BIAB -- Topping off boil keggle.

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Lost_Arkitekt

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So, I typically keg my beers, and I want to do 10 gallon batches, but only have a keggle. I have to do a brewing demo at a festival for my local HBC. Since I have a three tier system, I'm trying to convert to a BIAB for this demo. my question is this. Since I don't have enough room to steep full volume with grains in keggle, can I steep at a ratio of 2.5 quarts per pound (or so), and then just top off the keggle with water after bag drains to get pre-boil volume?

I've tried searching for this, but most people top off at fermenter, so I haven't been able to find it.
 

LLBeanJ

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That'll work fine. However, you can pick up a few more gravity points if you were to use your topoff water to sparge. The common BIAB sparge methods are to dunk the grain bag into another vessel (pot, bucket, etc.) containing the sparge water or pour the sparge water over the top of the grains and let it run thru. Either way will pull out additional sugars that you would be missing out on if you just add fresh water to the boil kettle.
 

LLBeanJ

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Not really. In the past I've heated it to 170, but found that cold water works just as well, so I don't bother to heat it any more.
 

JohnSand

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I routinely mash about 1.3qts/lb, dunk sparge, and even add top-off water during the boil. The last few batches I've had enough sparged wort to need no additional water.
 

Peruvian802

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I've found that when I double crush my grains (no worries of stuck sparge with BIAB) my efficiency goes way up. I too do a "pour over" sparge and have used warm tap water effectively. For 5 gallon batches I pull the bag and slip my hop spider on the kettle and then rest the bag on the spider while I sparge. The grains for a 10 gal batch might be too heavy though.
 

TexasWine

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The grains for a 10 gallon batch are going to be pretty stinking heavy when they get wet, and not to mention really hot. I'd suggest being prepared to lift the bag out with some type of hoist. You could use any type of overhead anchor point, such as a tree or even a ladder placed such that it straddles the keggle.

Don't want you to get into the middle of the demo and have to ask for a "volunteer" from the gawking onlookers :)

EDIT: Just read all of Peruvians post. Yes, what they said... It'll be heavy.
 
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Lost_Arkitekt

Lost_Arkitekt

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I've been talking to the guy who does Brew In a Bag blog and bought one of his "The Brew Bag" bags. I like that the bag is supported all the way around with straps. That's what sold me. He is super cool and willing to talk about BIAB. He's even offered to come give a talk at my LHBC.

Anyway, my three tier system has a burner directly above the bottom burner. It's all welded. I'm just going to clamp a pipe across the upper platform and use a ratchet pulley rated for 500 lbs. That way I can kinda sit the thing on my hop spider without the weight really being on the spider.

Also, I pour and polish decorative concrete for part of my firm's work...50 lbs of spent grains and water is nothing. Haha. I also have gloves for moving meat in a smoker (225*F). I'll use those to squeeze my bag.

One more thing...after all that I read, I double crushed my grain! Whoot! :rockin:
 
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