AG using a bag

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jalc6927

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Been having issues again with my false bottom clogging to the point I had to dump grains remove the clog and then pour grains back in to tun and restart the process

If I get a nylon bag that lines my cooler and remove the false bottom, and follow normal mashing techniques do any of you think this will be ok?

Or will I need to make adjustments?
 

bikedave99

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Been having issues again with my false bottom clogging to the point I had to dump grains remove the clog and then pour grains back in to tun and restart the process

If I get a nylon bag that lines my cooler and remove the false bottom, and follow normal mashing techniques do any of you think this will be ok?

Or will I need to make adjustments?
This is basically what I do, I put a bag in by rectangular cooler with a valve and mash in there. I do leave on my SS braided hose filter though. I pulled it out one time thinking it was unnecessary, however my filter fabric and grain got sucked in the valve. It seems you need to be able to keep the fabric away from the valve.
 

lslbrew

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I do the exact same thing. I use a brew bag that was made to fit my cooler and that is my filter for separating the wort from the grain when I drain the cooler. I don't use a braid or false bottom or anything else in the cooler, just the bag.
 
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jalc6927

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Awesome I was hoping this was a good approach

Cleaning out that line sucks
 

Hwk-I-St8

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I think it was in the BIAB forum where a guy had a nice post about how to prevent the bag from being sucked into the drain port. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like a fantastic approach that should result in an equipment loss of near zero.

Edit: Found a link: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=632544

Basically, prior to draining first and second runnings, he pulls the end of the bag on the side with the drain to the other side of the cooler and clips it to the cooler handle to hold it there. The does two things:
First, it prevents the bag from getting sucked into the drain port.
Second, it squeezes out the extra liquid in the grain (like a BIAB "bag squeeze").

I have a bag on order and I'm going to try this with my next batch.

My planned procedure:

Mash as usual using a bag in a rectangular cooler
Pull bag from drain side of cooler to other side.
Vorlauf and drain first runnings
Return bag to original position and add sparge water
Pull bag to far side of cooler again, vorlauf and drain second runnings

I think I can also tilt to the cooler to drain pretty much every drop out too.

I've been running about 61% brewhouse efficiency pretty consistently. I'm going to go with a finer crush and I'm expecting something close to a 10% increase in efficiency.
 

Yooper

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I have a traditional three vessel all-electric HERMS and I use a bag in my MLT. I had a ton of issues with my bottom draining MLT, even with a super nice false bottom, and so I had a bag made by Wilserbrewer and I've been very happy with that. It also makes clean up so much easier, since I brew indoors and I don't have grain to shovel out because it stays in the bag.
 

RM-MN

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I think it was in the BIAB forum where a guy had a nice post about how to prevent the bag from being sucked into the drain port. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like a fantastic approach that should result in an equipment loss of near zero.

Edit: Found a link: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=632544

Basically, prior to draining first and second runnings, he pulls the end of the bag on the side with the drain to the other side of the cooler and clips it to the cooler handle to hold it there. The does two things:
First, it prevents the bag from getting sucked into the drain port.
Second, it squeezes out the extra liquid in the grain (like a BIAB "bag squeeze").

I have a bag on order and I'm going to try this with my next batch.

My planned procedure:

Mash as usual using a bag in a rectangular cooler
Pull bag from drain side of cooler to other side.
Vorlauf and drain first runnings
Return bag to original position and add sparge water
Pull bag to far side of cooler again, vorlauf and drain second runnings

I think I can also tilt to the cooler to drain pretty much every drop out too.

I've been running about 61% brewhouse efficiency pretty consistently. I'm going to go with a finer crush and I'm expecting something close to a 10% increase in efficiency.
Milling of the grain controls efficiency. Depending on how fine you mill you may get much more than a 10% increase, possibly double that or more. You won't know until you have done a few batches if this always hold true but then you will have to adjust recipes to account for the extra efficiency or be doomed to drinking beers with much more alcohol than expected.:mug:
 

EtchyLives

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I do this with supplies from Brew Bag.I got the bag for my cooler and after my first Brew when the bag got stuck in the port I bought the ratcheting pulley system. Almost zero equipment loss and good efficiency stop fast, without reducing the size of my crush, yet. Highly recommend it.
 
