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Back Into Brewing......and The World Ha Changed!

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einnebcj

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Well, after a long hiatus from brewing (I blame my three young sons!) I am finally reclaiming some semblance of normality and 'my time'. I return to brewing wanting to go a little more hi-tech and upping the anty on the kit brewing I did before. I suddenly discover this whole BIAB business which sounds awesome and just what I'm looking (and able) to do.
Like many before me, I have read extensively and managed to confuse myself successfully - but most of this I think I'll work out. The main thing I want to get straight in my head in this first post is the 'pot.' I pulled out my largest stockpot this morning an measured it out at a tiny 15 litres - this ain't gonna cut the mustard (or the grain) as the case may be. I have no interest in kegging 60 litre batches or the likes - a standard 23 litre brew is fine by me. So I'm guessing I'm going to need at least a 40 litre pot? I know I could go two pots but this seems like extra work - two bags, halving hops, grains etc. I have to admit being a little nervous at investing a $100 plus dollars on a stockpot when I'm still in the dabbling stage. I know i could keep my eye out for second hand stock pots and i may strike it lucky.....but who knows how long that will take. Are people using other (cheaper) 'contraptions?' I've seen converted kegs with the tops cut off and also big urns. I might be able to source an old urn but I'm unsure of the size. Do people actually use the urn element or heat from a burner underneath (or have I imagined this urn theory?). I'm open to all suggestions....
On another topic - it's very frustrating to now get back into brewing and no longer have Grumpy's (Adelaide Hills) in the home brew business......just around the corner from my house! I had it sooo good for soooo long - now I'm faced with a long long drive or ordering on line and incurring additional costs with postage. Such is life!
Chris
 

RdeVjun

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BIAB you say? Easy peasy- give this a whirl and then this when you want to step up to cornie keg size batches. Probably need a slightly bigger stockpot than your 15L but its only $20 for the 19L jobbie from big double ewe.
Hope this helps! :icon_cheers:
 

vortex

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And, for local shops Brew Adelaide and Beer Belly are the go. Don't bother with Brewcraft.

www.brewadelaide.com
www.beerbelly.com.au
 

michaelcocks

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BIAB you say? Easy peasy- give this a whirl and then this when you want to step up to cornie keg size batches. Probably need a slightly bigger stockpot than your 15L but its only $20 for the 19L jobbie from big double ewe.
Hope this helps! :icon_cheers:
These guides are brilliant
Take a look
I was kind of doing a version of this a while back, but never really took it as far as nickjd and he makes some really good points ( especially around the appropriate size)
I now try to stick to only 17l into no chill container ... ( You should read up on "no chill" brewing too... ) I add 2-3 l of water into fermenter to end up with 17l into keg
Bear in mind this is a great low cost entre into all grain and can be a great way to get your process and confidence up..
the aussie beer nickjb suggests is bloody amazing and a great start ( and i usually do not like this style of beer..wait til you taste it...you'll be amazed what a complex beer this makes from two ingredients ... Ex' yeast and water )
I did this as an entre stepping stone and am still using it 3 years later
Things I like are...
you can boil on your stove ( I actually do on my BBQ side burner)
It's fast too... I can bring 14l water to mash temp in less than15 mins
I have an 8l urn which I scrounged ( was being thrown out..) I use this to heat some "sparge water" so I do deviate from nickjd's method and its not quite as simple as a strict "single vessel brew" ( but since it only has clean water in there is no clean up ... Just turn upside down and your good to go.. ( nickjd method is to chuck the bag in a bucket ... Make sure it's green though )
:D

Checkout biabrewer.info too and search "mini biab" on there...
 

RdeVjun

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Hear hear Michael! B)
If its of any interest, I'm presently rebrewing a MaxiBIAB (AKA 20L stovetop) for the Nats, (i.e. AABC)- a while ago I brewed a Wit which qualified via QABC. Being true to the method, I'm repeating it at the same scale as the original and this is the third year straight that MaxiBIAB has qualified for the Nats. For a beginner or a experienced campaigner, there's not a thing wrong with this method! :icon_cheers:
 

NickB

I haven't had a C**t all night, Drinkstable....
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Absolutely! For the minimum outlay, BIAB is a fantastic way into AG brewing. Some of us love tinkering and making things, so like out 3V, or RIMS, or HERMS (in my case) but I've done a few BIABs in the past - really easy, and the result is on par with, and in some cases, better than the traditional brewing methods...

Ralph has a beer in the Nats this year from a BIAB, I have no beers in the Nats from a HERMs... Take that as you will....



Cheers!
 

RdeVjun

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Errm, actually there's two beers Nick! :ph34r:
 

NickB

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Oh Ralph.....
 

RdeVjun

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Sorry, can't be helped buddy- militant BIABZ takez no prisonerz. ;)
 

einnebcj

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Thanks for all the replies.

Really liking the 20l stovetop thread and I think I'll go this way.

Just a couple of questions that come to mind........At the fermenting stage it says to put the fermenter in a fridge at 11C. I don't have a fridge to do this in......options?

Also, when I used to kit brew I would always rack my beer into a second fermenter. Found it an easy process, reduced scunge on the bottom and most importantly avoided putting the bit of sugar in each bottle when it came to bottling time as is would bulk add sugar when racking. I assume I can still do this? Also, I'll have to check my notes but I can't remember how much sugar I added at this point.....I guess it will be the same irrespective of the beer being brewed or the process for brewing?

Thanks again guys......appreciate the love in the room!!!

Chris

PS - I'm assuming I can use any all grain recipe for this stove top solution? I'm interested in having a go at a James Squire Golden Ale clone in the future (if anyone's got one!)
 

michaelcocks

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Thanks for all the replies.

Really liking the 20l stovetop thread and I think I'll go this way.

