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Old 02-24-2013, 07:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
BIAB is well suited to small batch brewing...you can place pot in a warm oven to maintain mash temps?

How big is you kettle?
Excellent idea, it will fit in the oven.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:45 PM   #12
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I do BIAB for ordinary bitters and the like. It's easy with a small grain bill and a colander. Typically for the mash I heat it up to about 156 and let it drop to ~150 then add a couple more degrees via direct fire... not too worried about maintaining a constant mash temperature, as long as it's in range.

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Old 02-24-2013, 07:50 PM   #13
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How big of a BIAB batch can be done in a 5 gallon pot? I understand that it depends on the style, but is there a "rule of thumb" or anything?

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Old 02-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #14
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How big of a BIAB batch can be done in a 5 gallon pot? I understand that it depends on the style, but is there a "rule of thumb" or anything?
Sorry but there really is no rule of thumb. "Ideally" your kettle should be double batch size when doing a full volume style BIAB, BUT, there are simple ways to stretch your small kettle...

1. Perform a sparge in another kettle or bucket aka "dunk sparge" note: even a cold water sparge will work.
2. Gently pour sparge water through your grain bag while it is over the kettle, aka "sprinke sparge"
3. Top up your kettle w/ additional wort during the first 45 out of 60 minutes.
4. Top up your fermenter with water, aka "partial boil"

All of these shortcuts can work, however it will get more difficult to "cheat" the higher gravity you brew...also efficiency will likely be slightly lower, especially when topping up w/ water. So to finally answer the original question, you "could" likely brew a 5-6 gallon batch w/ a five gallon kettle. Give it a try! Worst case you will get a session beer...cheers!
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wilserbrewer

Sorry but there really is no rule of thumb. "Ideally" your kettle should be double batch size when doing a full volume style BIAB, BUT, there are simple ways to stretch your small kettle...

1. Perform a sparge in another kettle or bucket aka "dunk sparge" note: even a cold water sparge will work.
2. Gently pour sparge water through your grain bag while it is over the kettle, aka "sprinke sparge"
3. Top up your kettle w/ additional wort during the first 45 out of 60 minutes.
4. Top up you fermenter with water, aka "partial boil"

All of these shortcuts can work, however it will get more difficult to "cheat" the higher gravity you brew...also efficiency will likely be slightly lower, especially when topping up w/ water. So to finally answer the original question, you "could" likely brew a 5-6 gallon batch w/ a five gallon kettle. Give it a try! Worst case you will get a session beer...cheers!
I was wondering why I couldn't just do a partial boil, like with extract, but with all grain.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:55 PM   #16
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I was wondering why I couldn't just do a partial boil, like with extract, but with all grain.
You certainly can...BUT, the less sparge water that passes through the grain, the less sugar will be washed out and you efficiency will suffer the more you "top up" with water. However, IF you use an extra pound or two of grain, you can attempt to compenste for this lack of efficiency.

Search around, there is a guy that does this and explains it well...not for everyone, but it can be done.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:09 PM   #17
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I do partial mash partial boil BIAB in my 5 gallon SS BK/MT. I use 5lbs of grains in the mash in a paint strainer bag. When the water hits 150F or so,I quickly stir in the grains,using a plastic paddle to break up dough balls & evenly wet the mash. When it his 152,I wrap it up in my thinsulate lined winter hunting coat for the 1 hour mash. The temp goes up 1 degree,rather than going down 5 degrees or so. I use 2 gallons of water for the mash,by the way.
While it's mashing,I heat another 1.5 gallons of sparge water in another kettle. After the mash,I pull the grain bag & let it drain in a SS collander on top of the BK/MT & sparge that. Letting it drain again,then onto the heat for the boil & hop additions. I ad the 3-3.3lbs of extract at flame out,cover & steep for at least a few minutes to pasteurize. The wort is still boiling hot,& pasteurization happens about 162F,so it's all god. My FG's are from 1.046 to 1/055,depending on the recipes thus far. Of course,that'd go up if it's a big beer.

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Old 02-25-2013, 12:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I do partial mash partial boil BIAB in my 5 gallon SS BK/MT. I use 5lbs of grains in the mash in a paint strainer bag. When the water hits 150F or so,I quickly stir in the grains,using a plastic paddle to break up dough balls & evenly wet the mash. When it his 152,I wrap it up in my thinsulate lined winter hunting coat for the 1 hour mash. The temp goes up 1 degree,rather than going down 5 degrees or so. I use 2 gallons of water for the mash,by the way.
While it's mashing,I heat another 1.5 gallons of sparge water in another kettle. After the mash,I pull the grain bag & let it drain in a SS collander on top of the BK/MT & sparge that. Letting it drain again,then onto the heat for the boil & hop additions. I ad the 3-3.3lbs of extract at flame out,cover & steep for at least a few minutes to pasteurize. The wort is still boiling hot,& pasteurization happens about 162F,so it's all god. My FG's are from 1.046 to 1/055,depending on the recipes thus far. Of course,that'd go up if it's a big beer.
This is what I did batch before last to really good results. My last was the Miller Lite clone and it only needed 5.5 lbs of grain and didn't need extract so I guess it qualifies as all grain but it went well though it is still fermenting.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I do partial mash partial boil BIAB in my 5 gallon SS BK/MT. I use 5lbs of grains in the mash in a paint strainer bag. When the water hits 150F or so,I quickly stir in the grains,using a plastic paddle to break up dough balls & evenly wet the mash. When it his 152,I wrap it up in my thinsulate lined winter hunting coat for the 1 hour mash. The temp goes up 1 degree,rather than going down 5 degrees or so. I use 2 gallons of water for the mash,by the way.
While it's mashing,I heat another 1.5 gallons of sparge water in another kettle. After the mash,I pull the grain bag & let it drain in a SS collander on top of the BK/MT & sparge that. Letting it drain again,then onto the heat for the boil & hop additions. I ad the 3-3.3lbs of extract at flame out,cover & steep for at least a few minutes to pasteurize. The wort is still boiling hot,& pasteurization happens about 162F,so it's all god. My FG's are from 1.046 to 1/055,depending on the recipes thus far. Of course,that'd go up if it's a big beer.

How much water do you use in the initial mash w/ 5 lbs of grain?
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Sorry but there really is no rule of thumb. "Ideally" your kettle should be double batch size when doing a full volume style BIAB, BUT, there are simple ways to stretch your small kettle...

1. Perform a sparge in another kettle or bucket aka "dunk sparge" note: even a cold water sparge will work.
2. Gently pour sparge water through your grain bag while it is over the kettle, aka "sprinke sparge"
3. Top up your kettle w/ additional wort during the first 45 out of 60 minutes.
4. Top up your fermenter with water, aka "partial boil"

All of these shortcuts can work, however it will get more difficult to "cheat" the higher gravity you brew...also efficiency will likely be slightly lower, especially when topping up w/ water. So to finally answer the original question, you "could" likely brew a 5-6 gallon batch w/ a five gallon kettle. Give it a try! Worst case you will get a session beer...cheers!
Thanks for the informative post.

I'm expecting a brew demon sometime soon and thought this might be a way to both use my new toy and experiment with all grain or at least a partial mash. Think I could get a 2.5 gallon batch out of 4 gallon pot?
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