Tonight I was brewing a 5 gallon batch of Jamil's Irish Red that will hopefully be ready in time for St. Paddy's day. I don't have a big enough brewpot to do a 5 gallon all grain batch, so I typically do either 3 gallon all-grain BIAB or 5 gallon BIAB partial mash batches, with partial boils, adding LME to get up to my desired gravity.
Here's my recipe:
6lbs Maris Otter
2lbs 8oz Golden LME
6oz Roasted Barley
1.5oz US Golding 4.4%@60
Target OG 1.048 for 5 gallons.
I mashed at 154 in the oven for a bit over an hour, and when I took it out the temperature had risen to 160. My normal technique is:
* mash in a 3.5 gallon kettle
* transfer to a 5 gallon bucket where i have my paint strainer bag
* add a gallon of 190* sparge water, stir well
* drain the bag
* dunk sparge in my 5.5ish gallon boil kettle
* add first runnings to boil kettle
This time, I must have mismeasured my sparge water by about a gallon. I couldn't fit all the wort into my boil kettle, so I had to split between by 3 gallon and 5 gallon kettles. I checked the gravity with my refractometer after I was able to boil it down so it all fit in my big kettle (it actually overflowed ever so slightly - shh, don't tell my wife! I cleaned it up), and it showed about 10.5 brix. Here's a shot of what my kettle looked like:
I had to boil an extra half hour to get it down to where I could fit my immersion chiller in, and I spilled a little bit carrying my kettle to the laundry tub where I have the hose hookup. (Just in case SWMBO is reading, I spilled it IN the laundry tub.) I really need to get a hose hookup for the kitchen sink...
I lost a little bit when dumping into my fermenter (hence the reason the kitchen rugs are in the washer right now), and the final result was 4.5 gallons. My hydrometer showed 1.044 as the OG. Not too shabby.
I have learned a few things tonight:
1) I need to do a better job of measuring my sparge water.
2) My efficiency is currently a bit ridiculous (something like 88% - I believe I lost about half a gallon between the 3 spills).
3) With just a slightly larger kettle, 5 gallon full boil BIAB is totally doable.
4) I really need to stop wearing hoodies with strings when brewing, as I dipped the end of one in my chilling kettle AGAIN, this time after it was chilled.
5) My kitchen gets REALLY warm when I have both power burners going.
I made the mistake of buying a 33lb growler of LME two days before learning about BIAB. It's about half gone, and I need to use it up before it goes stale. I guess I need to start brewing some high gravity brews, where I can't possibly get all my sugars just from my "partial mash".
On my previous 5 gallon batch, I ended up using only half the LME I was expecting to, and hit my gravity spot on. This time, I would have liked to have gotten 5.5 gallons into the fermenter (expecting to lose half a gallon to yeast and trub), but I literally had no room in my kettle. (And the whole splashing/spilling thing lost me some.)
Anybody else have "problems" with crazy high efficiency? This brew will definitely be more intense than the original recipe called for, since I had a larger percentage of the crystal malts and roasted barley than I was supposed to. I'm sure it will still be awesome, though!