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Old 01-16-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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A good thread that compared the pros and cons of biab vs. Traditional all grain brewing.

I am having trouble seeing the benefit of a traditional all grain setup...over a biab setup w/ a very nice blichmann kettle or a keggle?

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Old 01-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #2
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Not sure, from what I've read, that there's a huge advantage either way beyond preference. BIAB seems to be cheaper to start and have fewer equipment problems and higher efficiency. OTOH, traditional (?) AG seems like it can be less limiting in terms of batch size and you don't have to hoist 25#+ of water-laden grain for 20 mins to drain. Both can make good beer!

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Old 01-16-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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It's not an argument, or a vs thing, (I don't know why so many folks feel the need to make everything a contest) they're both viable methods of brewing all grain. They both can make great beer or crappy beer. It really is a matter of preference.

The best way to decide, rather than look at a bunch of opinions, or some pr-con list is to brew biab and then either borrow someone's cooler, or go brew with someone who does AG with more traditional means, and see what their process is, and decide which route you're going to take.

They both work, they both have the potential to make great or crappy beer depending on the brewer, one really isn't better than the other. It's just a preference. '

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Old 01-16-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piratwolf View Post
Not sure, from what I've read, that there's a huge advantage either way beyond preference. BIAB seems to be cheaper to start and have fewer equipment problems and higher efficiency. OTOH, traditional (?) AG seems like it can be less limiting in terms of batch size and you don't have to hoist 25#+ of water-laden grain for 20 mins to drain. Both can make good beer!
I don't know where you got the higher efficiency info from...To my knowledge they both perform the same really.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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I'd much rather use my cooler mash tun for a 5 gallon batch. And I'd much rather just use BIAB for a 1/2 batch on the stove top.

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan

I don't know where you got the higher efficiency info from...To my knowledge they both perform the same really.
I've seen claims here on HBT about BIAB efficiency. Not vouching for it personally.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:05 PM   #7
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I can only speak from my own experience. I have done both cooler mashtun and biab I get more consistent eff with biab. That is not to say had I stuck with th tun I could not have gotten better. Biab was consistantly achieving a 76% with my system and I have been at or around 80% for the last 5 batches. If I choose to go back it will only be out of boredom.

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Old 01-17-2012, 05:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy
It's not an argument, or a vs thing, (I don't know why so many folks feel the need to make everything a contest) they're both viable methods of brewing all grain. They both can make great beer or crappy beer. It really is a matter of preference.

The best way to decide, rather than look at a bunch of opinions, or some pr-con list is to brew biab and then either borrow someone's cooler, or go brew with someone who does AG with more traditional means, and see what their process is, and decide which route you're going to take.

They both work, they both have the potential to make great or crappy beer depending on the brewer, one really isn't better than the other. It's just a preference. '
I was just trying to make the right decision on my next move... didn't mean to ruffle your Feathers?
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:34 AM   #9
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I've been doing mostly BIAB recently, but decided to pull the old cooler out of the closet and brewed two batches using it. The first batch I had a lot of trouble dialing in the temps as I was rusty with the process since I last used it 2+ years ago. I wound up dumping all the grains which were conveniently in a bag back into the kettle and finished it off as a BIAB. Next time I brewed I used the cooler and got the temps more accurate.

Since my BIAB is recirculated and temp controlled I like it up until the point of lifting out of the kettle. Even with a hoist, I wind up making a mess, so I'm torn between the methods. Both produce similar efficiencies and beer quality and those that tell you BIAB suffers in efficiency more than likely have never tried it or done it correctly.

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Old 01-17-2012, 07:06 PM   #10
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I do both BIAB and all grain with batch sparging and have previously fly sparged as well. I strive for 70% efficiency. I can get better no matter which way I go, but will dial back my crush if I am consistently hitting over that. So for me, efficiency is not a problem.

I really like the BIAB method, I find it easier and faster. Not only do I save time by cutting out the sparge, but I save time and effort by cutting down the number of things that need to be prepped, set up and cleaned. The only draw back is batch size. Because you use a larger water to grist ratio, in the same vessel I can brew less beer by brewing BIAB then if I batch or fly sparged.

For this reason, I tend to use BIAB for my smaller test batches (appox 3 gallons) rather than when I am brewing a 10 gallon "full" batch (for me).

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