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motorhead

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Hello,

Kit brewer here from Melbourne, who is ready to switch up to BIAB. I've been using kits for a few years now. Learnt from my brother in law, and probably picked up a few bad habits along the way. I've been watching youtube videos on BIAB and really interested to get a pot and start. (As soon as I've bottled the stout that's fermenting now :D)

I'll be asking a bunch of dumb questions along the way, so be nice.

CHEERS!
 

iralosavic

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Hello and welcome! What size pot are you aiming at (and what volume are you hoping to produce per batch?)
 

motorhead

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Thanks mate!

Been looking at a 50L pot, hoping to make a 20ish litre batch - I only really have the room for the 1 fermenter, so would like to make good use of it.
If that's a bit unachievable on my stove, I'd understand as well.
 

iralosavic

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Yeah there's no way you'll do a 20L batch on a regular stove. Some people will advocate brewing a higher concentrated wort and diluting it in the fermenter, but I would just go full volume personally.

I've done BIAB both with a weldless electric element and with gas, so I can give you my personal feedback on both. The keg king element (2200w) was a bad buy. The heat density is not suited to boiling wort - you're better off paying a bit more for one of those more wire looking elements that have a much lower heat density. I had a lot of problems with burning and charring and ruined a lot of batches with ash tastes. It also lacked the power to reach the boil and I had to come up with some ghetto solutions (floating a cake tin to reduce surface area).

I'd recommend something like this http://www.ibrew.com.au/products/heating-element-2400w instead (no affiliation). The extra 200w will go a long way and the design of the element won't cause burning.

I wanted to move to 3V eventually and converted that vessle into a HLT (which it works fine for) and did a few transitional BIAB brews on a big italian spiral burner. My opinion is gas is the most awesome for BIAB - no false bottoms or messing about, making step mashes possible with ease, but electricity is way cheaper to set up and requires no gas refills.
 

iralosavic

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If you Google "keg king" (no affiliation), give them a call and just buy a keg as a 50L pot! They sell un-reconditioned second hand kegs for around $50. I'm fairly retarded with my hands and easily managed to angle ground the top off and drill a hole for a tap and another for the element.
 

wbosher

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I use a 50L stockpot (40cm x 40 cm diameter), and a three ring gas burner. This does 23L no problem at all, does take quite a while to get up to the boil, but once there it's no problem.
 

iralosavic

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A stock pot would probably be cheaper to rig out with hop debri filtration (as you can just whirlpool it, whereas you will struggle to whirlpool in a keggle), but will cost you at least 3 times as much vs the $50 keg. Decisions, decisions. Oh and a big burner and 2x 9kg gas bottles will set you back around $200 vs $60 for the electric setup. Plus a ball valve ~$25.

My Italian Spiral burner has done around 8 brews (average of 70minute boils) without feeling close to being empty. Also bare in mind that a 2400w element will consume the entire power output of a typical outlet, so you'd need a different outlet to plug other devices into if you're upgrading to temperature control etc.
 

Bribie G

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We're assuming the OP is a poor-ass down on his luck alco striving to get into hootch making as cheaply as possible :p

How's about a 40L electric urn, $250 from CraftBrewer or check locally with HB suppliers / hospitality suppliers.

Take it out of the box, get a square of Swiss Voile and it's plug and play. Or turnkey as they say nowadays.
 

motorhead

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Thanks for the advice guys.

I'm on a bit of a budget at the moment, so a smaller investment would be good. I should be able to turn on both gas jets on the stove top as well. The pot looks big enough to reach them.

Also, storage is a bit of a premium as well. I don't think my missus would appreciate a keg sitting in the house too much :D
 

motorhead

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How'd you know? The middle of the day posting on a homebrew forum :D


Bribie G said:
We're assuming the OP is a poor-ass down on his luck alco striving to get into hootch making as cheaply as possible :p

How's about a 40L electric urn, $250 from CraftBrewer up the road.

Take it out of the box, get a square of Swiss Voile and it's plug and play. Or turnkey as they say nowadays.
 

iralosavic

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Concealed element urn would get my vote for best option upfront actually. Like Bribie says, it's as straight forward as it gets and allows for step mashing too.