Just a couple of questions that come to mind........At the fermenting stage it says to put the fermenter in a fridge at 11C. I don't have a fridge to do this in......options?

Also, when I used to kit brew I would always rack my beer into a second fermenter. Found it an easy process, reduced scunge on the bottom and most importantly avoided putting the bit of sugar in each bottle when it came to bottling time as is would bulk add sugar when racking. I assume I can still do this? Also, I'll have to check my notes but I can't remember how much sugar I added at this point.....I guess it will be the same irrespective of the beer being brewed or the process for brewing?

Thanks again guys......appreciate the love in the room!!!

Chris

PS - I'm assuming I can use any all grain recipe for this stove top solution? I'm interested in having a go at a James Squire Golden Ale clone in the future (if anyone's got one!)
For the fridge thing... use us05 yeast from safale
No one will know the difference, if you don't tell I won't
Keep ferment temp below 20c
Ice blocks or old fizzy drinks bottles full of water and chucked in the freezer are your fried

Can't do links easy from phone typing...
But click the button above ( look at top of page )
See the one that says recipe db
Click that
Click the button that says rating
Top rate beer ( by country mile ) is dr smurtos jsga clone
It's a beauty read the latest notes and discussion forum for the recipe
( botttom rhs on recipe page)
A number have done this in mini Biab/ maxi Biab
I have it's bloody great ...

:D
 

Nossil

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I'm new to BIAB and after following Nick JD's BIG W pot guide a few times then I managed to pick up a 40L urn from Grays Online for $30.

No heating up extra water for sparging, no squeezing of the bag etc.

Heat water, put bag in, dump grain in, wrap urn up in old blankets, go have a couple beers, come back, hook bag up to pulley, hoist above urn and let it drip whilst urn boils, add hops, drain from urn tap into empty plastic cube, clean urn. DONE!

So easy.
If you can pick up a second hand 40L urn for <$100 go for it. They are hard to come by but just keep monitering the usual sites (ebay, gumtree, grays) and one will pop up.
 

einnebcj

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This looks good for the price..... http://tinyurl.com/8p9bds7 (it's an EBay listing - was too long for the post to cope with so created a tinyURL - nothing sinister here guys - I promise)

Free freight

Anyone see an issue with this pot that I'm missing?

Chris
 

geoffd

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I havent read the 20l stove top method, but I will say this, buy a bigger pot, you can brew less in a big pot you cant brew more in a small pot, you will become acutely aware of this if you try to do a strong beer & you'll also get peed off from having to watch out for boil overs coz you're pushing your capacity to the max.

I started out with a brand new 20l pot (transferred to plastic pail for lauter & washed pot quickly to collect the wort), later I got a 36 litre second hand & now use the 20l for mash & 36L for boil, the 20l is a limiting factor for strong beers for me; fine for normal strength. I end up getting 15-20 litres of strong wort where I'd rather get 25. same ammount of work for either batch size after all.

If you really are going to start small, try at least 25 litre, you will be thankful down the line IMO. of course you could go 30/36L for a boil tun & use an esky for mashing or BIAB, I'm just a fan of direct fire control.

You can generally pick up a 36L second hand for $150-250, about $400 new & depending on if it's got a tap fitted. Check out the buy & sell area of the forum for bargains, stuff comes up all the time.

Brew hard :super:

couldnt see your linky, just get a pot with a thick base for direct fire gas flame (to disperse heat & avoid scorching) generally a good pot is around 6mm base with aluminium sandwiched within the SS for dispersion.
 

pk.sax

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19L bigw pot. Done this twice in my short brewing life. Brew what you like. I aimed for 19-20L out of a brew at most. Always got 10-15 :p if you ignore the spill overs. Still, great beer.

Cut off keg is a great option. So is a 36L ish crab cooker from bcf. For biabing, the basket makes a very handy colander with a bit Of minor modding. Can always use a 36L pot as a mash tun in the future.
 

einnebcj

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Hmmm - just checked that pot on eBay and its a thin base -
Heavy duty
40L capacity
395mm X 395mm X 335mm (365mm top of handle)
Bottom Diameter 370mm
Thin base: 0.8-2mm

2mm - this is an issue I'm guessing....
 

Bribie G

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RdeVjun and NickJD have both published excellent stovetop pot methods on the forum.

A 40L urn for less than $300 is the other way to go, and when you think about it, if your hobby was restoring old Toranas or breeding Fox Terriers or cross dressing and hanging round the Cross that sort of money would be regarded as chicken feed for many serious hobbies. And it will repay itself in just a few months. It's basically a "turnkey" brewery in a box and with a bag, it's ready to just flick the switch.

I should know, I'm moving interstate, my BIAB brewery has been mothballed since August and I've probably spent that amount of $$$ already on slabs and wine casks (yes, oh the shame) :lol: :lol:
 

Nick JD

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My two cents consists of my oft-wailed "stovetop brewing is a great way to see if AG is for you, or not for you without spending any real money" - it only exists as a permenant brewing solution to those who drink small amounts, enjoy recipe formulation and tweakage, prefer more variety, and/or have plenty of time on their hands in which to brew.

All the equipment in the 19L gear set is reusable when scaling up except the 19L pot. At $20, that's not going to thin out your wallet any - and it makes a great decoction vessel - or even a hat for when the satellite's signals get that little bit too piercing.

That said: I reckon you would need to look really hard to find the people who've tried AG brewing and thought, "Nah, I'll pick up a Coopers Lager kit at the supermarket because it's just as good."

Spend $500 and make supurb beer. You won't look back.
 

the_new_darren

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RdeVjun and NickJD have both published excellent stovetop pot methods on the forum.

or cross dressing and hanging round the Cross that sort of money would be regarded as chicken feed f/quote]



I thought that was you
 

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