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Messages - tknice

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He is using fermcap to prevent boilovers.

Pimp My System / Drip Irrigation for Hops
« on: May 03, 2012, 01:40:04 PM »
Put up a DIY drip irrigation system for my hops that seems to be working great so far. Best part is it only cost around $20!

Well, I already had the bucket so that would have added another $10.

Here's the whole writeup:

Equipment and Software / Re: DIY Projects
« on: April 06, 2012, 11:31:11 PM »
If DIY stands for Do It Yourself (with the help of your local welder), I have the project for you. ;)
Sounds good!  Can you post a link or PM me?

Otherwise you can email the project to us at


Equipment and Software / DIY Projects
« on: April 02, 2012, 10:33:24 AM »
Hey all,

Our site BrewGeeks has been up for a couple of months now and although the blog is rolling along nicely, we are always looking for more DIY projects to post.  If you have a project that is written up with pics, please send me a link because I'd love to add it. We are working on gathering as many great DIY projects as we can find to consolidate them in one place.

Send a pm or contact us on the site...whatever you like.  ;)



All Grain Brewing / Re: A BIAB Brew day with lots of pictures
« on: March 14, 2012, 10:39:24 PM »
I'm totally looking into this, I've been having nothing but problems with my mash tun.

Do it!  I've really tried to simplify my entire process to maximize the amount of beer with the least amount of effort and it seems to be paying off nicely.

Let me know how your first batch turns out!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hanging Lines to Grow Hops
« on: March 14, 2012, 10:37:46 PM »
Thanks guys.  Yeah now that spring appears to be here in Maryland (buds are on the trees), I'm starting to water every morning!

General Homebrew Discussion / Hanging Lines to Grow Hops
« on: March 11, 2012, 05:18:40 PM »
Not sure what section this fits in, but I wanted to share a small project we did to grow hops.

Can't wait to see how they come up this season!


All Grain Brewing / Re: A BIAB Brew day with lots of pictures
« on: March 11, 2012, 12:01:53 AM »
What are you using for your grain bag? I was thinking of using a nylon paint strainer bag (going to be doing 2.5-3 gallon batches in my 5 gal kettle), but I'm afraid the mesh may be a bit too coarse compared to the voile bags that everyone seems to be using.

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It will be fine.  I've used 5 gallon paint strainer bags with 5 gallon kettles no problem

Here are the bags I'm using but they are a bit expensive though.  I'd say you're right..  the mesh is very fine compared to the disposable paint strainer bags.  not sure if it makes a difference.

I bought the bag online from Jeff over at

Definitely recommend his bags!

All Grain Brewing / Re: A BIAB Brew day with lots of pictures
« on: March 10, 2012, 06:22:00 PM »
hey tk, how are you calculating you're total needed water?

i've read a couple different things and thought i'd ask.


Well I cheat and use software called BeerSmith which gives you all of the calculations, but you can get very close by running a few numbers.  If you are using one pot, it's very easy.. two pots makes it a little more difficult.  Here are some numbers for a 5.5 gallon batch w/ 13lbs of grain.  I'm padding the batch size by .5 to account for cooling and trub loss.

Two Pots:
Mash volume – Multiply the total grain bill by the quart volume (typically 1.25). Anywhere between 1 and 1.5 qts is fine.

Next, figure out your:
Absorption – Account for absorption at the rate of .1 gal per pound.
Boil-off – This differs per elevation…ours is around 1 gal per hour (depending on how hard you boil).

To get:
Sparge volume – Calculate by adding the absorption, boil-off, and difference between your batch size (5.5) and mash water volume.  A typical scenario would be:

Mash water  = 13lbs x 1.25 = 16.25qts / 4 = 4.1 gal
Sparge water = (5.5 – 4.1) + (13lbs x .1) + (1 gal boil-off) = 3.7

Total volume of water needed = 7.8 gal

One Pot:
For no-sparge BIAB like I do now, just start with 6.5 gallons (which includes boil-off) and add the amount of water that will be absorbed by the grain.  6.5 + (13lbs * .10) = 6.5 + 1.3 = 7.8   See why this is easier!   8)

It's the same as with all of this stuff.  Don't worry if it's not perfect.  So you're off a 1/2 gallon somewhere--it will be fine and you can make an adjustment next time.

That's pretty slick. How many pounds of grain do you think your bag (or your back) can handle moving around?

keyword "back" lol.  The most I've done is a Dogfish 90 clone which had 36 lbs, and this was before I made the drain tub (which most certainly would have helped).  All I could think to do is put up a ladder so I could reach down and lift with my shoulders and arms from above.  My wife put the paddle in and it drained.  As you can see, the bag is wider than the pot when removed, and this is a 15 gallon kettle! haha.  This much grain did put quite a lot of stress on the bag and it held like a champ.  I've since purchased another bag and when I have a grain bill like this, I double them up.  Most aren't though.

All Grain Brewing / Re: A BIAB Brew day with lots of pictures
« on: March 10, 2012, 04:32:34 PM »
Thanks for sharing. Going to make the move to all grain BIAB soon myself so I always appreciate this kind of stuff. What kind of efficiency are you getting with your setup? Do you find you have to tweak AG recipes to adjust for BIAB or can you pretty much use them as-is?

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Sure thing erockrph, glad I finally got some pics together to post. ;D

I'm getting around 75% on average and not the 80-85 that some BIABers are reporting. I think this is because I no longer do a real sparge with a separate pot of clean sparge water. It's worth it to me to move to 10 gallon batches (get off the stovetop) and keep cleanup to a minimum.  I have mashed with a cooler and sparged in the pot to keep efficiency up, but it can be tricky to move water around with only one burner outside--which is why I ultimately landed on no-sparge, single pot BIAB. 

I'm learning that using the full volume method, more water is better for efficiency.  I like to keep the water level at about an inch to inch 1/2 from the top of the kettle so the least amount of top off water (preboil) is used.  The bigger the beer, the more top off you'll have.  This is the reason for getting the largest sized pot you can afford, otherwise you will probably be adding DME for 9 and 10% beers.

As for the recipes, none need tweaking for BIAB, they all work the same.

If you have any questions when you get started, I'd be happy to help if I can.

All Grain Brewing / A BIAB Brew day with lots of pictures
« on: March 10, 2012, 02:26:51 AM »
Hey Guys,

I recently moved to doing 10 gallon batches and although I knew it would increase the amount of beer that we have available, I didn't realize how cool it would be to experiment. An example I've done so far is dry hopping one and not the other for a comparison (and it really is pretty amazing how different the two beers are).

I'm brewing our black ipa recipe next and half of the batch will go on tap and the other to a 6 month secondary with vanilla beans and bourbon. I've also though about brewing a lager and fermenting one at 45-50F degrees and the other at 66F. How different will they taste? Anyway.. good times.

Here are some pictures of my 10 gallon BIAB process if you want to check it out.



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