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masskrug

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Post your kettle size and grain bill maximums. I reached mine today:

10 gallon kettle (14.5 inches high)
13 pounds of grain
7.5 gallons of water

Maxed out!
 

ong

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I have a 10.5 gallon kettle, but I've gotten 15 or 16 lbs in there with a full volume mash, more if I dunk sparge.
 

MaxStout

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I got 22.5 lbs of grain and 9 gallons water in a 15.5 gallon keggle once for a big RIS. I had to use mash paddles to "shape" the bag a little in order to get it to fit through the opening when hoisting it out.
 

mb82

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6.6 gal water and 14lbs of grain. Beersmith said it should fit and I had probably a half an inch of freeboard.
 

Black Island Brewer

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I don't know if you're interested in making bigger beers in the same pot, but a lot of the guys on the BIAB sub-forum will use a smaller kettle, but do a rinsing-type "sparge" to get the additional volume they need when their kettle can't hold a full-volume of water and grain. It's just a little tweaking with the recipe, but it's pretty awesome to be able to make big beers just by adding water to a high-gravity wort.
 

wilserbrewer

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I have repeatedly done 35-38 lbs of grain in a 20 gallon kettle, with some sparging to yield a 1/2 B or 15.5 gallon batch. Works quite well!
 
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masskrug

masskrug

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I don't know if you're interested in making bigger beers in the same pot, but a lot of the guys on the BIAB sub-forum will use a smaller kettle, but do a rinsing-type "sparge" to get the additional volume they need when their kettle can't hold a full-volume of water and grain. It's just a little tweaking with the recipe, but it's pretty awesome to be able to make big beers just by adding water to a high-gravity wort.
I will have to do this if I go any bigger. Right now I am maxed out at a 7% beer.

Or use some DME.
 

MileHighBrewer

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I forget the grain bill, but i know i had 16.5 gal in a 19 gal pot to get about 11-12 gal batch after boil. I want to say probably 24-26lbs.
 

doug293cz

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8 gal pot
6.6 gal water and 14lbs of grain. Beersmith said it should fit and I had probably a half an inch of freeboard.
Yeah, I did the same thing twice. Then I sprang for a 15 gal pot :ban:

Brew on :mug:
 

Groo

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Brewed a RIS today. Pot is 15.75" diameter and 19" tall. Got 24lbs in and had room for a few more with ease.
 

adiochiro3

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  • 7 gallon pot
  • No Sparge Stovetop BIAB
  • 12 lbs. of grain is biggest grain bill so far
  • 85% efficiency
  • Can't recall if I could go any bigger -- probably if I did a sparge
  • If I need more capacity, I bring my original 5 gal. pot out of mothballs and split the grain bill between the pots.
 

FatDragon

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9 gallon pot, the biggest brew I've done was a hair under 10 kilos of grain. I sparge the last 8 liters of water in a bucket every batch, and did the same with that brew. I got 6 gallons of 1.090 wort in the fermenter, including the trub, and about 5 gallons bottled.

I ended up using two grain bags for that batch: one bag filled halfway with well-mixed grain, then another bag on top/inside with the other half of the grain. A single bag would have been a beast to pull and wouldn't fit in my draining/sparging buckets, and I got low 80's for efficiency, which is not bad for such a huge grain bill.
 

globe

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15 gallon Kettle

28lbs for a RIS

65% efficiency I think or so...pretty happy with that for a big beer.

mashed in with 10 gallons of water....Probably could of done 11 just barely

Very Thick mash but worked out fine.
 

rudyr

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My brew kettle is 19 inches wide and fits over all four burners. Heats up fairly fast. My maximum is 28# grain and 11.75 gals. water for my big stout. Less than a half inch from top and careful stirring.
 

jahdub

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I've done no sparge around 20 lbs with my 12.5 gal
 

craigmw

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I have repeatedly done 35-38 lbs of grain in a 20 gallon kettle, with some sparging to yield a 1/2 B or 15.5 gallon batch. Works quite well!
Wilser:

Are you using water heated to sparge temp or just cold water? I've not really done much sparging with my BIAB brews in my 20g kettle. I've done a few 11g batches in the 1.084 range, but this kind of maxes out for me without any sparging (roughly 35 lb grain bills). I'd like to try sparging for 15g (or 16.5) gallon batches at some point, but will need to sparge unless I get a larger kettle.
 

wilserbrewer

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I typically sparge hot as I have the means to easily do so, if I didn't, I would not hesitate to cold sparge.

At home I let the bag hang and drain from a ratchet pulley, then slowly and gently pour sparge water through the bag. At my club / cabin, I use a commercial strainer to set the bag on top ove the kettle and pour sparge water over the bag.

I do add some sparge water to the mash to max out the kettle and stir well prior to removing the bag as well to minimize sparge quantity.

It's not difficult if you have a planned method for handling the bag.
 

craigmw

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I typically sparge hot as I have the means to easily do so, if I didn't, I would not hesitate to cold sparge.

At home I let the bag hang and drain from a ratchet pulley, then slowly and gently pour sparge water through the bag. At my club / cabin, I use a commercial strainer to set the bag on top ove the kettle and pour sparge water over the bag.

I do add some sparge water to the mash to max out the kettle and stir well prior to removing the bag as well to minimize sparge quantity.

