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Old 01-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
wickman6
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Originally Posted by toddh View Post
I had the same issues with cooler mashing until I read from someone on here to add the strike water to the cooler at a higher temp than strike and stir it until it gets to target strike temp (about 12 degrees higher than mash temp) and then add grain. Now I hit my temps (within a degree) every time. Also, crushing my own grain made a huge difference in efficiency. No need to buy any additional equipment other than the grain mill and just changing technique. My 2 cents.
Forgot to add: you have to preheat your mash tun! I usually heat up 3 gallons to about 170, add to tun, and leave in until strike water is ready...
This is exactly what I do too.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:50 PM   #12
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15 degrees above temp in winter with gain in, 11 degrees above temp in summer with grain in. Never a problem. No per heating either. However, the cooler must be at room temp or above and some of the temp depends on how big your grain bill is. Now that I said that I'm going to jinx myself, I can feel it coming....lol

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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Default for small grain bills

if you want easy cheap all grain...I love the deathbrewer method of mash in a bag. It works great for small to medium size grain bills. I have gone as high as 15lbs...but it is ideal for anything 12lbs or less....I am pretty much spot on 75% efficiency everytime...but can take it to just over 80% if I try.

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:52 PM   #14
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if you want easy cheap all grain...I love the deathbrewer method of mash in a bag. It works great for small to medium size grain bills. I have gone as high as 15lbs...but it is ideal for anything 12lbs or less....I am pretty much spot on 75% efficiency everytime...but can take it to just over 80% if I try.
Not that we brew-in-a-baggers aren't vocal enough about loving how we do things, but I'll second (or third) this idea. I've only done 4 all-grain batches now, but with an 8 gallon kettle and some bags I've hit about 80% efficiency on all of them, even using the mill at my LHBS (although I double-milled my grains). I dunk sparge in a bucket with water I've heated with my heat stick (a second smaller kettle, ala deathbrewer, would work great as well). It's inexpensive, easy as heck, and gives great control over temperature.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:06 AM   #15
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Interesting ideas, everyone. And, the mashing ideas with my existing cooler is perhaps something to try. In the past, the grain always went in first, then the strike water in one big pour. I think I was 4F off the first time, and 2-3F off just about every time after that. I never considered putting the water in first and letting it cool to strike temperature--plus preheating the MLT while you are at it. I had one brewing disaster where I disconnected my false bottom with my mash paddle--that was not fun. I will use SS hose clamps in the future.

I am surprised to hear some of you BIAB'ers saying that you are hitting at/above 70% efficiency. What little I've read about it led me to believe that 60% was more likely. Would a recirculating BIAB lead to higher efficiency as well?

I am not trolling for "BIAB vs. Cooler" responses, but what would be some of the Pros & Cons for each? I don't mind buying new equipment (for either method) if the payoff in ease of use or repeatability will be there.

Thanks,
Mark

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Old 01-16-2013, 03:15 AM   #16
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My first BIAB hit 80%. I have settled around 75% now after a few sessions under my belt.

There is no cheaper and easier and faster way to all grain IMO. Take the idea further and look into "no chill". Your brew day will be quick, calm and clean.

There are many other BIAB resources on the web. Easy to find. The Australians have pretty much been credited with this "new" method, having done it in some fashion for 20 years+. Same with no chill.

The efficiency mostly has to do with the crush. Go fine! Remember there are no stuck sparges in BIAB!

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Old 01-16-2013, 03:21 AM   #17
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To give you an example of time spent in BIAB my last 5 gallon batch went like this


20 minutes to heat strike water
60 minute mash
10 minute mashout* (experimental, and didn't help my efficiency at all, still 75%)
90 minute boil
5 minute drain and seal no chill.
20 minute clean up.

3:25 minutes. I could probably reduce my boils and will not be doing a mashout again, so I really think BIAB is a 3 hour day for most styles.

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Old 01-16-2013, 03:42 AM   #18
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#1 get a corona mill. Ebay has them for 30-40$ shipped and google "ugly junk corona mill" for an exhaustive thread on how to set them up correctly. I did 34 AG batches last year with this type of mill with great results.
#2 get a SS Tube filter (aka the bazooka tube) for your cooler. Better yet get a rectangular cooler with the filter tube. Should be about 30-40$. I found the toilet supply line to be a real PITA. For $10 the SS kettle tube will last longer and not need the fuss.
#3 preheat the cooler with about 168-170 degree water for about 10 min before adding grain. It is always easier to stir more to bring the temp down than it is to bring it up. I end up stirring the mash for 5-10 minutes until I hit target temp. Sometimes I may add some ice cubes to help speed up the process, but rarely. Just stir until you get the temp down. Close up the cooler, and stir gently at 20, and 40 minutes. After 60 you should be good to drain. Google "Denny Conn" for a great resource on single infusion batch sparging.

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Old 01-16-2013, 02:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthfixr View Post
I am not trolling for "BIAB vs. Cooler" responses, but what would be some of the Pros & Cons for each? I don't mind buying new equipment (for either method) if the payoff in ease of use or repeatability will be there.

Thanks,
Mark
Lots of threads on this and many more answers than this but....

BIAB

pros
less equipment to move around on brew day and store after brew day
less equipment to buy

Cons
Lifting 20 plus lbs of 170 Dg grain dripping with sticky wort
harder to maintain mash temps
~lower efficiency
compelled to make annoying posts in ANY AG thread about how great BIAB is despite what the OP is asking




2 or 3 Vessel

Pros
more flexibility
~better efficiency
partygyle possibility
stacking batches for multi batch days
you get to buy more stuff

Cons
you have to buy more stuff
more equipment to move around/store
stuck sparges
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woknblues View Post
To give you an example of time spent in BIAB my last 5 gallon batch went like this


20 minutes to heat strike water
60 minute mash
10 minute mashout* (experimental, and didn't help my efficiency at all, still 75%)
90 minute boil
5 minute drain and seal no chill.
20 minute clean up.

3:25 minutes. I could probably reduce my boils and will not be doing a mashout again, so I really think BIAB is a 3 hour day for most styles.
I do a 3 vessel day in that time, BTW
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