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Old 10-23-2009, 03:08 PM   #11
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I have been doing BIAB for a few mashes now. I sparge with the above mentioned technique of heating a couple gallons on the stove. Transfer to an Ale Pail and dunk the grain bag in for 10 minutes. I have been getting around 75%.

Slightly off topic. I actually ramp mash BIAB. To prevent the bottom from scorching I have a false bottom in the pot. This gradually raises the temp from tap temps of mid 70F's to 158F. This takes approx. 2 hours. I did this for conversion for a Wit to convert the wheat instead of a true step or decoction. This also worked for a Belgian Strong Golden which recommends this technique.

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Old 10-23-2009, 05:54 PM   #12
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You think you could get more sugar by sparging w/ tap water? Maybe at its hottest I guess? I hadn't considered that since I thought you'd need 170* sparge water to get anything extra from the grains.
Kaiser actually had success sparging with something like 130F but I'm going from memory. While the hotter temps make things a little more fluid, you'll definitely get sugar out of the deal.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:07 PM   #13
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I do a hybrid BIAB / sparge. I use a 5 gal cooler thats unmodified (no braid or spigot etc) and a 5 gal paint strainer bag from Lowes ($2). Bag goes in cooler, grain goes in bag, strike water goes over grain, then a mash. To sparge, I just lift the grain bag out, dump my "first runnings" from the cooler, put the grain bag (with grains still in it) back in the bag and add my sparge water over the grain again. Wait 10 min then pull out the bag and dump out the sparged wort from the cooler.

Works like a charm and means that I moved from extract to all grain for $22 TOTAL ($20 for cooler, $2 for bag). No recirculation needed, and the wort comes out without any husk material at all, just as if you had vourlaufed.

I like my technique and recommend it to anyone who's lazy and cheap like me.

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Old 10-23-2009, 09:51 PM   #14
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I BIAB almost exclusively now. 75-80%. I do a mash-out - not sure it helps but it makes me feel better. I also no-chill. Makes for fairly short and stress free brewdays. Thinking of moving up to 10 gallons and I may just use extract for part, rather than getting an enormous pot. (BIAB generally requires a pot at least twice the size of the batch.) Bulk DME is about $2/lb.

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Old 10-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #15
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Bulk DME is about $2/lb.
what? from where?
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:55 AM   #16
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what? from where?
North Country Malt. Brewers in our area do a group buy a few times a year, so I just add a 50lb bag onto the orders.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghpeel View Post
I do a hybrid BIAB / sparge. I use a 5 gal cooler thats unmodified (no braid or spigot etc) and a 5 gal paint strainer bag from Lowes ($2). Bag goes in cooler, grain goes in bag, strike water goes over grain, then a mash. To sparge, I just lift the grain bag out, dump my "first runnings" from the cooler, put the grain bag (with grains still in it) back in the bag and add my sparge water over the grain again. Wait 10 min then pull out the bag and dump out the sparged wort from the cooler.

Works like a charm and means that I moved from extract to all grain for $22 TOTAL ($20 for cooler, $2 for bag). No recirculation needed, and the wort comes out without any husk material at all, just as if you had vourlaufed.

I like my technique and recommend it to anyone who's lazy and cheap like me.

This is essentially what I do. I use the large Austin Homebrew bag and I've done as much as 14 lbs of grain without any problem (in a 10 gallon cooler). I usually end up at 80% efficiency (+/-2%) with a double sparge of the bagged grains. I've spent a few more dollars and have a second cooler that holds the sparge water so I can drain the Mash Tun into the brew kettle and start heating it during the sparging process. This knocks about 30 min off the brew day. Another plus about the bags is that I doubt a stuck sparge is possible.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:52 PM   #18
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I am intrigued by you guys' cooler/BIAB idea. It seems like a good way to bypass the problem of pot/batch size. With my setup right now, I can only mash about 6 pounds of grain.

However, the first time I ever did BIAB, I tried adding the grain bag all at once to the mash water and I got a huge dough ball that I spent :20 trying to break up.

I have a feeling I might get the same result if I just poured the mash water over top of a full grain bag.

If a lot of that dough stays dry in the middle, and I suspect it might because it packs itself pretty tight, then your efficiency will surely suffer.

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Old 10-24-2009, 03:05 PM   #19
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If your bag and vessel are big enough, you drape the edges of the bag over the walls of the pot or cooler and put some quick clamps on. Now you can stir the grain and water together as if the bag weren't there.

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Old 10-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #20
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Sweet thanks. Just wasn't picturing it that way.

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