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Beginner, diving head first into BIAB

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by new2brewstu, 21/10/19.

 

  1. new2brewstu

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    Posted 21/10/19
    After waiting years to start this hobby I've finally decided to do it. A huge motivator may be the fact that nice hoppy beers cost an arm and a leg down under.

    After some research and some reading/skimming of "How to Brew" by John Palmer, I decided I'd give small batch BIAB a try. First question is, is this crazy? I know there's an art to this and there's a number of factors to control, so I totally don't mean to discredit the money, time, blood, sweat, and tears (of joy) many people put into the hobby. That said, the basics of BIAB brewing seem, well, basic provided expectations are kept in check.

    Next question is around scaling recipes. Some searching brought me to brewersfriend.com where I just did a search for a hazy/New England style IPA. That landed me on the following recipe:

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/218450/wings

    I've scaled it down through their interface which has resulted in:

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/898332/wings-ne-ipa

    Does this appear to have scaled sanely?

    Essentially, after hours of research on brewing techniques, what supplies to get, *where* to get supplies, and finding a first recipe that sounds like it would be up my alley, I'm looking for a sanity check!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MHB

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    Posted 21/10/19
    Good time for a sanity check!
    Couple of things that jump off the page: -
    You are getting >35% boil off, unlikely, 10%/hour is more typical.
    Your Recipe Calculator says 1.045 (post boil) same as SG which is shown as 1.054 so where is the 20% jump in gravity coming from?
    Interesting ingredient list, I know I could get one of the ingredients (the flaked Oats) the rest would require a lot of effort. If they are available in Australia it would be at a premium price.

    On the whole it really doesn't look sane!
    The other point I think you really need to get your head around is that you don't know what you are doing, like getting your L plates and thinking you are qualified to drive F1 because you passed the driving general knowledge test on line.
    If you are half smart, rather than just a smart arse, you will understand that brewing does in-fact require some knowledge and practice. Get the basics right, learn the basics, make some beer that tastes good, then branch out and try some more challenging recipes, when you have a few skills.
    Mark
     
    Nath151 and koshari like this.
  3. Schikitar

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    Posted 21/10/19
    That hop schedule looks way out of control, a NEIPA doesn't even need any boil additions, you can't trust the IBU measurements in software for a NEIPA, that's been my experience.

    I would suggest not doing a NEIPE for your first number of brews, if you like hoppy beers then do some hoppy pales or XPA's and regular IPA's until you get your processes down.

    If you like I'd be happy to share the recipe for a really nice Oatmeal XPA, it was the first beer I brewed when I started BIAB and it's still the best beer I've made. Perhaps you could also detail what brewing supplies (hardware) you are looking to purchase, we can help you with the list. I know John Palmer is highly regarded but AMericans approach to brewing is so, at times, unnecessarily complicated, com pared to Aussie shortcuts. Check out this guys channel, real basic, real easy - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoAhRuxJb1K-d4BBSLNX1RQ/videos?view=0&sort=dd&flow=grid
     
  4. new2brewstu

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    Posted 21/10/19
    Thanks for the initial replies. I think I’ll back off and look for a more straightforward IPA recipe since this one not only seems off, but I also don’t have the skills to recognize it either.

    RE setup, I’m starting simple with a stovetop brew (hence the smaller batch size). I’ve been looking at various starter kits, such as what’s offered at shops like The Hop and Grain and Dave’s Homebrew. Then I plan on augmenting that with a 20+ L pot, brew bag, digital thermometer, and whatever I can scrounge together to insulate the pot during mashing. For bottling I plan on getting a container or even just a second fermenter to use.

    RE recipes, is there a reliable source you’ve found for a solid collection to choose from? I’ve never had an XPA, let alone an oatmeal XPA before to know it’s something I’d like (I’m originally from the states, and had never seen an XPA before moving to AUS).
     
  5. Blind Dog

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    Posted 21/10/19
    Best advice I can give is to keep the recipes simple at least until you’re happy with a few beers you’ve made. Many of the really great beers have really simple recipes (one or two malts and one or two hops). Try a search for SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beer recipes to find one you like the look of and use that as the basis for scaling to your equipment size.
     
