First BIAB (first all grain) Schwarzbier. Tons of questions (RO water, hops ...)

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AJ Peacock

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I have almost all my equipment gathered and will try to brew next weekend.

However, the more I try to be ready the more unanswered questions I seem to have.
Hoping you guys can help me out a bit.

I plan to do the 'May the Schwarzbier with you' recipe.
Grist is as follows:
7 lbs 5.0 oz Pilsner Malt, German (70%)
2 lbs Munich Malt – 10L (19.1%)
8.0 oz Carafa II (4.8%)
6.0 oz Crystal 60 (3.6%)
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (2.4%)

The recipe is not a BIAB recipe and it calls for 4.75Gallon mash and 4.5gallon Sparge water.
90 minute boil.

How do I calculate total water for the BIAB batch?

It calls for Hops as follows:
~21 IBU Magnum/Warrior/Galena – Boil 60 min
28.00 g Saaz – Boil 15 min

Does this mean to use one of the (Magnum/Warrior/Galena) hops? Or a mix of them?

I have an RO system and want to use that with addition of minerals.
I've played with the EZ Water spreadsheet but don't really know what I'm aiming for.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Also, should I pre-boil the water to stabilize the PH?
I have a PH meter if that helps.

Thanks in advance,
AJ
 
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North_of_60

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One piece of equipment you may want to add to your collection is BeerSmith, http://beersmith.com/ I believe the price is $25. Many of your questions can be answered by entering your recepie into the program. There are profiles for BIAB that will help with water volumes.

It appears that the recepie is saying that you should add enough hops to achieve 21 IBU’s based on a 60 minutes boil. The amount of hops will vary depending of which of the three varieties you chose. Again, BeerSmith can calculate this for you when you chose the hop variety.

I haven’t worked with water profiles so I can’t help you. I will have to start though. BeerSmith also has a tool to make water additions.

There are some other online brew calculators that work well too. I have never tried them though. Good luck and enjoy the process.
 

z-bob

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It means use Magnum or Galena or Warrior hops. (I would add Nugget to that list) They are very all bitter hops, and you won't need much to get 21 IBU; whatever subtle difference there might be will be lost in the 60 minute boil -- use whichever one you have, or whichever is cheapest :)

Is that a 5 gallon recipe? or 6 gallons? What size kettle do you have?
 
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AJ Peacock

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It means use Magnum or Galena or Warrior hops. (I would add Nugget to that list) They are very all bitter hops, and you won't need much to get 21 IBU; whatever subtle difference there might be will be lost in the 60 minute boil -- use whichever one you have, or whichever is cheapest :)

Is that a 5 gallon recipe? or 6 gallons? What size kettle do you have?
It is for 5.25 into fermenter.

I have a 15g spike kettle.

Thanks all for input, I just installed the 21 day trial of beersmith. I'll likely buy it after I play with it a bit.

AJ
 

BongoYodeler

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It is for 5.25 into fermenter.

I have a 15g spike kettle.

Thanks all for input, I just installed the 21 day trial of beersmith. I'll likely buy it after I play with it a bit.

AJ
There's a bunch of youtube tutorials on how to use Beersmith. Parts of were a bit daunting at first, the videos helped.

P.S. I also have the 15g Spike tank....err kettle.
 

doug293cz

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tofuguy

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Be careful with the strike temperature if this is your first full volume BIAB. At 9 gallons, you will only need to heat the strike water a few degrees above your targeted mash temperature. I feel overshooting your mash temperature with a full volume mash is very easy for a beginner.
 

whiskeyjack

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I calculate water by adding a few variables. Final volume + boil off + grain absorption + equipment water loss. So say its a 10#, 5.5 gallon batch. 5.5g (final)+ 1g (Boiloff) + .06-.12 x 10# (grain abs factor) + equipment loss. With BIAB there is no equipment loss, just grain loss. Equipment loss is the amount you don't get at the bottom of batch sparge. 5.5 + 1.2 + 1 = 7.7 gallons. Also hops play a factor in this as well, but if its just a few ounces I wouldn't worry about it, but if you brew an IPA or similar you may want to add 1/4 - 1/2 gallon. Also until you figure out your variables such as boil off or grain absorption (aka how hard you squeeze ;) , you will be a little off. If you are low say a gallon short, raise the grains and pour a gallon of 170 water over the grains. If you have to much, boil longer
 

deadwolfbones

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Be careful with the strike temperature if this is your first full volume BIAB. At 9 gallons, you will only need to heat the strike water a few degrees above your targeted mash temperature. I feel overshooting your mash temperature with a full volume mash is very easy for a beginner.
Definitely. My first few batches I was consistently way over on the strike temp thanks to the calculators I was using. I've found that 2-3degF is all I need to be over in my 6 gal kettle.
 
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AJ Peacock

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Thanks all, I got my MonsterMill II Pro setup and adjusted.
Here is a picture of the first bit of grist (Breiss 2row) I sent through it. I adjusted it to .031" prior to running it.
BTW: It was super easy to adjust, took me less than a minute. I'm very pleased.



Thanks again for all the great info.
AJ
 

hafmpty

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For your water profile use Bru’n water and start with tab 1 and work your way over. Very easy to use. For the profiles don’t target a city. Just use the color profiles and you’ll be good. For my Schwarzbier I use black balanced. But you might choose another based on your tastes.

You’ll add your grain bill to the calculator. Then adjust your mash ph. Then add minerals. Where it asks for distilled or RO put in 100% RO and adjust from there. Hope that helps.
 
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AJ Peacock

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I need some help.

I Did my boil and I have a question for you all.

I ended up with SG of 1.057 (from refractometer) 1.060 from Hydrometer, I was shooting for 1.052.

I also ended up with exactly 5 gallons, was planning on 5.25.

The wort is sitting at 58F (planned pitching temp) and I have a starter ready and willing.

Should I add 2 quarts of water and hit my OG exactly? Or just leave it?

I accidentally boiled 10 minutes longer before my first hop addition, and I believe that is where I lost my quart. I measured my boiloff rate earlier and used 1.65gal/hour in my calculations, so the extra 10 minutes cost me almost exactly a quart.

My efficiency figures out as 73.5%, which isn't too shabby for my first AG batch

I've boiled some water and when it cools, I'll add it and pitch my yeast.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
AJ
 
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marc1

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Add the water if it's important to you to get your volume. I don't think it's critical either way.
Congratulations on your first all grain brew!
 

Morrey

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Good job, AJ. You may want to check the calibration of your hydrometer in distilled water at the temp (probably 60F) the hydrometer says it is calibrated. I have seen floating hydrometers wayyy off so its good to test. If there is an offset, you can remember to apply that offset when using, and also test the refractometer with distilled water. Will get you pretty close.

The grist size in the pic you posted looks great. The coins give a good reference mark to relate with.
 
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AJ Peacock

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Thanks,

I actually trust the hydrometer (it is within a point), I've used it for a couple years (wine making) and it measures distilled water correctly.

My Refractometer is accurate, but is actually for measuring DEF fluid, so it's a bit of a crap shoot. I plan on getting one that is marked for wort at some point.

My efficiency is actually at 77+% if I rely on the Hydrometer.

I guess that is possible for a first try?

While I mashed, I ran my RIMS the entire time and it kept within 1F of 152F. My recirc line (LocLine) was spiralled from top to bottom to keep from compacting the grains. My thought was to keep the water moving across the grains completely and it appeared to have worked. Ferment is going steady at 59F, I can't wait to see how it turns out.

AJ
 
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