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DamnRedhead

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Looking at building a mini BIAB system to test recipes; my goal is to make either 1 or 2.5 gallon batches. I want to augment this design I saw on Short Circuited Brewers on youtube to go on a gas stovetop. This is what I'm thinking so far:

3 Gallon SS pot from Amazon (with pasta basket)
  • Stand the basket probably an inch off the bottom wtih some SS bolts
  • Put a nylon bag inside the basket
  • Add a bulkhead with an external barb and internally either a bazooka screen or dip tube
  • Add a thermowell (and probably use a digital thermometer to spot check the temperature)
When mashing: use silicone tubing to pull wort from bulkhead to small solar pump / back to top of pot

My questions... First... how will using this on a gas stovetop screw up everything? Will the heat go around and damage the thermowell or the bulkhead? I hope the bulkhead will stick far enough off the pot it won't directly harm the silicone tubing (if it's required to turn back on to reheat my mash water).

Second... how important is a smaller carboy? I have a 7 or 8 gallon stainless conical and a 6.5 gallon Big Mouth Bubbler. Obviously I couldn't use the conical, but would that be too much headroom to where all the oxygen wouldn't get pushed out and could risk infecting the beer? Should I just say screw it and get a 3 gallon carboy to go along with it?

Parts List:
3 Gallon Pot on Amazon - $36
Solar Pump on Amazon - $24
Nylon Bag - $4
Thermowell - $15
Bulkhead w/Dip Tube - $25
Misc. Parts - $15
 

RPh_Guy

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I'd highly recommend a 5 gal pot. I make full-volume no-sparge 2.5 gal BIAB in my 5 gal pot but it's a little tight.

For the hot side you don't need anything more fancy than a basic pot, a bag (e.g. wilser bag), and an immersion chiller.

1 and 3 gal Fermonsters are 20 bucks.
 

RM-MN

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Even with a sparge, a 2 1/2 gallon batch in a 5 gallon pot can be tight as you need more than 2 1/2 gallons into the fermenter to get your 2 1/2 gallons of beer.

This may be rude but you are taking a very simple process and complicating it for very little or no benefit. Get a Corona mill, set it as tight as it goes. Heat water to strike, put in bag, stir in grains, put a lid on and walk away for half an hour. Conversion is over, flavors from other grains are extracted. Efficiency is unreal.
 

LittleRiver

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If you're going to be on a stove top, where you definitely do not want to have to clean up a boilover, I would say get a pot that is 3 times the volume of the largest batch you intend to make. So a 1gal batch in a 3gal pot would be OK, but no way would I try to make a 2.5gal stovetop batch in a 3gal pot.

Why do you want to recirculate? If you plan to do a lot of step mashing then recirculation is good. If you just want to tinker with the hardware, then that's good too.

If you're not going to be step mashing, you can completely eliminate the recirculation system. You'll make excellent beer with less hassle, expense, & cleanup.

Insulate the kettle during the mash, or turn your oven on minimum and put the pot in there during the mash. Use the money you save from not buying the recirculation hardware to buy some small fermentation vessels.
 

wilserbrewer

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As said above, I would keep it simple.

Bag, pot and a heat source.

No pump, no valve on the kettle....at those volumes you can pour the kettle to fermenter or use a 1/2 gal pitcher to ladle chilled wort.

Mash temp can be kept stable by placing your mash kettle in a warm oven.....done.

Jmo
 
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DamnRedhead

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Great feedback everyone - thanks a bunch!

Why recirculate? Mainly because that’s how I’ve seen most systems work the best. No real other reason.
 

Bubman

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If you are doing 2 1/2 gallon batches get a 8 gal kettle, you'll be glad you did.

I brew mostly 3 gallons and use an 8 gallon pot with a wilserbrewer bag. No recirculation. Ferment in a 5 gal bubbler. I have 2- 3 gal fermonsters and 2 1/2 gallons were tight especially with big beers.

The 3 gal pot will be fine for 1 gal batches and as RPh_Guy said 1 gal fermonster.
 

moreb33rplz

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I BIAB on the stove and do 2.5 gallon batches. I have a 5 gallon kettle and wouldn't go any smaller for all the tea in China
 

OnePlate

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The Ss Brewtech 5.5 gal kettle is on clearance right now for 109.00. It has a dip tube and trub dam, and I do 1.25 and 2.5 gallon BIAB batches in it on my stovetop. I couldn't ask for anything more.
 
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