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1 V EBIAB system vs 3 HERMS/RIMS

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CatsCradle

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Hi everyone! Im trying to decide between a 1 vessel E BIAB and a 3 Vessel EHerms or Rims system. Reading the reviews on EBIAB it seems that brewdays are generally quicker and more efficient. Giving a rough estimate how long is a brewday on each system? Additionally, is brewing on a 3 v herms/rims more difficult/ require more skill than a 1 v system?
 

jdudek

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An EBIAB brew takes me about 4 hours. I reckon it can be done in about 3 if you seriously optimize (large heating element, small crush, shorter mash, fast chil, etc...). My goal is to get to 3 hours eventually.

As should be obvious, a lot less cleaning with biab. That more time saved.

Finally, ebiab will be substantially cheaper in equipment cost for comparable quality of equipment.
 

doug293cz

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BIAB is simpler and the equipment takes up less space during use, and when stored (since there is less of it.) If you do full volume mashing (i.e. no-sparge) your mash efficiency (specifically lauter efficiency) will be lower than if you sparged, assuming both cases had the same conversion efficiency. However, with BIAB you can (should) crush finer, which makes conversion faster, and may improve improve your conversion efficiency. This can offset some/all of your lauter efficiency lost by not sparging.

3-vessel is a little more complex than single vessel, but not greatly so. Requires learning about more pieces of equipment, but not really a higher level of skill.

Length of brew day is more affected by how organized and efficient you are with your preparations and movements, and how well you make use of dead time (mash & boil) for cleaning, and other necessary tasks, than it is by the process you use.

Brew on :mug:
 

rwinzing

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I started extract like most, moved to a three kettle propane system that I used for years, wanted to be able to brew inside so I moved to a BIAB system now I am back to a three kettle electric setup. The BIAB is quicker for sure. You are only heating up one kettle. I went back to the bigger system for myself for a couple reasons. I wanted to do bigger batches in terms of ABV so I got a 15 gallon mash tun with RIMS Rocket. It gives me more flexibility. I also have a dedicated brew space so I am not setting up and breaking down before and after each brew day.

The brew day is longer on the three vessel system. I enjoy the process and I do not rush so a longer brew day form me where I am in my life is fine. The three vessel doesn't take anymore skill you just need to learn your system.

So bottom line is what are you looking to accomplish. If you are not going to make high ABV beers and less clean up and quicker brew day is your objective than a BIAB is the right choice. If you don't mind the extra time, cleanup and have the space and want flexibility than the three vessel is your choice. Both can make fantastic beer.
 
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CatsCradle

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I started extract like most, moved to a three kettle propane system that I used for years, wanted to be able to brew inside so I moved to a BIAB system now I am back to a three kettle electric setup. The BIAB is quicker for sure. You are only heating up one kettle. I went back to the bigger system for myself for a couple reasons. I wanted to do bigger batches in terms of ABV so I got a 15 gallon mash tun with RIMS Rocket. It gives me more flexibility. I also have a dedicated brew space so I am not setting up and breaking down before and after each brew day.

The brew day is longer on the three vessel system. I enjoy the process and I do not rush so a longer brew day form me where I am in my life is fine. The three vessel doesn't take anymore skill you just need to learn your system.

So bottom line is what are you looking to accomplish. If you are not going to make high ABV beers and less clean up and quicker brew day is your objective than a BIAB is the right choice. If you don't mind the extra time, cleanup and have the space and want flexibility than the three vessel is your choice. Both can make fantastic beer.
Thanks for the response! Out of curiosity how high can someone go on an EBIAB? Also why couldnt someone go high on a EBIAB? Is the idea that its just a smaller capacity and therefore less ability to go higher in abv?
 

doug293cz

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Thanks for the response! Out of curiosity how high can someone go on an EBIAB? Also why couldnt someone go high on a EBIAB? Is the idea that its just a smaller capacity and therefore less ability to go higher in abv?
It is possible to brew incredibly high ABV beers with BIAB if you are willing to spend a little more time and use a reiterated mash process. This is splitting the grain bill in half, mashing the first half in water as usual, and then mashing the second half in the wort from the first mash. I did a 5 gal batch of a ~16% ABV "imperial" Belgian Triple using this method. Full disclosure: I did add 2 lb of sugar during fermentation, but my OG (w/o the sugar) was 1.107 (4.7 gal post-boil volume. Additional volume came from yeast starter and water used to dissolve sugar prior to fermenter addition.)

The above was done in a 15 gal kettle.

Brew on :mug:
 

rwinzing

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Thanks for the response! Out of curiosity how high can someone go on an EBIAB? Also why couldnt someone go high on a EBIAB? Is the idea that its just a smaller capacity and therefore less ability to go higher in abv?
Yes, unless you want to split your mash the tun capacity limits the amount of grain. Even the above was done in a 15 gallon kettle. Depending on which system you are looking at. Most are 10 gallons.
 

bjlesm

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I can do BIAB 5 gallon batch in 3 hrs with my current 1V BIAB setup, from starting the stike water to 68 degree wort into the fermentor, plus 20 min to clean up. The jaded immersion cooler significantly helped decrease time over the small copper coil I had purchased from Northern Brewer early on. Plan, Plan, Plan. I get everything laid out the night before, fill kettle, measure grains, set hops up, gather all the small pieces of equiment needed. My time is always limited on brew days, hell every day off, and I need to be as efficient as possible. Crush grains while strike heats up, clean as you go, santize fermentor during boil, get however you are cooling ready before boil is finished, etc.
 

jdudek

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Plan, Plan, Plan
I'd be very interested in seeing a detailed breakdown of your brew day, along with side activity you perform in the dead time. I'm also trying to hit the 3 hours mark...
heat to strike : x mins crush grain...
dough in: x mins
pull bag/drain/squeeze
mash:
heat to boil:
boil:
chill:
transfer/pitch/aerate:

thanks!
 

bjlesm

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Ill check if I saved my time sheet on my last brew day to give exacts, and probably brewing this weekend to give you some more data. I try to keep things as simple as possible, aeration is simply splashing the wort through a sanitized wort spider, works fine and keeps some extra trub out of the fermentor, pull my bag at 55 mins, start the element as I squeeze and allow the bag to drip, I have a pulley over the kettle to allow it to continue dripping. The Jaded chiller was the best investment, cut at least 20-25 mins off. I was resorting to a closed system with a ice filled cooler and immersion pump, but the Jaded cut all that out and is extremely fast. I'll add my times this weekend.
 
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