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-   -   My First BIAB Experience *PICS* (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/my-first-biab-experience-pics-359424/)

Brulosopher 10-07-2012 03:39 PM

My First BIAB Experience *PICS*
 
I usually brew 10 gallon batches every-other-week, mostly using the Batch Sparge method, though occasionally I fly sparge. My typical brew day is right around 6 hours from start to finish and my efficiency averages about 73%. I hadn't planned on brewing this weekend but realized my family had nothing planned, so I figured I'd have some fun trying a few things I'd been meaning to try for awhile: Brew In A Bag, low OG session beer using mostly Munich Light malt, pitching directly from washed and harvested yeast with no starter, and using 100% Perle hops. I'm calling the beer a mOktoberfest, and if all goes well, plan to take plenty to jeffd10's Oktoberfest party in a couple weeks. Here are the details...

As soon as I decided I wanted to brew, I designed the following low OG recipe using BeerSmith:

Brulosopher's mOktoberfest Recipe
Est OG: 1.040 (Actual was 1.035)
Est FG: 1.011
IBU: 23
SRM: 8
Est ABV: 3.8%

Grain
4.75 lbs Munich (10L)
2.50 lbs Pilsner (Canadian)
6.00 oz C60

Hops
14 g Perle @ 50 min
14 g Perle @ 20 min
15 g Perle @ 5 min

Yeast
WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch (harvested and washed, no starter)

EQUIPMENT
15 gallon kettle with ball valve (my boil kettle)
1 large (24" x 24") mesh grain bag
Chugger pump (not necessary)
Plate chiller (not necessary)

I've seen people use a pulley and other gizmos, but I wanted to keep this pretty simple. I only used the pump because I have it, it's certainly not necessary.

PROCESS
I changed my equipment setting in BeerSmith to BIAB and it said to gather the entire water volume into the kettle, essentially making this a "no sparge" brew day. I went with it and gathered just over 9 gallons of filtered water.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-2-56732.jpg

While my water was heating, I measured and milled my grains...
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-1-56731.jpg

...then poured them into my grain bag.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-3-56733.jpg

Once my strike water had reached temp (162F for a 156-158F mash), I put the grain bag in the kettle and stirred well.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-4-56734.jpg

After about 5 minutes of stirring, my mash was to temp, so I poured myself a Tiny Bottom Pale Ale and relaxed for a bit.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-5-56735.jpg

After about 15 minutes I checked my temps and noticed it had dropped about 1 degree, so I laid a sleeping bag over the kettle to preserve as much heat as possible.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-6-56736.jpg

Then I had some of my Brulospher's Brown Ale.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-7-56737.jpg

Once the mash was complete, I turned my burner on to raise the temp of the wort to 168F for a mash out- this only took about 10 minutes.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-8-56738.jpg

I removed the grains and began my boil.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...o-10-56740.jpg

I recently bought these paint strainer bags to use for hops- a maiden voyage.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...to-9-56739.jpg

With about 15 minutes left in the boil, I connected my pump and plate chiller to get everything sanitized- no clogs, the paint strainer bags worked great!
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...o-11-56741.jpg

Then I drank this, to stay humble...
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...o-12-56742.jpg

While BeerSmith predicted over 80% efficiency, I got right around 65%, which is fine with me. My guess is this was at least partially due to the fact I didn't squeeze the grains or anything. Either way, I then pumped my chilled wort into the fermenter... yep, I still prefer plastic buckets.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...o-14-56744.jpg

Finally, I pitched my yeast and placed the fermenter in the regulated freezer... and again, yep, I always keep cheap beer on hand. Don't hate.
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...o-15-56745.jpg

Here's to hoping for best! Also, I like this shot of my brewery at work:
http://cdn.homebrewtalk.com/images/8...o-13-56743.jpg

Cheers!

jwalk4 10-07-2012 04:10 PM

Damn that's nice! :mug:

Out of curiosity, how did you drain your grains after the mash? Just hold it? How long did it take? etc.

Brulosopher 10-07-2012 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwalk4
Damn that's nice! :mug:

Out of curiosity, how did you drain your grains after the mash? Just hold it? How long did it take? etc.

Yep, lifted it out and let it drain for a few minutes. Since it was a small grain bill, it didn't take long at all.

signpost 10-08-2012 12:33 AM

Nice set up. Looks like you could do regular all-grain with the equipment you have (I'm guessing you have done that). Why did you decide to go the BIAB route? Just to try a new technique? Or to simplify your process?

