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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: rboulier4077@gmail.com on January 02, 2018, 07:08:07 PM

Title: BIAB
Post by: rboulier4077@gmail.com on January 02, 2018, 07:08:07 PM
Is the brew in a bag system the way to go?  Any benefits or cons?
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: denny on January 02, 2018, 07:28:35 PM
Is the brew in a bag system the way to go?  Any benefits or cons?

That's a personal decision, based on your goals, your space, your life....too many variables to answer.  It's as valid a way to brew as any other, so examine what you want to accomplish and the amount of timer and space you have and factor those into your decision.  For me, I've done BIAB and found that I prefer other methods.  Lots of other people do BIAB and love it.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: klickitat jim on January 02, 2018, 08:38:38 PM
Prime reason to BIAB in my mind is if you want to no sparge and boil in the same kettle.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Wilbur on January 02, 2018, 09:17:15 PM
I BIAB (no sparge), used to do the whole 3 vessel/cooler mash tun thing. Less equipment to setup, clean, and store, and more consistent for me. I think of it as kind of a low risk all grain option-the only specialized equipment you need is a bag (cheap voile from Joanne Fabrics is less than $15), and you can use everything else if you decide to go a different route.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: jimmykx250 on January 02, 2018, 09:36:16 PM
I BIAB (no sparge), used to do the whole 3 vessel/cooler mash tun thing. Less equipment to setup, clean, and store, and more consistent for me. I think of it as kind of a low risk all grain option-the only specialized equipment you need is a bag (cheap voile from Joanne Fabrics is less than $15), and you can use everything else if you decide to go a different route.

I agree 100% and if time is a factor I dont think you can beat BIAB. 3 to 4 hours to do a brew start to finish. I think 3 vessel is around 5 to 6. I still want to try 3 vessel but am very happy with the quality of my beer right now. When I get more time to dedicate to the hobby I will buy a mash tun and try my hand at it. 
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: lindak on January 03, 2018, 01:37:54 AM
I've been happily brewing BIAB for a couple of years now— I see no reason to change.  My brew days were dialed in quickly and my efficiency is consistent.  The only issue I first encountered was lifting the bag.  Then someone mentioned a food network episode in which Alton Brown uses a ladder to lift a turkey from a fryer...  now my ten foot fiberglass step ladder is part of my brew day kit.  After mashing, the ladder is positioned over my kettle / propane burner and the bag is lifted with a pulley attached to the top step... end of BIAB cons for me. 
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: tommymorris on January 03, 2018, 02:16:22 AM
BIAB is a natural progression from extract. It’s similar to steeping on a larger scale, so, it’s easy to understand. In fact it is so easy, many new brewers skip extract now. Also, the only new equipment needed is a bag.

So, I recommend BIAB as an intermediate step on your brewing journey or a final destination.

I have fly sparged, batch sparged, and BIAB brewed. Best I can tell, the beer taste the same for all three. I BIAB now, but, my journey is not over.


Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: klickitat jim on January 03, 2018, 02:53:31 AM
BIAB is a natural progression from extract. It’s similar to steeping on a larger scale, so, it’s easy to understand. In fact it is so easy, many new brewers skip extract now. Also, the only new equipment needed is a bag.

So, I recommend BIAB as an intermediate step on your brewing journey or a final destination.

I have fly sparged, batch sparged, and BIAB brewed. Best I can tell, the beer taste the same for all three. I BIAB now, but, my journey is not over.
Agreed. And might be the natural retrogression after delving into everything that is so called advanced.

One thing I would do differently. I would have learned water during mini mash, rather than after going all grain .
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Philbrew on January 05, 2018, 04:52:11 AM
BIAB is a natural progression from extract. It’s similar to steeping on a larger scale, so, it’s easy to understand. In fact it is so easy, many new brewers skip extract now. Also, the only new equipment needed is a bag.

So, I recommend BIAB as an intermediate step on your brewing journey or a final destination.

I have fly sparged, batch sparged, and BIAB brewed. Best I can tell, the beer taste the same for all three. I BIAB now, but, my journey is not over.
Agreed. And might be the natural retrogression after delving into everything that is so called advanced.

One thing I would do differently. I would have learned water during mini mash, rather than after going all grain .
^^^^+1
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Kevin on January 05, 2018, 07:37:32 PM
BIAB is a natural progression from extract. ...<snip>

So, I recommend BIAB as an intermediate step on your brewing journey or a final destination.


BIAB was not heard of when I stopped brewing a decade or so ago. I came back to homebrewing at this very time last year when a friend was selling a three keggle brew rig with pumps and the whole 9 yards for a price I couldn't turn down.

I brewed on it from about February of last year to June when i decided to try this newfangled BIAB everyone was talking about now. Here we are about 7 months later and in that time I have only used one of the kettles and burners in any brew session on my rig.

I keep telling myself I should use it as intended but BIAB is so danged easy. So I guess it's not an intermediate step for me... or I'm just regressing.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: klickitat jim on January 05, 2018, 07:46:14 PM
I argue that complex doesn't necessarily equate to advanced
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: denny on January 05, 2018, 08:23:58 PM
I argue that complex doesn't necessarily equate to advanced

You and me both, buddy!
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: BrewnWKopperKat on January 05, 2018, 10:50:51 PM
So I guess it's not an intermediate step for me... or I'm just regressing.

For me BIAB is another technique that I can use to brew.  I've got some extract based recipes that I enjoy & some BIAB recipes (that I can't do with extract) that I enjoy.  Eventually, I may will find some styles/recipes require a traditional mash, so I'll learn that skill as well. 
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: UnequivocalBrewing on January 22, 2018, 04:24:56 PM
Question for people doing no sparge BIAB.  What is your typical liquor to grist ratio in your mash?  When I thought about doing a no sparge BIAB (I usually do a sparge) I calculated the ratio to be anywhere from 3-4 quarts water per lb of grain depending on desired OG.  I thought that was awfully thin for a mash.