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jalc6927

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I'm thinking I won't need to move the bag at all if I leave the false bottom in place to prevent the bag from getting sucked into the drain valve
 

Hwk-I-St8

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I'm thinking I won't need to move the bag at all if I leave the false bottom in place to prevent the bag from getting sucked into the drain valve
That's probably true, but depending on how much space there is below the false bottom, you may have issues with liquid that's not really interacting much with the grains (effectively increasing your mash thickness). This would be true with or without the bag though...so probably a moot point.

I currently use a bazooka screen which I'll get rid of with the bag. I did not modify my cooler per se...I just have a high temp hose that fits tightly (leak proof) into the original drain port. Inside I have a barbed 1/2" NPT adapter that the bazooka attaches to. I'd be leaving a lot of liquid in the cooler if I left it like that.

My plan is to use the same hose, but just insert until it's flush with the inside. Then I can pull the bag to one side and I'll be able to drain pretty much 100 % of the non-absorbed wort.
 
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jalc6927

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The bag was custom made... to fit the cooler

We'll see on Sunday

If I have to pull the whole thing apart again while draining, I'll go back to partial/ extract for a while.
 

shallywag

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I use a bag in my 5 gallon drink cooler with a valve. I use a bungee cord around the cooler to hold the bag up just off the bottom and it keeps it from getting sucked into the valve.
 
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jalc6927

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This one has a drawstring plus I can still screw the lid on the cooler

Looking forward to trying this

Brewing is fun until you get clogged
 

lslbrew

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I think it was in the BIAB forum where a guy had a nice post about how to prevent the bag from being sucked into the drain port. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like a fantastic approach that should result in an equipment loss of near zero.

Edit: Found a link: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=632544

Basically, prior to draining first and second runnings, he pulls the end of the bag on the side with the drain to the other side of the cooler and clips it to the cooler handle to hold it there. The does two things:
First, it prevents the bag from getting sucked into the drain port.
Second, it squeezes out the extra liquid in the grain (like a BIAB "bag squeeze").

I have a bag on order and I'm going to try this with my next batch.

My planned procedure:

Mash as usual using a bag in a rectangular cooler
Pull bag from drain side of cooler to other side.
Vorlauf and drain first runnings
Return bag to original position and add sparge water
Pull bag to far side of cooler again, vorlauf and drain second runnings

I think I can also tilt to the cooler to drain pretty much every drop out too.

I've been running about 61% brewhouse efficiency pretty consistently. I'm going to go with a finer crush and I'm expecting something close to a 10% increase in efficiency.
That was my post and thanks for the compliment. I use the same procedure that you propose except that I don't vorlauf. With the bag I have not found it to be necessary. Also, I do tip one end of the cooler. I put a short piece of 2 x 4 under one end. While everything is coming up to boil I let the cooler sit slightly tipped up and the bag clipped to one side. More wort runs out of the grains for a long time and collects on the drain end. Near when the wort gets up to boil I drain the cooler again to get this last amount.
My last brew I did an accurate measurement of the runnings and determined that my grain absorption rate is .08 gallons per lb. All my math was based on .125 so I will be adjusting the amount of sparge water in future batches.
 
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jalc6927

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Used the bag today first time and it worked perfectly

I vorlaufed... to be sure and the first two or three drains were clearer than should have been, probably water below bag, during batch sparge I shook cooler a few times and it solved that issue
 

jpakstis

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I just did this over the weekend and it was probably the smoothest brew day in the 3 years I've been home brewing.

I pulled the bag and gave it a good squeeze like my old kettle-based BIAB procedure and got to my target volumes no problem. And my efficiency was so high (around 83%) that I overshot my OG by a few points (1.072 vs the targeted 1.065). All in all it was a great brew day.
 
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