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shrews824

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Are you new to brewing or new to BIAB. I started brewing using extract recipes and made the switch to BIAB. Couldn't be any happier. Good luck!
Thanks. I have 6 batches of extract under my belt. Just wanted to make the jump. It didn't seem that daunting to be honest. If I screw up. I'll give it another go.
 

wsmith1625

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My first BIAB brew went well and I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was. I hooked up a ratcheting hoist to lift the grain bag and just let it drain over the kettle while heating to a boil. My post boil gravity was low which I attributed to the mill of the grains. I purchased a grain mill and order my grains unmilled now. Big improvement.
 
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My first BIAB brew went well and I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was. I hooked up a ratcheting hoist to lift the grain bag and just let it drain over the kettle while heating to a boil. My post boil gravity was low which I attributed to the mill of the grains. I purchased a grain mill and order my grains unmilled now. Big improvement.
For sure. I don't have a pulley system, but I'm just going to use a huge colander to drain the grains. I'm only going to be doing 3 gallon batches so hopefully I'm still young and spry enough to lift those grains. I'm eager to see how efficient my first batch will be. I don't have a mill so I purchased the grains milled. Maybe that'll be a future purchase. I've read and researched a ton, so I think I'm ready, however I can read everything and it won't substitute for actually giving it a go.
 
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For sure. I don't have a pulley system, but I'm just going to use a huge colander to drain the grains. I'm only going to be doing 3 gallon batches so hopefully I'm still young and spry enough to lift those grains. I'm eager to see how efficient my first batch will be. I don't have a mill so I purchased the grains milled. Maybe that'll be a future purchase. I've read and researched a ton, so I think I'm ready, however I can read everything and it won't substitute for actually giving it a go.
What I do to get my efficiency up is leave about 1/5 of the water out of the mash and then use it to rinse/sparge the gains at the end, I rinse with 1 ltrs at a time and squeeze the bag and repeat until the water's gone. I get aroun 80-85% pretty consistantly.
 
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I love this post, I've done about 30 biab brews to date and I still get excited on brew day!!!!!! Happy brewing!
It's all I've been thinking about since I received the package in the mail yesterday.

A joy shared is a double joy! Good luck!

I remember my first brew day I was sooo excited. I must have brewed that beer 7 times or more in my sleep that night. Lol! I still get the brew day jitters the night before.
Thanks. Yeah, I've walked through the steps and read the recipe numerous times so far. I've double checked all my equipment and have pretty much memorized all of my targets!!! Like I said earlier, if I mess up or it doesn't turn out like I'd hoped.... I'm not going to get discouraged. I'll hit it again next weekend!!!


What I do to get my efficiency up is leave about 1/5 of the water out of the mash and then use it to rinse/sparge the gains at the end, I rinse with 1 ltrs at a time and squeeze the bag and repeat until the water's gone. I get aroun 80-85% pretty consistantly.
For sure, I want to really be able to dial in my brews. It'll take some practice I know, but with patience and practice and some tips I think I can make a pretty decent beer. I have no delusions of making a world class beer, but I think I can make one that I'm dang proud of.
 

bracconiere

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I love this post, I've done about 30 biab brews to date and I still get excited on brew day!!!!!! Happy brewing!

puppy love is great, isn't it! just wait till you're pushing 1k, you'll be dumping apple juice in a bucket and saying f'it, G.E.......lol :mug:
 
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camonick

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If you’re serious about sticking with it, I’d look into getting your own mill. You’ll have the control over the crush and your brews will be more consistent. You can order your grains uncrushed or in bulk for even greater savings. I did extract brewing for almost 15 years, then one day just decided to take the plunge and do BIAB. It’s incredibly easy and I believe my beer is much better. Now I wish I would have done it sooner. You have a lot more options for recipes and styles.
 
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If you’re serious about sticking with it, I’d look into getting your own mill. You’ll have the control over the crush and your brews will be more consistent. You can order your grains uncrushed or in bulk for even greater savings. I did extract brewing for almost 15 years, then one day just decided to take the plunge and do BIAB. It’s incredibly easy and I believe my beer is much better. Now I wish I would have done it sooner. You have a lot more options for recipes and styles.
Well, I plan on sticking with it so a mill may be in my near future. I definitely like the idea of more options. Not that I want to brew 100 different styles or anything, but it will be nice to know that I can do that if I want.
 

