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BIAB Brew, Step-by-step

Started by Garry, October 27, 2014, 09:57:21 PM

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Garry

October 27, 2014, 09:57:21 PM Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 11:37:01 AM by Garry
Brew in a bag (BIAB) is a great way to start all grain brewing. You need very little equipment and the results are great. Some brewers will say it produces inferior beer to traditional all grain methods but they're just jealous.

Let's start with a recipe on BeerSmith. You can also just purchase a pre made mash kit from most of the Homebrew shops.

Total Grain Weight: 6.65 kg   Total Hops: 155.00 g oz.
---MASH/STEEP PROCESS------MASH PH:5.20 ------
>>>>>>>>>>-ADD WATER CHEMICALS BEFORE GRAINS!!<<<<<<<
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
5.50 kg               Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (5.9 EBC)           Grain         1        82.7 %       
0.50 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (39.4 EBC)    Grain         2        7.5 %         
0.50 kg               Munich Malt (17.7 EBC)                   Grain         3        7.5 %         
0.15 kg               Roasted Barley (591.0 EBC)               Grain         4        2.3 %         


Name                Description                   Step Temperature   Step Time           
Saccharification    Add 31.96 l of water at 73.4  68.9 C             60 min               
Mash Out            Heat to 75.6 C over 7 min     75.6 C             10 min               

---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.050 SG   Est OG: 1.056 SG
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
75.00 g               Hallertau Perle [4.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop           5        27.6 IBUs     
0.50 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining        6        -             
5.00 tsp              Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)          Other         7        -             

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
80.00 g               Challenger [6.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  0 Hop           8        0.0 IBUs     

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I add 32 litres of water to my boiler and bring the temperature up to 73°C.



While the "strike" water is heating I measure out my grains and run them through the mill. Looks like I've had visitors!



At least he cleaned the spilled malt off the floor :P



I put the bag into the boiler when the temperature is up to 73°C. I put a colander into the base of the boiler first to keep the bag off

the element. This will stop the element scorching the grain.





Now it's time to mash-in. Just scoop in the grain slowly and stir gently to make sure there's no dough balls. The high water to grain

ratio in BIAB makes dough balls less of a problem. Gentle stirring prevents oxidation.



Make sure your temperature is good. I'm going for a malty beer so was aiming for a high mash temp (69°C ). It was close enough so I didn't make any adjustments. I then cover the boiler with blankets and let it alone for 90 minutes. 60 minutes would probably be fine but I had another batch to bottle.





After the 90 minute rest, I take off the blankets and lid. Then I turn on the heat and bring it up to 76°C. Give it a few gentle stirs

while it's heating up. Once I hit 76°C, I turn off the heat. Put the lid back on and let it rest for another 10 minutes. This step is what

AG brewers call a mash-out. Some say it's not necessary when BIABing, but I like to do it. You need to heat the water up to a boil anyway.

The rest only adds about 15 minutes to the brew. It will make the mash less viscous which will give you more run-off.



When that's done, it's time to pull out the bag and collect the run-off. If you have any way of hanging the bag over the kettle it's really handy. But you can just put the bag over a clean empty bucket to collect the run-off. I also twist the bag to squeeze that extra bit of juice out of it. Some brewers will tell you that squeezing the bag will produce unwanted tannins. Don't listen to them, it's a common brewing myth. Queeze the bag with a hydraulic press it want.

Turn the heat back on, you need to get it up to the boil now.





My boiler doesn't have a hop strainer so I use the bag for this too. Just dump the grain, clean out the bag and put it back in the boiler.

As the wort is heating to the boil I get my hops and finings ready.



60 minute hops go in when you have a nice rolling boil.



At 15 minutes to go, I put in the chiller to sanitise it. I also add my finings and re-hydrate the yeast.





Once the 60 minute boil is up, turn on the chiller. Then add the 0 minute hops. This is a good time to sanitise the FV.





After 15-20 minutes the wort is down to 20°C so I transfer it into the FV.





Pitch the yeast and stick on the air-lock.



Job done. I ended up with 23 litres in the FV. OG was 1.055°, 1 point low. Not bad!

Some FAQ's:

Where did you get the bag?

I got mine from brewinabag.co.uk.

A lot of brewers just use a square of voile curtain material. I prefer a bag with handles myself, they are much easier to hang & twist.

You can make one yourself if you can work a sewing machine. More info here.

How much beer can I brew with my pot?

