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Old 02-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
lucky_mack
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Default BIAB - A Few General Questions...

Hi All,

Had a few quick questions, I hope you may be able to help with!

I recently bought a kit (AG - Hobgoblin clone). I was doing a BIAB for the first time, I definately made a few mistakes and picked up some extra info along the way, so it has been quite useful!

First off with the mistakes - I misjudged the amounts you lose in Mashing/Sparging and didn't end up with the full 5 gallons. I used some top off water (spring water and cooled boiled water) to both cool the wort and to increase the volume a bit as I lost more than expected during mash/sparge. This did, however, help me get to the recommended OG (I was slightly high at first).

I finally bottled on Sunday after 3 weeks in primary. FG seemed fine (1.017 for 3 days), it was clear and tasted pretty good.

I thought I was all organised, sanitised and ready to bottle, when I realised I had forgotten to prime (doh!).

As it is a bitter type anyway, didn't want too much carbonation, so boiled 80g (2.8 oz) of table sugar in about 500ml (2.1 cups), slightly cooled and added on top. Gave a slight stir and proceeded to bottle.

In the past I have racked (into corny keg) on top of priming solution and not stirred. Inevitably, the trub got unsettled when I did this time.

I know the answer to some of these questions will be "WAIT AND SEE" - which I will definately do, just wondering what effects mistakes may have, so:

1) When using All Grain, is it of any use to rinse the grain before adding to mash? I found that the wort was quite "dusty" / cloudy, is this normal?

2) How do you guys "aereate" the wort? I read somewhere about using a hand whisk to mix up the wort, or to pour back and forth between stock pot and fermenting vessel. Is this important and if so, any suggestions on methods?

2) Is top off water recommended? or is it better to try and get additional sparge wort? I guess what I mean is, does it significantly alter the final beer or just slightly dilute it?

3) The bottles are now stored in a box for 3 weeks, upright. Is stirring the priming solution in (and unsettling the trub) likely to settle in the bottle?

4) If the priming solution is warmer than the wort, will this have any great effect.

Like I say, I will be leaving the bottles alone for 3 weeks, although I do have one clear bottle if I need to monitor. Any answers/tips much appreciated!

Thanks.

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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On the priming sugar - If I understand, you did not use a bottling bucket?

1) don't know....have not seen this one addressed anywhere

2) Whatever works. Vigorous paddle stir, a splashing transfer or top-off, and shaking the closed vessel. The "upper crust" will get O2 tanks for this. It is always important for liquid yeast and often important for dry yeast when the ABV gets above 6%.

3) Top off is fine. Yes, the goal is to make full volume with boiled wort. I wouldn't expect top-off to change flavor when added prior to ferment. It will change the gravity and that can be a useful feature.

4) Bottles stored vertical for a couple of weeks at 70 deg F. We all probably crack one open before that. And sometimes we find low carb and/or green tastes and need to wait another week or two or three or longer. Yes, the yeast and trub will settle. Learn to pour like a pro and you'll never notice. When you chill them in the fridge for a week, they will clear even more.

5) A warm priming solution is not an issue. It will cool very quickly when added. It might kill one or two yeast cells....no damage done. If it is boiling hot and you pour it on something that might melt, then you have a problem.

It does sound like you made a really great beer!

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments - Touch wood and fingers crossed for a good beer

I didn't use a bottling bucket, I may try and get a 5 gallon container to use for this. Although (with the benefit of hind legs) I suppose I could have used the keg - last minute panic!

Can hopefully rest easy for a couple of weeks now!

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Old 02-26-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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1. You don't want to rinse off the grain. The dust won't hurt anything and if you rinse it the grain temperature will change making the calculated strike temperature wrong.

2. If you are using dry yeast any way you aerate will be fine. Danstar says their dry yeast contains everything needed and doesn't require aeration. Liquid yeast will need aeration. Do the best you can for it.

3. If you need more wort in your fermenter do another sparge step. Why leave any fermentable sugars in the grain?

4. Yeast will continue to settle in the bottles just as it would in the fermenter. Consider each bottle as a carboy that is sealed and you are doing a secondary in there. Do not seal a carboy though. Not ever.

5. Unless you use a huge amount of water while mixing your priming sugar, the temperature won't be much of a factor. I have dumped boiling priming solution into my beer and it carbonated just fine. I'm sure I heard about a million yeast cells screaming when I did it but the billions of yeast that were cheering for the extra sugar to eat drowned them out.

6. I'd worry more about the "slight stir" you gave to mix in the priming sugar as you could have some variation in the amount of carbonation. Next time, rack your beer to a bottling bucket and make sure your sugar is well mixed. I've begun a program where I start siphoning the beer, pour the priming solution into the small amount of beer, and then carefully stir it in, making sure that I don't mix in air as I stir.

