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Reneauj62

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That's harsh, man. BIAB executed by someone who has their process dialed-in could be indistinguishable from beer produced by anybody, any way. Extract brew can be excellent. Not sure what your point even is here. The art of brewing is skill- not kit. Monks have brewed beer we can only imagine in wooden vats with open fermentation.

I do like the Unibrau setup. It looks like a system that has powered on beyond the design limitations of most electric brewing units. But it's expensive. And I guarantee it could brew mediocre beer without some trial and error.
I have been brewing since 1985, probably long than most of these IPA and BIAB snobs have been alive... You stick to what works for you and I will do what works for me. The blogger asked for opinions, however some people cannot accept different views, reminds me of politics...Funny, how ONLY ON THIS FORUM (And no others I have experienced) when someone disagrees with your experiences you get vile, viscous, and unwarranted responses... Seems to be a lot of arrogant pricks on here.
 

bleme

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I have been brewing since 1985, probably long than most of these IPA and BIAB snobs have been alive... You stick to what works for you and I will do what works for me. The blogger asked for opinions, however some people cannot accept different views, reminds me of politics...Funny, how ONLY ON THIS FORUM (And no others I have experienced) when someone disagrees with your experiences you get vile, viscous, and unwarranted responses... Seems to be a lot of arrogant pricks on here.
Look in the mirror dude. Your first post spent half a sentence putting forward your idea of a good system and you spent the rest of the post tearing down other peoples method - a method that may not work for you but has been proven over and over again to be effective. Still, nobody called you a single name but look at the foul stuff you are spewing.

Edit: I just went back and re-read every response to your post and I fail to see anything that could remotely be called "vile, viscious and unwarranted". Get some help.
 
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tracer bullet

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Snuffy

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I have been brewing since 1985, probably long than most of these IPA and BIAB snobs have been alive... You stick to what works for you and I will do what works for me. The blogger asked for opinions, however some people cannot accept different views, reminds me of politics...Funny, how ONLY ON THIS FORUM (And no others I have experienced) when someone disagrees with your experiences you get vile, viscous, and unwarranted responses... Seems to be a lot of arrogant pricks on here.
In my experience, there are very few disagreeable folks on here. I expect this thread will be missing some posts soon, but before they go, you did kind of dish it out and then couldn't take it when it came back. You made folks defensive and you sounded pretty arrogant. Go back and read the thread again. You may not have meant it to come across as harsh as it did. But it did. It's happened to me before too. I've been brewing since 1980. Not continuously, but off and on. I'm sure about 70% of the folks on here could out brew me, but it's not a competition. It's a friendly thing to brew. Nobody is here to prove anything. Just share experience and help people. It's all good.
 

Jag75

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I love my Grainfather , which is considered BIAB . I took 2nd and 3rd overall in a homebrew comp........guess if I didn't use a glorified coffee urn I may have taken 1st.

The owner of my LHBS does BIAB and he brews great beer. So op my advice to you is research and figure out which one works for you .
 

IslandLizard

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I know this thread isn't about you, your unfounded criticism and cynicism about BIAB, and unneeded name calling of people who have been homebrewing for many years, some well over a decade, and 100s of successful, excellent tasting batches under their belts on all kinds of systems, including BIAB.

ordering a 10 Gallon Unibrau system with 240v and 5500w element.
Forget BIAB period.
BIAB is hokey, a pain in the ass, more expensive because you have to buy more grain (less efficient)
Guess what...?

Looking a little closer, that Unibrau you're so keen about and ordering is.... a BIAB system!
Systematically no different than a Grainfather or any other modified "coffee urn" BIAB system. They're all glorified, semi-automated versions based on, and not all that different from the kettle and mesh bag 100,000s of homebrewers have been using and still use in their "homebuilt" BIAB systems.

You cannot sparge.
That Unibrau doesn't feature a sparge either, unless you pour over by hand.

