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Old 01-27-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
CHans3
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Aug 2011
Boston, MA
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I just tried my hand at BIAB for the first time, and my OG is 1.020. Beer tastes like water. I realized I should have investigated how to BIAB a little more before I tried it.


I plan on going to my LHBS and buying some DME to make the beer drinkable tomorrow. I basically treated it like a big steep. My bag didn't fit over my pot sides, so i just tied it off and threw in the grains and let it sit in the pot at 150F for an hour. In hindsight, this was obviously stupid, but my pot is also too small. I mashed in 6 gallons with an 11 lb grain bill. I sparged with a gallon of water and did not squeeze the bag. The bag sat above the pot for about 15 minutes draining.

I want to give this another shot, because I did everything wrong with this go around. Does anyone have tips for the next time I attempt this? Should I attempt this again given my equipment is likely too small?

Thanks,

CHans

 
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:16 PM   #2
davekippen
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Dec 2011
Grand Ledge, MI
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Did you not boil it down? You will pick up a lot of gravity points as you boil off water! The BIAB process is really easy and it sounds like you got it mostly right. How much wart did you end up with after sparging? Why would you say your pot was too small, if you fit 6 gallons plus 11lbs of grain it must be a fairly good sized pot!
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
CHans3
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Aug 2011
Boston, MA
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Thanks for the quick response,

No I boiled for an hour after sparging. I mashed in 6 gallons and added another one from sparging. I boiled off quite a bit of water and had to dilute it to get it back up to 5.5 gallons. I am guessing that I just needed to squeeze the bag and stir the grains in the bag while mashing?

 
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:22 PM   #4
Xanatos903
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Jan 2013
Kerrville, Tx
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I'd sparge with more water the next time.

But it sounds to me like the water wasn't in contact with all of the grains. Just bagging it up should work fine, but you've got to make sure they aren't too tight in there, or else the water won't reach all of the grains. Next time, poke it and stir (as much as you can in the bag) with the spoon for a good couple of minutes at the beginning of the mash.

 
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:24 PM   #5
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Did you bump up your base grain to account for possible lower efficiency? What was your mash time and temp?

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #6
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Check the bag in my signature. A few people around HBT are very happy with it
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:38 PM   #7
scottab
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Nov 2011
hawthorne, nj
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I haven't gotten into all grain yet but the big question i have is that if your pot is small and you are doing a biab why not invest in a 3 gallon better bottle and do half batches. Not sure why you topped off to the 5 gallons

 
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:54 PM   #8
the_trout
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May 2011
Rochester, NY
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My guess would be that the grains didnt mix well enough with the water. Id look for a larger bag that will allow you to stir the mash properly. It doesnt sound to me like you really did anything else wrong. Maybe mash with or sparge with more water so you dont have to top off at the end but thats a bit of a trial and error thing. Keeping a few lbs of dme on hand is a good idea just for these types of situations.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:16 AM   #9
chessking
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This might be a silly question, but did you have some base grain in the grist? enzymes are necessary for conversion.

 
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:18 AM   #10
chitowngator
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May 2012
Brookfield, Illinois
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I typically get 80-85% efficiency with BIAB and I've done several batches where the bag didn't fit over the pot. I just hung the top over the side and put the top on the pot to keep if from falling in during the mash. Every 10-15 minutes I stirred the grain and checked the temperature of the mash. If it needed heat I turned on the burner and lifted the bag so it didn't touch the bottom of the hot pot.

Who milled your grains? At 1.020 I'd almost think they were tossed in un-milled.

 
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