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shrews824

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The Cereal Killer is a nice option for a 2 roller mill. Does fine by me.

Keep an eye out for stacking deals to get you under $99.
Ah, cool. Thanks. I'll look into those when I decide to make the purchase. For the moment, I think I may be better served to concentrate on specific areas, get those dialed in fairly well, and then move on to another variable. For example, for my first brew I'm really going to be concentrating on my mash temp and making sure I can hold that consistently. Granted, I will do my best with all of the other factors, but I'm really eager to see how mashing works and what some of the challenges may be and what works best for me with my rather elementary setup.
 

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What is your mashing setup? I switched to BIAB after about three extract brews, and have never looked back. Nor felt the need to upgrade to a fancier AG system. I'm cheap so I do a lot of DIY solutions. After mashing in, I just wrap the kettle in a blanket and a couple of old sleeping bags. Works great! A little tougher in an unheated garage in winter in Chicago, but I just need to flame-on for a few moments 2-4 times during my mash, then rewrap everything.
One of my favorite things about this hobby is you have a huge range of choices in how simple or how complex you want brewing to be FOR YOU. You can make great beer with a simple setup, and great beer with all the bells and whistles...whatever works for you! Enjoy! :mug:
 
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What is your mashing setup? I switched to BIAB after about three extract brews, and have never looked back. Nor felt the need to upgrade to a fancier AG system. I'm cheap so I do a lot of DIY solutions. After mashing in, I just wrap the kettle in a blanket and a couple of old sleeping bags. Works great! A little tougher in an unheated garage in winter in Chicago, but I just need to flame-on for a few moments 2-4 times during my mash, then rewrap everything.
One of my favorite things about this hobby is you have a huge range of choices in how simple or how complex you want brewing to be FOR YOU. You can make great beer with a simple setup, and great beer with all the bells and whistles...whatever works for you! Enjoy! :mug:
Thanks. Yeah, I have an 8 gallon 1.2 MegaPot. I plan on doing 3 gallon batches. I've been doing 5 gallon extract batches, but 3 gallon will be enough for me (since I'm basically the only person drinking them). I've been thinking of which way I want to go with insulating my pot. I have some old winter coats, blankets, covers, etc. I'll find out what works best. Like you said, if I have to I'll just goose that heat a bit to keep it where it needs to be. I also agree that it's a rabbit hole of gear and equipment. Everything I see I'm like, "Ooh, I need that!!!" In reality I'm hoping that I can purchase a few things that are useful for me and try not to sweat that I don't have the new shiny stuff.
 

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Don't know what you're using for a grain bag, but 5 gallon paint strainer bags from Home Depot, etc. work great. They're ridiculously cheap, something like a three-pack for a few bucks. Search no-chill brewing on here. It's originally from Australia where they have water shortages in the outback, but need their beer! You transfer your hot wort into a food grade container, cap it, and pitch you r yeast the next day after it cools down. No need for a wort chiller, no filling the sink with cold water and ice, etc. If you make yeast starters, also look up natural wort starter. It's just saving a little of your wort from brew day to pitch your yeast into, rather than buying/using dry malt extract. I tap off enough for a starter, and add my yeast (after cooling it down enough). hen I do my no-chill overnight, and by the next day (maybe two) my yeast starter is ready to pitch. Okay, lots of new stuff there. Sorry about that. I still get excited about sharing info with other brewers.
 
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Don't know what you're using for a grain bag, but 5 gallon paint strainer bags from Home Depot, etc. work great. They're ridiculously cheap, something like a three-pack for a few bucks. Search no-chill brewing on here. It's originally from Australia where they have water shortages in the outback, but need their beer! You transfer your hot wort into a food grade container, cap it, and pitch you r yeast the next day after it cools down. No need for a wort chiller, no filling the sink with cold water and ice, etc. If you make yeast starters, also look up natural wort starter. It's just saving a little of your wort from brew day to pitch your yeast into, rather than buying/using dry malt extract. I tap off enough for a starter, and add my yeast (after cooling it down enough). hen I do my no-chill overnight, and by the next day (maybe two) my yeast starter is ready to pitch. Okay, lots of new stuff there. Sorry about that. I still get excited about sharing info with other brewers.
I just ordered some bags online. They are the large ones (26"x22"). I think mine came in a pack of 3. Fortunately, I do have an immersion chiller so I should be good there. I've read a bit about the no-chill method. I have yet to do a yeast starter. I'm a little intimidated about that to be honest. So far, I have just used packets of dry or liquid yeast. Both have worked fine with my brews... so far. I realize yeast starters are preferred and I'm sure I'll dive into that eventually, but just haven't made the jump yet. And by all means.... please share all of the info/tips/tricks you have. I'm all ears!!! I appreciate it.
 