Going by the rather sparse description and specs of the Unibrau, getting most insight from their 2 videos (linked below), users may encounter some real limitations, such as maximum brewing volume and gravity, without becoming innovative and resorting to work-arounds.


Some observations:
In those 2 video demos there a lot of high speed pumping and splashing going on. May look great on video, yeahh, we're brewing!!!
But none of that is to the advantage of brewing good beer. Brewing is typically not that eventful or spectacular to watch. I'm cringing, while LoDO aficionados would have a field day with that, like no other.

So modifications #1 and #2 are desperately waiting to be implemented, by the user, to prevent that.
The first (high speed mash recirculation) doesn't occur with straight up (uncirculated) BIAB mashing.
And when chilling, stick that return hose well under the wort surface! Why isn't there a whirlpool/return port?

My experience is that the BIAB beer is subpar compared to real brewing methods.
When you're so convinced BIAB isn't a real brewing method, how's the $1500 Unibrau 10G/240V gonna help you brew good beer? How would that be different?

Since you mentioned it, what exactly makes a "real brewing method?"
Please elaborate.
 

bracconiere

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hey wait. i just remembered i have a pic of the same equipment i've been using since 2002 or 2003 forget which, but i started brewing with a 7.5 gallon turkey pot on the stove and a paint bag in a bucket with a drain hole. back in 1996.

fits nicley away in the closet. i use a 15 gallon HDPE bucket both for my sparge water and fermenter.



100_0502.JPG


as you can see my IC and all other tubing fit nicely inside for storage. brew 10 gallon batches with it. it works, it works good!

for the OP that's about the easiest, simplest all-grain rig you can have....
 

fendersrule

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IslandLizard, I don't think this gentleman can reason!

Some other tidbits of information, since I've used BIAB 50 times.

I do 60-90 minute mashes....I don't hard stop at 60, but I don't necessarily run the full gamut to 90. I basically relax and prepare other things during the mash.
I do very fine crushes. .027" to be exact.
I don't recirculate anything.
Single infusion mash.
I don't sparge, but I do a 1 minute squeeze at the very end.
Water treated tap water

Here's my efficiency numbers depending on the grist:

My IPA/Pale/Sour Grist: 73%
My Black IPA Grist: 75%
My Miller Lite Ale Grist: 86%
My Mac and Jacks Clone:: 77%
My Stone RIS Clone: 70%

Those numbers far from "suck". Those numbers are consistent every single time I brew (I've brewed each recipe at least twice)--I hit my so OG so accurately that it's scary.

I've gotten rave reviews on several of these beers from my club which has 5 certified judges. I've been asked to share recipes many times and typically get people flocking immediately at my serving table every month because I brew unique things.

My neighbor does group brews with me. He uses a 3V system, but after trying my beers and brewing with me during the BIAB process, he is now actively selling his system.

BIAB is only going to get more popular. Yep, those electric all in ones are BIAB systems!

My BIAB system is capable to brew up to 15 Gallons of 1.080 beer. That's probably more capacity than most home brewers.

I personally prefer to brew 5 gallons and brew more often to continue to experiment and refine.

Having to drink a double batch of your own stuff, even if it won medals, gets annoying after a month.
 
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Alex4mula

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You should look into an electric all in one system. They work like a BIAB system but you don't need a burner, you can brew indoors, and they just make life easier all around IMO. I have the Brewer's edge mash and boil and love it for it's simplicity, but the Anil foundry system seems to be more popular these days and has more bells and whistles for a similar price tag. Personally I didn't want all the extra complexity, which is why I got the M&B, but any of the all in one systems are worth every penny.
Another vote for these electric units. Usually the Mash & Boil gets a big discount on black Friday so you have great timing now. I got the basic one and added a cheap Amazon pump upgrade. Have done 63 brews. Normally get 90s mash efficiency. Easy to clean and simple to use. Especially indoors in my basement. And total BS to the guy that says it doesn't boil strong enough Ja!
 

