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Setting Up For Biab

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brewologist

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Hi All,

Well, I'm probably up to my 10th batch or so since I started seriously getting into home brewing a few months ago. I started with a couple of K&K's and have been doing Extract and Partials since.

I have been getting the gear together to set up for AG (BAIB) and have just about everything I need except for a BIAB Bag. G&G were sold out of the big biab bags.

So I have this equipment so far:
Mega Jet Burner
70Lt Pot
Stainless Ball Valve (yet to fit)

Next on the list is a Sky Hook and Barley Crusher so I can brew real fresh. I also live a long way from a HBS that can crush grain.

Here is the set up so far:


Hole saw and weld-less fitting:


I'm looking forward to tasting my first AG. The partials have been tasting great so if I can make a better tasting beer than I currently do I'll be stoked.

Is there anything else I should consider adding to complete my set up?
Comments welcome.

Cheers,
 

Sam England

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I cant' see the pic's here at work, but definitely an accurate thermometer. I assume you've got a hydrometer and an old duna or something to wrap the pot up to minimise heat loss.

Cheers,

Sam
 

Rowy

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Mate if you don't want to go with the sky hook the 20l bucket in a bucker system works great and allows you to get in a sneaky sparge for better efficiency.
 

Thirsty Boy

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a wort cooler or a no-chill cube or two.

a paint stirrer style mash paddle (just like a bloody big potato masher) for a few bucks from bunnings

eventually - but not as a matter of any priority - a pick up tube assembly so you can tweak the level from which you draw your wort. Maximise your return without having to tilt your pot and mess up your whirlpool cone.

and while you can start with one of the G&G bags, IMO they are some way away from an "optimum" BIAB bag. I suggest that some 100% polyester voile from spotlight or lincraft + some 100% polyester thread + a sewing machine and someone who knows how to work it - will give you a better rsult and make your brew day easier.

Sew it like an open topped cylinder, big enough so that you can "just" put your brewpot inside it and do up the drawstring. Make sure you make the seams etc nice and strong and it will last for years, work properly and cost bugger all.

I mean, buy the G&G bag for sure and get yourself started, it works well enough at the end of the day, but I'd look to getting a better bag made as high on the list of "improvements" you could make.

TB
 

Crusty

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You'll love BIAB brewologist, it's great.
As above, a good digital thermometer, like this a paint stirrer, like this & some sort of cake cooling rack to completely cover the bottom of your pot which will eliminate the chance of possibly burning your bag. I'd be considering a MashMaster MiniMill this one & a drill this one to run it. I do a 90min mash followed by a 78deg mash out. Once my temp is at 78deg, I switch off the urn & hoist the bag via sky hook & pulley system. I squeeze the bag as well & achieved 85% efficiency last brew. I no chill as well so a cube for your wort if you go that way.
 

Thirsty Boy

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cake rack for the bottom...

IMO, only if the lack of one makes you nervous - you shouldn't need one, but having one certainly isn't a bad thing either.
 

Crusty

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cake rack for the bottom...

IMO, only if the lack of one makes you nervous - you shouldn't need one, but having one certainly isn't a bad thing either.
I would rest easier using one with that particular burner. The bag full of grain sitting on the bottom during steps mashes or mash out would most likely get pretty hot resting on the bottom of the pot. The possibility of burning the bag is probably pretty slim but for a few extra bucks, it's worth it to not have to worry about it.
 

bookworm1707

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I put a short probe Mashmaster thermometer on the side of my pot, makes temps a lot easier.

I have four big bath towels to wrap up, have also bought a blanket from vinnies but used for something else now.
 

brewologist

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Thanks for the replies guys.

Thermometer - Check - Got a couple of digital ones that I use to measure the temp.
Insulation - Check - got an old sleeping bag
Cake rack - Check - I'll have to steal/borrow my GF's ;)

Paint Stirrer/Chef's spoon. Damn meant to get one of those when I was in Melb a couple of days ago. Been doing reno's on the house and have a paint stirrer that you attach to the drill. Probably need a new one to brew with though.
BIAB Bag - Getting my GF to make one.
Wort Chiller - Been looking to find some cheap copper tube.
Bucket in a bucket sounds interesting - i will search up on that one.

I tapped a hole for the tap on the kettle. Ended up ok, about 50mm for the bottom of the pot.
Then I put it on the burner, filled it with about 35 - 40Lt of water (No leaks :) ), and fired her up.

These are my stats running the burner at about 75%.

