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Old 08-13-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
Aug 2013
Posts: 52

Hi everyone,
What are BIAB bags made out of? Among them, which has the best properties like handling heavy grains? And also what size should the holes in the bag be?

I am a 1-gallon brewer so that is not that important now, but if I do 5 gallon batches in the future, the bag should be able hold the grains of my 5 gallon batch.

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Old 08-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #2
Rockn_M's Avatar
Jan 2013
Dallas, Tx
Posts: 1,698
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I picked up 5 gallon paint bags from Home Depot. They are pretty durable, easy to clean and cheap! I had one tear at the seam but that was my fault when dumping the spent grains.

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Old 08-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
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LabRatBrewer's Avatar
Dec 2011
Laguna Niguel, CA
Posts: 3,086
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Wilserbrewer is a vendor on HBT, and his BIAB bags are extremely nice quality at at very good price. He custom makes them for the size of your pot. I have made many batches with his bags from 5 gallons to 11 gallons. (My pot is 15 gallon).

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Old 08-13-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
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unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
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I use a paint strainer bag,5 gallon made out of course weave nylon. Medium weave would be better,imo. I use up to 6 pounds of grains or more in mine & it takes it just fine. The nylon is really easy & quick to clean.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:33 PM   #5
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Feb 2013
Pasadena, CA
Posts: 1,233
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In general the fabric you want is "swiss voile" ... You can buy the stuff at a fabric store and make your own bag if you're handy that way.

Until recently I was using voile curtains from Ikea (~$4.50 for 2 large panels) and just folding a panel over a few times until it was about he right size to line the kettle. I've read here that people also have used voile curtains from Walmart & Lowes. Either folded or sewn into bag form. The weave on the Ikea curtain is pretty coarse, so you'd definitely want to layer it.

But I have to +1 the Wilserbrewer bag. I just got one and have only done 2 batches with it but it has a nice fine weave and it's much nicer dealing with a properly sized bag rather than the excess fabric of a folded curtain.

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Old 08-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
Aug 2012
Aiken, SC
Posts: 1,653
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If you're freindly with a coffee house you may be able to get a large toddy bag for cheap or free. They are nylon mesh bags, made for holding 5+ lbs of coffee, with an elastic band at the opening. It easily holds 10-15 lbs of grain. It's made by a company called Toddy Products. I've had excellent results using it in a bunch of standard mashes and few BIAB mashes.

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Old 08-13-2013, 11:21 PM   #7
Apr 2012
Charlottesville, Va
Posts: 706
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I use Walmart voile fabric curtains that I have sewn into bags. The Wiserbrewer bags I have seen are great and his strength test proved to me that if built correctly the bags will survive any grainbill a homebrewer is going to attempt.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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May 2007
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
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Yes, polyester voile is the fabric of choice. Size the bag to entirely line your kettle with extra depth to fold over the top. Stitch the bag with a taper at the bottom like shown in my avatar. Stitch the bag, turn inside out and stitch again twice FTW!

A drawstring at the top is handy as well! Cheers! PM me if you have any questions on sewing a bag!

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