If you want to brew on the stove top for now, then you can choose between doing two concurrent 10L batches in two 20L pots (I wouldn't recommend trying to get a 40L pot over two burners) or just doing half batches until you can revisit the above options.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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iralosavic said:
Yeah there's no way you'll do a 20L batch on a regular stove. Some people will advocate brewing a higher concentrated wort and diluting it in the fermenter, but I would just go full volume personally.
This is blatantly wrong.

I've brewed all my beer on the stove, the largest I've done (on a ceramic electric stove) is 38L of Bitter at around 4%. No high gravity BIAB either. My 'usual' batch size, all on the stove, was 25L.

Beer won awards, so no quality issues as well.

@OP - do a search for 2 pot stovetop method with ghetto lauter. You can alter the system to what you already have, but for around $50 and with even an average stovetop, you can make a full sized batch of AG beer.

I'm in the process of milling for a batch of barleywine. On the stove. I have 20L of IPA needing bottling in less than a week, again done on the stovetop.
 

iralosavic

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Lord Raja Goomba I said:
This is blatantly wrong.

I've brewed all my beer on the stove, the largest I've done (on a ceramic electric stove) is 38L of Bitter at around 4%. No high gravity BIAB either. My 'usual' batch size, all on the stove, was 25L.

Beer won awards, so no quality issues as well.

@OP - do a search for 2 pot stovetop method with ghetto lauter. You can alter the system to what you already have, but for around $50 and with even an average stovetop, you can make a full sized batch of AG beer.

I'm in the process of milling for a batch of barleywine. On the stove. I have 20L of IPA needing bottling in less than a week, again done on the stovetop.
Hey mate, you probably posted as I just did. Just to avoid confusion, I did make reference in this post to doing two concurrent 10L batches - and I give full credit to you, sir, for pioneering this budget solution.
 

Bribie G

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motorhead said:
How'd you know? The middle of the day posting on a homebrew forum :D
Most of the daytime posters are doing it at their company's / bosses expense :lol:
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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iralosavic said:
Hey mate, you probably posted as I just did. Just to avoid confusion, I did make reference in this post to doing two concurrent 10L batches - and I give full credit to you, sir, for pioneering this budget solution.
No offence taken :D

I think I more get upset at the fact that, sometimes, there is a "You must have expensive equipment to get into AG" mentality - not usually by AGers.

Don't get me wrong, if I had the budget and/or the skills, I'd probably have a proper 3V system with recirculating big brown pumps, and so forth. Life would be easier on a brew day, but at the same time, I do like the enjoyment of doing it on uber-budget equipment, and getting the same result. There is a strange sense of satisfaction when one does this.
 

iralosavic

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Lord Raja Goomba I said:
No offence taken :D

I think I more get upset at the fact that, sometimes, there is a "You must have expensive equipment to get into AG" mentality - not usually by AGers.

Don't get me wrong, if I had the budget and/or the skills, I'd probably have a proper 3V system with recirculating big brown pumps, and so forth. Life would be easier on a brew day, but at the same time, I do like the enjoyment of doing it on uber-budget equipment, and getting the same result. There is a strange sense of satisfaction when one does this.
I was pretty happy with the simplicity and low cost of BIAB too, (which cost me about $80: free keg, ball valve and bulkhead ~$35, KK element $35, Brew bag $10), but because the element started charring the wort, it triggered a snow ball effect in upgrades and then I got hooked by the other common aspect of this hobby: designing/building/"needlessly" spending more money etc :p

I sometimes think I would still be BIABing if I had've started off with a lower density element and never had the burning problems. There was nothing wrong with that technique and the same would hold true to the even simplier and cheaper stove-top method.

That being said, I'm loving using pumps and computers and all the learning paths associated with the plumbing and system design etc. I think that it helps take my mind off the worries of every day life. For the brewer who mostly just wants the end result (good beer) without the brewscience and gear lust, then stovetop is a perfect solution and BIAB is possibly better again for those with a medium budget who still matain this mindset (economical good beer production).
 

Bribie G

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Coming from QLD I learned the hard way that In NSW a pot is called a middy (half pint)

Just going to pour another one now :beerbang:
 

iralosavic

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wbosher said:
I just like having one pot to clean. :D
Amen to that. I think this is why so many 3 or 4vers are moving back to Braumeister style systems.
 

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