porterguy

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You get what you pay for... I have learned the buy once, cry once theory...Get what you need and not what you can get by with only finding you have to upgrade in 6 months to a year...Forget BIAB period. A lot of BIAB users will scoff about what I am going to say, but, remember miserly loves company. BIAB is hokey, a pain in the ass, more expensive because you have to buy more grain (less efficient), I've seen bags tear open and then there is that mess. Then you have to have a pulley system of some sort and the beer is still then only so-so. You cannot sparge. I also tried two different Grainfathers and those won't boil wort worth a crap and they are nothing more than a modified coffee maker with no prospects of upgrades. I am selling my two Grainfathers and ordering a 10 Gallon Unibrau system with 240v and 5500w element. Life is good when things are fun, easy, and works like it should with no worries.
Wow, a member of the forum for five whole months and ready to tell hundreds or thousands of BIAB'ers that they make "so-so" beer. I'm sure you have tried every BIAB'ers beers around the world to have formed such an opinion. Perhaps you should find out how many of those "so-so" beer makers won awards for their beers before blasting them. Poor you, having to drink the beer someone spent time making and offered to you. How kind of you to let them know your almighty opinion about their hobby. AND you're obviously a master judge of technology, too. After selecting not one, but two different Grainfathers, you now have now determined that the Unibrau is the ultimate. "Buy once, cry once"? So far you're up to "buy three times, cry twice". How long before you rush out to buy the next shiny new thing?

This is a HOBBY! Get off your high horse. And yes, I'm one of "those" BIAB'ers. I like my beer, my spouse likes my beer, and others who I share it with like it. Don't panic, I promise I will NEVER offer you one. I wouldn't want you to stoop so low. I don't really give a crap about someone who makes such gross over-generalizations.
 

doug293cz

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Thread went off the rails after some personal attacks. Posts have been deleted.

Reminder: Talk about the topic, not the other posters. No more discussion about why things went off the rails will be allowed here.

doug293cz
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deuc224

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I have a question for us BIAB people, do you guys really care about efficiency? I just care about hitting my numbers so it comes out as close to what i planned as possible, but even at that stage the yeast has a mind of its own and have taken a lot of wort past its planned SG.
 

fendersrule

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I have a question for us BIAB people, do you guys really care about efficiency? I just care about hitting my numbers so it comes out as close to what i planned as possible, but even at that stage the yeast has a mind of its own and have taken a lot of wort past its planned SG.
You must mean FG. Yeast doesn't have anything to do with SG/OG.

The rule of thumb is if you're over 70%, you're golden to stop caring. Yep, consistency is more important!

The difference between 70% and 80% is ~1.5 lbs of grain, or about $2.50.
 

doug293cz

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I have a question for us BIAB people, do you guys really care about efficiency? I just care about hitting my numbers so it comes out as close to what i planned as possible, but even at that stage the yeast has a mind of its own and have taken a lot of wort past its planned SG.
Efficiency really only needs to be worried about if it is very low, or varies too much batch to batch. If you are having efficiency issues, then it is helpful to know the difference between conversion, lauter, and transfer efficiency, and what process parameters affect each of those contributors to overall efficiency. Mash efficiency = conversion efficiency * lauter efficiency, and brewhouse efficiency = mash efficiency * transfer efficiency = conversion efficiency * lauter efficiency * transfer efficiency.

Brew on :mug:
 

fendersrule

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Yep--and be mindful that it's normal for efficiency to vary between recipe to recipe.....but getting different efficiency from the same recipe is a red flag! :)

No batch should be below 70% efficiency.

