Wilser BIAB vs The Brew Bag?

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fun4stuff

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I have both. I first bought the brew bag (kettle size) before I knew about wilserbags. The brew bag started to fray after two uses and I was afraid it may rip so I bought wilserbag at first to have as a backup... But it's all I use now. It seems to be much more durable than the brew bag, however this might be because the brew bag was a little too small for the kettle I use- maybe that caused more undue stress on it. But that's the nicer thing about wilserbags- you can get them custom made for your pot. If I had to do it all over again I'd skip the brew bag.
 

fun4stuff

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I've been very happy with my wilser bags. I got the grand slam package, the hop bags, and pulley are awesome as well. I use the hop bags for small batches for starters, and for making cold brew coffee. Multi-purpose! no unitaskers in my kitchen!
Cold brew coffee... Now there's an idea!
 

brucebeernut

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I started with the grand slam package for my 8gal kettle. I've bought some extra hop socks and hop boil bags and they are all solid! The pulley system works GREAT!
I'm getting ready to order more for a new 16g kettle eBIAB I'm starting to build.
Wilserbrewer all the way to fine BIAB brews!
 

PADave

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+ another 1 for Wilserbrewer bags. I can't say about the other, because I don't have one, but I have 2 Wilserbrewer bags, one for my 10 gallon kettle, and one for small batches, and the quality is awesome.
 

brew703

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+1 for Wilserbrewer bags. Would be nice to have straps instead of the drawstring closer.

Wilser, any chance straps would be incorporated in future bags?
 

wilserbrewer

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+1 for Wilserbrewer bags.
Wilser, any chance straps would be incorporated in future bags?

No sorry, I have absolutely no desire to make a bag with straps. While the strap handles make wonderful advertising photos, I honestly don't feel they are much benefit while brewing. Without a drawstring, one would be back to using binder clips or something else to secure the bag to the kettle, a big advantage to the draw string and cord lock design IMO.

Having the bag slip off the kettle rim during a mash is a messy problem, much less likely with a drawstring.

The draw string is plenty strong at over 200 lbs break strength and can be easily attached to a lifting hook, what could be any easier? One attachment point vs four? The straps are attached to the fabric with stitching, while the strap may be quite strong, it is stitched to rather thin voile material and is really only as strong as the stitching and fabric, kinda like attaching a chain to a paper bag lol. I have read reports of the stitching pulling or stretching on bags with stitched handles or strapping. With a draw string, the weight is spread to the entire bag, and is stronger and more durable IMO.

The strapping on a bag gives the false perception of greater strength, a BIAB bag is only as strong as the material and stitching. We have weight tested our bags and are very confident they will easily hold many times the weight of a grain bill.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=384445
Large batch BIAB
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=483965

For a smaller grain bill, or when not using a hoist, one can simply close the drawstring, and easily wrap their hand entirely around the gathered bag, I fail to see how a "handle" is needed or beneficial.

Lastly is cost. The brew bag with handles is considerably much more expensive, especially considering custom sizes or larger bags, and shipping. Wilserbrewer frequent sale pricing further spreads the cost advantage.

The design I use has been tested now for over 5 years and many, many bags, and has proven to be a success with zero failures under normal use. To start adding strapping and handles would only be a solution to a problem that really doesn't exist IMHO.

All of the above is merely my opinion and experience, some love bags with straps and handles, sorry just not for me.

Happy BIAB brewing!
* finally called into this thread that I have been avoiding due to a biased opinion :mug:
Thanks for your support!
 
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bdogg171

bdogg171

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Thanks for chiming in wilser, I wasn't expecting it due to the reason you gave, but do appreciate it, it seems your work/product speaks for itself but your statement have finalized my decision. I will eventually be ordering from you but due to the sh$t oil prices I have been laid off and now my brewing is on hold for who knows how long.
 

AllottaTrubble

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A little late to the party but just wanted to give my 2 cents on the Brew Bag. For me, and I do not have experience with the Wilser, the Brew Bag does a great job of keeping the spent grains out of my wort. The straps are actually helpful as well because when you attach them to a pulley system, they pull the bag straight up as opposed to a lopsided pull if you only had one attach point. As far as durability, I have only used about 8 times so far, but it does not show any signs of deterioration and clean up is pretty easy.

Really, I don't have any negative feedback for the Brew Bag other than maybe price. This was mitigated for me by buying during a black friday special that also threw in a hop sock.

If I decide to get another bag for a backup, I will likely get a Wilser for comparison purposes.....
 

RocketBrewer

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I own both types, and the Wilser Bag is great quality, but this is the advantage to the straps on the brew bag. I can do a pour over sparge quite easy with the spanner that I built for it. I don't use it on every batch, but it's very handy when I want to rinse the grains a little. Now, If I could only get Beersmith to allow for sparging in the BIAB mash profiles! Sorry, the picture isn't great.
20210122_105233 (2).jpg
 

odie

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My thoughts...

I use a Wilser but I still use claps on the rim to keep it from falling in when mashing in. There is enough excess height in the bag that it overlaps the rim nicely but aggressive mash in stirring can cause it to pull into the kettle a bit.

The fly sparge idea is nice. I do that as well but my Wilser is in a basket with solid sides so that holds the bag nicely for a fly sparge. Fly sparging a hanging bag is not gonna do much. Most water will just go thru the sides. It must be forced down thru the grain bed or just do a dunk sparge instead.