Boiler size required = Pre-boil volume + Grain absorption + grain volume

Most boilers lose 5 l/hr through evaporation

Pre-boil volume = final volume + 5 l = 23 + 5 = 28 litres

The grain absorbs about 0.611 l/kg

Grain absorption = 6.65 * 0.611 = 4.1 litres

Grain volume = 0.652 l/kg = 6.65 * 0.652 = 4.3 litres

Boiler size required = 28 + 4.1 + 4.3 = 36.4 litres

My boiler is ~40 litres.

Most new brewers use the 32 litre Peco boilers. For a 19 litre batch I'd say she would be maxed out with around 6.5kg of grain. That should still let you brew 19 litres of around 1.065° gravity without sparging.




Parky

Fantastic tutorial Garry, thanks for posting!!! Very clear steps, and the pics are great, well done  ;)

shweeney

is that fake cheese in the mouse traps?  poor little guy, he never stood a chance.

anyway- do you sparge the grains after the mash?

Garry

Quote from: shweeney on October 28, 2014, 10:51:47 AM
is that fake cheese in the mouse traps?  poor little guy, he never stood a chance.

The paddle looks like cheese. I don't know why, meeces don't even like cheese! But they're hoors for peanut butter  :P

Quote from: shweeney on October 28, 2014, 10:51:47 AM
anyway- do you sparge the grains after the mash?

I don't sparge. The whole idea of BIAB is to keep it simple. When you twist the bag as much as I did, there's not much left worth sparging.

LordEoin

i thought squeezing the bag was bad. extra tannins or something. no?

Garry

Quote from: LordEoin on October 28, 2014, 12:04:09 PM
i thought squeezing the bag was bad. extra tannins or something. no?

From what I've read, squeezing the bag doesn't cause any problems. I think tannins are extracted if your sparge water increases the mash pH above 7.

I believe that twisting the bag is a good/even way of increasing the run-off. I wouldn't go belting it like a pinata.

molc

Boiler size is something to think about here. You start with 32 Litres of water, plus ~6.5kg of grain, resulting in a net of 23 litres of wort. What is the displacement per kg of grain? My concern here is the normal Peco Boiler sold by the HB shops is around 30-33 Litres. Your instructions would result in a nice big puddle on the floor.  :)

Does anyone know how much you can fit into the normal boilers? Maybe it's possible to do a mash in 25 Litres of water and then do a sparge with 7 litres after taking the grain out. Or maybe I just need a bigger bucket :D
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

Garry

October 28, 2014, 01:44:14 PM #7 Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 04:53:25 PM by Garry
Boiler size required = Pre-boil volume + Grain absorption + grain volume

Most boilers lose 5 l/hr through evaporation

Pre-boil volume = final volume + 5 l = 23 + 5 = 28 litres

The grain absorbs about 0.611 l/kg

Grain absorption = 6.65 * 0.611 = 4.1 litres

Grain volume = 0.652 l/kg = 6.65 * 0.652 = 4.3 litres

Boiler size required = 28 + 4.1 + 4.3 = 36.4 litres

My boiler is ~40 litres.

The Peco boilers are 32 litres. For a 19 litre batch I'd say she would be maxed out with around 6.5kg of grain. That should still let you brew 19 litres of around 1.065° gravity without sparging.

molc

Thanks for the workings. That's brilliant, I can figure it out now pretty easily.
Fermenting: IPA, Lambic, Mead
Conditioning: Lambic, Cider, RIS, Ole Ale, Saison
On Tap: IPA, Helles, Best Bitter

auralabuse

Cornys just happen to be 19 litres :)

Garry

October 28, 2014, 04:45:29 PM #10 Last Edit: April 27, 2015, 10:26:24 AM by Garry
Another FAQ: Where do you get the bags?

I got mine from brewinabag.co.uk.

A lot of brewers just use a square of voile curtain material. I prefer a bag with handles myself, they are much easier to hang & twist. You can make one yourself if you can work a sewing machine. More info here.


tipp brewer

I did my first biab with your normal 32 litre boiler. Used 4 kg of malt started with 20 litres, could have fitted more. I topped up with kettle of water 2 to 3 times during mash, my kettle is 1.5 litres to keep the temp up during 90 minute mash. I then sparged with approx 4 litres and ended up with 23 litres at 1044 sg. Happy enough with that. I did no calculations so don't know if that was right.

Garry

Quote from: tipp brewer on October 28, 2014, 04:53:53 PM
I did no calculations so don't know if that was right.

There's no right way, you made beer  :) Welcome to the forum.

googoomuck

Another great write up Gary, thanks!! Quick question though, how do you wash your bag? (Brew bag that is)

Garry

I put it in the washing machine with my brew towels. I use a few scoops of oxi in the machine instead of the expensive smelly stuff herself has in stock.

You can just hang it off the line and wash it down with a hose.