in the link below for the 7.25 gallons of strike water. I went ahead and added boiled water and pitched yeast last night. fingers crossed its all good! the measuring stick is a great idea.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.or.../biab-recipes/

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Old 09-01-2014, 12:56 PM   #5
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I squeeze that bag and am not loose much in the way of water. Just brewed yesterday with 7.75 gal strike water and that got me 7gal in the boil kettle.

The key thing is to always be checking your gravity. Check it into the kettle. And during the boil (unless you've calculated ahead) and then add water or boil longer as needed to hit the number you want.

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Old 09-01-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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If I'm low on volume after the boil, I add water, after it's cooled, as I put it in the carboy. I check the gravity of re cooled wort and if adding water won't drop your gravity too much, add some to replace the volume you've lost. I can't see how this will oxidize your wort bc you haven't added your yeast yet.


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Old 09-01-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacktar View Post
If I'm low on volume after the boil, I add water, after it's cooled, as I put it in the carboy. I check the gravity of re cooled wort and if adding water won't drop your gravity too much, add some to replace the volume you've lost. I can't see how this will oxidize your wort bc you haven't added your yeast yet.
For some reason I was thinking that fermentation had already started, even tho OP never said that. Jacktar is correct, if yeast hasn't been pitched, then no need to worry about oxidation, or even matching temps of water and wort, as long as the water is sterile.

Brew on
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