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Old 02-22-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
cincydave
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Default First BIAB attempt

After brewing nine extract batches, took the leap to BIAB, after reading all about it on HBT. It’s an Irish Blonde ale. We were already using a turkey fryer set up, so the only thing we needed to buy was the bag. Got the large paint strainer bag (2 for $5 at Home Depot). Couple of issues.

First was the grain crush. It was terrible from the LHBS. Lots of totally uncrushed grain. Hit it with a food processor which helped quite a bit, but still not what I would call a good crush. May have to try to make one of those pasta maker grain mills.

Second issue, we ended up mashing too high. Set the strike water a little low intentionally, then brought it up, while stirring vigorously to what we thought was 152F. It was chilly outside, so we took it in and wrapped in a blanket. Stirred after about 20 minutes and took the temp again and it was at 156F. Guess the bottom of the mash was hotter than the top (where we measured) and after it all kind of evened out we overshot out mash temp. Oh well, live and learn. Total mash time was a little over an hour. Set bag on grate on top of kettle. Squeezed real good and ladled 180F water through grain bag, squeezing a few more times in the process. Boiled it down to 5 Gal, cooled and pitched.
OG was 1.055. Calculated the efficiency at 66%, which, while not great, wasn’t too bad for first attempt, especially considering we didn’t have the best crush. Calculated efficiency manually as we don’t have brewing software.

Even though we didn’t do everything perfectly, it was a lot of fun. Now the waiting to see how it turns out. Tom Petty is right, the waiting really is the hardest part!

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
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The trick is during the heating of the mash is stir very vigorously, using a bottom up type of stirring (moving the mash up in stead of around), this ensures that the hotter mash at the bottom is brought up to meet the cooler mash at the surface, where you take the temp.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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Just did my second BIAB last weekend. Piece of cake!!

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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The trick is during the heating of the mash is stir very vigorously, using a bottom up type of stirring (moving the mash up in stead of around), this ensures that the hotter mash at the bottom is brought up to meet the cooler mash at the surface, where you take the temp.
Yes, excellent point. Our mash paddle, if you'd call it that is small plastic paddle with holes in it. May have to look into something a little more substantial for better mixing
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cincydave View Post
May have to try to make one of those pasta maker grain mills.
Sounds like you did fine...Sorry, but in my experience, I would highly reccomend a corona mill over a modded pasta roller...while the pasta roller will work, it's not a long term solution. For roughly another ten bucks you will get a mill that will crush tons of grain and is much more adjustable...pasta roller is a toy compared to a corona...just my two copper coins.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:56 PM   #6
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Yes, would like a corona. Probably go with whatever I find cheap at a garage sale first.

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Old 02-23-2012, 12:09 AM   #7
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I have a grain mill like this one. http://www.amazon.com/Large-Hopper-Wheat-Grain-Grinder/dp/B004BUVPAE/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1329959248&sr=8-12 It seems to be the right ticket for BIAB. My efficiency tends to run between 80 and 85% with it.

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Old 02-23-2012, 12:28 AM   #8
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Nice Price. Do you hand crank, use drill, or what? How fast does it go through the grain?

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Old 02-23-2012, 12:42 AM   #9
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The trick is during the heating of the mash is stir very vigorously, using a bottom up type of stirring (moving the mash up in stead of around), this ensures that the hotter mash at the bottom is brought up to meet the cooler mash at the surface, where you take the temp.
It helps a lot to use a pumping up and down action with a large potato masher rather than a spoon. Much easier
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:45 AM   #10
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Nice Price. Do you hand crank, use drill, or what? How fast does it go through the grain?
Drill is easier and faster, but the hand crank will work but it is tad bit of work. Harbor freight sells an inexpensive drill that pairs well w/ a cheap corona mill, see thread link below:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/harbor-freight-1-2-d-handle-drill-32-99-a-162236/

set up of corona mill linked in my sig below...the classic ugly junk thread
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