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Old 01-15-2013, 10:16 PM   #1
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Default BIAB --> Cooler Set Up?

I have been brewing partial mash using BIAB and intend to begin going all grain for most of my brews relatively soon. Is there any reason to stop doing BIAB and start using one of the cooler mash set ups?



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Old 01-15-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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It's fun? To experience something new?



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Old 01-15-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
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Are you happy with your beer, then no.... Do you want to see if doing it a different way works better for you? Then yes....You wanna try something different, expand your horizons? Then yes.

There's no better or worse, or greater than less than in brewing, only PREFERENCE.....No one way or another makes better beer or crappier beer than any other, it's the BREWER that determines that, with their skill or experience, their attention to detail.

I don't know why you need to ask this question, you just try something or choose not to. You don't need a bunch of cooler brewers saying do it, and biab'ers saying why switch? What do other people's opinions matter? ...the only thing that matters is what YOU choose to do....and you don't need us to tell you what you should or shouldn't do....

I've done it both ways, I PREFER to use a cooler, but so what? Your mileage may vary.

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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Totally agree with Revvy! That being said, if you know someone that does AG with a cooler set up then hook up with him/her for a brew day and watch and learn and evaluate and see if its something you want to try, otherwise stick with what you know and enjoy it!

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:25 PM   #5
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I use to BIAB and even mashed in a bag for a bit, basically using the bag as the screen while mashing in my water cooler. The quality of beer was all the same, and I don't think any one method is better, it was just a matter of my personal preference in the process. I didn't care for lifting and sustaining large grain bills over the brew pot to let them drain, whether it was by hand or a makeshift pulley system. I also didn't care about cleaning the nylon bag after I was done. That was reason enough for me to go get a SS braided hose and fittings to convert my water cooler into a mashtun. But that's me. If I'm making a small beer with a small grain bill, I may just BIAB-it, and then toss my bag so I don't ever have to clean it again.

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
Totally agree with Revvy! That being said, if you know someone that does AG with a cooler set up then hook up with him/her for a brew day and watch and learn and evaluate and see if its something you want to try, otherwise stick with what you know and enjoy it!
Yup, or even better than watching, borrow it and do it yourself, and experience whether it works for you.

To be a good brewer isn't to do things one way or another, there's no magic bullet. All grain doesn't make any better or worse beers than extract, using stainless doesn't make any better or worse beers than aluminum....

What makes a good brewer is one who figures out what works best for THEM, of all the many CORRECT ways to do something, putting each little piece of the process together in a way that works for us....It's called having a process. And it's an individual thing from brewer to brewer.

And you develop it by trying things, and adding things that work, and dropping things that don't...from learning and reading, and listening and talking and sharing, and tasting.... It's not from thinking that one thing is better than another, that's why I think -vs- threads are stupid...because it's not a contest, it's just preferences.

For example, look at my bottling sticky, it's all about NOT copying me, but developing a process that works best for YOU...It's got a lot of tips to try but you ultimately have to figure out what works for you.

I'm left hand dominant ambidextrous, I write with my left, but mouse with my right....When I bottle I'm most comfortable working right to left....the empty bottles are on my right, my bottling bucket is in the middle, and when I fill them and place the cap on them I place them on the left...that works for ME....Just like using a wing capper works better for me in my PROCESS than using a standing capper... For ME, with my PROCESS, I can bottle 5 gallons in just shy of an hour. But that doesn't mean it will work as well for someone else.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rklinck View Post
I have been brewing partial mash using BIAB and intend to begin going all grain for most of my brews relatively soon. Is there any reason to stop doing BIAB and start using one of the cooler mash set ups?
I'm about ready to try all grain and have the same general question. There are so many different ways to do it, just getting started is overwhelming. The local brew store is having a class in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I can get a better idea from that. I'll be looking a way to get started still using my kitchen stove and 30 qt boiling pot. So I figure some idea will pop up so that I can do smaller batches in my 3 gallon carboys.

From what I can tell, some set-ups are more controlled and use more steps in the process. And some methods are a lot easier than others such as those that simplify moving wort and hot water from tuns to boiling pot.

One thing that I know will help me - I need to get to know an acquaintance that frequents our tasting events. He is a championship grade brewer and I want to learn from him while he does a brew.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:16 AM   #8
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There are tons of threads out there that discuss the pros and cons of BIAB vs a 3 vessel system, and its a touchy subject for many forum members that use either method. In reality, go with the method that works right FOR YOU. For many, that is BIAB, simply because the equipment cost is low. For others, that might be 3 vessel brewing, because its more in line with "traditional" brewing. EITHER METHOD WILL MAKE GREAT BEER!



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