I also like to brew small batches (1.5 to 2 gallons) and would be interested in a small system. I'm currently mashing in my oven and then boiling on a stovetop. Temperature control is not precise, but it's been working ok.What I want is a system like Bobby's that's able to brew batch sizes below 2.5 gallons in size. I know that's counter to the standard "bigger is better" mantra, but it's something I like to do.
Curious as to why one would not just do 1 gallon batches on their stove top.What I want is a system like Bobby's that's able to brew batch sizes below 2.5 gallons in size. I know that's counter to the standard "bigger is better" mantra, but it's something I like to do.
I bought a 10L Braumeister because it's perfect for 2.5 gallons, but the BM lacks the ability to do 1 gallon batches because the malt pipe is too tall. I had to cobble together a piecemeal system and it works, but isn't elegant. Of course I could go old school with such a small batch and mash in a cooler, etc., but why settle for that?
Curious as to why one would not just do 1 gallon batches on their stove top.
I could go on. But anyway.
- Wife uses kitchen
- Teenagers use kitchen
- All of the above are home 24x7 due to pandemic
- Prefer hanging out alone in my brewing cave basement
- All other brewing gear is in said basement
- Can't recirculate in kitchen
- Immersion chiller can't be used in kitchen
- Gas stove is less controllable than induction
I usually dangle the recirc hose into the sink. If I didn't have it nearby, I would put a hook on the end of the hose to hang on one of the kettle handles. How I sanitize that hose is typically by dangling it into the boil kettle right at the end of the boil and pump hot wort through it for a minute. Then I move on to chilling with my immersion chiller and whirlpooling. I've forgotten to do that and just put the entire hose into a bucket of starsan for a few minutes.Mainly the boil and chilling process that you said you forgot to record in the video. I'm curious about what you do with the recirc hose during the boil and how you sanitize it at the end.
I got back into brewing after a long hiatus, did about 30 extract brews and have been BIAB for about 30 since. I stretch the Wilser bag over the sides of the kettle and put an insulated "hat" (something they use to keep frozen raw dog food frozen, repurposed ) over the kettle during the mash, holds temp very nicely. Then I just hoist the bag up and let it drip for a few minutes - it's good exercise! - before proceeding to the dunk-sparge. No muss, no fuss, unless I myself am clumsy.To the “Hot sticky bag” argument. An overhead pulley is not the only way to remove the bag. See the picture below. The bag is inside the basket. After setting the basket and bag on the grating I use a pair of heavy rubber gloves to squeeze the bag. I do 5.5 gallon batches so there is anywhere from 9 to 14 lbs of grist in the bag (plus water) when I pull it. No mess, no fuss.
I have thought of trying the pulley system but my Dad always said; “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
Yeah, and how 'bout them old Mesopotamian fellers, too? That wus like 10,000 years ago, or was it ten million...I ferget.I don't know about this BIAB stuff. I'm pretty sure the ancient Egyptians used all stainless, 3V system, with everything sized big enough to produce beer for 5,000 while they were building the pyramids (although 5,000 could lift a pretty big grain bag, with the right pulley system of course).
Well said. Im just glad im not the only one. I dont even bother trying to keep mash temps constant any more. I throw the grains in at 158, and maybe in an hour or two its hovering in the mid to high 140s. My FGs are consistently under 1.008, so anyone thinks i (denatured?) the beta amylase with my high temps has some explaning to do. My beers all taste great, and similar from one batch to the next (rather anecdotally i admit).Thank you for an excellent write up on BIAB.
BIAB is very forgiving. Assuming that your crush, water chemistry, and grain bill is correct you will get good beer. I have missed my mash temperature by 5 degrees. I’ve mashed 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and over night. I’ve been anal about holding mash temperature for the a full 60 minutes and stirring the mash every 15 or 20 minutes, I’ve also stirred in the grist, checked the temperature, covered the kettle with a sleeping bag and returned 90 minutes later (or over night) to pull the bag. My OG is always with in a point or two of B.S. estimated and I cannot tell and difference in the finished product.
Bush League! That just tickled me. We're all Bush League Brewers.Likewise, when I was a baby brewer, I went to a Big Brew Day run by the club I had just joined. I spent a lot of time hovering around the 3 vessel brewers, and asking a lot of questions. There was a guy off to the side (happened to be the club prez) doing BIAB, and my first impression was: "that looks pretty bush league."
Well, I did my first all-grain with BIAB, and have stuck with it for six years. Don't feel a need to change from BIAB.
A case in point for "what seems to me" like a very typical HBT topic. Strike and mash temp management. Putting pillows and jackets around kettles. Adding cold water. Ambient Grain temps. Worrying about freezing weather out in the garage. Do i leave the lid on or off? Keep the burner on low, risk scorching my grains or worse, my bag. Maintaining constant mash temps. Is it all phooey?I've been enjoying this thread and have even learned a few new things, which I wasn't necessarily expecting having switched to a simple propane BIAB setup (no recirc) about 5 years ago after starting with Denny's batch sparge method. Over the past 1-2 years, I've been looking at upgrading to some sort of electric eBIAB system, with the hopes of removing some of the more annoying parts of my brew day - having to constantly check the temp of the strike water to get it where I want, mash temp variation that depends on the outside temp that day, the pain of doing any sort of step mash without recirc, and constantly going in and out of the house to split the time between brewing and family duties.
Regarding the Spike Solo, is this high amount of grain that makes it into the boil something you've personally observed, based on the early user reports, or something that Spike themselves has mentioned? I'd expect there to be a little more material that makes it through since the slots in the bottom of the grain vessel are probably a bit wider than what a bag would have, but more than a few ounces sounds a bit excessive to me, not to mention a few pounds. Then again, I haven't ever measured how much I'm getting with my current method. I expect this would be a similar issue on some of the other all-in-one systems with a similar design (Unibrau is another I've looked at)? Or is there another aspect of the design of the Spike that makes it more susceptible to this?
