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Old 07-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
Kdenaultrdg
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Jul 2012
Upper Bucks Cty, Pa
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Ok...I think I'm ready to get out there, purchase some equipment and supplies, and get started. I would like to do all-grain brewing in a bag. I would like to start with smaller batches...maybe 2 to 2.5 gallons. This way , I can brew more often and get better at it. Plus I like variety in my beers! I thought about purchasing one of those kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop, but I want to brew more than one gallon batches. I would like to brew something light...a hefeweizen or some type of wheat beer. I've been perusing the forums for some time...and have gained a lot of info...and some confusion! I am not sure what equipment to purchase for BIAB'ing in the the batch size I want, but i would like to keep it simple. Should I mill the grains myself or purchase milled? How hard is it to mill yourself? How and when do you sparge with the BIAB method? I will be bottling in sanitized swing-top (Grolsch) bottles...what is the bottling process? Recipes for Hefeweizen or wheat-beers for a 2 or 2.5 gallon batch...do I just half a 5 -gallon recipe? Does the timing change because of the decreased thermal mass? Oh, so many questions! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Kathleen



 
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
IkeKrizzule
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May 2012
Saskatoon, Saskachewan
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Lots of questions

I'd recommend you get a basic starter set, lots of places offer them. Find something local or if you're ordering stuff get the basic starter they offer. Then since you're BIAB'ing you'll need a pot. Even though you only want to do 2-2.5 gallons now I'd recommend getting a big enough pot (8-10 gallon) to allow you to upgrade to 5 gallon batches later. And you'll need a grain bag to BIAB with. My LHBS sold one that works great, some people use paint strainer bags, or converted viole curtains, do a search and you can find some ideas and what works for you.

For now I'd say just get the place you buy from to mill your grains. I've never milled myself, and I've found this to be convenient and easy. Its a pretty big investment and easily avoidable when you're starting. You don't have to sparge with BIAB, some do some don't. Personally I do, more beer is a good thing. So after the 60 minute mash I give my grain bag another wash and drain in another pot while heating the wort to boiling in my main pot then just add what I get from there to the main pot.

And yes, you can basically take a 5 gallon recipe and divide by 2 for a 2.5 gallon recipe. Since you're scaling down I wouldn't look into the kits, just take a recipe that looks good from the recipe database here and divide by 2. My first BIAB was a 3 gallon wheat recipe, here's the link to it on hopville, my only regret is that I didn't make more. Between friends and BBQ's it didn't last a month.

http://hopville.com/recipe/1383488/a...pes/ikes-white



 
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:42 PM   #3
Kdenaultrdg
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Jul 2012
Upper Bucks Cty, Pa
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Is there any particular you would recommend to start with? A kit for a 5-gallon brew? Do you pour from the main pot to the fermenter or do you siphon?
Kathleen

 
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:43 PM   #4
Kdenaultrdg
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Jul 2012
Upper Bucks Cty, Pa
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Sorry...is there any particular "kit" you would recommend.....

 
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
IkeKrizzule
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May 2012
Saskatoon, Saskachewan
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As I said : Since you're scaling down I wouldn't look into the kits, just take a recipe that looks good from the recipe database here and divide by 2.

Kits you'll find are generally going to be for 5 gallons so if you want to only make half that you're going to have double what you need, and if you had them mill it for you its generally not a good idea to have milled grain sitting for a month or longer until you're ready to brew again.

For transfer from pot to fermenter I've done both. The idea behind siphoning would to leave some trub behind and have clear beer. The negative is that you also leave behind some beer. For a hefe I wouldn't worry about it, its supposed to be cloudy so just pour everything into your fermenter.

 
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:34 PM   #6
Kdenaultrdg
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Jul 2012
Upper Bucks Cty, Pa
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Right....sorry, just re-read your post. I meant to ask...would you recommend a particular starter set...or are they all generally the same..with the same equipment?

 
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:16 PM   #7
IkeKrizzule
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May 2012
Saskatoon, Saskachewan
Posts: 74
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See if you have a local shop. If not Austin Homebrew and Midwest Supplies seem to be pretty well respected places for Americans to purchase from. You could go with something like this kit and pot:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/brewi...pment-kit.html
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/stain...-5-gallon.html

This looks like it would work for your bag:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/nylon...fine-mesh.html

Then buy grains, hops and yeast from them to fit with whatever recipe you decide to go with.

 
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:08 AM   #8
agentEhrman
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Jul 2011
Lincoln, NE
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I would def recommend buying the 5 gallon kit for equipment. I started on Mr. Beer and 2 gallons just isn't enough. Unless you're more patient than the rest of us, 2 gallons will be gone before it's even hit it's real peak for flavor. Also, I second the thought of buying a large pot. I have spent probably double the amount of money on brewing equipment because I have had to upgrade everything at least once. Just buy the big boy stuff to start and you won't regret it.


I use deathbrewer's method of BIAB and it works pretty well. It's also easy and keeps the start up costs down because you don't have to purchase a mash tun. I sparge in a second kettle with hotter water, and it helps my efficiency. I can't imagine no sparge, but some report 70-75% efficiency BIAB no sparge. I am usually around 65 with my method, but I'm afraid to crush too tight for fear of astringency..

Having the LHBS crush your grains will save you good money on a mill. I started with a corona mill for about $50, but it got old only being able to fit 2# of grain in the hopper at a time and just bought a monster mill. Had i just bought the MM at first, I would still have that $50. Or, if I let my LHBS do my crush, I would be $250 ahead. My LHBS doesn't do the crushing on site unfortunately, and so you have to put your order in a day in advance. I'm not so good at that. Good thing I'm not in this hobby to save money.
__________________
Well, I think that you meant "oz" not "lbs"
Did you brew this from the couch on your porch?

 
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:11 AM   #9
OldWorld
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Dec 2008
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You would be better of brewing 5 gallon batches and splitting them into two carboys with different yeast strains...Along your journey you will find a yeast that you enjoy more than others. Good luck. 5 gallons is the minimum I would make...

For small yiels, balloon cider is always fun

 
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:02 AM   #10
BigSally
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Feb 2012
Wichita, Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdenaultrdg View Post
Right....sorry, just re-read your post. I meant to ask...would you recommend a particular starter set...or are they all generally the same..with the same equipment?
They are mostly the same but they usually don't include bottling equipment,bottling bucket ,wand bottles,caps and capper.So,that's extra.
Looks like you're close to Philly so you should have more LHBS's than I do in Wichita.You shouldn't pay more than 80 bucks for a starter kit.It's more than a fun hobby though.



 
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