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Old 11-07-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
craigd
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Default BIAB question

Recent discussions here and at BN have me thinking of trying Brew in a Bag All-Grain to compare to my minimash setup. Given that I have a 32qt brewpot I think I would be very tight on volume with BIAB. Any reason I could not just do a 4 gallon boil (make a concentrated wort) with this same method and top off with water to 5 gal at the end? I suppose I would need to slightly adjust hop schedule to account for a higher gravity in the boil, no? The biggest obstacle to AG brewing to me is the kettle investment rather than the mash tun... Doing this could save me enough per batch to justify a new kettle soon but I'd like to proof-of-concept it first. I have heard folks say they can boil 5G in a pot this size but I almost have boil-overs with my 3G extract boils now so I must be doing it wrong

-Craig


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Old 11-07-2008, 08:34 PM   #2
Cascadie
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I'm doing this very thing as I type! I have 4.5 gallons in one kettle, and 1.5+ (as much as I dared put in without boiling over) in another and I have about 10 minutes left in the boil. I use TLAR to divide up the hops between batches. (that looks about right)

... scurries off to add hops ...

I used Edwort's Haus Pale Ale and my efficiency worked out to 80.4% which I'm fairly astonished with, truth be told.

I'm interested to hear how other are doing this. It's a great "foot in the door" for me into AG brewing.

Cascadie


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Old 11-07-2008, 08:36 PM   #3
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You could certainly do a concentrated boil, and yes, you would have to use more hops for bittering. However, it IS possible to do a full boil in your pot. You CANNOT walk (or even look) away from it. But if you keep one hand on the gas valve, and one on a spray bottle, you should be fine. Also, you don't have to keep the burner running all out once you reach a boil.

I do all my BiaB batches in a 30 qt pot.
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Old 11-07-2008, 08:42 PM   #4
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You'll get a really low efficiency, as you will be sparging 2-3 gallon less from your mash as a typical setup with adequately sized brewpot.
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjonsharp View Post
You'll get a really low efficiency, as you will be sparging 2-3 gallon less from your mash as a typical setup with adequately sized brewpot.
I'm not entirely sure what you are saying here, but I'm sure that it isn't true.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:28 PM   #6
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32 quarts is 8 gallons, why do you only want to do a 4 gallon boil? I get that much pretty easily out of my 20 quart stock pot. Perhaps you actually have a smaller stock pot. My batch started out about an inch and a half from the rim, and it was fine, but as has been said, don't even think about leaving until after your hot break. I just barely have enough heat from my burners to boil this way on my stovetop.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadie View Post
32 quarts is 8 gallons, why do you only want to do a 4 gallon boil? I get that much pretty easily out of my 20 quart stock pot. Perhaps you actually have a smaller stock pot. My batch started out about an inch and a half from the rim, and it was fine, but as has been said, don't even think about leaving until after your hot break. I just barely have enough heat from my burners to boil this way on my stovetop.
Grains add a LOT of volume. BIAB has you put in all of the water for the entire batch (considerably more than 5 gallons, has to account for absorption and boiloff for the entire process) at once. To do a full BIAB the way that the original post says to, you really need 10gal+.

I looked at doing BIAB with my pot but decided to just use a cooler I had around, using it to mash with the bag rather than a pesky braid/false bottom.

This process works a lot better than people seem to want to admit, but you do need a very large pot or to split the batch.
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Old 11-08-2008, 12:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore_Trout View Post
Grains add a LOT of volume. BIAB has you put in all of the water for the entire batch (considerably more than 5 gallons, has to account for absorption and boiloff for the entire process) at once. To do a full BIAB the way that the original post says to, you really need 10gal+.
I don't do a full volume mash for the reason you mention. I usually mash with between 5 and 6 gallons and then top off after lautering. Works fine for me.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lustreking View Post
I'm not entirely sure what you are saying here, but I'm sure that it isn't true.
He means you will have to use a lot more malt to get the amount of sugars that you need because you are using less water to wash the sugars fro the grain bed.

I don't know what you would be looking at efficiency wise but im think that your grain bill would have to be a lot bigger.
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Old 11-08-2008, 02:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
BIAB has you put in all of the water for the entire batch
Hmm, then I did it wrong.

152*F for an hour in 3.25 gal (needed to add water maintain heat due to cheap cooler)
added 6 qts @ 170*F
Drained bag, poured wort into bucket
Bag back in 3 gal @ 170*F
Drained bag, poured wort into bucket
Divided remaining wort between 8 qt kettle and 20 qt kettle

The wort boiled down to 5 gallons total to the fermenter

Cascadie


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