Questions about BIAB and first AG brew!

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

KC10Chief

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
93
Reaction score
1
Location
Anchorage
I just ordered everything I'll need to start brewing AG beer. 10 gallon Polarware brew kettle with ball valve, thermometer, false bottom, and all of the parts to build a mash tun. Shortly after, I read about BIAB! HA! Anyways, I've been reading about BIAB and watching a couple of videos on YouTube. I am planning on doing Biermunchers Centennial Blonde for my first AG beer. Just so I'm getting this right, I'll heat up ALL of the 6.57 gallons of water to 150 degrees in my kettle and then put all of the grains in a bag and let them sit in there for an hour, right? Since I have a false bottom, I can use heat to keep it at 150 degrees, right?

Also, for the sparge, I just leave the grains in there and heat it to about 170 degrees or so, right? Pull grains out and start the boil. Correct? Am I missing something here? Thanks for any input!
 

Righlander

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
506
Reaction score
6
Location
Largo Florida
yeah the false bottom will keep it from burning the bag. also use binder clips to ensure that bag is not touching the bottom just in case. u might want to consider using 7g water. the grains absorbed A LOT more than i calculated the first time i did it, even with the drainage
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
152
Location
Kingston, GA
that's pretty much it.. except you're not sparging when you heat to 170, that's the mash out. I would suggest at least 7 gallons of water probably closer to 7.5 gallons to account for grain absorption and hops absorption along with boil off. I would also heat to about 155 then add the grains and stir for a couple minutes. then check the temp. if you're close to 150 then wrap the kettle in a blanket, towels sleeping bag.. just about anything to insulate it. you'll be surprised how well it can hold heat. check it every 15-30 minutes adjust heat as needed. stir well when heating.

oh yeah.. most importantly... RELAX you'll do just fine and make great beer
 

dcp27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
4,126
Reaction score
131
Location
Medford
no, 6.57gal is the boil size, not the mash size. general mash conditions are 1.25-1.5 qts/lb of grain, so ~3-3.5gals in this case. then using your mash ratio, you can use this to figure out your strike temp (the temp to heat your water to to get the appropriate mash temp when adding grains), which is like 165F: http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

to sparge, remove the grains from the pot and rinse with separate hot water (usually ~170F). the amount of sparge water to use is the amount to reach the correct boil size (sparge water = boil size - first runnings). the first runnings will be the mash water minus ~ 0.1 gal/lb grain.
 

iijakii

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
6,084
Reaction score
1,866
Location
Portland-ish, OR
that's pretty much it.. except you're not sparging when you heat to 170, that's the mash out. I would suggest at least 7 gallons of water probably closer to 7.5 gallons to account for grain absorption and hops absorption along with boil off. I would also heat to about 155 then add the grains and stir for a couple minutes. then check the temp. if you're close to 150 then wrap the kettle in a blanket, towels sleeping bag.. just about anything to insulate it. you'll be surprised how well it can hold heat. check it every 15-30 minutes adjust heat as needed. stir well when heating.

oh yeah.. most importantly... RELAX you'll do just fine and make great beer
:mug:

You covered it all pretty much.

BIAB is fantastic if you have a big enough pot. I have a 15.5gal kettle and a 10gal cooler MLT and I still prefer just doing BIAB. I make 8 gallon batches in my pot, biggest I've done is a 1.090 doppelbock. It was a little tough, any bigger of a grain bill and I'd have to drop down to 5gal batch or rig up some sort of sparge.

I can get mid-high 70s efficiency pretty much every time with my BIAB, sometimes low 80s. I _could_ get more if I used my MLT, but honestly cutting out close to an hour to my brewday seems worth it. Sparging seemed to take forever, but then again I think a lot of that was due to my braid sucking. Still, less cleanup is :ban:
 
OP
KC10Chief

KC10Chief

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
93
Reaction score
1
Location
Anchorage
So... if I do the BIAB, I don't put in all of the water at once? I only put in 3.5 gallons and add the rest later? Or do I put the grains in the 7 gallons of 150 degree water, then after an hour, heat it up to 170 for 10 minutes and then remove the grains?

Also, during the boil, I boil the hops for the hour required, and then remove them and continue to boil until it reaches 5 gallons? Thanks for the tips!
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
152
Location
Kingston, GA
yep.. all the water you need at once.. my last brew I used 7.5 gallons (shoulda used 8). heated it to 160, added grain and stirred for 3 minutes. temp was right at the 154 I was shooting for. covered the brew kettle with a sleeping bag and only lost 5 degrees over 90 minutes. that was in 35F outside temps.
 

NYCBrewGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
113
Reaction score
2
Location
NYC
I find I get better results with a little lower grain to water ratio - about 5 gallons per 10 lbs (or 2 qt per lb). Then I batch sparge and add the second runnings til I hit my target gravity (and hopefully target volume). My sparge is really just a batch sparge a la DeathBrewer's method or you can put the grain bag in a bottling bucket and pour hot liquor over the top for a ghetto fly sparge.

I'm regularly over 70% efficiency this way and the only limit is the size of my brew kettle.
 

Mysticmead

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
152
Location
Kingston, GA
I find that whatever works best for you is the right way of doing it.. in the end we all end up with great beer and that's the whole point right? the OP will be fine on his first BIAB, all he has to do is either add all the water up front.. or part of the water and then dunk sparge like DeathBrewer and NYCBrewGuy. just remember to RELAX
 

NYCBrewGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
113
Reaction score
2
Location
NYC
Great advice. There are a million ways to brew and in my (limited) experience, it's pretty hard to mess up. Enjoy!
 

dcp27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2010
Messages
4,126
Reaction score
131
Location
Medford
So... if I do the BIAB, I don't put in all of the water at once? I only put in 3.5 gallons and add the rest later? Or do I put the grains in the 7 gallons of 150 degree water, then after an hour, heat it up to 170 for 10 minutes and then remove the grains?

Also, during the boil, I boil the hops for the hour required, and then remove them and continue to boil until it reaches 5 gallons? Thanks for the tips!
seems as tho you can do either methods. I've never done the no-sparge way so i cant speak of it, I BIAB with the normal 1.25-1.5qt/lb and double batch sparge and get good results (78% eff avg). also, if you add the grains to 7gal of 150F water, your mash will be at 142F. you need it at 160F to hit 150F

I wouldn't remove any hops. for BM's recipe he knows his system (and most) needs about 6.5gal pre-boil to reach a 5.5 gal batch (its 5.5 so after the trub n stuff you end up with 5gal beer). if you don't kno your systems evaporation rate yet (usually ~1gal/hr) you may want to start a little under and just top off after if you end up less than 5gal.
 

RM-MN

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
14,514
Reaction score
5,270
Location
Solway
So... if I do the BIAB, I don't put in all of the water at once? I only put in 3.5 gallons and add the rest later? Or do I put the grains in the 7 gallons of 150 degree water, then after an hour, heat it up to 170 for 10 minutes and then remove the grains?

Also, during the boil, I boil the hops for the hour required, and then remove them and continue to boil until it reaches 5 gallons? Thanks for the tips!
When you have mashed the grain with the full volume of water (brew in a bag) for the required amount of time you don't have to heat the water with the grain bag up to the 170 degrees for mash out. The purpose of mash out is to stop the enzyme action on the grain but with brew in a bag, you remove the bag of grain from the mash water and the enzyme action stops right there since there is no longer any grain in the water to work on. Just suspend the bag above the kettle to let it drain out and start heating the water to boil. One less step to have to do, save a little more time and less worry about getting the temperature just right and holding it for the requisite 20 minutes.
 
OP
KC10Chief

KC10Chief

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
93
Reaction score
1
Location
Anchorage
Thanks for the advice guys! Also, when I talked about removing hops, I meant removing them after the one hour boil. I don't want to boil the hops for longer than the recipe calls for, right? So, if I boil the hops for an hour or 15 minutes or whatever the recipe calls for, I want to get them out of the wort, right? If I still have more than 5 gallons, I want to keep boiling until I am down to five gallons right? Thanks!
 

jgoette

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Messages
108
Reaction score
1
Location
Columbia
not sure if anyone mentioned the actual bag yet, but you can go down to your hobby lobby (or whatever your local craft store is) and get some 100% polyester voile and make your own bag quite easily, and not even have to worry about a false bottom to protect from burning bag.

this post right here has a great design for a bag that i use and it works amazingly
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
12,102
Reaction score
619
Location
Living free in the 603
I just picked up the grain and hops bags from the LHBS... Only a few dollars each, and they'll go through many batches. After using the hop bag, I can't imagine not using one again. So little debris in the pot that way.

I'm in the process of converting my 70 quart Coleman Xtreme (green) cooler into my mash/sparge tun... I plan on closing up the bag using butchers twine (since I have plenty on hand) and secure it to the outside handle. I also picked up a 24" mixing/stirring paddle from a restaurant supplier yesterday (along with a 32 quart pot)... I've measured the how much the pot is filled in 1 gallon increments up to 4 gallons, then in 1/2 gallon increments after that. I've also marked the paddle so that I can easily gauge where the boil is at (for volume remaining)... They had 36" and 48" wood paddles, but I didn't see the need to get those (the 24" should be more than long enough in the pot, as well as the cooler)...

I've not added up the total cost of the new hardware, but I know it's under $100 total (closer to $75-$80)... Getting some $$ for xmas helped pay for more than half of that... :D
 
Top