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Author Topic: Boiling in a brew bag?  (Read 2722 times)

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Boiling in a brew bag?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2021, 08:56:53 am »
I’ve seen a lot of British homebrewers use a BIAB for hops. They close the bag and clamp it to the side of the kettle.

Hmm.. it must work OK then. Maybe them mesh on my brew bag is just too small to drain adequately. I think it was labled as "fine mesh", whatever that means. I picked up a 250 micron bag from Amazon the other day. Maybe it will work better (as tommymorris suggested, thanks). The mesh certainly looks bigger than my other one. The stuff I've had to dig out of my clogged poppet during transfer (free-range hop stand/dry hop) was green flaky stuff, so pretty sure it was hop matter and not protiens or hot break.

Offline BrewNerd

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Re: Boiling in a brew bag?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2021, 09:37:46 am »
I thought the whole idea of a BIAB set up was to help reduce clean up. After reading this thread I believe I was mistaken...

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Boiling in a brew bag?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2021, 10:23:07 am »
I thought the whole idea of a BIAB set up was to help reduce clean up. After reading this thread I believe I was mistaken...

I think some of your concern is caused by "Term Definition Creep".

BIAB is normally refers to mashing grain in a bag and is used to simplifying the process of sparging/brewing overall.  It is an alternative to Fly sparging and Batch Sparging as all of these are mashing techniques.  Easier cleanup is a side benefit.  Personally, I batch sparge.

In the previous comments it sounds like BIAB is referring to containing the hops in a bag during the boil.  I do this using a 5Gal Paint Straining Bag and a hop spider.  The straining bag is the size of a 5 gallon bucket so the hops have room to spread out and move around, while still being easy to remove without too much stuff left in my brew kettle.  Packing the hops too tight in a bag during the boil can limit your hop utilization so the big bag is good compromise between a bag and just dumping the hops in.

Hope that helps.

Paul
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Boiling in a brew bag?
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2021, 10:34:14 am »
I think some confusion has arisen in the use of the BIAB as a boil filter, as well as a mash liner.  The BIAB folks state on their website that both uses work well.  Personally, I line my mash tun with a 400 micron bag whenever I am mashing and regardless of whether I am recirculating or batch sparging.  I also occasionally use the bag (whether 400 micron or 200 micron) as a hop spider substitute to allow for more free flow of hop pellets in the boil.  Clean up is pretty easy with the bag, but it does represent an additional item that must be rinsed out (twice if using the same bag for both mash and boil filter).  The key is that any heat source must be avoided by suspending the bag above the bottom of the kettle or mash tun.  The mash tuns I have all incorporate a false bottom or basket insert, so those are fine; as to the boil, I just clamp it to the kettle such that the bottom of the bag is above the bottom of the kettle.  Easy peasy.  Cheers!
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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Boiling in a brew bag?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2021, 11:48:34 am »
I thought the whole idea of a BIAB set up was to help reduce clean up. After reading this thread I believe I was mistaken...

I suppose, I could see some benefit to clean up. Using a bag, I don't have grain husks floating around everywhere and stuck to everything. I'm using an Anvil Foundry with perforated mash pipe. The first few times I used it, I got a few stuck mashes and the recirc would just overflow the mash pipe. After putting a bag in there (as suggested by @Narvin on this forum) I haven't had a stuck mash since.

Another thing I like with the bag is I can twist it up around a 2x2 to pull it out of the mash pipe and this allows for squeezing more of the wort out of the mash after it's been draining for 10 minutes or so.

Offline Ron756

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Re: Boiling in a brew bag?
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2021, 06:33:05 pm »
I have done it but I don’t recommend it. The bag I have is from brewinabag.com  and is designed to be safe for boil. I wanted to use the bag as a spider and it worked for that, but the bubbles from the boil pushed the bag up constantly. The bag was bubbling up and folding over and hops were crawling up the sides of the bag and not staying in the wort. The beer turned out fine, so no real loss, but it was annoying. Lately, I sanitize the bag and just pour the wort through it to remove the hop matter. That works okay, but not great. The filter part works but the hops slow the flow through the bag which adds a few minutes to the transfer from kettle to fermenter at a time when the wort temp is cool and susceptible to infection.

I bought a 400 micron bag for this. I found my other 200 micron bag clogged and drained really slow due to the hops in the bag.

One last thing, neither the 200 or 400 micron bag filters hot and cold break material. That flows right through. The bags just filter hops.

I'm thinking about trying this and and leaving my whirlpool arm (Spincycle from Brewhardware in place. Should keep things from popping up too much. Do you use whirlfloc/irish moss? I wonder if that'd help with the hot break/cold break.




I use a stack of disposable coffee filters to filter stuff out as I move the wert into the fermenter.  As they start to clog up, I just pitch it and get a new one.  There is risk since I can't sanitize them, but so far so good.