It's normal for any change in your equipment and process that you'll need to recalibrate/measure your setup.
 

fendersrule

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Sparging is not necessary with any system. It just captures the extra sugars that would otherwise be discarded. The main difference is that BIAB, with the grain milled more finely than a conventional mash tun can deal with, has such a high mash efficiency that one can capture a larger amount of the sugars. If you like the simplicity of that, don't sparge, but be aware that there is a lot of sugars still in the grain bed even if you squeeze the bag hard. A pour over sparge is pretty easy with the bag hanging over the pot to drain and costs nearly nothing. Cool water works very well for this and cools the grain some too, making disposal easier.
I think you're saying what I'm saying (at least for the first bit). Because the grain is milled so fine, you are getting more sugars period vs a conventional grind. That's why I say sparging is less necessary with BIAB. So much that you're betters served focusing on other things. I don't sparge and my efficiency is 73% for the majority of my grist bills (2 row + wheat with some carapils). I don't think you can get 73% from a 3V system without sparging.

Are there more sugars there? Absolutely. But sparging (assuming a cold water pour-over sparge) does increase the complexity of the brew day. Two words! Water calculations. You are also decreasing the volume during the mash. This may take away some efficiency (but to be compensated by a sparge). You're likely to add length to your brew day as well. All for what, 5% more efficiency?

Honestly, I do not like the idea of having to treat water twice. Go back to your previous post...it's just adding more complexity. :)

I would not be telling a new BIABer to sparge. Let that be an experiment to do if they are bored later on. The point of BIAB is simplicity. I'll say that 100 times. You heat the water, put in a bag, mix in grain, mash, then lift it out and boil! And you should get well over 70% just by doing that!

I made a maize beer once and got 86% with my setup. No sparge.

77041466_10215628377962001_5194146135668686848_n.jpg
 
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doug293cz

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Wait... how did this turn into a BIAB thread? I was going to respond to OP, but I’m afraid at this point my comments would be off topic (I don’t biab).
Easy, OP asked about what was needed to try all-grain, given that he was already set up for extract. Many answered that the easiest (least new equipment required) way to try all-grain is BIAB.

Brew on :mug:
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Wait... how did this turn into a BIAB thread? I was going to respond to OP, but I’m afraid at this point my comments would be off topic (I don’t biab).
OP mentioned that ...

I am now curious about moving to all-grain brewing.
... and there's more all-grain brewing than BIAB.

Personally, I'm looking forward to your response.
 

doug293cz

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OP will have plenty of time to delve into traditional methods after they get some idea of what all grain is about, if they so wish.

Brew on :mug:
 

Golddiggie

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IME, BIAB was the path of least resistance to get INTO all grain brewing. Didn't take long to progress through other methods/hardware setups until I landed where I am now.

IMO, if you're short on capital, then give it a shot. Or if you're not 100% sure you want to go down the all grain path, it's a decent way to start. I don't even remember how many batches I did as BIAB, but I know it wasn't that many.

While I like my current 3 vessel on a single tier brew stand (propane fired) I'm already looking towards getting a larger setup that's electric next year (if things go to plan). Yes, I'll be dropping more money on the electric system. Not just the system, but all the other things that need to happen along with that. Electrical connections made (or drops added where needed), venting hood for the steam, etc. It all ads up. But, as has been pointed out in other [recent] threads, I didn't really get into brewing to make cheap beer. I got into brewing to make great beer without spending a crap ton per batch. It's economical when you look at it with the ingredient costs per batch. I don't count hardware/equipment costs in that number since it changes with every batch you brew.
 

fendersrule

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OP will have plenty of time to delve into traditional methods after they get some idea of what all grain is about, if they so wish.

Brew on :mug:
I have been apart of this forum for a few years, and I have never before seen such a rife between BIAB and 3V brewerers. I seriously challenge anyone to prove me wrong that the quality is any different between either system. I can tell you from experience it is not. I go to monthly meetings and try beers that are made from extract, BIAB, electric, and 3V. All methods make great beer, and all three methods can make crap beer! It's the skill of the brewer that is utmost importance.

Traditional brewing at one point meant using hot coals and wild yeast. Fermentation wasn't theoretically explained until modern history.

Why does it have to be "traditional" for it to be good. That's just false logic.
 
