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Old 12-12-2013, 02:20 PM   #31
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There isn't a reason to pour boiling liquid over the grains. All you would be doing at this point is rinsing out the sugars that remain in the grain.
I'm using the boiling water as a substitute for a mash out. That way I know the conversion will end, and not impact the sugar profiles anymore. May only be a minor difference, but part of my objective is to have greater control of the mash process for more consistent/expected results.

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When the spec sheets say that HDPE becomes mallable at 170, it still won't deform. Just don't sit on the bucket then.
With a bottom full of holes and hanging with 15-20+ lbs of wet grain and 16 lbs more water, it could be enough to deform the bottom. My quest for a metal solution continues.
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:57 PM   #32
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Mashout isn't really needed in biab. Biab tends to get 80% efficency if you grind your grain to grain to powder.
But if you insist on a to mash out, just raise bag a few inches using a pulley so its not resting on bottom of pot or element and turn on heat source to your mash out temp then pull bag as per normal.

Some problems with using a basket are:
-creates temperature stratification zones, hard to stir well
-more stuff to clean
-doesnt drain as well as bag
-takes up volume in kettle

Example of my process:
-fill up kettle 75% full with water.
- heat water to 156ish (this is totally dependant on your kettle)
-put bag in kettle, dump in grain, overall temp should be 152ish, otherwise next time start water at + or _ few degrees
- if you want, add hot or cold water until kettle is topped off or your temp is hit.
- cover kettle with blanket
- go watch tv for 1 hr

-pull bag with pulley and let hang until boil is over or you feel bag is empty enough
-top up again if you want

-when boil starts, measure volume in kettle and take gravity reading (using refractometer, 20 bux on ebay)

-boil for 20 min, measure volume and gravity again. since you now know your boil off rate and your concentration increase rate...
-adjust heat +/- to increase or decrease boil off speed so you will end up with 24 L or your target gravity (1.050 or whatever) after your 60 or 90 min boil

If you have way too much water, then just boil for an extra 30 min or whatever, not a big deal. Just start your hop schedule during last 60 min.

I dont like to ever add water after I start boiling, i find it adds a watery taste. Maybe it doesnt mix the water in well? i dunno. just me.

I think the only reason I would ever use a basket is if i didnt have a location to put a pulley, and didnt have a ladder to use. then you can pull the basket and have it sit cockeyed and allow it to drain.

Oh ya, another easy thing is, to determine your % alchohol just take difference in SG and FG
say 1.050 and 1.010, difference is 40 points.
then multiply by .131 = 5.24% abv

sorry this post is a bit haphazzard, i gotta head out to hockey!

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Old 12-13-2013, 11:17 PM   #33
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sorry this post is a bit haphazzard, i gotta head out to hockey!
Well said! I appreciate how you are keeping BIAB simple and not trying to build an electric fork...
Cheers!
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:18 PM   #34
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While I'm interested in how this comes out, (Because I think it is an interesting approach to handle the hot grains and get a little extra efficiency.) how did we get this far without asking about the insulated pot!

I am going to start BIAB shortly after Christmas (New 10 gal pot) and was wondering if I could come up with a way to insulate the pot in a way that was safe to use while heating on my burner. I can see why you are committed to your pot. Is this a DIY or something you bought?

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Old 12-14-2013, 12:03 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Aplikowski View Post
While I'm interested in how this comes out, (Because I think it is an interesting approach to handle the hot grains and get a little extra efficiency.) how did we get this far without asking about the insulated pot!

I am going to start BIAB shortly after Christmas (New 10 gal pot) and was wondering if I could come up with a way to insulate the pot in a way that was safe to use while heating on my burner. I can see why you are committed to your pot. Is this a DIY or something you bought?
If you do your setup right and hit your mash temperature, you won't need to add heat. I made a batch today (indoors, it was below zero out and the wind was blowing) and just wrapped the pot with a bath towel. The digital thermometer showed that I lost less than half a degree when the mash was over in 30 minutes.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:48 PM   #36
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was wondering if I could come up with a way to insulate the pot in a way that was safe to use while heating on my burner.
Never heard of an insulated kettle, and really cant imagine a way to do that without creating a fire hazard. Most of us just wrap our kettles with something during the mash (a big jacket, towels, blankets, camping sleeping pad, etc) and we do just fine with that. To me, the the biggest point to BIAB is making all grain beer while keeping the whole process simple. I'm guessing that goes for most of us BIABers.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:22 PM   #37
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Never heard of an insulated kettle, and really cant imagine a way to do that without creating a fire hazard. Most of us just wrap our kettles with something during the mash (a big jacket, towels, blankets, camping sleeping pad, etc) and we do just fine with that. To me, the the biggest point to BIAB is making all grain beer while keeping the whole process simple. I'm guessing that goes for most of us BIABers.
Wrap the kettle with an old sleeping bag after dough-in, only lose a couple degrees. No added heat necessary.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:30 PM   #38
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Just me, but I would sell your 7 gallon kettle and sell your copy of BeerSmith on ebay or Craigslist. Then use that money towards the cost of a 15 gallon kettle with a 3 ply bottom.

