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Old 11-02-2011, 01:53 AM   #1
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Default BIAB fist attempt notes

This was a much more successful attempt then I thought it would be. Here were a few takeaways I had....

For new all grain people, a 5 gallon batch will give you somewhere near a 20lb grain bill. There are a ton of programs for calculating volumes, absorption, etc. However, if you have a 10 gallon container for the brew, don't even try it. You will be starting with around 8.5-9 gallons, and with displacement from the grain, you will need closer to 11 gallons of space or more.

Don't let the 9 gallon start volume scare you....after absorption and loss to a 60 minute boil, I still ended up with around 5.5 gallons.

If you plan to cool this large volume with an ice bath, it's going to take about an hour. I neatly covered mine with foil to keep outdoor contaminants out. If you do that, be sure to sanitize your foil with starsan or whatever because vapor will condense on the foil and drip into your vulnerable brew.

Get a bag with an opening that is a little wider then your boiling container. This way you can easily fold it over and stir your grains as needed. Your grains should be easily stirred to ensure uniform temperature. Mine was too narrow, the grains were a little tight, and the temperature was, at times, 10 degrees different from the liquid outside the bag.

I did the founders breakfast stout clone, that stuff tasted incredible for the record.

This was my first try and this process could clearly be refined a hundred ways. I just wanted to share a couple of things I wish I knew from the start.

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:02 AM   #2
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I did my first batch and did 7 gallons of water for a no sparge with 16 lbs grain bill and ended up with just under 5 gallons after boil, I am brewing another tomorrow with a smaller grain bill but will be using 7.5 gallons of water. I will be using a sparge this time

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:06 AM   #3
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20 lbs is ginormous, wow!

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:09 AM   #4
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a 20 lb grain bill is not the norm maybe for a high gravity beer yes but most grain bills are around 10-14 lbs

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:09 AM   #5
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Holy hell, 20 pounds for a 5 gallon batch? I typically average about 10 pounds of grain for 5 gallons of 1.050 - 1.060 beer, based on 72% efficiency.
It is true that on bigger beers, my BIAB efficiency falls off - probably about 65% for 1.080 beers...

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:53 AM   #6
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I'm a veteran BIABer, and my grain bill is typically around 9-12 as well for a 5 gallon batch, so 20lbs is HIGH. I'm even doing a 10 gallon batch this weekend with a 20 lb grain bill.

Also, my starting volumes are typically closer to 6.8-7.2 gallons, not 9 gallons. I was at 6.6 gallons with a 6.5 lb grain bill on a Landlord clone last weekend (plus a lb of corn sugar).

I also cool 5 gallons IN AN ICE BATH in about 20 minutes with about 26lbs of ice. Putting an aluminum foil lid on it probably hurt your cool down time, as heat will escape from the top almost as quickly as the ice cools it. I also actually transfer from my SS boil kettle into my old thin aluminum boil kettle before the ice batch, since aluminum transfers cold (and heat) much better than SS.

Good job on your first BIAB, but I'm not sure it was typical!

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Old 11-02-2011, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
I'm a veteran BIABer, and my grain bill is typically around 9-12 as well for a 5 gallon batch, so 20lbs is HIGH. I'm even doing a 10 gallon batch this weekend with a 20 lb grain bill.

Also, my starting volumes are typically closer to 6.8-7.2 gallons, not 9 gallons. I was at 6.6 with a 6.5 lb grain bill on a Landlord clone last weekend (plus a lb of corn sugar).

I also cool 5 gallons IN AN ICE BATH in about 20 minutes with about 26lbs of ice. Putting an aluminum foil lid on it probably hurt your cool down time. I also actually transfer from my SS boil kettle into my old aluminum boil kettle before the ice batch, since aluminum transfers cold (and heat) better than SS.

Good job on your first BIAB, but I'm not sure it was typical!
+1

Doing a 5-gallon BIAB batch with 20 pounds of grain in a 10-gallon kettle would be pushing the limits of that kettle. I've done it before too... but it was for a very high gravity brew and not your typical, everyday brew.

Part of doing BIAB, or any other brewing method, is using the right kettle for the job. Definitely use a large enough kettle if you plan to brew high-gravity beers!
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:39 PM   #8
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I should clarify my post by saying that the founders breakfast stout I tried is a "huge" beer, hence the ridiculous grain bill. It was in fact so big that I soaked my grains in two separate efforts then combined them back together in the ten gallon pot for the boil. Had to think on my toes.

From what you guys are saying it seems like a more average 5-6% beer would be doable in the 10 gallon pot with a 10 or so pound grain bill and water volume of around 7 or so gallons. I should have stepped back and noticed that brewing a beer with a 9-10% ABV is not your standard brew.

Do you guys just leave these to cool outside uncovered? That really just worried me from a contamination standpoint.

If any of you have a solid BIAB standby house beer, I'd love to see it. Thanks for your input!

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:48 PM   #9
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Seconding everyone else, I start with around 6.7-7.2G of water and typically 10-12lbs of grain for a regular 5.5-6G finished wort of around 1.055-1.065 or so depending on efficiency.

I cool with immersion chiller and get it down below 100F in about 15 minutes.

I do plan on doing a 10g batch soon, in my 11g pot, we'll see how that goes Probably will use some top off water at the end.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
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Do you guys just leave these to cool outside uncovered? That really just worried me from a contamination standpoint.
I use an immersion chiller to cool the wort and I have the kettle covered as much as possible during the cooling process. I would definitely be concerned about letting it sit outside to cool uncovered.

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If any of you have a solid BIAB standby house beer, I'd love to see it. Thanks for your input!
Absolutely, what types of beers do you like?
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