Knightshade

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Rabbit hole of equipment indeed....I had a serious fit of purchase exhaustion not too recently. Was just buying "stuff" and just finally said enough. Brew already!! Sounds like you've got a lot of it sorted already if you're going so far as to memorizing what numbers to hit and when.

I'm maybe...15 brews in..?? I haven't done a yeast starter yet for the same reason, seems rather intimidating. I have started rehydrating my dry yeast though, seems like a good baby step. That and quite frankly, I still feel like I'm making mistakes and haven't refined my workflow yet so I'm attempting to establish some consistency before introducing new variables.

Just remember to have fun and yea...pics!!
 
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Rabbit hole of equipment indeed....I had a serious fit of purchase exhaustion not too recently. Was just buying "stuff" and just finally said enough. Brew already!! Sounds like you've got a lot of it sorted already if you're going so far as to memorizing what numbers to hit and when.

I'm maybe...15 brews in..?? I haven't done a yeast starter yet for the same reason, seems rather intimidating. I have started rehydrating my dry yeast though, seems like a good baby step. That and quite frankly, I still feel like I'm making mistakes and haven't refined my workflow yet so I'm attempting to establish some consistency before introducing new variables.

Just remember to have fun and yea...pics!!
Appreciate it. Yep, I'm wanting to buy everything I see!!! I'm trying to convince myself that I don't need a Ferrari when I just received my learners permit. Know what I'm sayin'??? I have only rehydrated one dry yeast packet. Seemed to work out fine. I feel the exact same way as you. I want to work on specifics first and get those dialed in to a consist level before tackling the next phase.
 

Knightshade

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Appreciate it. Yep, I'm wanting to buy everything I see!!! I'm trying to convince myself that I don't need a Ferrari when I just received my learners permit. Know what I'm sayin'??? I have only rehydrated one dry yeast packet. Seemed to work out fine. I feel the exact same way as you. I want to work on specifics first and get those dialed in to a consist level before tackling the next phase.
Yeah..lots of shiny bits! I never did extract and went straight to all grain. Still learning, still having fun and everything I've produced so far has been beer. Quality has definitely varied and I did end up dumping my first ever 5G batch. The whole positive thinking thing of it being better if I gave it more time didn't pan out. ;) LOTS of mistakes w/that one in multiple phases, but I learned a lot from that one too. So all good!!
 
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My first BIAB grain delivery is scheduled for tomorrow so I’m going to piggyback on your thread. Done 7 extracts so far and am psyched for this weekend. It’s a 2.5g Zombie Dust clone. Plan is to do 2-3g batches going forward; like you I’m the only one drinking it and I like a lot of variety. I’ve done 5 yeast starters so far and am now yeast harvesting. I’m on my 3rd generation of Wyeast Pacman 1764 and second generation of Wyeast 3068 (I love Hefe’s). It’s really not that hard so I encourage you to dive right in. Looking forward to hearing your results and thanks to everyone for all the tips!
 
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Yeah..lots of shiny bits! I never did extract and went straight to all grain. Still learning, still having fun and everything I've produced so far has been beer. Quality has definitely varied and I did end up dumping my first ever 5G batch. The whole positive thinking thing of it being better if I gave it more time didn't pan out. ;) LOTS of mistakes w/that one in multiple phases, but I learned a lot from that one too. So all good!!
Sure. Mine have been decent so far. Nothing that I would dump nor have they been anything to really brag about either. All I know is that they were more enjoyable and had more flavor than any of the macros out there. I've made a mistake or two, but to me that's all in the learning process.

