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BIAB. The next step

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amcqueen

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Hi guys

Well I have made the plunge and bought some equipment from the brew shop and am going to attempt biab for the first time in a few weeks.

I have taken a few photos. It's basically a 50 litre pot with a 2000 w elements inside. I played around with it yesterday to see how the temp controller would go holding it at 65 degrees with about 30 litres of water.

It worked beautifully but took a while to get to that temp, and it really struggled to get a boll. I have a few questions which I hope someone can provide some guidance on.

1: would it be possible to buy a gas burner and when I want a good boil. Fire up the gas? Instead of using the electric element? I'm figuring the element is good for holding a mash temp (I also have a fakes bottom.

2: can you hold temps with the element whilst mashing provided the false bottom is there to prevent the bag burning. Also will this affect the mash? (Enzymatic conversion?)

3: get another element and pray I get a good enough boil.

I'm seriously keen to try the rig as soon as I can but want to get the best out of equipment.

By the way. Love the new look forums, it makes posting from an iPad sexy ;)

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stux

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Get yourself an over-the-side element.

That will help you get to temp faster, and have a vigorous boil.

But the simple first alternative is to float a stainless steel bowl on the wort surface. This will probably allow you to boil.

Wouldn't bother with gas
 

potof4x

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Mate my suggestion would be to get some form of insulation happening. Whether its blankets, camping mat whatever.

It should help both with your boil and maintaining mash temps.

Using the element to maintain mash temps is a possibility, though not necessary with good insulation. I use camping mat on a fifty litre keggle and lose 1.5 to 2C over a 60m mash.

I used to use a 2 ring burner and 2000w element to speed things up, but the 2000 w could boil by itself at a pinch. Using a bigger gas burner now so the element is waiting for the next empty gas bottle situation.
 

wbosher

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I use a three ring gas burner with a standard BBQ regulator on my 50L pot, boils nicely. :)

When mashing, I just wrap it in blankets and that holds the temp quite well. Over 90mins, it drops by about 1 or 2 degrees.
 

adz1179

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yeah i do the same as wbosher. for the mash i cover my 50l pot with a sleeping bag. holds for 90mins with 1-2 deg loss max.
 

Dan Pratt

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Having been down that path of maintaining heat for the mash i would suggest insulation before going gas burner or even another element.

If you have a Anaconda store nearby or any camping place, you can generally find camping mats for $10 each that can be wrapped around the Mash Tun, grab a couple and get a thick insulation, hold them on with ockey straps or something like that. You can leave these on for the boil and it will help you achieve what your after.

my 2c :)
 

wbosher

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It seems to me that the OP is having trouble bringing it to the boil. Not much good having all the insulation to get a good mash (although important), when you can't boil it afterwards.
 

angus_grant

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angus_grant said:
A friend told me about a kitchen warehouse place (on the corner of Tooheys road and Evans Road in Moorooka in Brisbane). Went there and they had one remaining SS bowl(although very thin) in the exact size I needed. And for the princely sum of $15 including 15% discount).

10 minutes with the dremel and voila: spanky new hood for my brau-clone


I was getting some bits and pieces from CraftBrewer and took a video in of the boil. Ross had a look and said it was fine. He also mentioned that the hood was allowing enough steam out to not worry about DMS (it is actually about the same dimensions as the BM hood) so at this point, I will not be worrying about drainage for the hood. Simplifies things somewhat although I will have to work out a "condensation return system" as the pot allows dripping down the outside of the pot. This will be easier than a drainage system though. Done...

Also drilled hole in the pot for one of the stainless skin fittings and fitted brown pump and 3-piece ball valve and then cam-lock fittings. I may look at doing a recirc BIAB run for the first run, but my initial thinking it to keep it as simple as possible so probably just normal BIAB. Will need tweak some changes for my PID temp control processes (running ferment fridge at the moment) to control the mashing process before I can do the BIAB though. This will also require making some hardware changes (extra temp probe plug plus extra power outlet) to control Brewton

Progress is finally being made....
My domed lid for my single vessel build. Same problem: 2400W element and very gentle rolling boil (bubbles barely breaking the surface). I have camping mats as insulation and still very gentle boil. The diameter of my pot was too big resulting in energy losses. Adding the domed lid solved my problems. Lid was a cheap $15 stainless bowl that I cut the bottom out of.
 

