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Old 05-05-2011, 12:05 PM   #1
rshortt
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Default BIAB basket from drilling and cutting pot bottom

I am thinking about using a electric keggle for BIAB. Like many, I'd prefer to use a stainless "bag" / basket instead of fabric.

I can get my hands on a stainless 5 gallon pot for my basket. I may get two, cut and mate them, to make a taller basket. I would drill holes and cut slits in the bottom of it for its "false bottom". I would make the holes much like the guys are with the cut keg tops as false bottoms. Having the holes in the bottom only (and not the sides) would allow the wort to pass through the entire grain bed vertically; not out the sides like a steamer basket or voile bag. I know the bag guys say to line the inside of the pot with the bag so that is not an issue there.

With holes only in the bottom of the basket there would be a water / wort jacket around the outside of the basket. This would mean a couple of things:

1) The water / wort on the outside of the basket would insulate the temperature of the mash.
2) The water / wort on the outside may be a much thinner dilution of starches, sugars, and enzymes.

I will be recirculating back into the top of the basket and using a bottom drain on the keggle.

I am wondering if the wort on the outside of the basket will mix well enough even with recirculation. I may be over thinking this but do you think it could be an issue?

Thanks,
-Rob

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Old 05-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
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I have thought about this too. In the end it is really kinda mash tun that is inside the boil kettle during mashing.

My thought was to recirculate from the top section of the water / wort. This way the wort circulation would force it to go through the mash and back up the outside.

Also, I could envision the mash basket would be up on legs to keep it off the heating element, so this gives you a few inches in height. Check out the Bayou Classic pots, they tend to be taller. Bayou Classics also produces and AL "steamer" pot and see if that might be easier to modify for your vision.

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Old 05-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #3
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Sounds interesting but I don't know how well everything will mix with this sort of recirculation strategy. Maybe just try it and see how well it works and make changes later if needed. If only having holes in the bottom of the basket doesn't work out you could later drill holes in the side of the basket to try to improve mash mixing/circulation. Just a thought.

Be sure to let us know how this turns out because I also have a keggle sitting unused at the moment and would love to use it for some BIAB brewing.

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #4
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I like the idea, but I dont' think it will work as well as it sounds. the slits that other brewers drill into their copper and pvc manifolds use the fact that their grain bed will compact as water is drained out. In fact, the concept of fly sparging relies on this fact, that the grain stays stationary while you pour your sparge water over top.
BIAB techniques make use of all the grain floating freely in the mash water, and in fact encourage stirring and keeping the grains from settling in anywhere. I think you'll find that it will be difficult to get the slits the right size to keep the grain in the pot, and not to clog the holes to where the water pours out over the top (carrying grain with it)

That said, I say go for it and report back. Worse comes to worst, you could use the pot like a steamer basket, line with a curtain and do a more traditional BIAB, right?

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:47 PM   #5
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Excellent point about the floating vs compacting! More to think about, but at some point I'll move forward with something.

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Old 05-06-2011, 12:38 AM   #6
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Well....you could cut out the bottom and drop a piece of perforated ss in there. I did that very thing with my basket.....though I went ahead and lined the sides with screen.

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Old 05-06-2011, 01:12 AM   #7
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Hi Scuba, I've been following your build as well. How did the 12 mesh work out?

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #8
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Sounds a lot like a system described on an episode of Basic Brewing Radio. I want to say it was back in 2009, an interview with a Scandanavian brewer of the year. If you can find the one I'm talking about, it might point you in the right direction.

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:12 AM   #9
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Thanks, that would be useful. I'll take that lead and see what I can dig up as well.

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:20 AM   #10
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By the way, the (German?) system discussed in the interview cost several grand. If you can get the same great results from something home built for a few bucks that would be great.

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