My first BIAB grain delivery is scheduled for tomorrow so I’m going to piggyback on your thread. Done 7 extracts so far and am psyched for this weekend. It’s a 2.5g Zombie Dust clone. Plan is to do 2-3g batches going forward; like you I’m the only one drinking it and I like a lot of variety. I’ve done 5 yeast starters so far and am now yeast harvesting. I’m on my 3rd generation of Wyeast Pacman 1764 and second generation of Wyeast 3068 (I love Hefe’s). It’s really not that hard so I encourage you to dive right in. Looking forward to hearing your results and thanks to everyone for all the tips!
Awesome. I would like to explore creating a yeast starter. Too many people speak highly of it so there has to be something to it. I'm looking forward to hearing your results as well. We can tackle this new challenge together!!!!
 

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... I've been thinking of which way I want to go with insulating my pot....
In most situations it doesn't take much insulation to get good results. I have a $15 kids sleeping bag that fits perfectly over my kettle & burner. The zipper makes it quite easy to install/remove. With it I typically hold temps within 1 degF for a full hour. Only in the dead of winter will it drop more than that.

IMG_20190116_094930_282.jpg IMG_20190116_100512_658.jpg

Notice that my burner is inside the insulation. Its warm mass helps keep the temp stable.

... if I have to I'll just goose that heat a bit to keep it where it needs to be...
If you do that, use very gentle heat and stir constantly. Otherwise you risk scorching the bag. If you leave your insulation closed for the whole mash you shouldn't need to add heat at all.

If you find that your mash temp does drop a few degrees over the hour, don't sweat it. There is evidence that it will not make any difference in the finished beer.

... I'm hoping that I can purchase a few things that are useful for me...
The two purchases that should get the highest priority are fermentation temperature control and a grain mill, in that order.
 
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Well, I plan on sticking with it so a mill may be in my near future. I definitely like the idea of more options. Not that I want to brew 100 different styles or anything, but it will be nice to know that I can do that if I want.
That's a good point, I dont have my own mill but the malt supplier i use have a 'fine cush' option which is ideal for BIAB, my efficiency went from 60% to 80% + when I switched to fine crush.
 
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In most situations it doesn't take much insulation to get good results. I have a $15 kids sleeping bag that fits perfectly over my kettle & burner. The zipper makes it quite easy to install/remove. With it I typically hold temps within 1 degF for a full hour. Only in the dead of winter will it drop more than that.

View attachment 698691 View attachment 698692

Notice that my burner is inside the insulation. Its warm mass helps keep the temp stable.



If you do that, use very gentle heat and stir constantly. Otherwise you risk scorching the bag. If you leave your insulation closed for the whole mash you shouldn't need to add heat at all.

If you find that your mash temp does drop a few degrees over the hour, don't sweat it. There is evidence that it will not make any difference in the finished beer.



The two purchases that should get the highest priority are fermentation temperature control and a grain mill, in that order.
The child sleeping bag is a great idea. Man, that thing fits over your pot perfectly, doesn't it? Thanks for the article on mash temp as well. That makes me feel a little better about it. I'm still going to try to see how closely I can maintain temp. just to prove to myself that I can do it. And yeah, I've thought about the bag scorching on the bottom if I add heat. I'm just going to do my best to continually stir and get an even heat distribution if I need to do that. Also, I think the fermentation temperature control will be the first thing I try to tackle. I think I mentioned above somewhere that I have a fridge coming to me so hopefully I can rig that up so that I can have a bit more control over the fermentation temp. I know it won't be perfect, but maybe it can get me in the ballpark so I may be able to try some lagering. Appreciate the tips!!!

That's a good point, I dont have my own mill but the malt supplier i use have a 'fine cush' option which is ideal for BIAB, my efficiency went from 60% to 80% + when I switched to fine crush.
Sure, sure. To be honest I'm not sure what kind of mill my homebrew shop has. I just had them crush the grains and mail them to me. I plan on stopping by next week so I can ask more specific questions about their mill and how they crush, etc. I also need to study up on efficiency. That's something that I'll probably dive into after doing a batch or two.
 

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I've been saving for BIAB equipment and buying piecemeal. I can't wait to get started, and every piece of equipment I buy feels more satisfying than the last! Cheers and good luck!
 
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