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Old 10-19-2009, 04:25 AM   #1
thomasdt12
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Default First All Grain try, BIAB

This is a summary - good for my memory but others may find it useful (or maybe humorous) :

I picked up an inexpensive Stout all-grain kit and thought I would try my my hand at Brew In a Bag. I filled my 10 Gallon pot with 7.25 Gallons water - I went with this amount based solely on the size of my kettle. My propane burner is a 200K BTU beast, so I was worried about the bag. Sure enough, as I took the temperature up - I then attached the bag at around 150 degrees. The flames or just the handle temperature alone caused the nylon bag to start to disintegrate. Luckily I picked up 2 bags when I ordered.

I removed the bag, and took the water to 180 degrees - shutting flame down to a minimum and replacing bag (first putting cold rags on the handles). Added all 10.5 lbs grain and stirred. Temperature came down to ~165, so I stirred and kept the top off until hitting closer to 155. At that point, I covered and checked/stirred on it every 10-15 minutes.

After 90 minutes, I pulled the bag out of the wort. Quickly move it onto an upside down colander put in a bottling bucket. Squeezed the crap out of the bag (with my hands), getting almost a gallon additional wort out. I then added this back into the main wort. I decided to test gravity, getting 1.020 but then realizing the wort was still 130-140 degrees. As it cooled it came up to 1.031, but then I thought - "I didn't even start a boil yet". I had close to 5.5 gallons water which surprised me - probably because it was covered most of the time (I should of added here I think, to bring it to 6 Gallons or so).

So, onto the boil. Added bittering hops, boiled. Added flavoring hops with ~15 minutes left. Stopped flame, put in wort chiller to bring down temp. At ~80 degrees, tested OG - almost 1.050 which I thought was very good as recipe called for 1.045 at 75% efficiency but it was at 4.5 gallons at this point.

Racked to the primary, and added 1/2 gallon water (never did that but thought it would be alright with the gravity where it was). No idea how this will turn out, but being my 3rd beer (1st AG after 2 extracts) I have high hopes.

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Old 10-19-2009, 05:16 AM   #2
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Sounds good. Your OG was probably high due to your squeezing of the grains. Don't be surprised if you get a cloudy beer because of that, but I don't know of any reason it would affect flavor very much. Actually I just remembered you brewed a stout, so you shouldn't even notice

also, i want your burner.

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
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Thanks PoB, I will check into the cloudy beer issue as I plan on using this method for many other beers as well.

After just 4 hours, I am already getting bubbles in the airlock. Much faster than the extract kits I used.

Here is the burner I have, sounds like a jet plane at times:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewin...and-stand.html

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3rd: Honey Hefeweizen, just bottled
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:59 PM   #4
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I've done 2 BIAB now and had really good success. Beersmith does a good job of estimating your strike water temp, just put your mash in amount to your total boil volume. I've started with 8 gallons and get just over 5 gallons into my fermenter.

I did build a false bottom out of a spatter shield just to keep the bag off the bottom. I also mash out at 170 for about 5 minutes before bringing the wort up to a boil.

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Old 10-19-2009, 02:50 PM   #5
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I BiaB as well. My stovetop setup has been getting anywhere from 60-75% efficiency. I toss in a cup of LDME at flameout to boost the alcohol % a little bit. Having just purchased a burner from Menards' I'll be changing my setup in hopes of achieving better results.

I've done four all-grain brews now. The first two were a tad cloudier than I would have liked so I purchased some Irish Moss. I tossed in a teaspoon into my latest two brews to help clarify the beer. One is in secondary and the other in primary. Now that my garage temp has dropped to around 40-50 F I'm also cold crashing to get it just a tad more clear.

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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I did not do much of a mash-out this time, just brought it directly to boil. You do that with the bag in the pot still right? I did not want to risk my bag burning again, so decided to just keep it at 150 or so and then removed back and started to take it to boil. Will have to try to goto 170 next time first.

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3rd: Honey Hefeweizen, just bottled
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:27 PM   #7
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I agree on the clarifier use, I used a tablet in my first brew. Will need to add that addition (tab or Irish moss) to my next batch, still in the educational stages so far.

My first Porter was killer - really like the taste. The Creme Ale I made was more like a Blue Moon, more citrusy - did not like it as much.

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2nd: Cream Ale, extract kit
3rd: Honey Hefeweizen, just bottled
4th: Oatmeal Stout, in Primary

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasdt12 View Post
I did not do much of a mash-out this time, just brought it directly to boil. You do that with the bag in the pot still right? I did not want to risk my bag burning again, so decided to just keep it at 150 or so and then removed back and started to take it to boil. Will have to try to goto 170 next time first.
Yes I do bring it up to 170 w/ the bag in it. The key is having something to keep the bag off the bottom of the pot. I'll take a pic when I get home, I just used a splatter screen that I cut the handle off then made legs out of copper pipe straps. Cheap and easy and it supports the weight of the grain bed no problem.
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:25 PM   #9
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Sounds like you have the same problem I do....efficiency too good!

I keep aiming for around 75% efficiency with BIAB, (I mash in one tun in the bag at around 1.5 qt water / lb grain, then transfer to my BK where I have the remainder of my water as "sparge water")....and I keep getting 85-90%...

Oh well...I suppose there are worse problems!

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Old 10-19-2009, 08:46 PM   #10
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my burner is the problem, I get quite a bit of heat up the sides and killed my first bag just getting to 170 degrees. I may have to hold the bug up off the sides for 5 minutes or so while I do the final mash next time.

Efficiency related as you mentioned shortyjcobs, I wonder how fermentation will be affected. It was going good for 12-15 hours but now has slowed quite a bit. Will wait it out the week and possibly try a gravity check then.

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My first brew: Porter, extract kit
2nd: Cream Ale, extract kit
3rd: Honey Hefeweizen, just bottled
4th: Oatmeal Stout, in Primary


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