BIAB Small Batches

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by TheZel66, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Hatchertiger

    Hatchertiger New Member

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    I have been brewing for just under a year and brew 2 gallons at a time. Chose small batch brewing to learn the process and to try more styles of beer. Here is what I use for my mash tun http://www.homebrewstuff.com/2-gallon-mash-tun.html but I'm sure you can make your own. I converted a 2 gallon water cooler to a hot liquor tank and fly sparge with it. When sparging I cover the mash tun with an aluminum pie tin (high tech!) with holes punched in it. This disperses the water coming in from the hot liquor tank so that there is not channeling in the mash. Thus far it has worked well for what I have brewed, my favorite being a bourbon vanilla porter. I'm considering jumping up to 3 gallons with the same set up.
     
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  2. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Nosybear. When you mention melanoidins, is that the same result as using melanoidin malt? So, I suppose what I'm asking is, are concentrated wort boils good for head retention? Kind of sounds like they should.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Melanoidins: Similar. The reactions are the same so you should get both color and flavor contributions from them. Head retention should be no impact from a concentrated boil. I never had a problem with it when I was doing concentrated boils using extract.
     
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  4. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

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    Hi there,
    Im also doing 5 Liters Batches and im quite happy with it. As you said, i also planned extra 1,5 Liters due to trub loss in order to end up with 5 Liters of Beer. Im fermenting directly in the bottling bucket and didnt have its working fine. I´ve made a 10L bucket with a spigot jjust bellow the 2L mark. LAst Batch, i tested the cold Crash and it seems that the trub was a Little bit more compact but still in floculate form (not cement like). I could bottle the 5 Liters with no Problem having a relatively clear beer (i used Irish moos in the last boiling Minute).
    Cheers
     
  5. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that my issue with bottling is because I'm boiling strong and adding quite a bit of cooled water into the fermentor to cool the wort down to pitching temps. I didn't have problems before I did this either. The mixing during transfer should sort this out. I use Irish Moss too, about 15 mins from the end. I take it you do a full volume boil, i.e the amount at the end of the boil is what goes into fermentor (if OG is ok)?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how that's a factor. Bottle conditioning relies on yeast in suspension working on the additional sugar you add, neither of which are affected by a concentrated boil. Issues with bottling from primary: Biggest one is sucking trub up with the racking cane or out the spigot, giving you "floaties" in your beer or haze. Again, neither of these are a function of a concentrated boil. I've started purging my bottling bucket with CO2 to keep oxygen out of the finished beer but that's a problem whether I rack to secondary or not.
     
  7. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    I had read somewhere that lighter liquid added to the primary ends up sitting on top, but you could well be right. I have seen said 'floaties' in two bottles. But my problem is that those two bottles were hazy and that tasted like they had been mashed with oats. The others have been crystal clear and bubbles but no real head, like they hadn't been mashed with oats. I thought using oats was supposed to make hazy beer with decent head retention and mouthfeel. This is why my suspicions are aroused that something isn't right. Have you used oats and had crystal clear beer with no head retention? Oats were about 5% of the grain bill. Is that just not enough? I am new to this, so I welcome any advice.
     
  8. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Zel, A trick I used to use was using my oven
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't suggesting that something wasn't right, just that the concentrated boil wasn't it. Fermentation would have mixed the water into the wort completely, so there wouldn't be stratification. The problem is likely that you steeped flaked oats. I was trying to see if you're doing extract but couldn't find the start of the thread. Flaked grains need to be mashed to convert starches so if you're doing extract batches, expect haze.
     
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  10. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Nosybear. I'm doing BIAB with grain only. I did mash the flaked oats with the rest of the grist/grain. I thought this ought to cause haze. Is that right?
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It shouldn't. I've brewed with unmalted oats before and got clear beer. Your problem is a bit of a conundrum, I was reaching a bit for an explanation.
     
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  12. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    If unmalted oats don't necessarily cause haze, then my issue could simply be due trub. I'll rack to secondary and be more careful with bottle washing and see what happens. Thanks for the input.
     
  13. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Nosey will be able to confirm this better but sometimes after bottling a beer it will look crystal clear in the cellar then wack her in the fridge and it will throw a thick protine haze on you. A good two week fridge condition should help with this haze. I use geletin in the keg to try and clear this problem. I hope I haven't led this thread off track:rolleyes:. Anyhow good luck.

    FWIW I'm drinking my pils ATM with some considerable haze from what I think is my ultra fine mill but I'm confident another 2 weeks at 3c will clear it for me fingers crossed lol:p.
     
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  14. BoomerBrian

    BoomerBrian Active Member

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    There was a lot of discussions about oats and haze with the NEIPA craze. Latest experiments I have seen back up Nosybear's statement. Oats aren't causing the haze.
     
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  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If it's hazing up when you chill it, it's protein and tannins - polyphenols - forming the haze. Gelatin will clear it. If it's there when it's warm, it's some other kind of haze, likely starch. Polyvinyl whatever will clear that up somewhat but the best defense against that is get good conversion in your mash.
     
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  16. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    This is really useful and interesting. The author of the book that kind of inspired me to get into brewing mentions oats being the cause of haze. That's why I'd thought that. But, my mash temps weren't constant. Since I've used the strike temp calculator on here the mash temp been bang on...and no haze. Voila! I'll rack to secondary this time, just to see if it's better anyway. Cheers fellas...assuming you are all fellas...
     
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  17. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Well, not ALL of us are fellas....................

    I wrote an article a long time about about beer clarity, for homebrewtalk.com. It's here, if you're interested: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/clear-wort-clear-beer.html It's not specific to BIAB, but the same principles would apply.
     
  18. Benman IPA

    Benman IPA Member

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    I'm brewing small batches, started 8 months ago and thought i'll start small and move to 5 Gallon batches.
    but i fell in love with the small batches, i love making different beers and it keeps me experimental all the time.
    my best tip for you is to always plan ahead your brewing otherwise it gets expensive.
    i use only dry yeast, i do 3-4 batches of 1G with one pack and plan my recipe according to the yeast i have in hand.
    i also plan using hops carefully, i don't like to keep them too long as they compromise over time even if you keep them sealed in the fridge.
    so usually I'm planing 2-4 batches ahead - It saves a lot of money!
     
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  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've been doing small batches of the same beer as a learning experience. It's worth doing - you really start to realize what a change to process does if it's to exactly the same beer. And I'm doing it with a lager so the biggest variables are under control.
     
  20. The Green Man

    The Green Man Well-Known Member

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    I hear you Benman. I also plan a couple of batches ahead and bottle the last batch during the mash or boil of the next batch. Uses time better. Plus, I've always got something new to look forward to. Like you say it makes the best use of yeast and hops too. Only thing is, I'm drinking the whole batch before it's reached its best...
     
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