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Dedicated Brew In A Bag (BIAB) Guide, Problems & Solution Thread

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idzy

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Based on recent discussion, I thought it would be worth getting the ball rolling on a thread dedicated to discussing Brew In A Bag (BIAB). This thread can be used to discuss the various nuances associated with BIAB brewing kit.

(borrowed from Chappo, thanks)
I suggest:

  • To stay on topic where reasonable (a little friendly banter is ok)
  • Purely on procedures, techniques, brewing techniques, equipment, technology and set ups.
  • Talk on recipes and results from BIAB systems
  • Photo's, drawings, scribbles of gear and set up is a must.
  • No trolling lets keep it straight, debate well, deal with facts and remain focused. Difference of opinion is more than acceptable. Calling someone out for a shooting and pissing contest isn't.
  • Advanced brewing techniques using BIAB.
  • Beginner advice on setting BIAB systems up.
  • The thread will be actively Moderated to keep it on topic.
Now this isn't an elitist thread ok. So please don't start banging that one out guys. It is however for those in the BIAB world of brewing. We don't bash on much about our systems etc as mentioned above. But it will be a place where those doing BIAB can advance and share their knowledge.


Cheers

Idzy
 

Glot

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I like to do small brews. I am not a huge drinker but am interested in different recipes.
BIAB suits me perfect.
A 19 litre Big W pot
A gas stove
some Voile
a thermometer
A solid colander
A 9 litre plastic bucket
A slotted spoon from the kitchen
Kitchen timer
scales

Not a lot of costs.

I add the required amount of water from the hot water tap. Bring it up to temp on the burner. Switch off burner. Throw my piece of Voile in and peg it to the pot rim with clothes pegs.
Pour my grain in, stopping to stir it a few times. Check temp again.
Put the whole pot in a preheated oven as that is easier than wrapping it in towels.
Give it a stir every 10 or 15 minutes and check the temp.
When done, remove from oven and sit on a towel folded in half on the floor. Gather the edges of the cloth. Lift and let it drain a bit. Take a bit of string folded in half and with one hand holding the bag up, make a noose around the bag and pull it tight. Give the bag a bit of a squeeze from the neck and then sit it in a colander resting in a plastic bucket.
Put the stockpot back onto the burner and bring to the boil. I start off with the lid on to speed things a bit but take it off when getting closer to boil. I pour the contents of the bucket in and leave the bag of grain in the bucket to be dealt with later.
I measure my hops out ready. Having the different additions in different cups. At the correct time, I just throw the hop pellets into the wort. When the boil is complete, I give the under side of the lid a light spray with sanitiser and wait a couple of minutes for it to do it's job. Turn off the burner. Sit the lid on for 5 minutes for the pot rim to cool a bit. Put two over lapping layers of cling wrap over the top of the pot and sit the lid back on. I also put a sanitised thermocouple sensor into the wort. I then sit the whole pot in a plastic tub of water, plug my thermometer into the sensor and go start cleaning up. Every 5 minutes or so, give the cooling water a stir with my hand. When it feels fairly hot, replace it. I do this one more time then on the third go add some ice bricks. By lifting the pot I can give it a gentle swirl to speed cooling. Once close to pitching temp, either prop the pot on a slant or do a proper whirlpool. Then pour the boiled wort into a fermenter from a bit of height to aid aeration. Depending on my mood as to wether I make the effort to hold back the break material or just let some or all go into the fermenter. I usually try limit the amount going in otherwise it combined with the yeast cake covers the tap on the fermenter. Pitch the yeast. Seal the top with two layers of cling wrap at 90 deg to each other.
So, how simple is that? Maybe not the best method but a small cost outlay and easy. Everything post boil is sanitised and any rinse water has been pre boiled and bottled.
 

Glot

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Because I make smaller batches, I just type a recipe into Brewmate using the original volumes etc. Then adjust to the volume I want. I can then just print it out.
 

hoppydog

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I highly recommend a stainless mesh brew bag for larger brews. I tried to attached a photo, but I have no idea how to do it in this format. Preformed mesh, 0.3 mm wire at 0.55 mm openings, 304 stainless. 70 litre capacity. It holds its shape, even when full of wet grain.
 

Phoney

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hoppydog said:
I highly recommend a stainless mesh brew bag for larger brews. I tried to attached a photo, but I have no idea how to do it in this format. Preformed mesh, 0.3 mm wire at 0.55 mm openings, 304 stainless. 70 litre capacity. It holds its shape, even when full of wet grain.
Where do you buy them from?

How do you squeeze the grains?

What are it's dimensions?
 