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I have been apart of this forum for a few years, and I have never before seen such a rife between BIAB and 3V brewerers. I seriously challenge anyone to prove me wrong that the quality is any different between either system. I can tell you from experience it is not. I go to monthly meetings and try beers that are made from extract, BIAB, electric, and 3V. All methods make great beer, and all three methods can make crap beer! It's the skill of the brewer that is utmost importance.

Traditional brewing at one point meant using hot coals and wild yeast. Fermentation wasn't theoretically explained until modern history.

Why does it have to be "traditional" for it to be good. That's just false logic.
Nobody said that BIAB doesn't make good beer. You're creating a strawman here.
 

fendersrule

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Nobody said that BIAB doesn't make good beer. You're creating a strawman here.
Easy to claim that after the posts that said exactly what you said didn't happen were deleted.

Other posts since still claim, indirectly, that BIAB is only a progression into the "real thing" or "the better thing." I disagree.
 

camonick

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I’ll jump into this snake pit. I brewed 5 gallon extract batches for over 15 years. I started with a 3 gallon kettle on the stovetop, then moved to an 8 gallon full volume boil with propane. I got to a point where I wanted more control over my brews, especially color and flavor for certain styles. I helped my brother several times on his 3V system and I found it bulky, confusing and intimidating. After researching the BIAB method, I decided it was worth a try and would only require minimal equipment additions (mesh bag from Wilserbrewer and a Cereal Killer mill) to get me on my way. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and I’ve never looked back. I eventually added a 13 gallon kettle.
I find some of the above statements laughable as well as insulting regarding the BIAB process. I routinely get a mash efficiency in the high 80% range with a full volume mash and no sparge. Those efficiencies also allow me to actually use less grain. I also have numerous beer trades with other members on the forum who tell me many of my beers are some very good examples of style. If the process is done correctly, the end result is no different than other methods. The most important thing to remember is the way wort is collected—BIAB removes the grain from the wort and 3V systems remove the wort from the grain... after that, everything else is the same.
So long story short, to the OP, I think considering BIAB as an introduction into all grain brewing is a very easy transition.
Sláinte
 
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fendersrule

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Truth.

We all started from extract. Damn is that $hit expensive and limiting. I only brewed twice with extract before I was like, "nope, this is not sustainable!" It costed so much to brew a single batch of beer!

But I will never, ever, down a beer because of a method/process, unless the beer had flaws that the brewer could have solved. I don't care how it was made...flaws are flaws and they can be solved regardless of methods.

Brewing is all about bettering your skill. It's like a martial art. There's always better. 3V is not "better" than BIAB. BIAB accomplishes 3V in less material, time, and space. An electric "all in one" basket setup IS a BIAB system! It's the same damn thing!

I purchased all of my gear initially from a brewer that brewed for 20 years. He only brewed extract the entire time. Throw a pound of crushed grain in with the boil. That's just how he did things....

I would never tell him he was wrong, but I enjoy making him smile every time I can manage to drop off a few beers at his place using all grain and tons of research.

I don't care how long you've brewed for to be honest. So much methods of the 80s have been erased completely. Having a 300 square foot space of brewing equipment may be "traditional", but it doesn't mean you make better beer. I enjoy hanging around a 3V setup, but it does NOT produce better quality beer, period!

I may have brewed only for 2 years, but I have brewed 50 times in that period. I've won a couple medals. I've unlocked how to make sours in my club in a way that makes other members come by and chat that have brewed for 30 years.

Time does not define a brewer. It's dedication. To the OP, absolutely, completely disregard ANYONE who suggest that BIAB is only a "step" to the real thing. BIAB IS the real thing, with ONE vessel.
 
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NSMikeD

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Think of BIAB as the next step in your home brewing journey. As mentioned start simple. The beauty of BIAB is that you can keep adding to your brew method as you gain experience or keep it simple. After a several decade hiatus I returned from extract with specialty grain to small batch BIAB and made very good beer with a kettle and bag.
My set up now includes an anvil foundry 6.5 gal, grain crusher, conical fermenter, mini fridge fermentation chamber and mini fridge kegerator and dialing in recipes using BeerSmith. Yet I’m still brewing essentially BIAB.