It's not difficult if you have a planned method for handling the bag.
Thanks Wilser. I was thinking about trying something similar. For larger batches, I typically use a ladder and pulley setup similar to Alton Brown's Turkey Derrick. I slowly pull the bag up out of the wort after mash completion and let it drip dry while bringing it up to a boil. After the bag is done with dripping, I transfer this into a Homer Bucket with a perforated bottom, and place this into a second Homer Bucket to squeeze out the leftover wort. However, I think if I were able to support the first bucket over the second, I might be able to use this for sparging. I don't currently have a second rig for bringing up sparge water to 170F, so I may just try this out with cold water out of my carbon filter. I could probably even add an outlet for pumping this back into the kettle, which would allow a form of fly sparging. I'm curious to try this out!
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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Craig, I do something similar with a shortened perforated Homer bucket but I sparge right over the BK. My bag sits in a turkey basket. When my mash is done, I raise the basket with a pulley and rest the perforated bucket in the basket above the bag and pour my sparge water in the bucket. It all drains into the BK. Kind of a fly sparge. I arranged the perforations so it takes about 30 minutes to sparge 2 gal through the bucket. It increased my efficiency about 5%.

Brew Setup 5.jpg
 

grizzly2378

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I've got the 10 gal Tall Boy kettle from NB/Midwest and the most I've attempted to fit in it so far was 8.5 gal of water and 14 lbs of grain. There was plenty of room left....well, maybe not "plenty", but it wasn't filled to the brim or sloshing out when I was stirring the grains in.
 

pricelessbrewing

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Haven't read all of the posts thus far. Thermal expansion from ambient room temps to typical mash temps is around 2.2%~ more or less depending on the exact temp. Grain occupies 0.08gal/lb.
Sooo (8.5 *1.022)+(14*0.08)=9.807~

This is implemented in my calculator at pricelessbrewing.github.io/biabcalc as well as the biabacus. I recommend leaving about 2 " of headspace above the wort to ensure enough room to stir.
 

OmegaRed

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26 gallon pot. Doing a 50lb grain bill stout here soon for a 20 gallon batch.
 

mgr_stl

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Anyone on here have a nine gallon pot like me? About to do my first BIAB with eleven pounds of grain and think I'll just start with 6.5 gallons of water in the kettle and sparge with 1 gallon to be sure everything fits.
 

pricelessbrewing

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I also have a 9 gallon pot.


You should find out what your boil off rate is, absirptionbrates, and adjust your strike volume accordingly. Check out my calculator at pricelessbrewing.github.io/BiabCalc
 

TexasWine

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Anyone on here have a nine gallon pot like me? About to do my first BIAB with eleven pounds of grain and think I'll just start with 6.5 gallons of water in the kettle and sparge with 1 gallon to be sure everything fits.
I've got two 9 gallon kettles. They work great. Do as priceless recommends and you'll be fine. If you don't want to spend the time testing your boil off then I'd just assume 1 gallon/hour this first batch. Make adjustments on the next batch when you know what your actual rate is.
 

mgr_stl

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Do as priceless recommends and you'll be fine. If you don't want to spend the time testing your boil off then I'd just assume 1 gallon/hour this first batch.
Would you leave "Trub loss from kettle" at zero? I'll be using a hop spider if that matters.
 

pricelessbrewing

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Do you leave any wort/break material behind in the kettle, or do you dump it all in? If the latter then yes, set it to zero. However if you leave 2 quarts behind in the kettle, then set it to 2 quarts.

I set it to 0 and just dump it all in and let it settles out after fermentation is complete.
 

mgr_stl

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Oh, ok. I typically strain to filter out the hops, but since this will also be my first time using the hop spider I'll probably just remove that and dump the rest. So would I want to account for that small loss from removing the hops on your website?
 

pricelessbrewing

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Just leave the hop absorption rate at the default value and enter how many hope you will be using and you should be good.
 

unionrdr

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I took a pic of my Irish red partial mash in my short 5 gallon SS stock pot. I mashed 8.6lbs of grains in it, so it's easy to see that that amount is max for a 5 gallon kettle;

Still leaves a little space for error...
 

ArcLight

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1. Use FERMCAP if needed to prevent a boilover.

2. Mash thicker - meaning more grain per quart.
Then use gravity to drain the bag for 5 minutes, give a few squeezes, then lower the bag in a second pot (dunk sparge) , add the remaining water, stir it around for a minute, then raise the bag, and let it drain again.
Pour the dunk sparge output into you main pot.


You can make a strong beer and fit it in a small pot.


(No need to mash out, just start heating the water and it will mash out itself)
 

ArcLight

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Craig, I do something similar with a shortened perforated Homer bucket but I sparge right over the BK. My bag sits in a turkey basket. When my mash is done, I raise the basket with a pulley and rest the perforated bucket in the basket above the bag and pour my sparge water in the bucket. It all drains into the BK. Kind of a fly sparge. I arranged the perforations so it takes about 30 minutes to sparge 2 gal through the bucket. It increased my efficiency about 5%.
Only 5%? I get 10-15% by doing a dunk sparge (into a second bucket, pour in water, stir, raise the bag).
When I used to squeeze, rather than use gravity I'd still get 10% more.

Try a dunk sparge if your setup allows it.
 

BlueHouseBrewhaus

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That was 5% above what I was getting when I used to dunk sparge. With my bag in the basket, dunk sparging was not as convenient because the basket was from my 9 gal BK and was too tall to dunk in my second pot which is only 5 gal. Rather than removing the bag from the basket to dunk sparge, it worked better for me to do my Homer fly sparge setup right in the basket. The added efficiency was just a nice side benefit.
 
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