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View Poll Results: How do you brew?
I BIAB 408 37.71%
I use a 3 vessel system 418 38.63%
I don't brew all-grain, I'm an extract brewer 115 10.63%
What's BIAB? 26 2.40%
I use a system that doesn't fit into the other categories 115 10.63%
Voters: 1082. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #21
JeepDiver
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Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Well, that is true. I guess I just assumed that anyone who's spent the money on those things probably built a cooler mash tun first.
Well for me I starte AG with BIAB, and bought a blichman for my kettle, figuring I would upgrade to a 3-kettle system latter on. My Beer is good enough for me, and several of my brew buddies with tricked out Brutus style systems think it is as good as theirs. I decided that there was no point in spending the money for 2 more kettles, and all the other parts, but wanted to be able to do step mashes for some more complicated brews so I got the false bottom for my kettle.

My next step will be the pump, to help with both the step mash and cooling.

I do things to help improve my beer, but don't see a 3 vessel system being worth the cost for what gain I will get.

 
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:06 PM   #22
arg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar View Post
The rest of your post was pretty factual... until this part... then I just rolled my eyes.

No need to get all preachy and distort reality in one fell swoop.
Hah. Distort reality? Sorry if that doesn't meet your expectations. I'm just speaking from personal experience. I've had 8 hour brew days using my mash tun / turkey fryer combo. That means setting up, gathering materials, cooling, pitching, oxygenation, washing, drying and storing. These things add up, especially if you are doing a recipe with an extended mash, longer boil, etc.

In fact, that's why I used to started at 9AM every time I brewed. So that I might have time to do something else with my day. Can you bring that time down? Sure, but I don't like stopping half way through anything (clean up) nor do I like rushing around like a mad man trying to keep on top of everything. Mistakes get made, especially if I'm trying to enjoy my brew day.

BIAB allows for a quick, relaxed brew day. The "traditional method" involves far more equipment that all needs to be washed before and after use, extending the time from start to finish. That's my experience, and I reported as such.

I roll my eyes back at you, sir.

 
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:22 PM   #23
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My brew days never take more than five hours from start to finish using a cooler MLT and stove top full-boil brewing. And that includes the time during the mash when we usually keg the last batch, making for a very productive brew day. Oh and did I mention we never play less than 1-2 games of NHL 2012 during that time period? Sure, I always lose, but we end up w/ great beer regardless

 
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #24
Randar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arg View Post
Hah. Distort reality? Sorry if that doesn't meet your expectations. I'm just speaking from personal experience. I've had 8 hour brew days using my mash tun / turkey fryer combo. That means setting up, gathering materials, cooling, pitching, oxygenation, washing, drying and storing. These things add up, especially if you are doing a recipe with an extended mash, longer boil, etc.
The majority of AG brewers I have talked to do a batch in under 5-6 hours... I usually do 15 gallons in ~6 hours or 2 batches in about 9-10 hrs and that includes a lot of extra heating time for all that extra liquid heating.

If explaining your experience, I don't care if you list 18 hours. If trying to justify it against the expected norm to prop up a "Why BIAB is so great" point? Not buying. BIAB has enough merits that it doesn't need gross exaggeration to try to make your point.

"If someone likes having 8 hour brew days with tons of prep and clean up, pumps, 3 vessels, yada-yada, cool."

Reads as a sarcastic remark. Maybe not intended, but tone doesn't translate well to the webtoobz.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:24 PM   #25
sweetcell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
I also like the ability to direct fire the mash tun to increase the temperature. That's not something I would want to do with a nylon bag resting in it.
you can use something as a false bottom to keep the bag away from direct contact with the pot's hot bottom.

(that last bit sounded naughty...)
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #26
chalkdust41485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcell

you can use something as a false bottom to keep the bag away from direct contact with the pot's hot bottom.

(that last bit sounded naughty...)
that's exactly what I do. I bought one of those retractable steamer baskets and place that on the bottom, then the bag doesn't get that close to the "pot's hot bottom". now I can just hit it with heat during the mash to keep the temp steady or step mash.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:28 PM   #27
GTaylor
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BIAB allowed me to transition to AG brewing with minimal investment into a burner and pot, now I'm looking at how I can swing an e-BIAB with pump for recirculation. Have made 4 batches with my current setup and everyone that tries them likes them, so I see no need to go to a 3 vessel setup for now. Maybe some day when I have more space and brew bigger batches, I will move to a more traditional setup.

 
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:30 PM   #28
AnchorBock
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I currently BIAB, started with a 15 gallon kettle - decided I wanted to do full volume mash 10 gallon batches and bought a 20 gallon kettle (use a basket to lift the bag with a ratchet strap attached to a beam in the garage), then bought a second 15 gallon pot so I could easily do 2 five gallon batches side by side when I didn't want to make 10 gallons of one batch.

Now that I've acquired most of the equipment, I'll probably try 3v before too long (can probably get 3 tiers using a table on the deck, the deck floor, and the yard). Getting above 1.065 preboil has proven difficult making it difficult to do high gravity beers without using too much DME. I also like the idea of playing around with decoction mashing, partigyles, FWH, mash hopping, etc - can be done with BIAB, but the results are probably better with a 3v setup.

I don't think I'll ever completely switch, I think depending on the recipe/process, the day, etc I'd probably decide whether to go 3v or BIAB that batch.

 
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #29
H-ost
 
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BIAB is too limiting to me as far as batch size, I have done it for a 5 gallon smash before though.

Your poll does not have an option for my a 2 vessel setup.

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Old 04-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #30
arg
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May 2011
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I'll concede on those points and agree, with exception.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randar View Post
...The majority of AG brewers I have talked to do a batch in under 5-6 hours...Granted, I'm just slow, perhaps too detail oriented, as well as lacking in an extra pair of hands or tools to make things move faster.

...BIAB has enough merits that it doesn't need gross exaggeration to try to make your point. I still maintain that it is not, for me, a "gross exaggeration." You're right, apparently my experience is not representative of the "typical" AG brew day.

..Reads as a sarcastic remark. Maybe not intended, but tone doesn't translate well to the webtoobz.
My intent was not to be sarcastic. Allow me to amend my statement to make it more Interwebz PC:

"If someone feels that having extended brew days, using equipment that may be unnecessary in utility and cost, as well as being forced to properly maintain said equipment, so be it. However, I'm not convinced that the quality of the final product justifies any extra expense in time or finance."

I was just looking to describe it in the same way that I would describe someone with a fancy race car that will never "use" the full potential of the vehicle or see a track.

"If they like getting 11MPG, paying an extra $60,000 for a car and however much for insurance, a car that they aren't legally allowed to drive any faster than my $3,500 car, and still make it to work in the same amount of time, then so be it."

As mentioned, if I had a shiny, stainless 3 vessel system with pumps, plate chiller and other fancy gadgets, I would use it. If I had the car, I'd drive it.

Would I buy either? No.

Back on topic.

It seems to me that the only reason BIAB is not more seriously considered as replacing, or simply rivaling, the "traditional" method of brewing, is that such a system would, logistically, be nearly impossible to scale up. How do you make grains for a 15 BBL batch fit into a sack that can be raised above a vessel to drain? Judging by the comments, this seems to keep some 5-gallon batch brewers away, as well.

BIAB only works for home brewers it would seem, and thus it gets a bad rap as it has not been "endorsed" by the respected brew-heads. (that I am aware of )

I contend that BIAB may be so fantastic that if larger breweries COULD brew in that fashion, they would.


 
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