It didn’t happen overnight. My first tweak was drilling my kettle and adding a spigot and thermometer.

I would add a scale and software like BeerSmith if you plan on moving beyond basic brewing as equipment you likely don’t have with extract but would find useful with all grain. Perhaps a good food thermometer like a therma pen to spot check temps.

one last thing. As mentioned. Consider small batch brewing like 2.5 gallon. There a many of us who aren’t brainwashed into the 5 gallon standard that likely came about with the soda corny kegs. 2.5 gals is 20 pints. Plenty for you to enjoy for personal consumption while letting you quickly follow up with a tweak to a recipe and mixing it up with different styles. Plus my pot fit on the stove and in the oven(Keeping the mash warm) and making pulling the bag much easier. That was a plus as I too live in an apt.
 
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BarryBrews

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Back to the original question.

Most home brewers go through same developmental process of DME starter kits to their ultimate setup. Along the way a lot of money is wasted on equipment that is eventually discarded as it's replaced with equipment we feel brews beer easier and better.

The questions to ask yourself are:
1. How much beer will I need and how often do I want to brew? This will determine system size.
2. How much money can I spent without serious harmonious disturbance at home? Think big.
3. Have I considered all brewing options? BTW a brew bag in the mash tun is a no brainer.
4. Am I a tinker or a buy a complete system type of guy? Important if you plan to design and build your own.
5. Am I making the best beer with the least amount of effort? Kegs vs bottles, electric vs propane, home RO system and salts vs tap or purchased water, pump vs all that lifting and pouring, scientifically documented and reproducible vs Saturday afternoon kicked back fun, et al.

This is me 10 years later (pic).....I keg, use clean in place methods, use software to document everything, and still have that Saturday afternoon fun thing. I love brewing and can tinker with the best.
RIMS-Pump_system2.jpg

Crush grains directly to 30 gal mash tun with brew bag, 30 gallon RO water barrel (not shown), RIMS from brewhardware.com, Riptide pump, flowmeter, tipping kettle tables, Kelco CFC (I owned a Therminator, but clogs and very hard to clean), SCR two elements (240v and 120v), wireless temperature probes and 20 gal boil kettle. I make 11 gallon batches i.e. 2 x 5 gallon kegs worth monthly.

BTW nothing is simpler or faster than a single run 90 minute mash.
 

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“To the OP, absolutely, completely disregard ANYONE who suggest that BIAB is only a "step" to the real thing.”

“Think of BIAB as the next step in your home brewing journey.”

I got a good chuckle out of those two posts back to back.

I brewed extract for a long time before attempting grain. To me, the only complicating and expense inducing issues with brewing beer come from going all grain. Extract may not be as authentic or whatever, but you don’t worry about making OG wiith extract. If you can measure water, you got it. If you got a kettle and a couple of buckets, you got it. Sometimes I backslide to extract just for a little brew vacation. And I usually can’t tell the difference in the beer.
 

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The method used in making your wort doesn't matter as long as it's clear and particle free for the boil, ingredients withstanding.

Off topic, I found kegging and oxygen free techniques were my biggest beer making improvements.
 

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If OP is still reading after all this...

Listen to @BarryBrews. Any brewer can make wort from malted grains, even if the gravity is off from target, IBU are too high, lots of trub, etc. There are many ways to do it, all are valid, and it's actually hard to screw up badly unless you are intentionally lazy.

Brew in a bag (or basket) involves separating grain from wort; traditional is separating wort from grain. Absolutely no real difference, so ignore all the noise.

The girls and boys are separated from the (wo)men on the cold side. That's when your wort/beer is extremely vulnerable, and any one of a wide range of process failures or scientific misunderstandings can result in a substandard product. Or to put a positive spin on it, where informed choices can be leveraged to significantly alter the product according to your goals.

