Hybrid BIAB method

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ChadRabbit

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Does anyone else use this method. It seems a little unorthodox but has been working decently.

8 gal brew kettle
5 gal igloo mash tun
28" brew bag

I heat up the sparge water in the kettle and throw the grain bag inside of the mash tun like a liner. Dump the grain bill in the bag, then start adding the allotted sparge water. Stir like hell, mash for an hour.

Here's where it gets even more weird. Being that I only have one kettle I have to get the sparge out before I strike with the rest. So I usually drain the mash tun into a plastic fermenter bucket (cleansed and sanitized of course) and add the strike water that was in the brew kettle. I have to strike the grain twice due to limited space in my five gallon mash tun. Once the kettle is empty of all water, I dump all of the wort from the fermenter and the mash tun and begin my boil.

I usually hit in the 70% range with a double crush. Does this seem like a stupid idea or is it a viable method?
 

Foosier

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I have not done BIAB that way before, but there is nothing wrong with your method. All you are doing is using your bag as the filter rather than a braid or false bottom.

I have thought of doing this myself if I want to do a larger grain bill than my pot can handle.
 
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ChadRabbit

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That's what I figured. I'm sure my efficiency would be a lot higher if I used a more... Conventional style false bottom.

Whatever. Beer.
 

divrguy

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ChadRabbit said:
That's what I figured. I'm sure my efficiency would be a lot higher if I used a more... Conventional style false bottom.

Whatever. Beer.
That doesn't really guarantee your efficiency would be higher. I've used the same method for tons of brews and my efficiency is always mid 80's. That's a great way to maximize what you have available.
 

BrewerBear

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I don't see any problems doing it this way either.You would not need to sanitize the bucket you are draining into as you are going to boil it anyway.
 

woknblues

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I certainly would never call what works for you "stupid", but it looks to me like you are working pretty hard to get ok results. Maybe look into "maxi-biab" to reduce the steps involved in your process. I don't see why you are not getting 80% if you are double crushing (and getting a good crush at that)
 

sj3324

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I just tried something similar to this, only I had SWMBO make me a liner for my 48 qt. cooler. I don't sanitize the bucket when I run into it though, because, like BrewerBear said, everything will be boiled after that.
 

Varmintman

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My first batch was exactly the same as what you are doing and I made mighty fine beer with it. But it took me only one batch to figure out it would be nice if I could be heating the sparge water up while I was mashing so I went to walmart and bought a cheap I think 5 gallon canning pot.

Once you get the second pot you can heat your sparge water up while you are mashing and once you dump the first runnings into the boil pot you can set that on the burner heating it up to boil while you mash out. It saves a TON of time doing it that way. Of course that kind of cut down the number of beers I could drink while brewing so I had to up my drinking game :D
 

Yooper

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That's very much what I used to do!

I used to heat up my strike water, and in the meantime line my bottling bucket with a huge mesh bag. I'd add the grain to that, and then pour in my strike water and stir like crazy and then check the temperature and then cover it up with sleeping bags to hold heat.

During the mash, I"d heat up the sparge water. After the mash, I'd drain the first runnings out into another bucket (I only had one pot).

Then I'd add my sparge water to the grains and stir like mad, and then drain that too, and combine them both into my boil kettle.

It worked out fine, but it didn't hold heat as well as a traditional mash tun so I built a MLT out of a cooler. I also got another pot so I wouldn't have to drain in buckets- but it sure worked well for me for quite a long time. It was just more work than the system I have now with pumps and things.
 

Barnesie

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Here's something I've wondered about BIAB (I've never done it). If you know your absorbtion and proper volumes, why can't you just do this with one cooler and one boil kettle?

Heat your strike water in your kettle, dump into your cooler with your BIAB grains. While you mash, heat up your sparge water in the boil kettle. Once you're done with your mash and your sparge water is to temperature, just move the bag of grain from your cooler into your kettle with the sparge water and batch sparge in bag. Once your sparge is complete, just pull your bag, squeeze, then dump your cooler wort into the kettle and boil.

Seems like that would be the best hybrid between a cooler mash and a BIAB mash while still keeping it pretty simple.

Why wouldn't that work?
 

divrguy

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Barnesie said:
Here's something I've wondered about BIAB (I've never done it). If you know your absorbtion and proper volumes, why can't you just do this with one cooler and one boil kettle?

Heat your strike water in your kettle, dump into your cooler with your BIAB grains. While you mash, heat up your sparge water in the boil kettle. Once you're done with your mash and your sparge water is to temperature, just move the bag of grain from your cooler into your kettle with the sparge water and batch sparge in bag. Once your sparge is complete, just pull your bag, squeeze, then dump your cooler wort into the kettle and boil.

Seems like that would be the best hybrid between a cooler mash and a BIAB mash while still keeping it pretty simple.

Why wouldn't that work?
It does! Though i think you are really dunk sparging if I'm reading it right. If you don't have big enough pots to do a full volume BIAB, you can combine methods or hybridize this in a number of different ways and most or all will work. There are so many ways to do this and this is yet a very good method as well. Give it a shot.
 
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ChadRabbit

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Barnesie said:
Here's something I've wondered about BIAB (I've never done it). If you know your absorbtion and proper volumes, why can't you just do this with one cooler and one boil kettle?

Heat your strike water in your kettle, dump into your cooler with your BIAB grains. While you mash, heat up your sparge water in the boil kettle. Once you're done with your mash and your sparge water is to temperature, just move the bag of grain from your cooler into your kettle with the sparge water and batch sparge in bag. Once your sparge is complete, just pull your bag, squeeze, then dump your cooler wort into the kettle and boil.

Seems like that would be the best hybrid between a cooler mash and a BIAB mash while still keeping it pretty simple.

Why wouldn't that work?
That's an awesome idea. I think I'll try that. Dumping into a bottling bucket after sparging makes more dishes to do for really no reason.

The only downfall would be lifting a hefty grain bill up and moving it to the boil kettle. If your a little guy like me that is.
 

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