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Old 10-01-2011, 05:15 AM   #1
gleytch
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Default First BIAB

I'm sure there have been plenty of these threads and we don't need another, but I'm going to add one anyway.

I brewed my first all grain today and did it as a BIAB. I've brewed plenty of extract batches - over 50 - so I'm not a complete noob, but this was my first attempt at an all grain. The beer I brewed was the AHS Apocalypso. It is my favorite beer so far, but I've only tried the extract version.

I read the sticky thread on BIAB a couple of times and followed it for the most part. I mashed a bit longer than necessary and I used a 5 gallon Gott cooler that I've had for years as my mash tun.

I hit the OG numbers right on the mark, and the wort was the best I've ever tasted (though I'm sure there was some makers love going in to that evaluation).

I'll brew an extract version of this same beer (AHS Apocalypso) tomorrow for a comparison and I plan to do a taste test of the two.

I seriously hope the all grain is worse or only marginally better. My brewing compulsion was perfectly happy brewing excellent extract beer, but if all grain is significantly better I may be in trouble. I don't have time to do all grain everytime I brew.

Greg

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Old 10-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #2
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You don't get another merit badge for doing AG. If time is an issue and you make great beer with extract, why change? AG is not a magic fix if you're making average extract beer. You seem to know brewing. Don't get caught up in the AG headtrip. Many many ribbon beers were brewed with extract. AG is just one more way to fiddle with the knobs.
These forums got me all caught up into almost rebuilding my simple setup because more is better and for most of us, it's the "fiddling about" aspect of brewing that is fun. But if my mash holds its temp for an hour, do I need to build a new herm system? Making a great beer involves much more than the brew day and the vessels. I chose to focus more on the other aspects.

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Old 10-01-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tektonjp
You don't get another merit badge for doing AG. If time is an issue and you make great beer with extract, why change? AG is not a magic fix if you're making average extract beer. You seem to know brewing. Don't get caught up in the AG headtrip. Many many ribbon beers were brewed with extract. AG is just one more way to fiddle with the knobs.
These forums got me all caught up into almost rebuilding my simple setup because more is better and for most of us, it's the "fiddling about" aspect of brewing that is fun. But if my mash holds its temp for an hour, do I need to build a new herm system? Making a great beer involves much more than the brew day and the vessels. I chose to focus more on the other aspects.
Second thought. If this is your first all grain, why is your mash tun one you had for years? Just curious.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tektonjp

Second thought. If this is your first all grain, why is your mash tun one you had for years? Just curious.
He said he used a cooler he's had for years. As a mashtun.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
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Like you said, I'm sure you've made great beer going the extract route. I did a couple kit in a can batches and 1 extract batch before I went BIAB and they were very good beers. The cost savings with getting my grains in bulk and milling my own is reason enough for me to go all grain. For just a simple recipe it's around $13 for 5 gal batch for me, extract just can't touch that. I just think it's pretty cool to start with a pile of grain and end up with a GREAT tasting beer.

The more batches you have under your belt the more you'll be able to cut the time down as you perfect your process. My first BIAB took longer than I would have liked, but after a few I was able to get much more efficient multi-tasking and save some time. Give it a few more batches even if you don't think the beer is all that great on this one(although I'm sure you'll be quite impressed with it).

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Old 10-02-2011, 12:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoopirV900

He said he used a cooler he's had for years. As a mashtun.
My bad. Late night and read it wrong. Sorry.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dilbone
... I just think it's pretty cool to start with a pile of grain and end up with a GREAT tasting beer.

... Give it a few more batches even if you don't think the beer is all that great on this one(although I'm sure you'll be quite impressed with it).
I'm sure it will be great, nearly every batch of beer I've made has been at least as good as the $8 six packs at the store.

I'll definitely do more all grain batches, but I'm not going to give up extract any time soon. I brew too much beer to do it all as all grain with my equipment and the time
I have available. I took an afternoon off from work to do this one.

I agree with your statement about how cool it is to start with a pile of grain and turn it into beer. I was shocked at how sweet and tasty the wort was after just soaking some barley in some hot water for an hour or so. I even dragged my wife out to the garage and made her taste it. She was suitably impressed, too.

This batch was about $6 cheaper than the extract version at AHS, but it took about 3 hours longer to brew. I regularly trade my time for money (work) and I'm almost as willing to trade my money for time so I will continue to brew mostly extract, I'm sure. But I will also make time to do an all grain batch now and then when I want to brew something special.

Thanks for your reply.

Greg
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tektonjp

My bad. Late night and read it wrong. Sorry.
I is -literally- a Gott cooler that I found on the side of the road. Pulled the car over and ran down into the ditch to get it.

Until my BIAB yesterday, it had only been used to brine a turkey for thanksgiving a few years ago. The rest of the time it had been in the attic.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tektonjp
You don't get another merit badge for doing AG. If time is an issue and you make great beer with extract, why change? AG is not a magic fix if you're making average extract beer. You seem to know brewing. Don't get caught up in the AG headtrip. Many many ribbon beers were brewed with extract. AG is just one more way to fiddle with the knobs.
These forums got me all caught up into almost rebuilding my simple setup because more is better and for most of us, it's the "fiddling about" aspect of brewing that is fun. But if my mash holds its temp for an hour, do I need to build a new herm system? Making a great beer involves much more than the brew day and the vessels. I chose to focus more on the other aspects.
While I agree that all grain is not a magic fix, I'm going to go ahead and award myself a merit badge for doing an all grain batch despite your protest. I have also awarded myself the First Homebrew, First Can and Kilo, and first Extract with Steeping Grains (with oak leaf clusters for 10th, 25th and 50th batches) badges if you are keeping score :-).

I did not do it to fix a problem, as I said, I make great extract beer. Instead, I did the all grain beer for the experience and so that I could taste the difference for myself.

It is fermenting now, so I may (or may not) report back when I have taste tested the AG vs Extract.

Greg
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:51 AM   #10
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Again, sorry. i thought I heard in your first post a sound of resignation that you had to try AG and hoped it wouldn't turn out well because you were happy with your extract brewing. I misunderstood, I guess.
That said, if the beer in the end is a good brew by whatever method, then by all means pin the medals on it and "cheers!"

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