Doing my first batch tomorrow! Looking for input

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polarbearbrewing

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Hey guys!
I figured I'd keep it simple for my first BIAB attempt and brew EdWort's Haus PA.
Since I have no idea what my efficiency will be (probably low until my technique improves :D) I was wondering if I should bump the base grain up to 9 lbs or double mill or both?
Also, just to clarify, I should heat 6.5 gallons of water to ~158-160 to hit my target mash temp of 152 correct?

Thanks pics of brew day to follow! :mug:
 

ColoHox

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Most BIAB-ers get pretty good efficiency (even without sparging), at least I did when I was there. I would definitely recommend double-crushing your grains, as a stuck mash is obviously a non-issue. It is probably more effective for you to double-crush and stick to the recipe until you know your efficiency, then change your grain amounts based on what you get.

I used a fairly thin mash (~1.5-2qt/lb) when I was BIAB. And the dough-in temp depends on your grain temp, but that is probably pretty close.
 

Milan37

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Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. Definitely double-crush if you can.

Your temp should work out--but do take good notes so that you can keep on improving (or repeat if you did well).

And on a side note--I've found no reason to take the lid off to stir. If you get it well-insulated with a blanket or the like I think you're OK to leave it alone for the whole hour.
 
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polarbearbrewing

polarbearbrewing

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Well my first BIAB (and AG in general) brewday went pretty well! One of my college buddies made the drive up from Cincinnati came to help out and we had a great time. Only time will tell about the beer though


Test run of my new sq14 burner from last night. It worked great today after all the paint burned off


My brew setup (craigslist score!)


Doughing-In the grain. I followed EdWort's recipe exactly except for 20L instead of 10L crystal malt which was all my HBS had in stock


Strike water was heated to 160 and my mash was a little hot starting out (~155) so some cold water was added to lower to my mash temp of 152. Kettle was removed from burner and wrapped in a sleeping bag where it held temp quite nicely. I only lost 2 degrees throughout the hour mash!


After the mash, I heated the wort to 170 and mashed out for 10 minutes


Beginning of boil with hot break starting to form

Overall, things went great! I ended up with around 6 gallons in the fermenter (overestimated grain absorption I suppose). My immersion chiller got the wort down to 85-90 in 25 minutes, but stopped there due to ground water temp. Yeast was hydrated and pitched at around 75 degrees. My OG read 1.043, but corrected to 1.046 so I missed my target by 5 points, but again this was due to a larger than expected volume. Looking forward to trying this legendary brew in a few weeks! :mug:
 
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polarbearbrewing

polarbearbrewing

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I know it should've been cooler :(. I was expecting my tap water to be cooler and didn't have ice on hand.
Ive been holding fermentation temps from between 68-70 and I saw airlock activity within 12 hours. However, around 24 hours after initial activity, the bubbling slowed considerably and has now stopped visibly bubbling. Do you think I'm OK or should I pitch another packet of dry yeast just to be safe?
 

JPicasso

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Nope. temps around 75 are great for yeast, however the lower you can get them in the operating range, the fewer "off" flavors you'll get.
But remember, one man's off flavor is another man's target flavor profile.
Ideally, shoot for low 60's then pitch with most ale yeast, but I bet you're fine.

:mug: on your first BIAB!
 
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polarbearbrewing

polarbearbrewing

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Thanks for the reassurance. I will bottle this bad boy next wednesday and see how it tastes in a few weeks.

On another note, I decided to celebrate the 4th with an impromptu brew day! I went with the Common Room ESB and things went MUCH better today! My pre- and post-boil volumes were on the money and I hit an OG of 1.055 (target 1.054).
Again, my IC can't get the wort below 80 because of ground water temps so I just put it in the fermenter and it's sitting in my swamp cooler now. I'll probably pitch the yeast tomorrow and try to keep my temps in the mid to low 60's since I'm using S-04 for this batch.
It's amazing how much you learn from just one batch to the next and it feels awesome to call myself an AG brewer now!
 
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polarbearbrewing

polarbearbrewing

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Yeah I was thinking about converting my IC into a CFC and pumping ice water through it for next time.
I've also been considering picking up some Winpaks and joining the no chill crowd
 

wilserbrewer

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I've also been considering picking up some Winpaks and joining the no chill crowd
You could try a no chill right in the kettle...works for me. The winpaks are more likely more sanitary, but if you are pitching lots of yeast within 12-24 hours, I'm not too concerned.

My procedure is no chill in the kettle, 12 -24 hours later I put the kettle in a swamp cooler with ice and water to finish the chill and get me to cool pitching temps, then ferment in the swamp cooler and add frozen bottles as needed through the peak of fermentation when the kruesen falls.
 
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polarbearbrewing

polarbearbrewing

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Thanks for the input wilder! I like that idea a lot and I assume the lid on my blichmann is tight enough to not let any nasties in. I've been reading through the enormous NC thread and there's a lot of great info there. Do you adjust your hop schedule according to Pol's chart or just leave it as is?

BTW my fermentation temps on the ESB I brewed Thursday are holding MUCH better (~63) so I'm confident it will turn out great. I'll bottle my PA on Weds if my FG is in the ballpark. I hope I didn't brew bubble gum lol
 

wilserbrewer

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Do you adjust your hop schedule according to Pol's chart or just leave it as is?
Yes sort of...never a problem getting enough bittering since I have a lot of high alpha hops in stock, so I have been moving almost everything to flame out and steep. There is a currently a good thread running on steeping hops for more hop flavor aroma.

My last batch I actually added all the hops after FO and steeped hops and no chilled...still in the fermenter.
 
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