After nearly 130 batches and seven years brewing, I can choose any convenient process I like to make wort based on the conditions, batch size, and my own whim that day. But I still fixate obsessively on how I will handle the precious wort once brew day itself is over.

Just a little perspective, that's all.
 

Homebrewer85

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Long time lurker and I love this site. It's been very helpful to answer questions of mine without having to ask what's been asked. (Some of the opinions and disagreements are entertaining, like being at a bar/pub)

OP, in all reality and most importantly the choice is yours and your opinion matters most. Like stated before, all you need is a bigger pot to hold the grain and mash water. The type of pot and size depends on what you want to do. Electric or propane. You can always upgrade from there.

Here's my story: (grab a beer, it's long winded)
I first had the idea to make beer. Wife bought the mr. beer kit for me. I wanted larger batches so I bought a 4gal pot and a hot plate to brew extract with steeping grains in the bathroom. Loved it but eventually wanted to go all grain.
Got an 8.5gal pot with bazooka tube and propane burner. Use my fermenter to collect first runnings and kept the lil pot to hold batch sparge water and collect 2nd runnings. Dump grains, rinse pot and boil full volume wort.
Learned from here that cold or hot sparge doesn't matter, also batch or fly sparge doesn't either. That choice of equipment is yours as well.
Hated standing out in the cold during winter so I got the M&B, no pump no sparge. Love it.

Long story short. I do both "biab" and vessel brewing (depending on the season) and both are the same to me. 70% cleaning, 20% waiting, and 10% enjoying the beer.
 

NSMikeD

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“To the OP, absolutely, completely disregard ANYONE who suggest that BIAB is only a "step" to the real thing.”

“Think of BIAB as the next step in your home brewing journey.”

I got a good chuckle out of those two posts back to back.

I brewed extract for a long time before attempting grain. To me, the only complicating and expense inducing issues with brewing beer come from going all grain. Extract may not be as authentic or whatever, but you don’t worry about making OG wiith extract. If you can measure water, you got it. If you got a kettle and a couple of buckets, you got it. Sometimes I backslide to extract just for a little brew vacation. And I usually can’t tell the difference in the beer.
i Chuckled as I typed it too, but “next step”, IMO, is an applicable term. I did not imply BIAB was not the “ real thing” but rather given its simplicity, it’s agreat way for extract brewers to make the leap to all grain who might otherwise be intimidated by more sophisticated and expensive systems.
 

Senormac

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To OP.....I think forging ahead into all grain is a worthy goal. There is so much to learn and also so much cool gear and brewing paraphernalia to be tried. BIAB is great but I don't think you will be satisfied with stopping there. This hobby has a way of kindling fresh curiosity and inspiration in people.
 

mashpaddled

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There are a lot of good options to brew--we're past the days when if you wanted to upgrade to all grain you either spent a fortune on a prebuilt system or you pieced a system together at the hardware store. Plenty of good electric options in addition to propane or gas burners, plenty of good single vessel systems, etc.

You should consider what you want to do and what you can do. How much beer do you need/want at a time? Does 5/10/15 gallons of the same beer interest you? Do you have to/want to brew outside or indoors? Do you have outdoor space for propane? How much storage space do you have? How much do you want to spend?

Think honestly about these things before committing to whatever system has the current cool factor or what people tell you that you should do. When I started brewing I set out to build a five gallon system. People told me over and over that I would definitely want a 15-20 gallon system but here I am eleven years later and the biggest batch I've ever brewed is six gallons. Most of my batches are 3.5 or 1 gallons. If I had done what people told me I would definitely want I would have spent several times too much for a system I didn't need and barely had space to store.
 

RM-MN

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To OP.....I think forging ahead into all grain is a worthy goal. There is so much to learn and also so much cool gear and brewing paraphernalia to be tried. BIAB is great but I don't think you will be satisfied with stopping there. This hobby has a way of kindling fresh curiosity and inspiration in people.
Especially the desire to have shiny objects. Much money can be spent unnecessarily on shiny objects.
 
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