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Old 07-20-2013, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default A variation on BIAB - what about lining a cooler with a bag?

I have a mash tun which is a cooler box with a stripped toilet line, which seems quite a popular approach (like in

video).

I am not sure why, but it drains e.x.t.r.e.m.e.l.y slowly which I guess adds close to an extra hour to my brew process. It is also an hour of extra work as I have to move the grains around to get the pre-wort to drain out.

So, I am thinking of a variation on the BIAB approach: Instead of making a bag to go in boil pot (as per normal BIAB), why not make a bag that fits snugly into my cooler?

I will mash normally - put the strike water in the cooler, mix with the grains etc, but the cooler will have this new lining. When it comes to draining the wort I can just lift the bag up and open the drain of the cooler and let the wort flow out - no need for special valves.

The bag is effectively an over sized false bottom. Would this work? I see no reason why not.

I spent some time looking for this on the web, but can't find any examples. Perhaps I am using the wrong search terms?
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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I've never seen a paint strainer bag over 5 gallon size. so it might work in a 5 gallon igloo cooler type rig. & use a fine mesh bag,or your efforts will still yeild a cup or two of grainy silty stuff if you strain into the fermenter.

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Old 07-20-2013, 01:06 PM   #3
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Are you absolutely sure your stripped toilet line is Stainless steel???
Some plumbing lines are actually a polymer plastic that looks like stainless but is NOT!!! This can lead to very poor runoff!

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/impo...braids-122648/

A genuine stainless mesh braid is a proven concept and should drain well...I would seriously look at your braid prior to further complicating your process lining the cooler with a bag!!!

I do sell bags large enough to line coolers, but this is something I have never done, but lots of folks love the concept, a braid has always worked flawlessly for me in a cooler....cheers and good luck solving your dilemma.

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Old 07-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Are you absolutely sure your stripped toilet line is Stainless steel???
Some plumbing lines are actually a polymer plastic that looks like stainless but is NOT!!! This can lead to very poor runoff!
Aha. I don't know, but I think you may have solved my problem! Thank you.

For some reason SWMBO didn't get as enthusiastic as I did about her making me a bag to line the inside of the cooler.
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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An hour is crazy, something must be wrong. I have 3/8 ball valve and toilet braid and I can empty 5+ gallons of wort in a few minutes.

There's no reason you couldnt BIAB in a cooler and then transfer. I've thought about that myself when I was BIABing on the stove in the winter. You obviously wouldnt get to vorlouf.

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Old 07-20-2013, 01:24 PM   #6
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I use this method in both a 5 & 10 gal round coolers. On the inside of the kettle/valve I use a street 90 fitting turned down most of the way so the pump suction does not draw in the bag and restrict the flow. I find that when using wheat, this method eliminates the need for rice hulls. Using a bazooka screen will snag the bag and reduce it's life expectancy.
However, depending on how often you need to replace the bag, this might not be the most cost effective method.
I also use bags for leaf hops, crushed seeds, orange peels etc.
The trick for these items is to insure plenty of room for water circulation during the boil. In other words, don't overfill the bag. The smaller bags are made well. I have the same bags for 25 years. I can not say the same for the larger bags.

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Old 07-20-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
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I BIAB in a cooler and transfer the bag to the kettle for a mash out/dunk sparge. After the mash I drain the bag in the cooler then move the bag and grains to the kettle for the mash out and dunk sparge. Then I drain the bag again in the kettle and I just dump the first running a from the cooler into the kettle to bring me up to volume. I'm planning to get a line so that I can gravity transfer but I'm cheap and too lazy to modify anything at the moment and dumping the runnings works just fine for me.

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Old 07-20-2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Likefully View Post

So, I am thinking of a variation on the BIAB approach: Instead of making a bag to go in boil pot (as per normal BIAB), why not make a bag that fits snugly into my cooler?


The bag is effectively an over sized false bottom. Would this work? I see no reason why not.

I spent some time looking for this on the web, but can't find any examples. Perhaps I am using the wrong search terms?
I use a 50 quart rectangular cooler with a stainless steel wire BBQ grill fitted to the bottom. The grill fills the bottom to all the edges and is raised (a little bending and adjustment was needed) about 1/4 of an inch from the bottom. It was bent so that it just rides above the drain on the one side.. A quick change from the regular spigot to a CPVC valve and I'm set to go.

I fit a wet Walmart VOILE curtain panel into the cooler ( it sticks to the sides and rides on the grill easily if it is wet to start) then I secure it to the outer edge of the cooler.

Easily handles all my all grain bills, keeps the temperature where I want it, drains as fast as I want it to, never gets stuck and leaves me with a well drained and not too heavy curtain full of spent grain..

bosco
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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That's what I do. I use a cylindrical cooler and instead of a false bottom or braid I use a bag I made from voile cloth - basically a giant paint strainer bag. Works great for me. Easy to clean up.

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Old 07-23-2013, 11:48 PM   #10
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I did the bag/cooler combo with my Coleman mashtun and a bag from Jimmy at http://www.biab-brewing.com/ custom fit for the cooler. It worked great, I think its an awesome idea.

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