First BIAB brew day

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Sunfire96, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone! I'm really excited to try out BIAB when I brew a Simcoe single hop IPA on Wednesday (hopefully). I wanted to set myself up for success and ask the experts here what they think :)

    -Brewing 1 gallon in a 3 gallon stock pot
    -I'm going to crush my crushed grain with a rolling pin for a finer grist
    -Brew bag is big enough for a 7.5 gallon pot, so I'll use binder clips to keep it attached
    -I have a silicon veggie steamer that I can use as a false bottom to keep the bag away from the heat (it's rated to 230'F, mash temp is 150-155F, mash out at 170F), if you use BIAB do you use a false bottom, or just lift the bag when applying heat?
    -60 minute mash followed by 10 minute mash out; BIABers, do you mash for a time different than 60? Do you do the mash out?
    -I'm going to squeeze/press the bag after mash out for all those sweet, sweet fermentable sugars
    -Measure gravity, then start the boil as usual!


    Please let me know if I'm missing anything or if something seems off or weird! Thanks for your time!

    Here's the recipe:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/edit/1026547
     
  2. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a solid plan. At some point I should actually record how I do things.
    A coffee grinder would also work for the grain if you have one.
    I have only done 3-4 BIAB batches but I've been mashing for 60 minutes. If you look at the Brulosophy stuff it seems that 30 minutes or so gets most of the conversion done so you could go lower if you wanted to but 60 is kind of the standard.
    I do not mash out, I just start heating for the boil.
     
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  3. Herm_brews

    Herm_brews Well-Known Member

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    @Sunfire96 good luck! When I get grains from my lhbs, I always double mill those grains - do what you must to get as much from your grains as possible. See if your brew kettle will fit in your oven. You might need to remove a rack, but if you can fit the kettle in your oven (with the lid on) then you should not need to use a “false bottom” as the oven should help hold the heat in the kettle. I fire my oven on a “warm” setting for about 5 minutes and usually hold my mash temp steady within a degree or so of target. I like to stir the mash, check the temperature and collect a refractometer sample every 15 minutes to check progression of the mash. The mash out step is one that I skip. Squeezing the bag after mash is complete is a required step in my process.
    Again, good luck, take good notes, and most of all have fun!
     
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  4. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I use this. It's a round cooling rack that's about the same size as my vessel. They have several different sizes on Amazon. I think mine was $6.

    Wire rack.JPG
     
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  5. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    I'm debating skipping mash out, thank you, this is helpful
     
  6. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh, I love this idea! Score one for the kitchen brewers, am I rite?
     
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  7. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    @Herm_brews super random question, but I've noticed in your posts that you have the small spiedel fermenter...do you like it? Was it worth the upgrade costs? Does the spigot leak? Have you had any issues with the plastic scratching? I want to upgrade someday to a 3 gallon fermenter with spigot, but am nervous about plastic fermenters. That stainless steel 3 gallon fermenter (by Ss I think?) looks great, but is way spendier than my target right now.
     
  8. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    That seems like a cheap and simple solution, my favorite kind. Thanks!
     
  9. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    1. Make sure you crush your grains well. For your first time, I would say that if you think you have them crushed well enough, crush them a little more.
    2. Considering how big your bag is, keep a close eye on the handles of the bag. Make sure they don't reach the heat source.
    3. Mash-out is up to you. I do it sometimes, but not usually.
    4. You really only need to squeeze the bag until you hit your pre-boil volume target. Squeezing any more is just for pride. ;) Do you know your boil-off rate?

    I also have the small Speidel and really like it. I haven't had any leak issues or scratch issues and its super easy to clean. The drawbacks to it would be 1) it's not clear so you can't see all the fermentation fun going on inside (though you can usually discern the Krausen ring and trub fallout) and 2) The handle is useless when you put the airlock in place. Not that I would trust a plastic handle with precious beer inside anyway...

    Good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  10. Herm_brews

    Herm_brews Well-Known Member

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    I just finished my third fermentation in the Speidel, and am happy with the upgrade, especially at the discounted price ($33.00 at my lhbs). So far no leaks from the spigot, nor any scratching of the plastic. The only drawback from my perspective is losing the ability to watch the fermentation progress. I can’t see the krausen or the trub, and the airlock bubbler is so much larger than the “s” type or 3-piece. But it is so nice to be able to pour off beer for bottling, leaving a little beer behind to cover the trub, then pour a new batch of wort on that yeast cake.
    Recently, I had batches fermenting in both the Speidel and in one-gallon glass carboys.
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Going to stainless had the same downside, I have no real visual way to know what is going on unless I'm willing to open the lid.
     
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  12. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered a 7.9 gallon Speidel fermenter. I use big mouth bubblers and stainless fermenters. I don't care about seeing the action in the fermenter. Since I do BIAB 5 gal batches, I also ordered a grain mill to re-crush my milled grains. I have not been doing this. We'll see if it makes a difference.
     
  13. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    You're effectively doing a mash out as you bring it to the boil. Mash out being an attempt to denature the enzymes so they don't make the beer drier than you planned.

    For me mash time is largely related to how much body/sweetness I want in the beer. A really dry beer I'll mash for 90 minutes so the beta amylase has plenty of time to do it's work. You can have your starch converted in as little as 20-30 minutes, but the beta amylase will have only turned some of that sugar into fermentable sugar.

    And I'm another owner of a 12 L Speidel. It's a good fermenter, especially if you're staying at that batch size. I don't use it much anymore as my batches have settled down at 12 L so it doesn't have the room.
     
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  14. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    I'm very curious about your results once when start double crushing. There must be a Brulosophy Xbmt about single vs double crushed grains? I know some people hate their data collection methods, but as a new brewer, I find the theory behind their experiments fascinating
     
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  15. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info! I'm wondering if instead of a mash out it would make more sense to monitor temps every 10 mins (and stirring), and as long as I've passed the 30 minute mark, if my mash temp dips too low, just start raising the heat for a pseudo mash out on the way to heating to a boil. I think if I take a gravity sample and make sure that's on target, there shouldn't be a downside to a short mash?
     
  16. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    I do love being able to watch the beer drop bright
     
  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That should work fine.
     
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  18. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    i'm going on the theory that the main issue is with sparging on the finely crushed grains and since I BIAB, I'm not concerned with a stuck sparge, at least not now.
     
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  19. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    That was always my understanding. Same reason as rice hulls.
     
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  20. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Downside? That depends on the beer, but there will be a difference. The standard mash approach of 60 minutes at 68C/155F is a compromise between time and fermentability. Simplifying it a bit, less time gives lower fermentability, more time gives higher fermentability.

    Lower fermentability will leave some sweetness and more body and a higher final gravity. Higher fermentability will make the beer feel drier, more drinkable with less body, as well as a lower FG.

    So depends on what you want as to how long you mash. Some of my beers I mash 90-120 minutes at 65C/149F, others it's 40 minutes at 70C/159C.

    Mash out is different to the time you spend mashing. It's for brewers (generally pros) who have long transfers between the mash tun and kettle. They raise the mash temp to kill all the enzymes so the beer doesn't become more fermentable while they transfer the wort. Some places have very long transfer times that would completely change the beer if they didn't mash out. For us BIAB brewers it's irrelevant.

    So the temp monitoring makes sense, but for a first BIAB batch I'd stick with the default 60 minute mash approach and just raise the temp back up to 155F if it drops below 150F before 60 minutes. Then next time if you want it drier/more drinkable you can mash longer with a slightly lower temp. If you want more body or a bit of sweetness you can mash shorter.
     
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