Newbie Looking for Guidance

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Ruaney, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. Ruaney

    Ruaney New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here and new to brewing and was looking for some guidance. I've recently bought some kit so I can do some brewing - extract (I think I have my head around this now) - the blog on here was great! But I was hoping to move on to using grains and becoming more adventurous with my brews. I have the following 'kit':

    6.5 gallon fermenter w/ lid & bubbler airlock
    Bottling bucket w/spigot
    5 gallon brew kettle
    Paddle
    Siphon
    Thermometer
    Hydrometer
    Sparging bag
    Cleaner/sanitizer

    I was just wondering if this is adequate enough to do some BIAB brewing? I'm still a bit lost with some of the terminology too but I guess that will come when I become a more experienced brewer. Does anybody have any tips? Where I should start? Easy brews (is there an easy brew?)? I have seen some grain recipes to buy online, do people think that is the best place to start? I guess my biggest worry is how to keep consistent temperatures.


    Sorry if it's a waffle. I'll probably have more questions as time goes on!

    Cheers and keep brewing!
     
  2. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Looks like all the basics covered for around a 3 gallon or more brew in a bag batch. What sort of beers do you like?
     
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  3. Ruaney

    Ruaney New Member

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    @Mark Farrall - I love IPA's, APA's and Pales mostly. But I don't say no to much if I am honest...
     
  4. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    I agree with @Mark Farrall. BIAB small batches should be right up your alley. I would say 2.5 gallon max and gravities no larger than 1.060 or so...otherwise you might start maxing out that 5gal kettle. If you want high ABV beers, you would most likely have to add extract or sugar to the boil as opposed to more grain in the mash.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd start with something light and easy - say a blonde, moderately hopped, think lawn mower beer. The reason for this is to eliminate places your process flaws (and you'll have them) can hide. Once you can make that well and it comes out more or less the same every time, move on. But it looks like, sans bag, you have all you need for BIAB.
     
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  6. Ruaney

    Ruaney New Member

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    Thanks for your responses guys. When you say that I could only do a 3 gallon brew in my 5 gallon kettle, is that because the other 2 will essentially be the contents of my bag?

    I'll probably try a blonde first...Reading the recipes on here is quite daunting but I'll give it a whirl!
     
  7. BrewPatgonia

    BrewPatgonia Well-Known Member

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    heading in the right direction!
    5 gallon brew kettle, you can't maximize the volume as you need some head space for the boil, and all the foam (hot break) material that will develop along with avoiding a boil over.. therefore you don't want any closer than 3 inches from the top of the kettle for your initial volume.
    you will lose 1 gallon (approx) for a 1 hour boil .. (you should).
    .. so if you get 3 to 3.5 gallons out of a 5 gallon kettle, you are doing good.
     
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  8. Ruaney

    Ruaney New Member

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    Ok, that's great. Thanks! So in theory, if I wanted to brew something that was 5 gallons I would be looking at say an 8 gallon brew kettle?
     
  9. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I would say at the minimum get a 10 gal kettle. this way you can definitely get 5 gal batches but will also have available room to up your ABV with more grain.
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with 10. You can do five gallons in a five-gallon kettle if you do a concentrated three-gallon boil but that's a different thread.
     
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  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on 10 being the sweet spot. You can get around it with double batches, concentrating wort, etc... but it's more hassle. Otherwise looks like you have the right idea.
     
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  12. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    With your current system, start with a conservative boil volume. Boil-overs happen very quickly:eek: and are a pain to clean up:(. Once you get some experience with your system you can start to ratchet up your boil volume until you feel you are pushing your luck. If that still doesn't produce a satisfactory amount of beer then, sad to say, you'll just have to upgrade! :D
     
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  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I have 16G kettles so I get away with all kinds of ridiculous things with my boils.
     
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  14. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend googling a bunch of BIAB videos, there is no end of videos to watch, and you learn a little each time. Mash Hacks is a good one, but there are literally hundreds of videos out there.
     
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  15. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    That brings up a good point about upgrading. Unless money or storage space is an issue, always upgrade two levels up from where you are now. When I went from extract to all-grain I purchased a 10 gal (38L) brew kettle. I wish I had purchased a 15 gal (57L) kettle. But even if I had...mine would still be smaller than @Hawkbox's! :(

    BK Envy :p
     
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  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I upgraded to 15g kettle for 10 gallon batches. It is a little snug at times, wish I had gone bigger toooooooo
     
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  17. BrewPatgonia

    BrewPatgonia Well-Known Member

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    LOL.... seems like a recurring situation.
    no matter what size you get.... you will push the limits of what you have!
    you will have boil overs! prepare your flooring, catch pans, etc... for them.:p
     
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  18. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Better than two years, 40+ batches, and I have not had a boil over yet. Ah crap, I'm sure I've jinxed myself now!
     
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  19. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Start the clock @Craigerr! :p
     
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  20. Ruaney

    Ruaney New Member

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    Thanks so much for all of the replies. I think I'll see how I get on with my smaller kettle for a couple of brews before I get cocky and buy something bigger. But I'll go two sizes up as suggested when I do.

    I'll let you know my progress as I go if I can!

    Does anyone recommend a good recipe to start with? Someone mentioned a blonde further up.

    JR
     

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