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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 1st All Grain Brew in a Bag (BIAB)
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:13 AM   #21
specialkaye
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I would like to try this. How do you know how much mash and sparge water to use? Thanks!
Basically, you have to work backwards: You want at least 5 gallons of wort. Usually, I shoot for about 5.5 gallons. Your grains will absorb about a gallon per 10lbs, give or take a bit. BUT, they only absorb water on the mash, on the sparge they're still full of water from the mash.

Figure about .15 gallons per pound of grain, or use about a pint per pound. It'll all work out and you can drink you mistakes. So, ADD that amount to the 5.5 gallons of wort you want. Say you have a 7.5lb grain bill, you add 7.5 pints (or almost 4 quarts- a gallon) to your 5.5 gallons desired. So, you're up to about 6.5 gallons of water.

Now, you have to add your boil off amount. I can't tell you what yours is, you have to do a boil to find your actual number. But, you can guess the first time. I did. Anyway, I add about another 1/2 gallon for boil off. I have a tall narrow pot. For a wide, fat pot, I'd add more. Now, I'm up to about 7 gallons.

Seven gallons does not fit comfortably into my 7.5 gallon pot that really only holds about 6.75 gallons to the rim. So, I split this into two pots. Sixteen quarts in one, and eight and a half quarts into the other.

I heat the larger amount first, and use that to mash. While that mash is going on, I heat the smaller amount. When mash is done, sparge in smaller amount. Simple, done, drink more beer.


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Old 03-04-2011, 04:45 PM   #22
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Interesting, thanks much.


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Old 03-23-2011, 12:23 AM   #23
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I'm thinking for Five Gallon Batches that I will end up doing.. the BIAB is the Cat's Meow!

Where did you get the BIAB "Bag"......?
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~ BIAB : All Grain Made Easy ; Mash, Sparge, Boil all in the same Kettle ~ all you need is a bag and a hook!
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:52 AM   #24
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I did my first AG BIAB yesterday, and in many ways it was like yours, except with about a foot of snow. I did a 2.5 gallon batch with no sparge, partly because my brewpot is exactly the same as yours. I like the idea of a sparge, which would allow me to do a 5 gallon batch. For the most part, I will probably brew 2.5 gallons but it is nice to have an option for a larger batch without more investment.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:22 PM   #25
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I'm thinking for Five Gallon Batches that I will end up doing.. the BIAB is the Cat's Meow!

Where did you get the BIAB "Bag"......?
I bought paint strainer bags at Home Depot. I have the 5 gallon size and they came 2 in a package. They have an elastic top that fits over my 20 qt kettle and fit all the way to the bottom. I think they will also fit my 30 qt that I recently got but won't reach the bottom of that which will be better as there will be no chance of melting the bag if I need to add heat during the mash.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:45 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
I bought paint strainer bags at Home Depot. I have the 5 gallon size and they came 2 in a package. They have an elastic top that fits over my 20 qt kettle and fit all the way to the bottom. I think they will also fit my 30 qt that I recently got but won't reach the bottom of that which will be better as there will be no chance of melting the bag if I need to add heat during the mash.
Same, same, Home Depot. I use the smaller 1 gallon for the hop spider too.


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