Inexperienced Blonde

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irontodd

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So named because this is my first BIAB batch with the 10 gallon kettle I got for Christmas. 10 lbs pale 2 row, and the leftover/unused hops from my Breck VP clone. Used brewersfriend recipe builder to ensure I brewed within style.

Flame-on at 6 am this morning. Finished cleaning up at 11 am.

I was really pleased with the overall process, however, I need to work on maintaining consistent mash temps. I had temperature swings from 142 to 159, due to not having a recirculation system, and not stirring constantly. And just using my stove burner. Haven't gotten to electronic control...YET!

So who knows what the body will be like. I did get really good conversion efficiency though, right about 90%. Overall BH efficiency ended up slight less than 70% since I miscalculated boil off. I was shooting for 5.5 gallons in the fermenter but ended up with 6.25 gallons at the end of the boil, so I had quite a bit of waste. FG ended up at 1.045 while I was targeting 1.047, so got pretty close there.

Definitely looking to save for a wort pump and tubing so I can keep that mash temp more constant. Also considering some sort of hop spider, I did use a fine mash bag that i held open with binder clips and a wire hanger, but had trouble keeping it submerged during the boil.

I had washed my yeast from the Breck VP and got it happy again overnight in a pale DME starter, hopefully I did that right, since that was new for me today too.
 

wilserbrewer

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Jmo, I think you need to work on your technique rather than rush into electronic control.

Brewing indoors you should be able to easily keep within a reasonable mash temp.

An accurate strike temp and maintaining temps with insulation or putting your ketttle in a warm oven are very simple and effective techniques.

Jmo I think your thinking of putting the wagon in front of the horse. Jmo
 
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irontodd

irontodd

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Point taken. I should focus on making great beer, then worry about making it easier. I was making darn good beer in extract world before I got the new kettle, just guess I feel like I have some setbacks that I mentally wasn't prepared for/didn't expect. And jumped to fix the new equipment not my technique. Thanks for reminding me/keeping me in check. I sincerely appreciate your feedback, @wilserbrewer.
 

MaxStout

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I second that. Work on tightening up those mash temps. A couple degrees swing is ok, but not 17.

Use your experience with this brew to recalculate water volumes for next time. Boiloff can vary greatly from one kettle to the next, and having an empirical amount can help you dial in volumes in the future.

If your hops bags aren't staying submerged, weight them down with some stainless steel nuts from the hardware store.

BIAB isn't a huge leap from extract, but like any all-grain brew, some diligence is required. Keep good notes of every process and refer to them later when planning the next brew.

Hope this beer turns out well, and good luck with the next one!
 

TurnipGreen

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awesome name for the beer!

There’s always kinks to a new system. That’s part of the fun, I think anyway.
 
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irontodd

irontodd

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I second that. Work on tightening up those mash temps. A couple degrees swing is ok, but not 17.

Use your experience with this brew to recalculate water volumes for next time. Boiloff can vary greatly from one kettle to the next, and having an empirical amount can help you dial in volumes in the future.

If your hops bags aren't staying submerged, weight them down with some stainless steel nuts from the hardware store.

BIAB isn't a huge leap from extract, but like any all-grain brew, some diligence is required. Keep good notes of every process and refer to them later when planning the next brew.

Hope this beer turns out well, and good luck with the next one!
Yeah I could see a couple degrees being ok, I'm sure I had a lot more stratification at the beginning than I was used to with my old 5 gallon kettle, then overcompensated both ways going forward. I did record my boil off, and even ran some clear water through an hour boil this afternoon to confirm/backup my findings from the brew session. Wrote that down on the inside cover of my brew journal for future reference. I over estimated just thinking that living in the high desert there would be more loss. I am so used to using top off water coming from partial boil extract batches, so boil off wasn't as much a concern in the past.
I think part of my issue with the hop bags is the fact that I was actually using reusable steeping bag, which may be a bit large for what I was using it for. I ended up tossing a 10" stainless colander in it to weight it down (just as a size reference for you). Something smaller like stainless nuts would probably be easier to deal with. Thanks for the tip!
I am definitely curious as to what this batch is going to turn out like, but I am sure it will be drinkable. Just may not be the body or octane I was shooting for.
 