MastersBrewery

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you could do what I do and get an over the side element, and use it together with the installed element, if the boil is then too strong get a cheap dimmer switch evilbay
 

Bribie G

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Lag lag lag.

I've been BIABing for over 4 years and just use a sleeping bag kid's size and then wrap it in Clark Rubber metallised rubber stuff and secure the whole thing with a couple of bungee cords. Very little temperature drop.

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amcqueen

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Hi guys

Thanks for the pointers. I think I will use an over the side immersion element. Bought one online so should be here in a few days. I'm thinking that the boil will be significant with two heating elements (4400 watts)

I'll have one on a temp controller to hold the mash temp to remove the need to insulate it etc... It has a false bottom so I can't see it affecting the mash if it needs to fire up to bring it back to 65 say.. Thoughts?

Cheers
 

jakethesnake559

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Hi,
Awesome looking setup!!

I would say you are better off insulating the mash as mentioned above than applying heat.
I stir the mash as I add the grains which ensures there is a pretty even temp throughout.
Insulate it with a camping mat and kids sleeping bag (kmart spec) and you will only lose a degree or two over 90 mins.

If you apply heat during the mash, you might want to stir it at the same time to evenly distribute the heat.
Without stirring, you may be introducing hot spots in the mash around the element and lower grain bed.
That's my thoughts...

Happy brewing!!
Jake.
 

angus_grant

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I can't see where anyone has mentioned this but you can only run a max of 2400W on a single powerpoint and for the 60/90 minutes boil time you are relying on the fact that no-one else is going to switch on a kettle or some other high-draw device because thatg is going toi trip your circuit breaker (drawing too many amps).

Normal powerpoints are only designed to draw 10A through them, and most normal circuits are only designed to draw 10A through them.

So you will have to plug the two elements into two separate circuits in your house to run them and hope no-one uses anything on those two circuits. I am assuming you don't have a 20A power-point in your house somewhere...

For example, running my boiler with 2400W element on the same circuit as my beer fridge will trip the 10A breaker in my powerboard if fridge turns on.
 

stux

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Actually, 'normal' circuits are 16A, it's the power points which are limited to 10A.

The power board has a 10A breaker so it doesn't overload the GPO not the circuit.

If your brew fridge trips your circuit then perhaps speak to your electrician, you might have the wrong breakers on the circuit.
 

angus_grant

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yeh, I knew the wiring was over the 10A but wasn't quite sure on the rating so figured I'd recommend 10A. And from my understanding you can't wire up a 15A powerpoint on standard wiring?

My boiler was running (2400W element so pulling 10A) and ferment fridge were both running. Then the ferment fridge kicked in and that's when the circuit breaker tripped.
 

hellbent

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I do my mash by sitting the mash kettle onto a heat pad and monitor it with my built in temp gauge, works great for me and lets me easily stir the mash during mash time,.
Is there an argument about using a heat pad? I don't see a lot of people using them and I don't know why..
 

Bribie G

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My 2400W urn runs happily on the same circuit (although different power socket) as my three fridges in the garage, but if I use my OTS element as well, I plug it into another circuit (garage tilt-a-door socket is handy).
 

stux

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I do my mash by sitting the mash kettle onto a heat pad and monitor it with my built in temp gauge, works great for me and lets me easily stir the mash during mash time,.
Is there an argument about using a heat pad? I don't see a lot of people using them and I don't know why..
Does the heat pad provide enough power to maintain mash temps? Are we talking a homebrew style heat pad?
 

wbosher

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Stux said:
Does the heat pad provide enough power to maintain mash temps? Are we talking a homebrew style heat pad?
I find just wrapping up in blankets is enought to maintain temp, losing maybe 1 or 2 degrees. I guess adding even a standard brewing heat pad to the mix, may reduce even that small loss by a little.
 

hellbent

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Stux said:
Does the heat pad provide enough power to maintain mash temps? Are we talking a homebrew style heat pad?
I mash at 66c, I use no blankets, I just put the lid on the kettle then sit the kettle on the homebrew heatpad ( yes a homebrew pad.) With careful monitoring of the built in thermo and by turning the heatpad on or off I lose near enough to nothing during mash, although I must qualify I have only used this method over the summer months and will prob get a kids sleeping bag for winter cover.
 

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