Porkchop

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Same as above. I'd love to know where to get one
 

Porkchop

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Need advice. I have done 1 biab in this set up.ImageUploadedByAussie Home Brewer1408785185.696543.jpg
But I have just bought a ss pot and basket and was wondering if it would be at all beneficial to keep the gain separate to the urn to prevent the grain getting too hot. ImageUploadedByAussie Home Brewer1408785453.798072.jpg
 

timryan

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Anyone using the jet burners? Keen to find out people opinions?
 

OutbackNash

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Anyone using Keggles for their BIAB setup? I'm pretty keen to convert one but my grandfather was saying a keg could be quite hard to clean between brews. How big is the risk there?
 

sunovagun

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OutbackNash said:
Anyone using Keggles for their BIAB setup? I'm pretty keen to convert one but my grandfather was saying a keg could be quite hard to clean between brews. How big is the risk there?
Risk = 0

I converted a keg about a month ago. 3 brews later and wish I did it earlier.
Cleaning is a non issue, as you'll be cutting a whole in the top, there is nothing restricting you cleaning the inside.
 

homebrewkid

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I have a keggle that i cut the top out of to suit a glass lid i got from kmart, 32cm from memory.

The keggle has a lip all around the edge now and im thinking that the bag might snag on it, what would be the best shape bag to make to minimize catching up on the rim?

Whats a good way to siphon the wort, i cant be bothered putting a ball valve in at the moment.

Is a 3ring burner enough for a standard 20ish litre batch?

Been planning on doing this for years its about time i done something about it.


Cheers.
 

goatchop41

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homebrewkid said:
The keggle has a lip all around the edge now and im thinking that the bag might snag on it, what would be the best shape bag to make to minimize catching up on the rim?

Whats a good way to siphon the wort, i cant be bothered putting a ball valve in at the moment.
1) Just smooth it down as much as you can so its not an issue?

2) You can just use a length of silicone tubing to siphon. I did this for a year before installing a ball valve on my urn (it is a Birko model that doesn't have a tap). I would boil the tubing in a seperate pot beforehand, do a 10-20 min whirlpool then siphon out the still very hot (>80oC) wort into my cube/fermenter
 

homebrewkid

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goatchop41 said:
1) Just smooth it down as much as you can so its not an issue?

2) You can just use a length of silicone tubing to siphon. I did this for a year before installing a ball valve on my urn (it is a Birko model that doesn't have a tap). I would boil the tubing in a seperate pot beforehand, do a 10-20 min whirlpool then siphon out the still very hot (>80oC) wort into my cube/fermenter
Yes ive smoothed it out so hoping its not going to be a problem.

Now just have to go shopping for some ingredients to make up my first batch.
Decisions decisions now.......
 

TunsVanZandt

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Hi everyone,

Long time listener, first time caller. Posting here as I don't have privileges to start a thread in the Equipment forum.

About to pull the trigger on a modest BIAB setup from Cheeky Peak. Looking at either the 36L or 50L mash tun single vessel packs and can't decide if it's worth the extra $50 to upgrade to the 50L. Factors to consider are:

- I don't brew a heap and don't drink a heap. A 23L final volume is generally a-ok with me. I could only realistically see utilising the full 50L capacity to re-create a tried and tested thoroughbred in a larger volume.
- I'd like the option of upgrading to a 3V setup one day, space permitting. Will the 36L bite me in the behind when that day arrives?
- Seriously looking into a kegging setup once the BIAB is up and running. To my amateur mind it's probably unrelated, but maybe the experienced heads have encountered changes to how much volume is desired once kegs are in the mix?

Cheers!
 

Paleman

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Hi everyone,

Long time listener, first time caller. Posting here as I don't have privileges to start a thread in the Equipment forum.

About to pull the trigger on a modest BIAB setup from Cheeky Peak. Looking at either the 36L or 50L mash tun single vessel packs and can't decide if it's worth the extra $50 to upgrade to the 50L. Factors to consider are:

- I don't brew a heap and don't drink a heap. A 23L final volume is generally a-ok with me. I could only realistically see utilising the full 50L capacity to re-create a tried and tested thoroughbred in a larger volume.
- I'd like the option of upgrading to a 3V setup one day, space permitting. Will the 36L bite me in the behind when that day arrives?
- Seriously looking into a kegging setup once the BIAB is up and running. To my amateur mind it's probably unrelated, but maybe the experienced heads have encountered changes to how much volume is desired once kegs are in the mix?

Cheers!
Ive just started BIAB and got the Cheeky Peak 50 litre. So glad i did, because i would have struggled to get 23 litres with a 36 litre kettle. My total mash in water has usually been around 35 litres for anything over 1050. I don't sparge as yet. I'm waiting for a basket, the bag is a pain in the ar*e.
 
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