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irontodd

irontodd

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I had temperature swings from 142 to 159, due to not having a recirculation system, and not stirring constantly. And just using my stove burner. Haven't gotten to electronic control...YET!
Note to self. Don't blame it on the equipment, silly! Equipment doesn't make the brewer!
 

RM-MN

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I'm a great believer in the principle of KISS. Keep it Stupid Simple. So simple that there is nothing to go wrong.

Bring the water to your calculated strike temp, put the bag in and then stir in the grains (a wire whisk beats a spoon every time) making sure there are no dough balls. Put the lid on, insulate it, and walk away. Don't worry about the temperature loss, don't worry about the efficiency you might be losing by not stirring, just give it time. When your hour or hour and a half are over or when your patience wears thin, pull the bag of grains out, do some kind of sparge, be it pour over or dunk in a bucket so you get all the sugars you can, then proceed to boil.
 
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irontodd

irontodd

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Just wanted to jot this down, maybe someone can learn from my errors. As I was perusing other threads on the forum re: BIAB mash temps, it hit me. I didn't start stirring until things got out of whack. I didn't stir the strike water at a lol prior to adding grain. Stratification must have already set in. Also, I didn't throttle back my heat until I was within maybe 2 degrees of strike temp. I also didn't move the kettle off that electric burner, so as I mashed in I had water hotter than my target below the false bottom, that continued to rise in temp. As I stirred, that hotter water got mixed in and my overall temp spiked to 159 with no signs of slowing. And thank goodness for notes, I forgot I did this, I dropped my immersion chiller in to try to cool down my target mash of 154. Maybe I was tired, maybe I panicked, but overshot. By 20 minutes into the mash, I was all the way down to 148. At this point I stopped writing things down as I fiddled with the burner and the big ole spoon to get somewhere near 154. I think I started low on the burner, and that's how I got down to 142 (not enough heat input to even maintain the low temp, with the stirring, and the lid off), then gradually worked my way up on the dial till I was closer then reached a point where I ended up maintaining a consistent temp. This was 45 minutes into the mash by the time I had held temp long enough to be comfortable. Jotted that time down and continued to stir for the remaining 15 minutes of the mash.

Moral of the story at this point: stir sooner! Ensure minimal stratification of strike water. And ease up on the heat input sooner as to not overshoot.

If I can hit the right strike temp, and get the expected temp drop, maintaining mash temp "should" be a lot easier, without all the panicked fiddling I did on Saturday.

Thanks for being my sounding board on this. Root cause analysis is fun!
 

wilserbrewer

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Yep that sums it up well irontodd, if you reach an accurate strike temp you can just stir the grain in and put the thermometer away.

It’s that simple really it is [emoji106]:)
 

RM-MN

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Put your false bottom away. It is the major problem with your missed temperature as it traps water underneath. Just heat the water to strike temp (without the false bottom it won't stratify), put the bag in, stir in the grains, put the lid on and walk away. Come back in an hour or so to pull the bag of grains out.
 

wilserbrewer

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Maybe obvious but, you NEED to stir prior to taking temps. RM-MN is correct above, you don’t need a FB for basic BIAB, and in your situation it is making accurate temps difficult.

Without a FB if you need to add a little heat, heat gently and STIR CONSTANTLY.
 
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irontodd

irontodd

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Oh, this is my first beer with full fermentation temperature control. Thank goodness I never get rid of anything. I put a mini fridge to use, one that hasn't been plugged in for years. Inkbird controller and FermoTemp wrap. Since this is my first go with it, my tapejob is probably overkill. Set to 68* for the WLP001 yeast
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