My new compact - semi BIAB setup

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
So I've been brewing BIAB for while now, but have been having trouble holding mash temperatures during the colder months. I've recently changed setups with the aim to accomplish 2 things: hold mash temperatures consistent and minimize my space requirements.

This is what I came up with:


-I heat my strike water in the kettle, pump it up to the cooler and mash BIAB style in my cooler - full volume, no sparge-no mashout.
-Gravity drain mash tun to kettle, while the bag is still in place
-Proceed with boil

I brewed using this method for the first time this weekend, mash efficiency was 78% - I'm very happy with that :rockin:

The stand is very compact and sets up and tears down in literally 20 seconds. Each shelf is rated for 250lbs and the whole thing is powder coated. By not pumping wort I save cleanup of the pump, and by using BIAB in the cooler mash tun cleanup is a breeze.

IMAG0454.jpg


IMAG0457.jpg


IMAG0458.jpg


IMAG0455.jpg
 

gizmodog51

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
240
Reaction score
12
Location
deland
nice set up with the folding shelves.

what size are your pre-boil volumes?

i'm thinking this could work for me for small 5 gallon batches...

gd51:mug:
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
Preboil volume is ~30 liters for a 5g brew - I normally aim for 22 liters into the fermenter.

I brewed a 1.066 American Brown this weekend and still had lots of room in the cooler and kettle (it's a 15g kettle and 70 quart cooler).

If you wanted to brew a really high gravity, you could follow a traditional batch sparge method by just draining the first runnings into a bucket, transfer sparge water to cooler, dump bucket into kettle and drain second runnings. My main reason for using the bag is the ease of cleanup; no scooping hot grains from a cooler..just dump them out of the bag.
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
This is the bag I use for mashing; custom fit to the cooler. I'm going to use bungee cords underneath the cooler from handle to handle, to hold the bag in place when mashing in.

mash.jpg
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
Could you post links to the shelves and bag? Great compact setup!

The bag was actually made by my girlfriend, she's been making them for many of the members in our local brew club.

http://brewnosers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1679

I purchased the stand from Canadian Tire, but they are also available from other stores such as Amazon.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brow...rigami+Medium+3-Shelf+Organizer.jsp?locale=en

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003KWKYO2/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
I took a couple short clips from my brew day today. The first one shows the bag in use - draining the cooler mash tun with the valve wide open. No vorlauf, no sparging, no lifting of the bag, and no scraping grains from the tun.




The second is of the 20 second tear down of my stand

 
Last edited by a moderator:

LTownLiquorPig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
483
Reaction score
22
Location
Lawrencetown
Hey Jimmy, this is exactly what I've been looking for. I live way down the Valley (Lawrencetown) so have been focusing on kit and kilo, but a Noble Grape just opened up in Coldbrook, and I'm thinking BIAB might be the way to go. Does the cooler need to be 70 quart, or does smaller work?
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
Hey Jimmy, this is exactly what I've been looking for. I live way down the Valley (Lawrencetown) so have been focusing on kit and kilo, but a Noble Grape just opened up in Coldbrook, and I'm thinking BIAB might be the way to go. Does the cooler need to be 70 quart, or does smaller work?

The cooler doesn't need to be 70 quart, but the size does matter. You need enough room for all your grain, plus some/all of your water (adding all your water at once makes for an easier/quicker brew day). You can see how much room I had in the cooler in the video; that was with about 11lbs of grain and 34 liters of water.
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
I've got to say...I'm loving this new setup. Of the 3 methods I've tried (3 vessel, single vessel BIAB, and this), I'm definitely finding this to be the best trade-off for an easy brew day. I only have a few brews in on this system, but it's been a few problem free brew days..that's a big deal to me haha :ban::mug:
 

nbrack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
91
Reaction score
4
Brilliant! I have been looking at doin a BIAB on my turkey fryer next but have been worried about holding the temps out in my garage during the winter. This looks like a great way to do this. Where does one go to get a bag or the material to make one? I have been looking at the 10 Gallon 3 piece round cooler system from NorthernBrewer.com. Not sure how to go about the bag part.

Edit: I just noticed your link. Thanks!
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
Brilliant! I have been looking at doin a BIAB on my turkey fryer next but have been worried about holding the temps out in my garage during the winter. This looks like a great way to do this. Where does one go to get a bag or the material to make one? I have been looking at the 10 Gallon 3 piece round cooler system from NorthernBrewer.com. Not sure how to go about the bag part.

Edit: I just noticed your link. Thanks!

I think you would find it works quite well for the colder weather. The whole reason I went from single vessel BIAB to this 2 vessel method was for that reason. I was finding it to be too much trouble to constantly watch my mash temperature and add heat as necessary. I typically mash in, leave and go for groceries, then come back and start my boil - sometimes this could mean a 3hr mash. A 3hr mash in a keggle without adding heat doesn't hold temperature very well! The cooler has solved that problem, along with eliminating the need to lift the bag of grain out of the pot.:rockin:
 

nbrack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
91
Reaction score
4
Now I am rethinking even getting the HLT and Mash Tun from NB. Might just go get a big rectangle cooler and use your method. This makes so much sense to me, especially with the option of your batch sparge technique.
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
Now I am rethinking even getting the HLT and Mash Tun from NB. Might just go get a big rectangle cooler and use your method. This makes so much sense to me, especially with the option of your batch sparge technique.

