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Old 10-30-2013, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default 10 Gallons in a keggle BIAB

So I'm just going to throw this out there, since I can't seem to figure out if this is doable or not. I was thinking that instead of doing BIAB as full volume of water + grains and then boil, why can't I simply treat it like a mash tun for the first stage, sparge through the bag and end up with the 12 gallons or so for a boil?

Do I mess up pH levels doing that? I have read people have problems with over sparging.

I was just figuring I should be able to input a recipe into beersmith like I had a tun, so a very similar mash and sparge through the bag or even heck, a batch sparge even.

Am I missing something?

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Old 10-30-2013, 07:45 PM   #2
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That's pretty much what I do. Sparging through the bag is a pita though and I only do 3 gallon batches. You'd have to have some soft of pully system, or something, in place to hold the bag there while you sparge through it.
I use my one and only boil kettle for my mash then sparge through the bag to get to boil volume. I'm just now getting into the ph stuff for the mash so I'm not sure what my ph levels are but I think that just depends on your water and what kind of grains you're using. My beer is good but could probably be better once I get this ph mumbo-jumbo down. Maybe one of the more experienced brewers will chime in and lend their .02.

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Old 10-31-2013, 01:29 AM   #3
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Yeah I use a pulley system. Just did a brew with 24lbs of grain no problem. I was just thinking that for the trouble of making 5 gallons, when I plainly have room for 10.... why not? I mean I understand I might have issues making heavy beers but I don't see what I couldn't do an OG of something like 1.060 easily enough by just mashing and batch sparge. I don't read much about it but maybe because most people would rather just do traditional instead of putting a pulley in the garage ceiling?

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Old 10-31-2013, 02:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jrodder View Post
Yeah I use a pulley system. Just did a brew with 24lbs of grain no problem. I was just thinking that for the trouble of making 5 gallons, when I plainly have room for 10.... why not? I mean I understand I might have issues making heavy beers but I don't see what I couldn't do an OG of something like 1.060 easily enough by just mashing and batch sparge. I don't read much about it but maybe because most people would rather just do traditional instead of putting a pulley in the garage ceiling?
I'm another garage BIAB pulley guy. How did your 15.5 gallon keggle do as far as space is concerned on the 10g batch? I'm assuming that you didn't have the full volume of water in there while mashing, correct?
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jrodder View Post
Yeah I use a pulley system. Just did a brew with 24lbs of grain no problem. I was just thinking that for the trouble of making 5 gallons, when I plainly have room for 10.... why not? I mean I understand I might have issues making heavy beers but I don't see what I couldn't do an OG of something like 1.060 easily enough by just mashing and batch sparge. I don't read much about it but maybe because most people would rather just do traditional instead of putting a pulley in the garage ceiling?
It's nice to have the choice to brew 5 or 10 gallons. I think you hit the nail on the head of why you don't read more about biab sparging.

I max my method out at about 8.25 lbs. I think it was an imperial red and had an og of somewhere around 1.080 maybe plus a tad.
I don't have a pulley system so sparging for me can be a pain with a large grain bill but I always have sparged since I moved up from extract to biab. Depending on the style I'll do either a thick mash or thin mash so the sparge volume varies per batch. I've also played around with the sparge water temperature. I get pretty good efficiency so I don't really see my method as limiting me to average size og's. It's fun to play around with different techniques in small batches so if something doesn't come out the way I planned it's not a huge deal; It's still good beer. I say just brew a few 5 gallon batches and play around with your method and fit it in the way that works the best. You may by surprised by how big of beer you can make.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:39 AM   #6
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I've done two 10 gal biab brews so far. The first was in a 15.5 keggle, and the latter was a 20 gal alum pot. With the keggle, we had to do a half ass sparge, with the big pot, we did traditional biab. I guess if you always did 1.040 or smaller beers, you could manage with a keggle.

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Old 10-31-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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I've done two 10 gal biab brews so far. The first was in a 15.5 keggle, and the latter was a 20 gal alum pot. With the keggle, we had to do a half ass sparge, with the big pot, we did traditional biab. I guess if you always did 1.040 or smaller beers, you could manage with a keggle.
I'll try to do some more math I guess. I was just trying to see if it would be feasible to mash in with an OG of like 1.100 and then add a bunch of water to make a 10 gallon batch with an OG of something like 1.05 or 1.06. I am assuming that's going to cause issues?
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:20 PM   #8
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I'll try to do some more math I guess. I was just trying to see if it would be feasible to mash in with an OG of like 1.100 and then add a bunch of water to make a 10 gallon batch with an OG of something like 1.05 or 1.06. I am assuming that's going to cause issues?
It shouldn't cause any issues. I would try to mash with a smaller volume (like 9-10 gallons), raise the bag to just a few inches out of the water to drain, sparge a bit, squeeze and finally add enough water to bring it up to pre-boil volume. As long as your grain bill is correct and you got good conversion, the sugars ought to be there for the 10g batch.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:01 AM   #9
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I have done several 8-10 gallon BIAB batches w/o using a pulley. I use two 5 gallon white #2 food grade buckets bought from Walmart or Menards for $3 each and a metal rack from an oven bought at Goodwill for $1.38. Drill 15-20 holes in the bottom of one of the buckets. Place the metal grate on top of the other bucket and set the drilled bucket on top of the metal grate so that you can transfer your BIAB sack from the keggle into this bucket. I usually let this drain while I am heating up some sparge water. You can either leave the bucket with your bag on the ground bucket or left the grate onto your keggle to catch the sparge water. I can post some pictures if my system does not make sense or you would like more details.

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Old 11-02-2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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I have done two 10 gallon batches with the brewing in a bag process. I was having issues getting my sparge arm to work properly so decided to bypass and try BIAB. Up to this point I have had no issues not having a pulley to lift the wet 20lbs bags of grain out of my keggle. During the mash process, I dip the bag up and down numerous times for the sake of circulating water through the grains. I also use a mash paddle to stir the mixture inside of the bag numerous times throughout the process. When the hour long steep is completed, I lift out the grains and place them into a cleaned plastic container. Trying to ring out any additional sweetness, I flush the bag with hot water and bring my pre boil amount up to recipe (which I have overshot both times!)
I have noticed my lighter (color) beer was not clear and had a haze as it was poured.

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