Brew in a bag (BIAB) is an alternative all-grain technique to the traditional mash tun process, which is ever-growing in popularity. After the mash is complete, the bag of grains is pulled from the brew kettle and allowed to drip in order to get all that sweet wort. Sounds easy, right? Well holding a bag of saturated grains can get quite heavy.
Here are four tricks to give your arms a break after removing the grain bag. Keep in mind some of these techniques work better than others for very heavy bags.
1. Kitchen Strainer
Kitchen strainers and colanders are perfect for holding grains while the wort drips into the kettle. Look for a strainer with a long handle on one end and hook-like handles on the other, which allow the colander to securely sit on the rim of the brew pot. Plastic colanders become a bit flimsy when using larger quantities of grains.
2. Cross Spoons
Chances are you have a long spoon and mash paddle, or two long spoons. Simply place one spoon or paddle across the top of the pot, and then the other across it to form an “X”. Place the bag of saturated grains on top, ensuring the spoons are sitting securely enough that the bag won’t fall through. This technique takes some balancing, but it works like a charm!
3. Grill Grate
Find an old grill or oven grate that can be cleaned free of grease and other debris. Place it on top of the kettle, and put your grain bag on it. This makes for a very solid and adaptable method to hold grain bags of all weights.
This method varies greatly depending on grain weight, but the idea is to hang the grain bag so it is suspended over the pot. Some homebrewers simply tie the bag to a cabinet handle above the pot, while others use a homemade pulley system.