0min - Water Temp 10c
10mins - Water Temp 34c
15mins - Water Temp 48c
20mins - Water Temp 60c
25mins - Water Temp 72c

I pulled the pin on the test after that cause it was getting to dark outside so cant say how long it would take to get to the boil.
25 mins to mash temp seems pretty good. The burner might be able to be tricked up a bit but I'm pretty happy with it for a first run.

Cheers y'all,
 

Bribie G

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If you are getting a skyhook then don't worry about getting the GF to make a bag as such. If she is handy with the Janome, cut yourself a big circle of voile and hem it - makes a perfect "bag" which makes it simple to dump the grain afterwards, give it a flap then wash.






Throttle it with a hangman's noose. It falls into a perfect teardrop, and no seams as points of weakness.
 

brewologist

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Thanks bribie G,

That looks like an easier way to make a bag. I will definitely be heading to spotlight tomorrow.

Cheers,
 

pk.sax

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If you are getting a skyhook then don't worry about getting the GF to make a bag as such. If she is handy with the Janome, cut yourself a big circle of voile and hem it - makes a perfect "bag" which makes it simple to dump the grain afterwards, give it a flap then wash.

Throttle it with a hangman's noose. It falls into a perfect teardrop, and no seams as points of weakness.
Seconded. I used a sheet for enought batches to say I liked the ease of just shakin it, hosing it and puttig it on the line.

The hangmans noose is a sort of Bribie curiousity..... He has some...

Anyway, I'd elevate putting a pickup tube in there, all you need is a comp fitting (brass fitting from that shed works just fine) and a bit of bent copper tube. I see you mounted it 50mm off the bottom, will help with that.

Chiller or cubes are definitely worth it. Where you are, a chiller would work awesome! My old people tell me its way colder out that way (in Stowell) than in Melbourne. Anyway, thats from a brewer sold on chillers... take with 2 grains of salt and knock down a HB.
 

brewologist

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Anyway, I'd elevate putting a pickup tube in there, all you need is a comp fitting (brass fitting from that shed works just fine) and a bit of bent copper tube. I see you mounted it 50mm off the bottom, will help with that.

I would have liked to get the tap a bit closer to the bottom of the pot but err'd on the side of caution. A pick up tube is a great idea, I have seen them before somewhere around here. I was also going to use the braid off a braided hose for a bit of a filter. I haven't had a good look at one so I'm not sure if it will be fine enough to filter the traub.
 

hoppy2B

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Is that o-ring on your weldless fitting designed to withstand the sort of temps it will be exposed to brewologist?
 

Thirsty Boy

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I would have liked to get the tap a bit closer to the bottom of the pot but err'd on the side of caution. A pick up tube is a great idea, I have seen them before somewhere around here. I was also going to use the braid off a braided hose for a bit of a filter. I haven't had a good look at one so I'm not sure if it will be fine enough to filter the traub.
dont use the braid, it wont work. It'll just clog up.

anything that is fine enough to filter out break, is also fine enough to clog up almost instantly as soon as it does. Effective "trub" filters need a really quite large surface area, or they need to be "depth" filters like a hop-back.

Big Circle - type bags are pretty simple and of course very strong, but I've found that I regularly make mistakes and end up spilling grain into my pot, lots and lots of "edge" to keep control over, and I screw it up semi regularly even on the small scale rig where I use a circle instead of a bag. I've sewn a drawstring around the edge of my circle and thats helped, but its still more of a PITA than an actual bag.

voile is cheap and if your Gf sews.... try out all the different shapes and options, see which works for you the best.

your nearly ready... better get a recipe worked out :)
 

hoppy2B

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Hi Hoppy,

This is the tap I got.
http://www.grainandgrape.com.au/product_in...roducts_id=8586

It says its ok for HLT's and kettle's. Pretty expensive tho I thought.

Oh ok, looks pretty cool. I'm trying to get an 18 gallon mash tun set up out of an old 18 litre keg I have cut the top off and just recently been considering the same scenario. Because I'll be heating the bottom of the mash tun directly, I'm thinking of putting my silicon rubber washer on the outside of the vessel because I don't know how hot the metal will be getting. I'm sure silicon will take high temps but I don't want it releasing shit into my brew. <_<
Are you planning on cutting down the length of the threaded section which inserts into the pot. I need to get mine as short as possible for maximum drainage because it will be situated on the edge of the underside.
If you plan what you're doing carefully now you can always use your pot as a mash tun and recirculate for step mashes etc. in future.
 

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