Small Electric BIAB System Design

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butterblum

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Hey guys, I have been brewing for a couple of years, but am looking to make some changes in the way I do things. I am currently planning on going to smaller batches (I currently do partial mashes with 4-5lbs of grain), because I don't drink my brews super quickly, and it would also enable me to toy with ingredients with less wasted beer; I am about to purchase a 2.5gallon corny for my kegerator. The one thing I also dislike about brew day is that I never feel like I have time during the 4-5 hour process to sit - I feel like I am always running around. I would like to build a cheap electric set-up geared for these smaller batches, so that I can 'set it and forget it' and be able to use brew day to get other things done. I already have a good counterflow chiller - I am assuming I would need a sufficient kettle, an electric heating element, a pump for recirculation and whirlpooling, and a controller of course. What else?
 

Smellyglove

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If you want to step mash, it will not be "cheap". If you just want to do one step infusion, then just a kettle, a heat source, and some insulation would be enough. You still have to deal with the lifting of the grain bag and let it drip though.
 

BeardedBrews

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@jalc6927 nailed it. If you are planning on small volume and don't already want PC controlled automation then grab one of the pre-made systems. Grainfather, RoboBrew, Mash and Boil, Braumeister, etc.

If you're going the DIY route some people have been using this: https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/tempcontrol_ipb16.htm to control an element in their kettle for smaller batches or RIMS. In the end you might spend more than one of the pre-built units for essentially the same funciton.
 
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