Go to BIABrewer.info and get a free copy of their BIABacus spreadsheet which calculates everything for you. Then start doing full volume BIAB mashes and never look back

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Old 12-14-2013, 09:44 PM   #39
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... how did we get this far without asking about the insulated pot!
Aluminum flashing from Home Depot/Lowes and 2000+F thermal blanket inside. The blanket is left over from a bronze foundry oven I built a while back. It took forever to get it done for various reasons. Made from 4 flashing panels, about 200 rivets, 2 hinges, 2 catches and 3 tries to get the 4 panels cut, bent and punched for rivets correctly. I wrapped the top edge with aluminum tape to seal it against drips/spills. Yeah, I'm kinda committed to this pot for now.
Flashing - $28 (would have been $14 if I bent it right the first time.)
Rivets - $10
Hinges & catches - $5
Thermal blanket - $3
Misc aluminum rectangular tubing saved from a patio umbrella repair. This is inside where the hinges and catches attach as the flashing is too thin by itself.

I only take it off for cooling & washing. During the mash I throw a blanket over the pot to minimize losses from the top, and generally lose less than 1 degree for the hour, including 3 stir cycles. I should try without to see what the difference is. I'm hoping to do a Maibock in the next week or so for a March competition, so maybe then is a good time to try.

I will say it is fragile due to the thin flashing. Almost ruined it by stepping on a corner after I took it off when I was headed for the sink to cool. That's why it stays on all the time otherwise. It's quite safe on the pot.

Regarding the points ODI3 made:

Some problems with using a basket are:
-creates temperature stratification zones, hard to stir well
No different from the bag in the pot.

-more stuff to clean
Yes, could add a minute to cleanup.

-doesnt drain as well as bag
Maybe, but the objective is to get the water to drain THROUGH the bag. Without the basket this does not happen. It drains off the tops, sides, etc.

-takes up volume in kettle
Yes, but I'm trying to find one that is a close fit so this not an issue. That is the #1 reason I mentioned the plastic bucket. The bottling bucket is almost a perfect fit in my pot. Less than 1" at bottom, and less than 1/2" on the sides at the bottom, less than 1/8" at top. Probably adds up to about 1/2 gallon, and similar to false bottoms. I had fully planned to buy one when I was at the LHBS until he suggested otherwise for the reasons well debated already.

I really don't see how some folks think this is over complicating things. Throw in the basket, bag and grains then mash. Pull the whole thing up, pour the additional water (that I need anyway) through it, let it drain, done. For me this is easier (and cleaner) than handling the wet bag of grain - once I find the right vessel for the basket.

The first time I did this 'rinse' in a separate pot the runoff was about 1.030, enough to justify the minimal effort for me. And besides, I get to play with my beer stuff more while figuring it out.
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:52 PM   #40
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I brew using a 26 gal pot and 5000w electric element. I wrap my kettle with folded cargo blankets and bungee cards and only take them off every 6 or so brews to wash when they get dirty.

I dont add any liquid aside from the original fill up.

I personally just use a wine whip to lightly stir while immersion chiller is cooling, then when I am low enough temp I whip the snot out of the 15 gal of wort. The wort goes completely foamy and white. Instead of dealing with hoppy sludge, you end up with hoppy foam. The foam doesnt compact when you are trying to drain but still creates a filter bed if you drain slowly.

I like this because you remove hotbreak, coldbreak, and hop additions and aerate all at once. It keeps the yeast cake nice and clean for reusing the yeast, then you also dont have to wash the yeast. There is a pic of the foamy beer in my signature

I dont add any liquid aside from the original fill up.

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