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Old 11-14-2011, 10:19 PM   #1
cotillion
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Default Planning to try BIAB...need illumination

I apologize in advance, as I know that the answers to my questions are out there to be found, but I have been reading for hours and am unable to synthesize it all. My familiarity with all the technical speak is not as advanced as I'd like it to be, which gives me trouble in sifting through all the information out there.

Just got a 35-quart turkey fryer setup, and I plan to get into the BIAB method. I have never tried it before, so I am totally clueless as to my limitations and the unique challenges to expect. I have a lot of questions, and if anyone has answers to any of them, I would be really grateful.

I typically brew around 5 gallons of beer and don't have a huge amount of interest in buying lots more bottles to increase my batch size. Will I run into trouble aiming for 5 gallon batches?

Is there anywhere one can buy a voile bag made for BIAB brewing, or is this a DIY item?

Are there special recipes out there which are tailored to BIAB method? If not, how does one adapt?

How necessary is a wort chiller?

Do I need to try and develop a sparge system or can I just squeeze the bag over the kettle and move along?

In general, is it looked down upon to use Irish moss or anything of that nature?

Basically, can someone teach me what the hell I'm doing?

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Old 11-14-2011, 10:42 PM   #2
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First of all, Welcome! and the search function is your friend. You could certainly find answers to all these questions using it. That being said I understand it would take a fair amount of time. I'll answer to the best of my ability what I can.
I believe most people doing BIAB are doing 5gal batches or smaller, so you shouldn't have any issues.
You should be able to buy a mesh bag at your local HB store. Also "paint stainer bags" work quite well. they can be found at lowes and Home Depot among other places.
A wort chiller is not "necessary" but very helpfull. Some other options are a tub of Ice water or just let it cool on it's own. Letting it sit presents some issues that have been debated at length.
The purpose of the BIAB is that you don't need a sparge system or Lauter. You can just let it drain back in. It is helpfull to rinse the grains.
If you want clear beer there is nothing wrong with using Irish Moss or Whirlfloc.

I hope that was at least somewhat helpful.

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotillion View Post
I typically brew around 5 gallons of beer and don't have a huge amount of interest in buying lots more bottles to increase my batch size. Will I run into trouble aiming for 5 gallon batches? I do not BIAB so am unsure

Is there anywhere one can buy a voile bag made for BIAB brewing, or is this a DIY item? From what I have read you need to build it yourself, search for "DIY BIAB"

Are there special recipes out there which are tailored to BIAB method? If not, how does one adapt? A recipe is a recipe the only question being how much "stuff" your equipment can hold

How necessary is a wort chiller? Not at all, I use NO CHILL method personally. If you are interested in it search for "Exploring No Chill". It is a very long thread but answers pretty much any question you might have on the subject.

Do I need to try and develop a sparge system or can I just squeeze the bag over the kettle and move along? Depending on the size of your grain bill and how strong you are I think you first need to decide if you CAN lift the bag. Many BIAB brewers seem to build a pulley system to pull out their bags, once you are past that hudrle, then yes you could just squeeze out the bag but I have read of some people rinsing the grains.

In general, is it looked down upon to use Irish moss or anything of that nature? Don't see why you wouldn't want to use irish moss but I could be wrong

Basically, can someone teach me what the hell I'm doing? At the top of the All Grain & Partial Mash page look for the "sticky" called BIAB Brewing (with pics) read it. Also Deathbrewer has a nice pictoral, search for "Easy Stovetop All Grain"
Hope this helps!
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:44 PM   #4
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I BIAB 5.5 gallon batches in a 32qt pot with no problem. Just need to watch for boil overs while starting the boil. Your 35qt pot should give you a bit of extra room...so yes you can do 5 gallon batches no problem. For the bag I have used a grain bag from the LHBS but the holes tend to let some grain out. I now made a bag from voile curtains I bought at Kohls. I batch sparge but you do not need any extra equipment for this. Here is my basic procedure: Mash with 1.25qt/lb for 60 mins. Lift bag out and place colander on top of pot, let bag drain (squeeze the crap out of it!) I then drain my wort to a 5 gallon bucket and let the bag/colander rest on top. Meanwhile I fill my kettle with the necessary sparge water and heat to 170. Place the bag back in and stir/soak for 20 minutes. Then pull the bag out/drain/squeeze again. Add the wort from my bucket back to the pot, check that I hit my pre-boil volume and begin the boil.