  6. koshari

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    Posted 21/10/19
    i have to agree with MHB here, IMO your biting off a massive learning curve. i really think you likely should concentrate on learning to walk at this point then take up sprinting a little later on. firstly your going to need a lot of gear and with the acquisition of gear comes small issues that need to be solved along the way.

    i would suggest you get your fermenting stuff sorted out first, drop a few partial grain brews first up to get familiar with dry hopping which is the biggest factor in getting the new world style AIPA/Summer ales and get a decent temperature controlled fermenting environment sorted. from here you can then decide if you will be kegging or bottling and if you choose to keg next concentrate in getting your kegging sorted. once you have sorted all of this sorted then look at BIAB.
     
  7. S.E

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    Posted 22/10/19
    I agree with the above about keeping your first recipes simple but your first question is not crazy at all.

    BIAB is very simple and you can produce good wort with a very basic understanding of the process.

    With BIAB (known as Electrim bin or Bruheat brewing in those days) I learnt to brew my first all grain beer over a weekend after buying my Electrim BIAB and a kit that the LHBS had put together. They had pre packed ready crushed grain with a bag of hop flowers (no pellets back then) and simple instructions on what to do.

    Prior the early sixties BIAB, FIAB and KIAC were about the only way for UK home brewers to produce wort and beer as the hobby was illegal so no LHBS selling beer kits and brewing gear.
     
  8. LorriSanga

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    Posted 22/10/19
    I think BIAB is a great place to start.
    As other have said simple recipe to start...do a SMASH APA or something.
    I think looking after your yeast is a biggie. 2nd hand bar fridge with a temperature control and go for it.
     
  9. Superoo

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    Posted 23/10/19
    Several valid points in this thread for you...

    - Find a SMASH (single malt and single hop) recipe and make that a few times while getting your head around the other 'little things' that need to be done when brewing.
    - Temperature control while fermenting should really be a priority for you.
    - MOST IMPORTANT - just have a go and brew something simple first, and write EVERYTHING down, you will make some mistakes, but you will learn a ton if you keep records.

    Enjoy...
     
  10. scomet

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    Posted 23/10/19
    All good advice above +

    Learn to clean and sanitise your equipment like you life depends on it! The simplest beers can taste sensational if you make them well…..

    Jump in, the beer tastes great :-}
     
  11. Truman42

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    Posted 24/10/19
    I have only ever done one extract beer and it turned out shit so I googled "How to make better home brew"and found this site and read all about BIAB. I brought a BigW 20 litre pot and brewed the "Sticks and Stones"recipe in the recipe database on this site. Its a clone of Stone and Woods Pacific Ale clone and its fantastic. I brewed it on my stove in the kitchen, covered the pot with a towel and blanket during the mash and batch sparged in a bucket. I fermented it with my fermenter sitting in a bucket of water heated with an aquarium heater (August in Melb) and when we tasted it I was hooked on All grain brewing. That was almost 10 years ago.

    So yeah as others have said start with something easy such as the sticks and stones clone and go from there. Good luck with it all.
     
  12. MartinOC

    Insert something suitably witty here

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    Posted 24/10/19
    'Gonna have to echo much of what has already been said:

    KISS is the best way to go when you're learning something new. All kudos to you for jumping straight into AG brewing, rather than going the extract route. You'll be disappointed on occasions & also amazed by the difference AG makes.

    I've lost count of the number of 50L AG brews I've hosed down the driveway because they failed, but I learned from the notes I made.

    Points to note:

    KISS!

    Make DETAILED notes of everything you do, even 'though it might seem trivial at the time - being able to go back & analyse where something might've gone wrong is going to accelerate your learning-curve.

    Cleaning & sanitation (ALWAYS a 2-step process) is absolutely essential on the cold-side & can't be skipped or emphasised enough.

    Nail your processes by thinking about it in advance. "Plan the work, work the plan" is a great mantra.

    Automated fermentation temperature control is money well-spent.

    If things go wrong (& they will...), RDWHAHB & learn from. Laugh them off & make notes for next time.

    Welcome to the Vortex!
     

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