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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 1st All Grain Brew in a Bag - questions
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:35 PM   #1
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Default 1st All Grain Brew in a Bag - questions

I'm planning my first all grain brew for this weekend, and I am going to try brew in a bag. I've read the Australian article and have everything set, but I don't know how to figure out how much water to use. Here is the recipe:

Quote:
Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.00 lb Brewers Malt 2-Row (Briess) (1.8 SRM) Grain 64.7 %
2.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 14.7 %
1.50 lb Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 8.8 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5.9 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 2.9 %
1.25 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 2.9 %
0.75 oz Magnum [14.00%] (60 min) Hops 29.1 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (10 min) Hops 5.0 IBU
2.00 items Vanilla Bean (Secondary 14.0 days) Misc
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale

Mash Profile
Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Mash Grain Weight: 17.00 lb
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
Sparge Water: 6 gal

Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 21.25 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F 75 min

Notes:
After primary, slit open 2 vanilla beans. Scrape the insides, chop the pods into quarters, add to secondary fermenter, rack beer onto vanilla. Taste periodically for the correct balance.

Rack to bottling bucket and add 1.5-2.5 oz/gal of Maker's Mark (to your taste). Original recipe called for 10 ml/pint.
So, according to this recipe, I need 5.3125 gallons for mash in, then 6 gallons for sparge. So am I really supposed to use over 11 gallons of water in the kettle? Even accounting for grain absorption and evaporation, that seems really high... how would I end up with a 5 gallon batch at the end?

Common sense would tell me to put about 6.5 gallons in the kettle- (5 gallons for final volume + 10% for evaporation + 1 gallon for grain absorption) but I'm confused...
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:46 PM   #2
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essentially your ballparking it. I cant speak for other people but when i do brew in a bag batches (5 gal), i have 2 pots on the stove, one at 155F with 2.5 gallons or so for the mash in and then the other pot is at around 170 for mashout and sparge with 2.5 gallons. Then i boil and top off with spring water up to 5 gallons at the end of the boil. When i do full boils i just add more water (say 3.25 gallons in each pot). Usually i will lose about 1.2 -1.5 gallons of boiloff for a 5 gallon batch over 60 minute boil.

Your efficiency may suck because of the brewbag brewing style also(plugged into promash for a 10 gal batch im getting SG of 1.044 at 70%) and i think your going to get even lower efficiency than that due to to your brewing process so maybe this isnt for a 10 gal batch? please clarify

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Old 01-01-2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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Oh no! It's a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 01-01-2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Yeah...this sounds like a lot of grain for a 5 gal batch? About 17#s...If you were doing 1 qt / pound you would need 4 gal 1 qt for your strike water. This sounds like a 10 gal. and then again...could be a 5 gal??? High Gravity?

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Old 01-01-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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The recipe is here. It's a vanilla bourbon porter. I chose this because it does seem like a huge grain bill, so even if my efficiency tanks it will still be decent. I'll use this batch to figure out my efficiency and go from there in the future.

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Old 01-01-2009, 10:32 PM   #6
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WOW!! He was right...a meal in a glass for sure!! Go for it...but the key is what he said about boil time...90 - 120 mins to get correct batch size.

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Old 01-02-2009, 12:40 AM   #7
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personally for a 5 gallon batch this is ALOT of grain. I would suggest either using a different recipe for your all grain trial or if your going to do it this way, maybe have 4-4.5 gallons in each vessel and then you will regain some effiency when you boil it down to the gravity your looking for. Just make sure you have enough room in the pot because 17# of grain is going to take up much more space than your probably imagining(possibly more than 5 gallons )...And your efficiency is definitely going to be in the low 50-60%.

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Old 01-02-2009, 01:38 AM   #8
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I completely agree. This recipe is not fit for a first all grain beer. Frankly, I don't think it's suitable for a brew in a bag either.

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Old 01-02-2009, 02:19 AM   #9
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With ~17# of wet grain, the bag is going to be super heavy to lift and will likely tear.

Assuming your bag is strong enough, the mash temperature is correct, and you have the ability to thoroughly drain the water from the grain (e.g., suspend the bag above the pot for ~15 minutes), you'll probably be in the 65% mash efficiency ballpark. I'd recommend dialing back the recipe to 13# or less to increase your efficiency and avoid breaking your back.

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Old 01-02-2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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Well.... I've already ground the grains, so I don't think I can separate the 2-row from the rest at this point.

The bag is pretty solid though, I double stitched everything and put 25 lbs. of weights in it to test, and I have a pulley setup to drain it.

I agree, after reading everyone's comments, that this is probably not the best recipe for BIAB. But I don't want to throw out the grain and start over, so I'm going to go forward and see what happens. I think I'll use my old 5 gal. pot to drain the bag into, so if it rips it doesn't spill into hot wort, and I can pour it back into the 10 gal. pot with a strainer.

Yeah, this is kind of meatball brewing. I'm generally much more precise, but I got a hair up my backside and want to see how far I can push this.

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