If you have any questions, there's been lots of discussion about the bags/methods over here http://brewnosers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1679

As for the HLT & mash tun, that's all personal preference...my personal opinion is that they are unnecessary, though some people like the 3 vessel setup. I did it for a year, and found it to add unnecessary steps, caused more loss in the system, and made for a longer brew day (and a lot more cleaning). I like brewing, but I also like my free time..that's why this hybrid BIAB method worked for me.
 

nbrack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
91
Reaction score
4
I was reading in How To Brew last night that Palmer recommended adding the grain to the mash tun, then slowly introducing water to it so that it is not shocked (?). Is this an issue at all using this procedure? Are you just heating up the water, pumping it to the cooler, then adding the bag then the grains slowly?
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
I was reading in How To Brew last night that Palmer recommended adding the grain to the mash tun, then slowly introducing water to it so that it is not shocked (?). Is this an issue at all using this procedure? Are you just heating up the water, pumping it to the cooler, then adding the bag then the grains slowly?

I just transfer the water to the cooler, place the empty bag inside and let the temperature of the cooler stabilize for about 5 minutes. I then dump the grain in and stir. Also, by using the full volume of water required, your strike water temperature is significantly lower than the traditional method (it's only about 5*C higher than your mash temp), and there's less concern of dough balls.
 

LTownLiquorPig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
483
Reaction score
22
Location
Lawrencetown
This is exactly the set up I'm going for Jimmy. Going to get an electric kettle built and go from there. Just set a goal of drinking my first all grain Thanksgiving weekend next fall. I'll likely join Brewnosers and hit you up for a bag or two through there!

Do you crush your own grain or does Noble Grape do it for you?
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
This is exactly the set up I'm going for Jimmy. Going to get an electric kettle built and go from there. Just set a goal of drinking my first all grain Thanksgiving weekend next fall. I'll likely join Brewnosers and hit you up for a bag or two through there!

Do you crush your own grain or does Noble Grape do it for you?

Sounds good.

I crush my own grain - picked up a barley crusher from Hop Dawgs, though Noble Grape will crush them
 

dog_gone

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
87
Reaction score
17
Location
Eugene
This is exactly what I've been looking for, Jimmy. Thank you!

I've been trying to find a process that will minimize my investment in equipment while providing me with the flexibility to do both 5g and 10g batches. I think a 15 gallon SS brew kettle with an 80-100qt cooler combined with your 2-vessel BIAB method may be the perfect answer.

The Origami rack is a nice idea, too.

Thanks again!
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
This is exactly what I've been looking for, Jimmy. Thank you!

I've been trying to find a process that will minimize my investment in equipment while providing me with the flexibility to do both 5g and 10g batches. I think a 15 gallon SS brew kettle with an 80-100qt cooler combined with your 2-vessel BIAB method may be the perfect answer.

The Origami rack is a nice idea, too.

Thanks again!

Hopefully it works out for you. Here's a video I did during one of my recent brew days. It's shows every step of the brew up until chilling the wort...

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mabowden

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Location
Fullerton
I know I'm resurrecting the dead here, but I just wanted to say thanks Jimmy B for this great set up and instructional videos. I just started brewing extract and was already thinking about AG, but I didn't want to spring for an entire laundry list of must-buy items.

This setup looks perfect for me and the space that I want to use towards homebrewing. It saves a lot of time and minimizes a lot of the negative aspects to AG. I will definitely be using this method after a few more extract batches!
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
I know I'm resurrecting the dead here, but I just wanted to say thanks Jimmy B for this great set up and instructional videos. I just started brewing extract and was already thinking about AG, but I didn't want to spring for an entire laundry list of must-buy items.

This setup looks perfect for me and the space that I want to use towards homebrewing. It saves a lot of time and minimizes a lot of the negative aspects to AG. I will definitely be using this method after a few more extract batches!


Thanks for the feedback.

I'm still using this method and still very happy with it.

I've done 10g on it by draining the first runnings into the kettle, and sparging with hot tap water straight from the faucet. My mash efficiency actually came out a bit higher than normal (~80%).

My recent 10g wheat - pre-boil. It's a full one!
file.php
 

beersk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
1,654
Reaction score
692
How's your crush? Do you crush pretty fine? Nice setup and process! Best of both worlds. I'll definitely be doing this if the braid I have currently in my 36qt Xtreme doesn't work out. Or maybe just for a change down the road. My mom can sew really well and would make me an awesome bag, customized
 
OP
OP
J

Jimmy_B

Banned
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
10
Location
Halifax, NS
I never adjusted my crush from my 3 vessel setup that was I was using a false bottom on. My first batch with this method was almost 80% efficiency, so I didn't see the need to crush any finer.
 

borealis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
112
Reaction score
4
Location
northern new york
I like the looks of this setup a lot, but am wondering what the advantage is of a bag in the cooler rather than a braided hose like a batch sparge. Maybe it is just personal preference.
 

beersk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2013
Messages
1,654
Reaction score
692
I like the looks of this setup a lot, but am wondering what the advantage is of a bag in the cooler rather than a braided hose like a batch sparge. Maybe it is just personal preference.

I think it may be personal preference, but this really is like combining brew in a bag with using a cooler setup. I use a braid currently, crush pretty fine and don't get stuck runoffs. It's just a different way to go about it.
 
Top