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Old 02-10-2012, 02:22 AM   #1
Pixalated
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Default Calculating starting water volume for BIAB

I got a 10 gallon brew pot, and built a 2,000W heatstick. I filled it with 6 gallons of water today, set it on my electric stove and plugged in the heatstick. When the temperature reached about 200F, I realized that I never turned on the stove burner. I was hoping it would speed up my boil.

When the water boiled, I let it go for 30 minutes. I chilled (to test out my new chiller) and saw that I lost 1 gallon of water. That seems like a lot.

I am planning to brew in a bag. Does this mean that for a 5 gallon batch I'd need to start with 7 gallons on water + whatever water my grains will absorb?


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Old 02-10-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
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There are calculators out there that will tell you how much you'll need based on a number of factors, such as grain quantity, boil loss rate, pot loss, and a few others. I used BeerSmith for my first BIAB a few weeks ago and felt like I had all the info I needed to make beer start to finish based on my chosen method, and a lot of others as well. I think it costs $27, but check their site. You can download a 21 day free trial too. The software seems daunting at first, but it really is easy once you get the hang of it with your first brew. It takes all the guesswork out.


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Old 02-10-2012, 02:46 AM   #3
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I bought it a while ago, just because everyone who's mentioned it, raved about it.
I can't figure out how to account for loss of water in the grain.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:05 AM   #4
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Here's a calculator that should give you a pretty good idea.

http://beerreviewdude.com/biab-calculator
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:48 PM   #6
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I started BIAB about three batches ago and I'm finding my grain absorption is about .08 gallons per pound. A 12 pound grain bill gets me about a 1 gallon loss too absorption. Pretty close to what beer smith will tell you.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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Thank you for the tip! I will run my test again tonight with water to see how much will boil off.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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Birdman Brewing has BeerSmith for $22.00. Cheapest out there. I'd honestly pay $100-150 for this program. It does pretty much all brewing calculations you'd ever need, including starting volumes, and has lots of customizations especially for BIAB:

http://www.birdmanbrewing.com/catego...wing-Software/
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watergod View Post
I started BIAB about three batches ago and I'm finding my grain absorption is about .08 gallons per pound. A 12 pound grain bill gets me about a 1 gallon loss too absorption. Pretty close to what beer smith will tell you.
I did my first BIAB on Saturday and found the exact same number. I think BeerSmith estimated something like .07 so it was about right.

I second the recommendations for BeerSmith. I used it for my BIAB and was only a tad off from the preset mash efficiency, boiloff rate, and grain absorption. I will just tweak those after each BIAB session to dial it in.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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Where in Beer Smith do I see that option though? I see the option for boil off, but not for grain absorbtion


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