I posted this in the Michigan Mashers section and Revvy suggested I post it over here too. I will post it in the Beginners' section as it may be a lower cost way to get into all-grain brewing for those of you presently using extract.
I recently scored some great garage sale finds and needed to give them a workout, so I tested them with a couple of experiments. I tried the Australian method of Brew In A Bag (BIAB) and also did a wet hopping.
Some of the advantages of BIAB are:
Low equipment cost -- only one kettle and a bag
Shorter brew time -- no sparge
Less to clean up
Some of the disadvantages:
Efficiency loss without sparge (somewhat offset by use of a finer crush, mash out, and long drain and squeeze of bag)
Effectively limited to 5-gallon batches
High liquid to grist ratio -- not appropriate for some recipes
Step mash becomes more of a ramp mash
Here are some pictures of my BIAB day.
Picasa Web Albums - Gary - BIAB Day
If you want to learn more, check out Aussie Brewer. There are some very innovative brewers down under and they have been extremely cordial and helpful to me.