First BIAB Attempt

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mattman91

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So, my Anvil Foundry has crapped the bed. All it needs is a screen replacement ($35) but I see this as the perfect opportunity to try BIAB. If it goes smoothly, I might just sell the foundry.

I bought the Anvil 5.5 Kettle and plan to continue doing 2.5-3 gallon batches. This first attempt with be 3 gallons - why not start off by pushing the limit 😎?

This will be a 30 minute boil with 7.5 lbs of grain. I’m thinking about mashing with three gallons and sparging with a gallon. That’s usually about the ratio for this kind of batch size in my foundry. I’ve noticed most people just skip the sparge for BIAB, but I always notice much lower efficiency when I do that.

Any tips I should know for a first BIAB batch?
 

hotbeer

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A lot of people doing BIAB just seem to do a full mash with all their water and let the bag drain or squeeze it to varying degrees of what their beliefs are.

I don't have the vessel size to do that so I mash in about 1/3 of my mash water and then at the end of the mash time, I'll dunk the bag and push it around a bit in two other other vessels each with the other 1/3's of water heated to mash out temp. Then I combine them all for the boil. I get a real good mash efficiency... if I'm calculating it correctly.

On your first attempt at BIAB you may have great mash efficiency or you may not. Once you know your results it'll be less confusing to straighten you out on what might have gone wrong than to dazzle you with all the different ways to do it right.
This will be a 30 minute boil with 7.5 lbs of grain
Are you boiling in the bag? I just mash in the bag.
 

Sammy86

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So, my Anvil Foundry has crapped the bed. All it needs is a screen replacement ($35) but I see this as the perfect opportunity to try BIAB. If it goes smoothly, I might just sell the foundry.

I bought the Anvil 5.5 Kettle and plan to continue doing 2.5-3 gallon batches. This first attempt with be 3 gallons - why not start off by pushing the limit 😎?

This will be a 30 minute boil with 7.5 lbs of grain. I’m thinking about mashing with three gallons and sparging with a gallon. That’s usually about the ratio for this kind of batch size in my foundry. I’ve noticed most people just skip the sparge for BIAB, but I always notice much lower efficiency when I do that.

Any tips I should know for a first BIAB batch?

If you grind your own grain, you can tighten up the rollers and get a nice fine crush. If you don't see if you csn get your grain doubled milled.

Personally, I like the sparging with BIAB, so you're good there.

Other than that, enjoy the easy cleanup and hopefully the beer turns out the way you want it!

:mug:
 
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mattman91

mattman91

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A lot of people doing BIAB just seem to do a full mash with all their water and let the bag drain or squeeze it to varying degrees of what their beliefs are.

I don't have the vessel size to do that so I mash in about 1/3 of my mash water and then at the end of the mash time, I'll dunk the bag in two other other vessels each with the other 1/3's of water heated to mash out temp. Then I combine them all for the boil. I get a real good mash efficiency... if I'm calculating it correctly.

On your first attempt at BIAB you may have great mash efficiency or you may not. Once you know your results it'll be less confusing to straighten you out on what might have gone wrong than to dazzle you with all the different ways to do it right.

Are you boiling in the bag? I just mash in the bag.
No, not boiling the bag lol. I probably typed that out wrong.

I’ve heard a lot of people do a double crush for their grains. Might try that if I get poor efficiency.
 
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mattman91

mattman91

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If you grind your own grain, you can tighten up the rollers and get a nice fine crush. If you don't see if you csn get your grain doubled milled.

Personally, I like the sparging with BIAB, so you're good there.

Other than that, enjoy the easy cleanup and hopefully the beer turns out the way you want it!

:mug:
Yeah, I already ordered all my grains single crushed from ABS. They do have a double crush option, so I’ll keep it in mind.

For sparging, I think I’ll just heat a gallon of water like I usually do and pour over the grain bag in a plastic bucket.
 

hotbeer

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I’ve heard a lot of people do a double crush for their grains. Might try that if I get poor efficiency.
I powder mine up pretty fine. But the finer you crush, probably the finer your mesh in the bag should be. I actually need to get a finer mesh bag to help keep all the unwanted grain pieces out of my wort.
 

DBhomebrew

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I typically do a single dunk sparge and let it drain naturally like it doesn't owe me anything. Typically hit 90% mash efficiency.

Consistency and predictability are better goals than high efficiency for high efficiency's sake.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Any tips I should know for a first BIAB batch?

Good luck! I am a big fan of brewing 2.5 gallon batches BIAB on my stove (target 2.6 to 2.7 gals into my fermenter). A few times I have boosted that up to 3 gallons to split into 3 fermenters for trial batches. With my 5-gallon kettle, I can get 3 gallons of a medium gravity wort with a full volume mash, but for some batches I work in a dunk sparge. When I sparge, I move the grain bag into a bucket and mix in my sparge water.

What are you using for fermenters? For me, my 3-gallon Fermonster fermenters are a primary driver of my batch size. I have a number of 10L Torpedo kegs that can actually hold around 2.8 gals of beer.

Are you brewing in your kitchen? I had to figure out a process flow that minimized chances of spilling wort onto my stove or my wooden floors. For me, this involves moving vessels over to my double sink when I am either removing the grain bag, chilling or transferring into the fermenter. When pulling the grain bag, I move it to a colander over a bucket and let it drain there for a while since I don't have a way to hang the bag in my kitchen.

Here is a video that shows the highlights of my process. In this case I did a dunk sparge due to the higher gravity beer combined with the expected volume loss to the amount of hops. The first video on my channel is more in-depth on stovetop BIAB, but also a big long and lower quality.
 

leedspointbrew

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I've been doing 4 gallon batches in an 8 gal kettle, 2.75 gallons in the main kettle, 2.5 gallons heated to 170 that I use to sparge after mashing. I wasn't sure, but from this thread, it sounds like I've been doing it the right way - or at least I'm in the ballpark. Thanks!
 

RM-MN

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You're definitely in the ball park but to hit a home run, forget heating the sparge water and using another pot and burner to do so. You will get the same results by sparging with cool water with the only drawback being that it will take a little longer to get the wort to a boil.
I've been doing 4 gallon batches in an 8 gal kettle, 2.75 gallons in the main kettle, 2.5 gallons heated to 170 that I use to sparge after mashing. I wasn't sure, but from this thread, it sounds like I've been doing it the right way - or at least I'm in the ballpark. Thanks!
 

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