There are 2 other drawbacks with some of the all-in-one systems that I've been seeing while doing my research, that have kept me on the fence with this for so long. The first is that the systems with solid grain pipes/vessels all tend to limit the max grain bill relative to a simple bag system of the same size, and some are worse than others. The Spike seems to be the worst offender here with the tapered basket design, as they list a max grain bill of 12lbs on the 10 gal system. I'm not sure I'd want to jump up to the 15 gallon, since that seems a bit much for the ~4 gallon batches I'm usually doing (I'm a corny keg fermenter guy), but I can't imagine I'd be able to reach an OG much above 7% on that system in a 4 gallon batch. Many of the others I've been looking into at seem to do better in this regard (Unibrau, Clawhammer, Brewtools, Grainfather), but it does seem to be a drawback (especially at the ~5 gallon batch size) vs. the simple bag with a false bottom method. Of the ones I've looked at, the brewtools B40 seems to probably do the best at getting around this issue as well as the grain making it into the boil, but dang, that thing is pricey and doesn't look to be easily repaired with standard parts should a pump, heating element, or controller fail.
The other "issue" that has been a concern to me with some of the AIO systems is how they spray hot wort all around almost as if they're purposefully trying to aerate the wort (Grainfather, Brewtools, BrewBoss, Braumeister). I get that they're trying to avoid the pump from drying out the heating element and I'm not following a LoDO hot-side process, but it is something that I'd like to minimize as much as possible. I didn't realize there was actually a low oxygen kit available for the Braumeister before @Brooothru mentioned it here, but that's something I'm definitely going to have to look into that might bring that system back into consideration for me.
Obviously, these "drawbacks" aren't drawbacks of BIAB brewing itself, but I could see how someone comparing electric 3V systems or electric all-in-ones could make some arguments against a lot of the systems that are currently out there. That being said, if none of the fancy all in ones seem like they'd be a good fit for me, I'd probably end up a simple bag and false bottom before adding 2 more vessels to deal with during my brew day.
I must say, YOS is probably the easiest LoDO process to incorporate into a brew session, and as your data show, it is extremely effective in virtually eliminating D.O. in strike water. I'm definitely a believer.I dunno about that YOS stuff, the dude that came up with that is kinda sketchy.
Beta is still active at 158F, but indeed much of it has been denatured at that point. It's just that it has exceeded its most efficient temperature of ~145F. Alpha hasn't yet reached its peak temperature of 162F. Alpha will further debranch so that the remaining Beta can convert them into usable sugars.I throw the grains in at 158, and maybe in an hour or two its hovering in the mid to high 140s. My FGs are consistently under 1.008, so anyone thinks i (denatured?) the beta amylase with my high temps has some explaning to do....
... Dont sweat your temps...
...As stated earlier, BIAB is very forgiving, and unless you really screw up process, or comtaminate, a decent recipe will deliver. Even 3-4 degrees off mash temp. Its all voodoo, i say ...
I Bottle condition, so the O2 conundrum is definitely on my radar. Recently did a NEIPA and have taken steps to mitigate oxidation in the fermenter, and bottling process, by merely adding Ascorbic Acid, and a more careful bottling process. I have just bottled, and will report my 'anecdotal' evidence in this thread.I wanted to love BIAB because obviously it's a lot less complicated but sadly there is no good way to stay low oxygen on the hotside and exclude all the trub from the fermenter. So for those reasons I'm out.
Since you're already dosing with ascorbic, might as well include NaMeta and BrewTan B to make it a 'perfect trifecta'. I've found that it really helps with long term stability and perceived freshness. I dose 1.8 grams in the mash and 1.4 grams in the late boil, 3-5 minutes before adding WhirlFloc. In addition to lowering DO levels, I've been obtaining remarkable wort clarity after whirlpooling and getting very clean wort into the fermenter.I Bottle condition, so the O2 conundrum is definitely on my radar. Recently did a NEIPA and have taken steps to mitigate oxidation in the fermenter, and bottling process, by merely adding Ascorbic Acid, and a more careful bottling process. I have just bottled, and will report my 'anecdotal' evidence in this thread.
Here's an interesting graph that @day_trippr posted a few months ago that visually illustrates the point I was trying to make, and why your beers are turning out so well. You can clearly see that that the intersection of Beta and Alpha curves occurs precisely at 153F, smack dab in the middle of the "Brewer's Window" as well as the proximate midpoints of the declining Fermentibility curve and the increasing Dextrines curve. So if your strike water is 158F and your "settled water temperature" after doughing-in is 153F, you are at the perfect balance point for a single temperature mash. As long as your temperature holds at at least 147F until the end of mash, your entire mash process will remain within the Brewer's Window.Beta is still active at 158F, but indeed much of it has been denatured at that point. It's just that it has exceeded its most efficient temperature of ~145F. Alpha hasn't yet reached its peak temperature of 162F. Alpha will further debranch so that the remaining Beta can convert them into usable sugars.
Only 12 out of 33 people could tell the difference between a 1.007-4.9% ABV and a 1.023-3.3% ABV beer? There you have it, more quality data showing that nothing matters.I know Brewlosophy is a touchy subject, but they have done several mash temp tests like this one Mash Temperature: 147°F/64°C vs. 164°/73°C | exBEERiment Results! and as I see it, it is best to hit your #s and keep them stable, but within 5* is not an issue.
Latest trends = clear NEIPA?I could do my BIAB Kveik NEIPA if you want all the latest trends.