The easy way to drain a BIAB bag

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MagicSmoker

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I'm a relatively new brewer, and an engineer by profession, so it was inevitable that I would start tinkering with the brewing process at some point. It didn't take me too many batches before I realized that BIAB was the way to go (for me, anyway), but one step I had already come to loathe was holding the ^%$#$ bag full of grain above the pot to let the absorbed wort drain out.

The solution I came up with - after spending more than I care to admit on aluminum boiling baskets, pulleys, etc. - is fairly simple: I just drilled a bunch of holes in the aluminum lid that came with my turkey fryer. I don't use the lid otherwise - I leave the pot uncovered during the boil, and cover it with a spatter screen when it is cooling down - so I figured what the heck... I removed the handle by grinding off the rivets then drilled a bunch of holes with a step drill (aka "Unibit") so I wouldn't have to deburr them, I had hoped. Sadly, they did require deburring anyway, so I lightly and quickly "kissed" each hole with a 1/2" twist drill bit and that took the burrs off reasonably well.

Today was the first test of FrankenLid, and I am proud to report it worked quite well:

BIAB_Drain_Lid_2.jpg
 

lowtones84

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Yeah, I do something similar but not as involved. I just stick the bag on top of a pot that isn't quite big enough for the bag to slide into. Nothing usually drips over the sides because the liquid wants to drain from the middle of the bag. But I pretty much never do recipes with more than 10.5-11 lbs. of grain so I don't think my method would work as well if I had a large grain bill.

Anyhow, looks nice and looks like it will work for ya!

Edit: I still hold it for a minute and squeeze the bag a little bit, then move it over. It does involve another vessel, so I have to pour what collects into the other pot into my main kettle, but it's still much better than holding the bag forever!
 
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MagicSmoker

MagicSmoker

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As you can see off to the right in the pic there is another pot... that was from when I purchased a stock pot + strainer basket from Home Depot, thinking I could use the strainer basket as a convenient way to support the grain bag when it was dangling over the bucket. I don't use the strainer basket at all, but I do use the stock pot to "dunk sparge" the grain bag after it has drained into the main mashing/boiling pot for a few minutes.
 

Epimetheus

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A very neat job.

And thank you, it validates the way I have been brewing. I use a tamale pot exactly because those pots have a perforated disk suspended 1 1/2 " from the bottom, very much like your lid. I installed a 1/2" spigot between the disk and bottom. The bag is drained through the disk and spigot to a bucket on the floor, then I press out more wort with a random metal lid that fits into the pot. I do a small sparge with the make-up water and the efficiency is pretty good. The pot is thin walled and would probably be deformed by a high output gas burner. It is OK for electric brewing.
 
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MagicSmoker

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A very neat job.

And thank you, it validates the way I have been brewing. I use a tamale pot exactly because those pots have a perforated disk suspended 1 1/2 " from the bottom, very much like your lid. I installed a 1/2" spigot between the disk and bottom. The bag is drained through the disk and spigot to a bucket on the floor, then I press out more wort with a random metal lid that fits into the pot. I do a small sparge with the make-up water and the efficiency is pretty good. The pot is thin walled and would probably be deformed by a high output gas burner. It is OK for electric brewing.
Huh... I saw a tamale pot at Target recently (looking for other items to (ab)use for brewing) and thought it looked interesting. I'll have to give it a second look.

That said, I suspect that the wall thickness on the tamale pot I saw was about the same as my cheap turkey fryer pot... Because the top edge is rolled over I can't get my micrometer onto it to measure, though. It might just stand up to a propane burner fine. At least the ~50k btu one on the el-cheapo turkey fryer, anyway.
 

gizmodog51

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when using my mega pot i found an oven rack placed over the pot works great to allow the bag to set and drain.

racks usually are hard chromed or stainless and are designed to support lots of weight.....( 25 lbs turkey plus pan so provides good support when squeezing the bag. i have pushed down while squeezing the bag with moderate force with no issues.

usually just grab a rack from our oven.....

so far this has worked with over 13 lbs of grain.

GD:mug:
 
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MagicSmoker

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I guess everyone wants to chime in with their different approaches to draining BIAB bags... Eh, why not? Had a thread like this been around a few weeks ago I might not have wasted my money buying two different size "boiling baskets", neither of which worked at all. The BBQ grill grate was the next thing I was going to buy, but then I realized I could just drill a bunch of holes in one of the spare lids I had as a result of buying those boiling baskets (one came with a pot and lid, hence the source of the second pot in the photo, which I use for "dunk sparging").
 

ZombieBrew83

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My kettle is a Bayou Classic with a basket. I pull the bag-lined basket and let it sit on a cookie rack (similar to an oven rack) and push on the bag to help drainage. Works well so far.
 

sicklesr

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I hang mine (I do 10 gallon batches) till it stops pouring wort out, then I toss it into a 5 gallon Homer bucket with holes drilled all over. That bucket sits in a bigger bucket, and i push on it with a lid.

photo (2).jpg
 

Rake_Rocko

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hey guys. I use a fish cleaning table (it was brand new, no fish were cleaned on it) to basically smash my bag. It has a lip all the way around the table, and is slightly angled so all the liquid flows towards one end. On that end is a drain that is has a tube connected to it. So what I do is transfer my bag to the table and smash it with a homemade stainless smashing contraption. All the liquid drains into a bucket that I pour right into the kettle before its even boiling.

This is so awesome becasue I dont have to touch the sticky, and not to mention very hot, bag, and it I can drain the bag very quickly. It works so well! If anyone is interested, I will post pictures next brew day of it in action.
 

gizmodog51

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hey guys. I use a fish cleaning table (it was brand new, no fish were cleaned on it) to basically smash my bag. It has a lip all the way around the table, and is slightly angled so all the liquid flows towards one end. On that end is a drain that is has a tube connected to it. So what I do is transfer my bag to the table and smash it with a homemade stainless smashing contraption. All the liquid drains into a bucket that I pour right into the kettle before its even boiling.

This is so awesome becasue I dont have to touch the sticky, and not to mention very hot, bag, and it I can drain the bag very quickly. It works so well! If anyone is interested, I will post pictures next brew day of it in action.
something you made or purchased?

GD51:mug:
 

Vellum

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I place mine in a five gallon bucket with a bunch if holes in the bottom (essentially a huge colander) that is inside another five gallon bucket. It is pretty easy and at the price of two buckets (which I had laying around anyways)... pretty cheap. Multiple ways to skin a cat.

I like the oven grate over the pot as well but worry about dripping.
 

aiptasia

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A big assed restaurant sized metal colander works for me. I yank up the grain bag with one hand, slip the colander over the pot and set the grain bag in it to drain out. Works awesomely.
 
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