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Old 03-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default BIAB or Partial Mash

I wasn't sure if this belonged in the Partial Mash section, please feel free to move it if necessary.

Um, so I've been looking at both these methods, (I've not done an AG yet). As far as i can tell, the only real difference (minus the bag) as that the BIAG is 100% grain whereas the Partial uses some Extract.

My current setup consists of a 15L (4G) brew pot. I'm wondering if that's big enough to use either of these methods. I'm kind of leaning towards the BIAB, since it seems to me to be closer to the AG procedure.

I'm assuming I could brew up a 3G batch using BIAB and then top up with water, similar to an extract?

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
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I was in the same boat and thought that I would be going to partial mash but when I realized what little extra equipment I needed for biab I decided to go for it. I've only done two batches and they've both been smaller cause I've been doing it on the stovetop but once it gets warmer I'll be doing my full batches outside. I say go for it, its not very difficult and with the two batches that I've made I can definitely taste the difference. Good luck.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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Do you think that a 4G pot is big enough? Most entries i've read about seem to indicate 10 or 15g brew pots

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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You might be able to get away with 2.5 gal with your pot depending on your boiloff rate and the OG of the beer. Sparging of some kind will probably be required just to allow for enough water with the grain.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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You can do a 2 1/2 gallon batch in the 4 gallon pot but you'll have to watch very closely as you approach the boil as the hot break is likely to spill over. Turning down the heat so it doesn't come to a boil so quickly. stirring with a big spoon, and/or using a spray bottle of water to cut down on the hot break will help. You'll also have to do a pseudo sparge because there won't be enough room in that 4 gallon pot for the 3 1/2 gallons of water plus the grains. I use a 5 gallon pot and have to watch for the hot break as it climbs dangerously close to the top for a minute or 2 before falling back. Don't add the hops until the hot break falls or you will overflow.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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Hmm, so there's no easy way to do a typical 5G brew using BIAB method and only a 4G brew pot? If I understand your asnwers correctly, my solution is to produce smaller batches? Or am I way off?

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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I use a 20QT (5 gallon) SS BK/MT. I do,...wait for it...BIAB partial boil partial mash. Try saying that drunk. I mash 5lbs of grains in 2 gallons of spring water in my 5G kettle. Put the bag in the water,me in the water,shark's in the wat...oops,my bad. Then crushed grains in the water & stir to break up dough balls & wet them evenly.I start doing this when the mash water temp's about 150F. By 152,it gets off the heat after the stirring & wrapped up in my thinsulate lined winter hunting coat. It actually raises the temp 1 degree,rather than slowly changing by 5-12 degrees on the stove. I sparge with 1.5 gallons 165F water for a total of 3.5 gallons for the boil. 5 gallons total in fermenter.
Tim,you could do 3 gallons in that 4 gallon kettle for a 5 gallon batch. You just sparge with 1 gallon instead of 1.5 gallons. A 5 gallon 20 QT SS kettle would be better for partial boils to have a bit more head room.
By the way,the spent grains can be dried in a 170F (warm oven setting) in about 7 hours,turning once at 4 hours. Then cool & store in dry place.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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4G isn't ideal but you can work with it as long as you're ok doing smaller batches (or low OG brews). The reason some people like big brew pots for BIAB is they do full volume mashes, so essentially once you pull the grain bag out you've got the full pre-boil volume you want and can go from there without messing with a sparge or top-up. It simplifies the process and some claim it bumps their efficiency, but there's no reason you can't do a smaller volume mash (like a 'traditional all-grain' 1.25-1.5qts of water per lb of grain) and then add more water in either a sparge step and/or a top-up.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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Ok, what i understood about the differences from BIAB to Partial Mash was that BIAB needs the entire volume of water to be boiled, while the Partial Mash uses a partial volume and then gets topped up (sugar wise) with DME/LME which allows me to then top up with water to hit either 19L or 23L.

If I understand correctly, I can do say a 2.5 or 3g BIAB, then sparge with the remaining needed volume. At this point I would presumably have two brew pots, one with the boiled wort and the second with wort from the Sparging? I could then just add each to my fermenter and top Up if necessary?

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Old 03-04-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
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No,almost though. While kettle one (!) is wrapped up mashing,kettle two is heating sparge water to 165F. You can mash 5lb of grain in 2G of water,sparging with 1G. That'll give 3 gallons of wort in a 4 gallon kettle. Very simple,so don't read too much into it. BIAB doesn't "have" to be full volume boil. It can be a partial boil as well. That's what I've been repeating here. Partial boil-partial mash & BIAB on top of all that. So I'm saying BIAB can be done whether all grain or partial mash. It just doesn't matter.

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