The bag is pretty heavy so I definitely suggest getting a colander or some king of pulley system to support the bag while it is draining. Hope that helps, sorry for the long winded post.

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:46 PM   #5
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I happened to read "The Commentary" on another site. I know how to BIAB so it was reading for the sake of picking up any tidbits to hone my process. I think it is a pretty concise explanation so have at it.

Wort chillers are not necessary but I prefer to chill my wort immediately after my flame out hops have whirl pooled for 15 minutes or so. I'm not keen on the "no chill", nor the ice in the sink swirling methods.

I don't sparge and my efficiency is fine, I do a mash out and squeeze the bag after it drains for a few minutes. Whirlfloc works great, better than Irish Moss.

Read the referenced doc!

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:49 PM   #6
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To help you keep you equipment expenses down, you can get a 5 gallon paint strainer bag, a funnel and a 5 gallon #2 plastic cube (called a 'NO CHILL' method).

There is no special BIAB recipes, but I would start with a very basic recipe, maybe for 3 gallons and then add some DME or LME near the end of the boil and boil down to about 5 1/4 gallons of volume.

If you are not rinsing the bag after pulling it out, you can squeeze it as much as you want to.

If you don't have a valve on that pot you can wait for the temp to come down to 190* F and then pour it into the cube (everything in the pot, fill it to the top and squeeze as much air out of it as possible), if you can get someone to help with that, it would be better.

My last 3 pages on Flickr are BIAB related, hope you can get some additional ideas there too.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:03 AM   #7
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Buy a paint strainer bag $2.50 from home depot and while you are there in the paint department get one of their $1.00 spray bottles. Fill the spray bottle with water for foam control.
Did your frier come with a steamer pot? If it did you can use it and line it with the bag. If not you are going to need four clamps to keep the bag on the pot.
when you remove the bag set an over shelf on top of the pot and set your bag on it to drain.
Sticky on top of page.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/biab...g-pics-233289/

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:13 AM   #8
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Welcome to BIAB!!
I'm definitely not an expert, as I just finished my second one today, but I can give you a few things I found helpful.
1. I have a 36QT(9 GL) and a 20Qt (5 GL)pots. This is all I need to do 5 Gal batches.
2. I use the 5 gal paint strainer bags that I bought at Lowes. They come 2 to a pack and are re-usable. Get a pack or two of the 1 Gal bags for your hops. I know 1 Gal sounds big for the hops, but after you tie it, it really isn't that big.
3. 14 Lbs is about my max for the grain bill, which will cover pretty many styles except the "Big" beers.
4. If you want to be fermenting the same day you boil, you will need a wort chiller. That's up to you.
5. True BIAB is done with a full BOIL volume mash, but I do a "dunk sparge" with mine. I'll mash in the 20 Qt pot with the 1.25 qt's of water per Lb of grain. Mash at the specified (usually 152 to 154) Temp for the specified time(usually 60 mins) when the mash is close to done, heat your larger pot that has the remainder of the water to make a 6 Gal total to the right temp. Pull the bag, and put it in the second pot stir it well and let it sit fo 15 mins or so. Pull the bag and sit it in a colander over either pot and let it drain. You can squeeze with a lid. Dump the first pot into the large one making sure you have your 6 Gal pre boil volume.
6. Irish moss is never a bad thing.
Basically all BIAB is doing is eliminating the mash tun because your grain is already contained in the bag. The biggest problem is maintaining your mash temp in a metal pot. I wrap mine in a towel after you turn the burner off and move it to a cooler place than the stove...you don't want a fire!!! The plus is that you can put it back on the stove to heat a little if you temp drops too much.
I use a program called "Nelsons beer quick calculator" to get my water volumes and mash in temps...so far it's worked well and I've hit my OG right on both times.
Good luck, and just remember......it's all beer from here.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:16 AM   #9
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lol.....took me so long to write my response there are 3 more already

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:28 AM   #10
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For the bag, voile fabric can be had for cheap at stores like Joanne Fabrics. Buy enough to sew a "pillow case" looking bag that you can put your kettle inside. This gives the grains plenty of room to swim around.

With a 35qt kettle you should be good for most reasonable gravity beers. No pliny clones for you.

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