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Old 02-09-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
jethro55
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Default BIAB 3 gallon

Did my first batch with BIAB and used the BrewTV episode #54 method.

Here's some notes - comments on anything will be useful to me and appreciated.

I used 7# of Briess Pale 2-row 1.8L, 0.5# flaked barley, and 0.5 flaked oats. I let the grains mash at 155 F for about 75 minutes, drained, and then headed to boil.

I started with 5 gallons of water and it took 65 minutes from cold tap water to full boil. About 90 minutes later, the temperature had lowered to strike temp at 168. With grains added, the temp dropped to 160 which is a little high. And about 20 minutes later the temp was at 155. Pretty easy to maintain - only needed to add some low heat for 2 or 3 minutes twice during the mash.

After filling the fermenter, it looked unusual in comparison to the extract worts I have been using. This one was dog-gone cloudy and the extract worts have all been a lot clearer. The clouds are now clearing as everything settles. The cloudiness concerns me - not sure....

The bag that I used was the LD Carlson coarse grain 18"x32". It fit well in my turkey fryer brew pot - deeper than it needed to be and a good tight fit on the rim.

The original 5 gallons boiled down to just over 3 gallons and fit well in the 3 gallon carboy. The OG measured out to be 1.060 and that is a bit higher than I wanted.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:04 AM   #2
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No need to boil your strike water as you are gonna boil the results of the mash. I think you are doing just fine. I use a white plastic paint bucket so I have no idea what it looks like as it ferments. Couldy? Clear? Just know it tastes like good beer when done. :-)

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:11 AM   #3
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Cloudy wort doesn't mean cloudy beer. Because I BIAB, I over-mill my grain purposefully and usually have decently cloudy wort whilst fermenting b/c of all of the extra floury malt. I've produced some wonderfully clear beers with this method, along with several medals won. No worries. RDWHAHB.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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I never boil before mash, the boil after kills any germs, so it is just a waste of time, if you ask me. As for the gravity, 1.06 is the norm for my batches, I like higher gravities for ag. Make sure to test for full conversion. I use an electric turkey fryer for my five gallon batches, but the internal thermometer is off. A little.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:35 AM   #5
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It will be fine. The solids will drop out. Be a little extra careful when bottling/racking or whenever you move it. I brew crystal clear BIAB, and I do nothing particularily special. Remember, with extract, they have already done a lot to separate the trub by the time it gets to you. Even a traditional all grain with a MT et al will have plenty of trub, though obviously not as much as BIAB, in general. Pick up some wirlfloc and try to keep a bit more break in the kettle next time, but I really don't believe having done it both ways that it makes much of a difference.

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:45 AM   #6
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Thank you for the comments.

I did try a starch conversion test using the hydrometer sample. I sprinkled a few drops of wort and then a couple drops of full strength StarSan Idophor in a white Corningware bowl. Did not see any color changes with that test. Does anyone know if this is a valid way to check conversion?

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Old 02-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #7
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Here's a few thoughts from my experience.
1. Use an online calculator or software to calculate your strike temperature, the temperature you need the water to be so that when you mix in your grains the mash will be right at the temperature you want.
2. If your grains are milled fine for BIAB, conversion will happen pretty quickly. I often show signs that conversion has happened in as little as 15 minutes. Your mash temperature being high for 20 minutes probably will give you a sweeter beer because the high temps would have created sugars that the yeast cannot break down.
3. You don't need to mash for more than 60 minutes unless your grains are poorly crushed. I've experimented with 30 minute mash with my finely ground grains and that seems to be enough. I have not yet performed an iodine test on my wort to confirm full conversion but I usually exceed the predicted OG.
4. With BIAB you should be using the full volume of liquid for your mash. Once you have mixed in the grains (doughed in), if you insulate the pot a bit you shouldn't have to add any heat, especially if you go to the shorter mash mentioned above. I typically don't lose more than one degree in 60 minutes, less if I only mash for 30 minutes. Adding heat is tricky as you would have to stir constantly while heating to avoid stratification and you chance melting the bag to the bottom of the pot.
5. With BIAB you squeeze all the wort you can from the bag. This helps to get the malt sugars out but it also makes the wort cloudy. Not to worry, it will all settle out in the fermenter.
6. You have boiled off more than I ever do. You can control this to a great extent by controlling the amount of heat you add. You need a slow rolling boil, not a vigorous one. You do (apparently, still not confirmed totally) need a 60 minute boil to drive off DMS. It also gives you full usage of your bittering hops.
7. Cool the wort to the bottom of the yeast's preferred range (look this up, yeast strains differ) or slightly below before pitching the yeast and keep the fermenter as near the bottom of the yeast's preferred range until the ferment slows. Once the yeast seem to be done, let it get warmer. I like mine to come to room temperature or a little above. This is the silent phase of the ferment where it looks like nothing is happening. Don't believe it, the yeast are still working and will be working for more than a week more as they break down the intermediate compounds and clean up off flavors. Patience is critical for making good beer. Don't rush your beer. It can stay in the fermenter for many weeks without off flavors developing.
6. Give your beer time to mature in the bottle or keg. It takes time for naturally carbonated beer to get carbonation and it may take longer to mature. Darker beer and higher alcohol beer take longer than low alcohol and lighter color beers.

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Old 02-10-2013, 12:15 PM   #8
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I agree with rm mn, except I usually start with 6.5 gallons, and finish with five.
I don't know about idaphor, but iodine is the same test. Next time instead of applying heat during mash, add a little boiling water to even the temp out. And stir. Mine makes 75 minutes easy with only a one to three degree loss.

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Old 02-10-2013, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jethro55 View Post
Did my first batch with BIAB and used the BrewTV episode #54 method.
After filling the fermenter, it looked unusual in comparison to the extract worts I have been using. This one was dog-gone cloudy and the extract worts have all been a lot clearer. The clouds are now clearing as everything settles. The cloudiness concerns me - not sure....
I just brewed my first BIAB yesterday, a 1.5 gallon stout, with similar results. The wort was very cloudy, which I took to be the extra grain flours that were suspended. I achieved a 67% conversion, which I was happy about for a first attempt. Afterwards, I was thinking that next time I would try whirlpooling the cooled wort and letting it sit an additional 10 minutes before transferring into the fermenter. This time I was guilty of agitating when siphoning off the wort!
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garethliam View Post
I just brewed my first BIAB yesterday, a 1.5 gallon stout, with similar results. The wort was very cloudy, which I took to be the extra grain flours that were suspended. I achieved a 67% conversion, which I was happy about for a first attempt. Afterwards, I was thinking that next time I would try whirlpooling the cooled wort and letting it sit an additional 10 minutes before transferring into the fermenter. This time I was guilty of agitating when siphoning off the wort!
I never whirlpool. I just dump everything into the bucket fermenter, dump it back into the pot, dump it back into the fermenter with the hope that this will aerate the wort a little more.
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