Recirc...I like to recirc...I do notice that my Wilser flow drops on bigger grain bills and I have to cycle the pump off to let the bag drain catch up. I've heard Wilser is about 200 micron and Brew Bag and others are around 400 micron. I use a very small recirc pump and it's still sensitive to bag flow.

As far as Wilser adding straps to your bag. I'm sure he would be willing to do a "custom" bag for you...but it will be custom for YOU so do not expect the same price everyone else is paying. It's simple business. It's additional material and time for him.
 

cajunrph

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I used a Wilserbag for my last brew. Mine came with a rope strap, I know there's a proper name for it, my memory fails me at the moment. I used it to hoist the bag. To solve the sparging issue, I am going to get an 18" bbq grate and lay it over the kettle after I pull the bag out. Set the bag on the grate and then I'll have a greater surface area to pour the sparge water on. Can't beat the value they offer. No use in spending more for something less.
 

porterguy

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Vs. 5-gallon paint strainer bags from Home Depot, about $5 for 3. They work fine and are just another option for BIAB. Obviously these are only good for 5-gallon batches, and are also limited in amount of grain they hold. I brew mostly ABV beers so it hasn't been an issue. Has held up to 12 lbs. No handles, but I just use a pulley to pull the bag, no problem.
 

marc1

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I've got wilserbrewer bags and pulleys and they're great.
The paint strainer bags will work ok to try out biab, but the voile bags have a much finer mesh and are stronger and more durable. Haven't used the brew bag, but also sounds like a viable option.
 

doug293cz

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From what I have seen in photos of the Brew Bag (including the one earlier in this thread), the handles would appear to make hooking up a hoist easier, but due to the length of the handles, you need much more vertical clearance above the kettle to lift the bag with a hoist. On the other hand, a Wilser bag can be hoisted with less vertical clearance if you use a loop of cord to cinch around the free material at the top of a Wilser bag (there's a name for this knot, but I don't remember it.) It also requires hooking up only one hoist point vs. four.

I use Wilser bags, and recommend them.

Brew on :mug:
 
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marc1

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From what I have seen in photos of the Brew Bag (including the one earlier in this thread), the handles would appear to make hooking up a hoist easier, but due to the length of the handles, you need much more vertical clearance above the kettle to lift the bag with a hoist. On the other hand, a Wilser bag can be hoisted with less vertical clearance if you use a loop of cord to cinch around the free material at the top of a Wilser bag (there's a name for this knot, but I don't remember it.) It also requires hooking up only one host point vs. four.

I use Wilser bags, and recommend them.

Brew on :mug:
That loop knot was key for making hoisting easier for me. I think the last hoists I ordered from wilser had the loops included.
 
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My kids and I have a bit of a side hustle where we do coffee and espresso at week long or long weekend events. We have two Wilser bags for making cold brew. Mike made them to fit a 5 gallon bucket. One for coffee and one for espresso. They are EXCELLENT for this. There is coffee trub because even a French Grind will include fines, but it settles quickly and the last few ounces can go through a paper filter. These bags multi task 😊
 

MaxStout

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Prusik hitch.

Wilser usually includes one with your bag order.

BTW, even if you're not using a Wilser bag, you can always make your own Prusik from a bit of cord to hoist it out.
 

RufusBrewer

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Giving a visual and tactile inspection of a bag from brew in a bag, it is quite well built. The seems are substantial and they use strong webbing to reinforce the straps and handles. I was impressed when it showed up in my mailbox.

I also have a Wilsner bag. I have no complaints with it's construction and quality.

I have not done enough BIAB batches to form an opinion or preference of one over the other. If there is a difference, I would expect it would be due to differences in materials used. Fabric, material, hole size, etc.

I would be surprised that a home brewer would be disappointed with either product.
 

matt_m

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How is recirculation and the Wilser bag? I'm pretty happy with my 400 micron Brewbag with the exception that there's a few folds from the hem at the top and where the material gathers to sew the straps that trap grain. The hem is just dumb, it should be folded the opposite direction.

I went through 2 of the 200 micron Brewbag bags in short order but I think it was my fault. First frayed I believe from using a metal spoon, second I guess was slightly damp when I put it away and it mildewed.

Height hasn't been a problem for me even though I have pretty short clearance. I have my kettle stand set up so the rim is at a comfortable height and the bag is only about 2" taller than the kettle. I hold it in place with an PT band (giant rubber band.)
 

odie

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How is recirculation and the Wilser bag? I'm pretty happy with my 400 micron Brewbag with the exception that there's a few folds from the hem at the top and where the material gathers to sew the straps that trap grain. The hem is just dumb, it should be folded the opposite direction.

I went through 2 of the 200 micron Brewbag bags in short order but I think it was my fault. First frayed I believe from using a metal spoon, second I guess was slightly damp when I put it away and it mildewed.

Height hasn't been a problem for me even though I have pretty short clearance. I have my kettle stand set up so the rim is at a comfortable height and the bag is only about 2" taller than the kettle. I hold it in place with an PT band (giant rubber band.)
My Wilser can be a bit slow flow at times (big grain bills) but I'm sure it's a much finer micron than brew bag. A "very" open false bottom will help greatly as does using a very small pump ($10 ebay 12v type). You don't need a fast/huge pump, just something to move the wort slowly over an hour or two.
 
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