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Old 04-05-2012, 12:25 PM   #1
astronomical
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Nov 2011
Crystal Lake, IL
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I'm wondering if I'll be able to do 5G BIAB brews in my 15.5G keg.

It takes just under 4 gallons to fully submerge the element.

Is this still going to be viable for 5 gallon BIAB batches or should I use is as an HLT in the future or something.

Thanks


 
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:02 AM   #2
davidscher
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Mar 2012
Fort Wayne, IN
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Bump. I would also like to know this. Looking to do the same thing.

 
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:30 AM   #3
thomashp
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May 2008
Richmond, VA, Richmond, VA
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It seems that if you insulated it well then you could heat to strike temp, the turn off the element for the mash. then lift the bag out for the sparge and turn the element on for the boil. if you can't maintain mash temps then your looking at some sort of false bottom. It would also be cool to build some kind of element shroud out of stainless steel to stop scorching. I've never seen it done though.

 
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:24 PM   #4
pvtschultz
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Feb 2010
New Berlin, Wisconsin
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Perfectly suitable, I do it all the time but I can boil down to 3 gallons w/o uncovering the element. For a 5.5 gallon batch, you'll need an additional 1 gallon for boil off, 1/2 gallon for grain absorption, and about 1/4 gallon for misc losses for an initial volume of 7-1/4 gallons. You'll find that to be quite typical for 60 min 15% boils.

ETA - Don't use the element during mashing, you'll never get good results IME. I wrap mine with a quilt during the mash but adding reflectex or similar insulative wrap would be equally effective.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
wrench
 
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Jan 2011
Berlin, MA
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I made sure to install my element as low as practical when building my keggle for exactly this reason. I have no trouble making the occasional 5 gal batch. A lot will depend on the specific layout of your system.

 
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:15 PM   #6
nate456789
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Mar 2011
Indianapolis, Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pvtschultz View Post
Perfectly suitable, I do it all the time but I can boil down to 3 gallons w/o uncovering the element. For a 5.5 gallon batch, you'll need an additional 1 gallon for boil off, 1/2 gallon for grain absorption, and about 1/4 gallon for misc losses for an initial volume of 7-1/4 gallons. You'll find that to be quite typical for 60 min 15% boils.

ETA - Don't use the element during mashing, you'll never get good results IME. I wrap mine with a quilt during the mash but adding reflectex or similar insulative wrap would be equally effective.
Same numbers I end up with for BIAB and it works great.
I do used the element to maintain temps and To ramp up the temps for mash out. With no other insulation other than a lid.
I keep my pump running the whole time and it does very well for giving me even temps. I use A LOVE controller on that system and I have great results. If I had it to do again I would use a PID with Manual Mode as an option.
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