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Author Topic: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?  (Read 734 times)

Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« on: January 26, 2024, 05:26:46 pm »
I just started doing BIAB. I just wrote two recipes. One is an imperial stout (1.084), and the other is a fake Belgian dark ale, inspired by St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. The fake Belgian has 5 lbs. of wheat in it. It also has two pounds of table sugar in it, so the grain weight is only 13.5. The stout goes about 16 lb. I will be using a 10-gallon kettle for 5-gallon batches. Abbaye for the ale and US-5 or possibly Lutra for the stout.

Which beer should I do first? I have never done a big BIAB beer. This will be my second BIAB, in fact. Should I go for the one with the biggest bill to put my kettle and bag to the test, or should I go for the one with less grain because it is less likely to have problems?

Or does it not matter?
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2024, 05:47:34 pm »
I think more grain means higher chance of lower efficiency. That might make you miss your gravity. But, if you like big beers, you have to brew one to know what happens up there.

Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2024, 06:13:42 pm »
I guess if the one with the most grain works, it will answer all my questions. If it fails, I still won't know if the other one will work.

If I brew the other one first and it works, I won't know if the big one works. If it fails, I'll know both are too big.

I think I'll do the imperial. Swing for the bleachers. I feel lucky.
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

Eccentricity is its own reward.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2024, 10:30:38 pm »
I just started doing BIAB. I just wrote two recipes. One is an imperial stout (1.084), and the other is a fake Belgian dark ale, inspired by St. Bernardus Christmas Ale. The fake Belgian has 5 lbs. of wheat in it. It also has two pounds of table sugar in it, so the grain weight is only 13.5. The stout goes about 16 lb. I will be using a 10-gallon kettle for 5-gallon batches. Abbaye for the ale and US-5 or possibly Lutra for the stout.

Which beer should I do first? I have never done a big BIAB beer. This will be my second BIAB, in fact. Should I go for the one with the biggest bill to put my kettle and bag to the test, or should I go for the one with less grain because it is less likely to have problems?

Or does it not matter?

why do you describe the belgian as "fake"? it sounds normal.

lallemand has a yeast calc for abbaye and tbh i would use bry97 instead of US05. i just bottled an imperial stout about an hour ago that was made with 3 packs of bry97 and an OG of 1.094. def use 2 packs likely for each 5 gallons

i think either could be good but tbh bry97 is such a workhorse. if you have no preference i'd do that one

Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2024, 08:53:32 am »
Thanks for the yeast tip.

I call it fake because I don't brew to a style. I put whatever I felt like in it, as always. It's sort of like a Belgian ale.
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

Eccentricity is its own reward.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2024, 10:13:00 am »
Thanks for the yeast tip.

I call it fake because I don't brew to a style. I put whatever I felt like in it, as always. It's sort of like a Belgian ale.

that is absolutely a belgian ale (lol made in america i guess). i enjoyed abbaye (lallemand one) yeast btw and will be using it again. it definitely is very similar to chimay wlp500.

Offline Skeeter686

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2024, 03:23:04 pm »
To your original question about which to brew, keep in mind that while you should see less efficiency with a higher grain-to-water ratio, you shouldn't really have to worry about a stuck mash with BIAB.  Grind the hell out of your grains!  That might offset some of the lost efficiency.

I also recently tried moistening the grains prior to grinding and it really did seem to improve the grind.  Significantly.  Almost zero dust, and the husks were generally intact, so I'm planning to try a fine grind with my "brew-in-a-basket" system next time.

Offline denny

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2024, 03:29:00 pm »
I also recently tried moistening the grains prior to grinding and it really did seem to improve the grind.  Significantly.  Almost zero dust, and the husks were generally intact, so I'm planning to try a fine grind with my "brew-in-a-basket" system next time.

But was there any real difference in either the brewing or the beer?  I ask because when I tried it, it made no real difference.
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Offline Skeeter686

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2024, 05:28:56 pm »
I also recently tried moistening the grains prior to grinding and it really did seem to improve the grind.  Significantly.  Almost zero dust, and the husks were generally intact, so I'm planning to try a fine grind with my "brew-in-a-basket" system next time.

But was there any real difference in either the brewing or the beer?  I ask because when I tried it, it made no real difference.

No, not that I noticed this time. 

I got good efficiency, but this was a small experimental batch that was still brewed in a bag. I was curious what it would do for dust (pretty much total eliminated it) and if it would leave the husks in better shape for when I "brew in a basket" (Spike solo) next time.  The husks definitely seemed to be nearly intact, but I haven't yet seen how that affects the performance of the electric brew system.  I'm hoping that it will produce a clearer wort... yet to be tested.

Offline denny

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2024, 08:35:02 am »
I also recently tried moistening the grains prior to grinding and it really did seem to improve the grind.  Significantly.  Almost zero dust, and the husks were generally intact, so I'm planning to try a fine grind with my "brew-in-a-basket" system next time.

But was there any real difference in either the brewing or the beer?  I ask because when I tried it, it made no real difference.

No, not that I noticed this time. 

I got good efficiency, but this was a small experimental batch that was still brewed in a bag. I was curious what it would do for dust (pretty much total eliminated it) and if it would leave the husks in better shape for when I "brew in a basket" (Spike solo) next time.  The husks definitely seemed to be nearly intact, but I haven't yet seen how that affects the performance of the electric brew system.  I'm hoping that it will produce a clearer wort... yet to be tested.

Maybe you'll see a difference that I didn't
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2024, 03:50:03 pm »
i brewed the stout. Things went well until I drained the wort. It did not want to pass through the bag. I had to put the bag on an oven grate over a cooler and mash it with a cutting board. Then I poured half a gallon of hot water through it. Beersmith says I ended up with over 70% efficiency. I forget the actual figure. I ended up one point over my target.

This beer has well over two pounds of oats in it.
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

Eccentricity is its own reward.

Offline Richard

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2024, 04:29:57 pm »
This beer has well over two pounds of oats in it.

Oats absorb more liquid than barley malt, pound for pound, and they make a sticky, gooey mash that is hard to drain. Fortunately, bag users can squeeze as you did.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

Offline Clint Yeastwood

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2024, 05:22:22 pm »
The next beer has 5 pounds of wheat in it, so I'm wondering what that will be like.
Go ahead. Make my IPA.

Eccentricity is its own reward.

Offline Drewch

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Re: Which Big Beer Would You Brew This Weekend?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2024, 06:36:48 pm »
The next beer has 5 pounds of wheat in it, so I'm wondering what that will be like.

I've done 100% malted wheat BIAB with no issues.
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