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Old 02-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_mack View Post
Thanks for the comments - Touch wood and fingers crossed for a good beer

I didn't use a bottling bucket, I may try and get a 5 gallon container to use for this. Although (with the benefit of hind legs) I suppose I could have used the keg - last minute panic!

Can hopefully rest easy for a couple of weeks now!
The bottling bucket with a bottling wand makes things really clean and easy. The bucket has a spigot that the wand attaches to. And the wand has a plunger that fills from the bottom of the bottle - so no splashing(oxidation).
Cost for that set-up is approx $20.

One new thing that I am using during bottling is a small, very fine mesh bag with a draw-string. I put the end of the siphon hose into the bag and pull the draw-string tight. Then lay it in the bottom of the bottling bucket. It catches anything that I accidentally pull from the primary/secondary vessel during the transfer to bottling bucket. Of course, it needs sanitized well before use. To do that, I just dunk it in boiled water and then spray it with Starsan. It was especially helpful with a batch that was heavily dry hopped.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_mack View Post
Hi All,

Had a few quick questions, I hope you may be able to help with!

I recently bought a kit (AG - Hobgoblin clone). I was doing a BIAB for the first time, I definately made a few mistakes and picked up some extra info along the way, so it has been quite useful!

First off with the mistakes - I misjudged the amounts you lose in Mashing/Sparging and didn't end up with the full 5 gallons. I used some top off water (spring water and cooled boiled water) to both cool the wort and to increase the volume a bit as I lost more than expected during mash/sparge. This did, however, help me get to the recommended OG (I was slightly high at first).

I finally bottled on Sunday after 3 weeks in primary. FG seemed fine (1.017 for 3 days), it was clear and tasted pretty good.

I thought I was all organised, sanitised and ready to bottle, when I realised I had forgotten to prime (doh!).

As it is a bitter type anyway, didn't want too much carbonation, so boiled 80g (2.8 oz) of table sugar in about 500ml (2.1 cups), slightly cooled and added on top. Gave a slight stir and proceeded to bottle.

In the past I have racked (into corny keg) on top of priming solution and not stirred. Inevitably, the trub got unsettled when I did this time.

I know the answer to some of these questions will be "WAIT AND SEE" - which I will definately do, just wondering what effects mistakes may have, so:

1) When using All Grain, is it of any use to rinse the grain before adding to mash? I found that the wort was quite "dusty" / cloudy, is this normal?

2) How do you guys "aereate" the wort? I read somewhere about using a hand whisk to mix up the wort, or to pour back and forth between stock pot and fermenting vessel. Is this important and if so, any suggestions on methods?

2) Is top off water recommended? or is it better to try and get additional sparge wort? I guess what I mean is, does it significantly alter the final beer or just slightly dilute it?

3) The bottles are now stored in a box for 3 weeks, upright. Is stirring the priming solution in (and unsettling the trub) likely to settle in the bottle?

4) If the priming solution is warmer than the wort, will this have any great effect.

Like I say, I will be leaving the bottles alone for 3 weeks, although I do have one clear bottle if I need to monitor. Any answers/tips much appreciated!

Thanks.
I always sparge the mashed grains to get the BK wort volume up to 3.5 gallons. But I'm still doing a partial boil,even with partial mash. It works well & my OG's are now where they should be.
I aerate mt wort & top off water with a dual layer fine mesh strainer. I pour i a circular motion,making the liquid come out the bottom of the strainer like rain. Then roughly stir the wort/top off for 5 minutes to mix well & aerate a bit more.
The priming solution will stay in suspension & the trub will settle out. Just use a bottling bucket next time & rack carefully to leave the yeast cake/trub behind. I like to cool the priming solution covered while I get everything set up to bottle. Just let it cool down to where it isn't hot anymore.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:58 AM   #7
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Thank you for some great tips.

I am in the UK and haven't come across a bottling bucket with a spigot yet (the equipment seems a bit 'basic' in a lot of places here!) though I do have a wand. Will have a search as it was messy this time!

I guess I might have bottles different carbonation levels this time, i'm glad to hear that hot priming solution may not be a big deal though.

I will write all these comments down ready for next brew day.

Cheers!

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Old 02-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky_mack View Post
Thank you for some great tips.

I am in the UK and haven't come across a bottling bucket with a spigot yet (the equipment seems a bit 'basic' in a lot of places here!) though I do have a wand. Will have a search as it was messy this time!

I guess I might have bottles different carbonation levels this time, i'm glad to hear that hot priming solution may not be a big deal though.

I will write all these comments down ready for next brew day.

Cheers!
You may have to make your own bucket with spigot. The spigots are pretty cheap and all it takes is a hole large enough to put it in near the bottom of a bucket. Once you get one you need to show it to your supplier and explain what it is for and how common they are across the pond and that it sure would be nice if you could have just bought one already made. Maybe someone would get the hint and start making them.
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