I've been pouring and stirring when mashing in with BIAB, but I've caught glimpses of people where it looked like they crushed their grain directly in the bag and then dropped it all in the mash and then stirred. What do you do?
I can't speed for BIAB-ing a 5 gal batch, but with smaller batches (I'm using a mash paddle) I recently tried putting the crushed grains in the bag then the bag in the strike water. After a couple of batches, I'm back to "slowly pouring the grains in" rather than "lowering the bag". A big wire whisk is something that I may try in the future.
A big wire whisk is something that I may try in the future.
Suddenly the normal-sized whisk I repurposed from the kitchen utility drawer doesn't seem adequate! Off to the restaurant supply I go!I have been a "slowly add the grain while stirring with a spoon" guy. I am thinking I need a whisk like all the cool kids.
I swear over the years I have spent about $800 on my "real" brewing gear, and about $2,000 on various $15 to $30 gadgets.
I never get dough balls. Set up two bags ahead of time. Grind your grist directly into a 5 gallon bucket. Pour dry grist into your bags setting in previously prepared LODO brewing water. This is essentially the same as under letting. I use what I call the DBIAB (double brew in a bag) method, keeps the bag weight less, easy to handle. I use a long stainless spoon. I also use insulating foam mash caps on more oxidation sensitive beers like Helles, Pilsners and IPAs.
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I agree, but for those who cannot control themselves, a large whisk will help to minimize bag damage.I dump the entire grain bill into the bag installed in the mash water and stir until smooth.
I will caution those that seem to panic at the thought of dough balls and stir like a lunatic. I have observed BIAB bags damaged by what I believe to be lunatic all manly stirring.
This often happens with steel spoons but I believe can also happen with wooden paddles.
What I believe happens is when the spoon or paddle bangs into the bottom or side of the kettle, the fiber of the bag is crushed and eventually creates a small hole. A bag abused in this fashion will display many small holes less then 1/8” size.
This is the only explanation I have for someone whose bag deteriorates with numerous small holes after many batches.
Bottom line, be gentle mashing in, don’t get caught up with a sense of urgency to destroy dough balls, just continue to stir gently touching the bottom of the kettle, and they will disappear with little time and effort. No need to go all manly and stir like a lunatic!!!! Your bag will thank you and last a very long time!!!!
Just my theory on bags showing small holes.
I’m a comic as well. Love that whisk. I double mill into a bucket then pour it into my BIAB bag already mounted in my kettle then whisk it really well. Never had an issue with dough balls.Someone else recommended a comically large whisk to stir the grains into the mash water, and it is amazing. Probably works for whichever of these methods you choose to eliminate dough balls.
It’s exactly what I use.+1 for the comically large whisk. It is a gamechanger. Mashing in alone, I use to slowly dump 1/2 the grains, then stir with the mash paddle, then dump the remaining 1/2 bag, then stir again. If it was a good brew day, I got all the grains in the BIAB, but often I'd lose some. Now I dump the whole bag all at once then bring in the whisk. Within 15 seconds of bouncing it up and down and a quick stir, all dough balls are busted and the mash is consistent. Since the mash in is quicker, I lose less heat from the strike water too. It's also easy on the brew bags. I tore a few with the stainless mash paddle, but no worries with the whisk. Well worth the $15 via the link @MaxStout posted.
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Have you ever SEEN a banshee brewing? They are classic RDWHAHB followers, and religiously take their time when mashing in, stirring just enough to prevent doughballs, but not a bit more.LOL, that's exactly what I find myself doing which is why I wondered if there were people that just put the whole thing in there at once and stirred like a banshee.
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