Just curious.

ArcLight 10-08-2012 12:47 AM

Why 9 gallons of water?

With that little grain, you will lose a couple of quarts. 1.25 gallons in boil off. .25 dead space. Some for teh wort lost to hops.
I'd have gone with 7.25 gallons.

I think you mashed too thin. 36 quarts to 7.25 pounds of grain with enzymes (discounting the C120).


>.Once my strike water had reached temp (162F for a 156-158F mash), I put the grain bag in the kettle and stirred well.
What temperature did you mash at? That thin a mash will denature (actually not protect them from being denatured) your A-Amylase at higher temperatures.

That small an amount of grain will not lower the water temperature so much.

Getting all the dripping out is important. Even a gentle squeeze will get extra sugar.

Was the grain well milled, with a tight crush?


I think if you were to mash at a lower temperature, with less water (sparge for extra efficiency) you would get better results.

BIAB works, but there are things that will affect efficiency. I hope you try it again.

Brulosopher 10-08-2012 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by signpost (Post 4478732)
Nice set up. Looks like you could do regular all-grain with the equipment you have (I'm guessing you have done that). Why did you decide to go the BIAB route? Just to try a new technique? Or to simplify your process?

Just curious.

The only reason I did this was to try something new on a totally unplanned brew day. I usually batch sparge and occasionally fly sparge. It was certainly simpler and I might go back to it for kicks, but I'll stick with batch/fly sparging.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArcLight (Post 4478776)
Why 9 gallons of water?

With that little grain, you will lose a couple of quarts. 1.25 gallons in boil off. .25 dead space. Some for teh wort lost to hops.
I'd have gone with 7.25 gallons.

I think you mashed too thin. 36 quarts to 7.25 pounds of grain with enzymes (discounting the C120).


>.Once my strike water had reached temp (162F for a 156-158F mash), I put the grain bag in the kettle and stirred well.
What temperature did you mash at? That thin a mash will denature (actually not protect them from being denatured) your A-Amylase at higher temperatures.

That small an amount of grain will not lower the water temperature so much.

Getting all the dripping out is important. Even a gentle squeeze will get extra sugar.

Was the grain well milled, with a tight crush?


I think if you were to mash at a lower temperature, with less water (sparge for extra efficiency) you would get better results.

BIAB works, but there are things that will affect efficiency. I hope you try it again.

God, everything you pointed out was spot on! I was very curious about the large volume of water BeerSmith recommended, but I just went with it because I was sort of in a hurry to get brewing. By the end of the boil I was still at about 8.25 gallons, hence the lower than expected OG. Also, I said I didn't squeeze or anything, but I did actually press the grain bag against the side of the kettle, mainly to relieve my arm a bit. Either way, 65% with that much extra water and no real sparge indicates to me really good efficiency given the proper volumes, no?

Thanks for the feedback, very interesting! Cheers.

Brulosopher 10-08-2012 01:49 AM

Well, 24 hours after pitching I'm not seeing any signs of fermentation... no krauesen, not airlock bubbling, nothing. I'm not terribly concerned since I pitched harvested and washed yeast that's about 2 months old and it's currently sitting at 62F- I can't imagine it won't take off at some point. I never dump beer (I've got friends who will seriously drink anything), but if this thing never takes off it may be a first. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Brulosopher 10-08-2012 04:07 PM

Still no signs of fermentation. Yet another reason I'll never wash used yeast again, it's too unpredictable. Ehh, I'm now looking for something to project my annoyance onto...

I think I'll pick up and pitch some Notty this afternoon.

Brulosopher 10-08-2012 04:53 PM

Just read this, and sighed... from BYO:

The problem with thin mashes is enzyme stability. Enzymes are less stable in a thin mash and denaturation can become a real problem. The enzyme of concern is beta-amylase, since there is a limiting supply of beta-amylase in comparison to alpha-amylase. If beta-amylase denatures too quickly, then the resulting wort will have a decreased fermentability.

Sh!t

stompbox 10-08-2012 06:30 PM

I do not recommend using nylon paint strainers during the boil, those temps are too high for a plastic based bag. You can use them for the mash, but I do not recommend it during the boil.


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