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Old 06-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
weeple2000
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Default First BIAB Attempt

Last night my girlfriend and I did our first BIAB batch. I have done extracts before but never all grain. Needless to say the process leaves much room for improvement, but I thought I'd post about it and see if anyone has any suggestions.

First off, I know I messed up because I can't remember if I milled 10 lbs of grain or 11 lbs of grain. I know that will have an effect on temps and efficiency and such.

I figured we'd want to allow a good 4 hours for brewing, and it wound up being closer to 6+ with the time spent cleaning and preparing. I should have thought out the process a bit more.

when I look here: http://www.simplebiabcalculator.com/ it doesn't seem like there is much of a difference for 11 lbs vs 10 lbs. One improvement to my process is probably a more accurate thermometer. My thermometer dial is probably about an inch in diameter, and the numbers go up 2 degrees per notch. I wanted my strike water to be 158.7 F. I thought the temp was at this when we turned off the burner. We added the grain and I took another reading, and it appeared as though it was too low so we turned the burner back on.

***I suspect this is one place we erred, because I put a winter parka over the pot and we left to make dinner, and when I came back to check it, it read 165 F. We finished making dinner and did an iodine test and when we were done with an hour of mashing it read 158 F. So I am thinking we will wind up with a full bodied beer that may not ferment completely dry here. The iodine test did not turn the wort black, so I guess the mash worked.

The rest of the process I had done before, just not with boiling as much wort so I am not as concerned about it.

Here are some times
7:55 - started heating mash water
8:40 - mash in
10:25 - started heating for boil
10:37 - boiling, first hop addition

is that how long it should take to heat the water?

We heated 7.86 gallons, preboil was supposed to be 6.61 and post boil 5.61. I think we came pretty close to that judging by what went into the carboy when it was all said and done. I also mashed out at 170 for 10 minutes or so by heating the water with the burner.

The recipe was a maris otter SMASH with cascade. Wanted to keep it simple.
1 oz 60 min
1 oz 15 min
1 oz 0 min
10 or 11 lbs of maris otter (can't remember)

Gravity preboil was 1.040 and post was 1.051, although I did not think to correct for temperature for the post boil reading so that was another error.

I have a bayou classic pot, 13.5" diameter, 11 gallon. The burner is an SQ14.

Sorry for the ramblings.

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Old 06-17-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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Another question I have is about the wort chiller. We made one and it has plastic tubing on the end of the copper with a metal band to hold it on. When we put the wort chiller in the wort, we didn't pump water through it. Should we have? We wound up taking off the plastic because we were concerned it would melt. I am thinking we are supposed to be running water through the wort chiller while it is in the wort.

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Old 06-17-2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weeple2000
Another question I have is about the wort chiller. We made one and it has plastic tubing on the end of the copper with a metal band to hold it on. When we put the wort chiller in the wort, we didn't pump water through it. Should we have? We wound up taking off the plastic because we were concerned it would melt. I am thinking we are supposed to be running water through the wort chiller while it is in the wort.

Yes you should be pumping cold water through the chiller, assuming you have a standard immersion chiller.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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45 minutes is pretty reasonable to reach strike temperature on a stove top. I think thats about where i was on my electric stove in my apartment, seems like it was faster but never paid too close attention there. I had a big enough pot to use 2 burners at once. My new place with gas took exactly an hour to reach strike Temp.

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Old 06-17-2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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Just to clarify, I mean while the chiller is in the wort during the last 15 minutes of the boil in addition to when it is actually supposed to be chilling the wort. So pump water the whole time the chiller is in the wort?

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Old 06-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weeple2000
Just to clarify, I mean while the chiller is in the wort during the last 15 minutes of the boil in addition to when it is actually supposed to be chilling the wort. So pump water the whole time the chiller is in the wort?
Only After the boil while you are chilling.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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Nope. Only run the water after you are done with the boil (including the time with the chiller in the boiling wort). You want the chiller to get hot, that is what sanitizes it. I doubt I do 15 minutes, maybe 10 and I've been OK so far...

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Old 06-17-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Ok, I guess we didn't mess that part up then. I suppose we will have to continue to remove the plastic tubing from the chiller while we are sanitizing it then so that it doesn't melt.

What do you do for checking temp of your strike water? I think the temp of the water in the pot might vary depending on where in the pot we are checking the temperature. I think I need a new thermometer. Also, I suspect we shouldn't check the temp of the mash until a while after it has been mashing, that way the temperature is the same between the grain and the water.

Thanks for the input.

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:15 AM   #9
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You can also use plastic tubing which will tolerate the boiling water so you don't have to remove it, and/or bend (gently, slowly) part of the coil up so the plastic tubing never touches the boiling water. I have done both. I have also just immersed my coil in a big pot of Starsan to sanitize it.

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:32 AM   #10
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Based on your temperature issues, I'm guessing you didn't do much stirring of the strike water while it was heating. With the burner on the bottom and your thermometer near the surface, you need to really churn the water up when approaching strike temp to break up the temp stratification in the water, as it will be several degrees hotter near the bottom, giving you inaccurate temp readings. Same goes for dough-in. You want to stir up the grains really well to eliminate any temp stratification.

And yes, you really need a reliable thermometer for mashing. I have this one and it works pretty well.

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