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Old 09-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #31
Mysticmead
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I have what might be a silly question, but I am new to BIAB and have been doing all extract brewing to this point. I brewed an extract pumpkin ale and my recipe called for the pumpkin to be added at 60 minutes of the boil with the first hop addition. Is there a reason you have to add the pumpkin in your grain bag when doing BIAB and why couldn't you just add the pumpkin at 60 minutes of the boil like you would in an extract recipe?
if added to the mash you get the fermentable sugars converted along with the starches in the grain. adding to the boil could lead to a very cloudy beer if the pectin sets due to boiling. not to mention that'd be a hell of a mess in the kettle to siphon around .
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:18 PM   #32
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I second mashing with the pumpkin instead. I've read plenty of posts from people who had a nightmare trying to get their beer to clear after boiling the pumpkin. Haven't tried it myself but after everything I've read I don't think I want to.

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Old 09-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #33
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I didn't have too much of a problem. That's why I brought up the question.

I just poured my wort (pumpkin puree and all) from my kettle to my fermentor, aerated it, pitched the yeast and let it sit for 2 weeks. Then after 2 weeks, all of the trub had settled to the bottom and I racked it from my fermentor to a carboy. I did end up with about a gallon of trub but I accounted for that in my boil to leave me with about 6 gal. total to rack in the fermentor. The beer cleared pretty nicely in the secondary vessel and there was hardly any trub when I went to rack from the carboy to the bottling bucket. Oh, and the pumpkin ale I made is arguably one of the best I've ever had including store bought pumpkin ales...

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Old 09-14-2012, 02:27 PM   #34
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So... made the pumpkin beer Friday night. Smelled amazing the whole time I cooked it! Started with 9 gallons and ended with like 6.5-7 gallons! My FG was 1.054, which was a HUGE miss from the 1.062 I was hoping for, but I believe it was due to a few factors. 1) The extra gallon or so of wort I ended up with, 2) The grain could have been milled a little finer, 3) I think I'm still missing my strike temp due to thermometer problems. Missed my mash temp, was mashing around 152 and was aiming for 154-156. Kind of disappointed for the OG for 15lbs of grain, but oh well. Have to fine tune my skills. Open to any suggestions.

P.S. - My buddy belives I have missed my OG on this beer and two priors due to the BIAB process, although a lot of other brewers are doing perfect with it. Anyone have recommendations on thermometers? I believe this is my main problem. I have two Taylor's and one will read 177 and another will read 152, while an old fashion Mercury thermometer reads 150... So any suggestions besides Taylor!

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Old 09-14-2012, 02:33 PM   #35
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I use three different thermometers: a digital pocket-size one, an old-fashion floating one, and a bremometer. If you're getting a wide range of variation among your temperatures, you need to calibrate or get new ones. Who knows what temp you're actually mashing at.

As for BIAB, your buddy's just flat out wrong. Keep honing your technique -- once you dial in how much strike water, controlling your (correct) mash temp, and controlling your boil, you will start seeing better results. Brewing is a skill and an art -- it takes time and practice. The good news is that you are making beer all along the way!

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:05 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Chris7687 View Post
So... made the pumpkin beer Friday night. Smelled amazing the whole time I cooked it! Started with 9 gallons and ended with like 6.5-7 gallons! My FG was 1.054, which was a HUGE miss from the 1.062 I was hoping for, but I believe it was due to a few factors. 1) The extra gallon or so of wort I ended up with, 2) The grain could have been milled a little finer, 3) I think I'm still missing my strike temp due to thermometer problems. Missed my mash temp, was mashing around 152 and was aiming for 154-156. Kind of disappointed for the OG for 15lbs of grain, but oh well. Have to fine tune my skills. Open to any suggestions.

P.S. - My buddy belives I have missed my OG on this beer and two priors due to the BIAB process, although a lot of other brewers are doing perfect with it. Anyone have recommendations on thermometers? I believe this is my main problem. I have two Taylor's and one will read 177 and another will read 152, while an old fashion Mercury thermometer reads 150... So any suggestions besides Taylor!
My taylor thermometer was off 11 degrees. Its now a table ornament. I bought the thermal industries oven thermometr/timer and waterproofed the probe with heast shrink tubing and silicone tubing. Its now my mash thermometer.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:17 PM   #37
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you're missing you OG because you had to much wort. hone the process and you'll get it nailed. first thing to do is learn how much you boil off in 60 minutes. and I mean EXACTLY how much you boil off. If you want to hit numbers, you have to have a way of measuring exact volumes. it can be a sight glass, or a spoon/stick that is marked in half gallon increments. if the recipe called for 5.5 gallons post boil and you had 6.5-7 gallons that would throw your numbers way off.

once you learn the boil off, learn how much you lose to trub in the kettle. then use this formula

batch size + boil off + trub loss + absorption = water needed.
absorption can be determined by grain weight * .066 = absorption. you can adjust that number up or down as needed until you get your desired volume each time. I squeeze the hell out of the bag so I use a lower number. Some don't squeeze very much or at all and will use a higher number.

as far as your buddies, they're wrong. BIAB is just a different process for AG brewing and once you learn your equipment and process you'll be making incredible beers while hitting your numbers each time.

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:30 PM   #38
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Thanks for the responses. Was thinking If I come up short/or purposely start with less water I can sparge the bag with water to get my preboil water amount. What are everyones thoughts on this?

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