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BIAB to 3v

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Moad

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Well I have a dozen or so BIAB brews under my belt and have the process pretty consistent. I am keen to go to 3v for a few reasons:

1. Mainly I like to tinker
2. I hate lifting grain
3. Hopefully improve efficiency with a proper sparge
4. Ability to do step mashes easier
5. Less manual work
6. Having everything in one rig and a permanent setup would be nice


Is it worth going to 3v putting the fun of building and the coolness factor aside?
 

GalBrew

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I have 2 points:

1. you will still have to lift grain to fill your mash tun
2. you will have much more gear to clean = far more manual work

Not that I have any issues with 3v, I just think it will be more work. You need to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
There are plenty more things to get under your belt if you have only done 12 brews that you can do with BIAB.
 

manticle

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I think the fun of tinkering is the main point.

You can step mash with either 3V or BIAB depending on your heat source. Otherwise totally up to you and what you get out of brewing.
 

Bribie G

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3v makes some fine beers.

With BIAB in an urn with a skyhook (double block and tackle) I can easily:

  • raise bag effortlessly
  • easily do step mashes (power on and stir while the mash ramps up to desired temperature)
  • simply dispose of grain and only one pot to wash
  • you already do a proper sparge with BIAB - the sparge water is added at the beginning, efficiency will be about the same. Some methods such as HERMS can get you better eff, but 3v and BIAB are about on par.

However tinker away :)
 

GalBrew

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Tinkering is fun, I agree. Personally I am going to set up a yeast lab to 'micro' tinker, whilst retaining BIAB.
 

GalBrew

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Bribie G said:
3v makes some fine beers.

With BIAB in an urn with a skyhook (double block and tackle) I can easily:

  • raise bag effortlessly
  • easily do step mashes (power on and stir while the mash ramps up to desired temperature)
  • simply dispose of grain and only one pot to wash
  • you already do a proper sparge with BIAB - the sparge water is added at the beginning, efficiency will be about the same. Some methods such as HERMS can get you better eff, but 3v and BIAB are about on par.

However tinker away :)
I bought an electric winch thingy to raise my BIAB bag without having to do too much....GOLD (and looks spiffy too).
 

Moad

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Tinkering is the key but I think I might start with just building a stand and hoist for the BIAB setup if there is no significant benefit to 3v.

Basically I have to lift the pot off the burner up on to a stand to fill the fermenter as it is right now.
 

stm

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More manual work with 3V is the killer for me. Think of all the cleaning. The only manual work in BIAB is lifting the bag and you just need a hoist or pulley if it is an issue.
 

bum

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Gentemen, defend your systems! Or, you know, answer the question as asked. Whichever seems most important to you.

Moad, you've given the reasons you want to swap over and they seem fine - what is it that is causing your reservations?
 

mikec

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If you wanna do it, do it.
The whole BIAB vs 3V thing is irrelevant to anyone but you.

p.s. I made the switch as I too got sick of hoisting the bag.
 

Truman42

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I made the switch because..

1. I like to tinker.
2. I hated lifting the bag
3. I can step mash with a herms and get more repeatability with my brews.

But my efficiency is lower than when I biabed (Still get 70% so thats acceptable) and I have more to clean up. Although I usually have all the MLT etc done whilst Im boiling anyway.
 

JDW81

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All good reasons to make the switch except one IMHO. Efficiency with 3v won't be much different to a well run BIAB system. A fwiw I don't believe efficiency is worth getting that hung up about. If you're over 65% then you're doing it right, if you're under then work on getting that up on your current system.

If you love to tinker then power on young man and make the fanciest 3v system you can.

JD
 

Nick JD

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Moad said:
Is it worth going to 3v putting the fun of building and the coolness factor aside?
No.
 

Camo6

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Moad said:
Is it worth going to 3v just for the fun of building and the coolness factor?
Yes.
 

bum

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Moad said:
Is it worth going to 3v putting the fun of building and the coolness factor aside?
Depends.
 

Crusty

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Moad said:
Well I have a dozen or so BIAB brews under my belt and have the process pretty consistent. I am keen to go to 3v for a few reasons:

1. Mainly I like to tinker ( I used to once )
2. I hate lifting grain ( I still do, but with the pulley it's easy )
3. Hopefully improve efficiency with a proper sparge ( That won't improve efficiency. I get 80% + with Biab, do you need higher than that? )
4. Ability to do step mashes easier ( Easier if using temp control etc. Easily achievd with Biab also if you feel you need to step mash )
5. Less manual work ( Less manual work with Biab )
6. Having everything in one rig and a permanent setup would be nice ( Brew in a bag mister. You're already doing it )


Is it worth going to 3v putting the fun of building and the coolness factor aside? ( No )
 

Cosh

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I made the switch mainly due to Safety reasons, and to try something different.

I had a BIAB setup that consisted of:
- a 40L pot,
- a 4 ring camping burner with an adjustable reg
- a home made swiss voile bag
- a pulley system that I suspended off the back pergola

It worked pretty well, apart from the saftey associated with hoisting of the hot grain bag and moving the kettle post boil. I was wiped out by the 2011 floods and decided to re-build my brewery last year. I decided to go with a 3V setup for the following reasons:

- no need to hoist and then dispose of a large bag full of grain and hot water
- I wanted to build a proper gravity system to eliminate the need to move the kettle post boil
- I could add a water filter system and possibly pumps to the rig in the future.

My Dad and I built the frame from SHS; it is easy to clean and has lockable castor wheels for easy moving and storage, but:

- The new rig has a slightly lower efficiency compared to the old BIAB (70% vs 75%).
- It takes a lot longer to set-up and clean compared to BIAB.

If I had my time again, I'd probably construct a much smaller frame to suit BIAB and eliminate the mash tun and HLT altogether. I'd install an integrated pully system on the frame with a rotating arm to make draining the bag and disposing of the grain alot easier.
 

Aces High

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If you want to do some mini tinkering, build yourself a herms unit. I have a recirculating BIAB, so it can step mash & mash out easily. I have a gas fired system, so when it gets close to temp i turn off the gas and let the herms take over the heat control.

I run it via an STC1000, but you can build a PID unit with stuff of ebay (on my list of to do's) and gryphon brewing has all the stainless coil and bits you need + the little brown pumps. there are some bigger pumps around, but the brown pump has worked fine for me and I do 55L mashes (not including the 10kg of grain)

If you end up going 3V you can still use the herms there too.
 

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