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Pricelessbrewing on January 22, 2018, 04:39:30 PM
For a 1.060 beer I'm at 2.54 qt/lb. Unless you have a ton of mashtun losses, kettle losses, or aren't squeezing, you shouldn't be that high.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: UnequivocalBrewing on January 22, 2018, 05:38:26 PM
Ok I was able to get it down to 2.7 qt/lb in beersmith with brewhouse efficiency of 70%.  I am planning a milk stout so I had some of the OG tied up in lactose and that would thin out the mash vs getting there with all grains.  Still not at 2.5 but close....either way it's a fairly thin mash.  Does this tend to thin out the body of the beer or does everyone think this is ok? 
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Pope of Dope on January 22, 2018, 06:22:22 PM
Have been doing BIAB since my move and the birth of my daughter, with less time, and my equipment packed in boxes and some missing. But make no mistake, it's JUST AS GOOD as my three-tier setup ever was, actually I think in some ways better, and is now the only way I brew. I have my setup dialed-in, using a custom kettle, whirlpool (just throw the hops right in), and a nice voile bag. The whole set up sits inside a steel storage rack that I had from Costco, made it into two levels, burner and pot elevated off ground about 1.5 feet on bottom level, and then the top shelf, about six feet above, is fitted with heavy duty carabiner and nylon rope to hoist up the bag. It's portable, all done in one pot, cleanup is about a third of the time (I'm throwing my grain into compost and hosing down the reusable bag while the wort is reaching boil). Recipes need to be modified a bit, but I find only small amount of additional grain is needed. I fly sparge, generally about .5 to 1 gallon of water (in 5 gallon batches) pouring water directly over the bag, then squeeze out the juice. 

I like how spartan the set up is and it makes me feel closer, more involved in the brew than before when I had more equipment.  For me, the simpler feels better. And, take a look at these commercial BIAB setups, https://www.cobrewingsystems.com/collections/complete-brewing-systems. Imagine a batch done on this scale, BIAB method. There's just something I like about that.   
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Wilbur on January 22, 2018, 06:40:30 PM
Ok I was able to get it down to 2.7 qt/lb in beersmith with brewhouse efficiency of 70%.  I am planning a milk stout so I had some of the OG tied up in lactose and that would thin out the mash vs getting there with all grains.  Still not at 2.5 but close....either way it's a fairly thin mash.  Does this tend to thin out the body of the beer or does everyone think this is ok?

I'm usually mashing at ~2.6-2.7 qts/lb, with an efficiency in the 72-76% range. I haven't noticed any issues with my beers tasting thin. I tend to mash around 155 F.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: oginme on January 22, 2018, 06:48:21 PM
I have a typical water to grain ratio of around 3.2 qts/lb for full volume BIAB and have not had a problem with the body in my beers.  I do a 90 minute boil, which explains the added volume and get a brew house efficiency of around 80%. 
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Pope of Dope on January 22, 2018, 06:54:32 PM
Ok I was able to get it down to 2.7 qt/lb in beersmith with brewhouse efficiency of 70%.  I am planning a milk stout so I had some of the OG tied up in lactose and that would thin out the mash vs getting there with all grains.  Still not at 2.5 but close....either way it's a fairly thin mash.  Does this tend to thin out the body of the beer or does everyone think this is ok?

I make a milk stout and a robust porter that both use 1 lb of lactose. Use a BIAB method. The body is the opposite of thin in my opinion. The lactose makes for a rich mouthfeel. And yes of course the lactose is a non-fermentable, so the OG/FG reading will be affected. Make your beer as usual with the same amount of fermentable wort as you would and then add the lactose during the last 15 of boil. So, you can only get there with grains if I understand your question, the lactose does not ferment, it's an adjunct.   And yes, I too do a 90 min boil and 90 min mash.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: UnequivocalBrewing on January 22, 2018, 07:17:39 PM
Thanks for everyone's responses.  It's good to know that that thin mash doesn't make the resulting body thin.  It's somewhat counter to the popular reading about mash thickness.
Title: Re: BIAB
Post by: Philbrew on January 23, 2018, 04:15:48 AM
Have been doing BIAB since my move and the birth of my daughter, with less time, and my equipment packed in boxes and some missing. But make no mistake, it's JUST AS GOOD as my three-tier setup ever was, actually I think in some ways better, and is now the only way I brew. I have my setup dialed-in, using a custom kettle, whirlpool (just throw the hops right in), and a nice voile bag. The whole set up sits inside a steel storage rack that I had from Costco, made it into two levels, burner and pot elevated off ground about 1.5 feet on bottom level, and then the top shelf, about six feet above, is fitted with heavy duty carabiner and nylon rope to hoist up the bag. It's portable, all done in one pot, cleanup is about a third of the time (I'm throwing my grain into compost and hosing down the reusable bag while the wort is reaching boil). Recipes need to be modified a bit, but I find only small amount of additional grain is needed. I fly sparge, generally about .5 to 1 gallon of water (in 5 gallon batches) pouring water directly over the bag, then squeeze out the juice. 

I like how spartan the set up is and it makes me feel closer, more involved in the brew than before when I had more equipment.  For me, the simpler feels better. And, take a look at these commercial BIAB setups, https://www.cobrewingsystems.com/collections/complete-brewing-systems (https://www.cobrewingsystems.com/collections/complete-brewing-systems). Imagine a batch done on this scale, BIAB method. There's just something I like about that.
Pope,
That sounds a lot like what I'm doing.  Could you post a pic or two of your set up in this thread or (better) on a  dedicated thread on your set up and process?  I think we can learn from each other about this stuff.