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docpd

Making the jump to AG

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I finally feel like trying an AG batch, and plan to use the BIAB method as several of you have done. Anyone have some good recipes that lend themselves to BIAB? My favorite styles are IPA, Red Ale, English Brown Ale, and American Pale Ale.

After steeping grains for a while, it seems like it really is not much of a jump to AG.

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docpd wrote:

I finally feel like trying an AG batch, and plan to use the BIAB method as several of you have done. Anyone have some good recipes that lend themselves to BIAB? My favorite styles are IPA, Red Ale, English Brown Ale, and American Pale Ale.

After steeping grains for a while, it seems like it really is not much of a jump to AG.

Excellent! I've done a lot of MIAB (I call it mash in a bag, I think it's more accurate .... and I love it! I put a lot of posts and pics in here on the topic, if you can find them, they may help. You can post or PM me if you have questions ... maybe I can answer. But, you are right, it is not hard. An LHBS by me has 10lb bags of 2row so you don't have to jump to a 50lb bag if you're not sure ... I only get 50 lb bags now. You can get the grain cracked at the store, but if you think you're gonna catch on to this, get a mill. I got a hand crank mill, which some think is a PITA, but I can crack 5 lbs in a few minutes. It doesn't add to process time, because I do it while I'm bringing the water up to strike temp.


I have four 5 gal strainer bags, but I'm still using the first one, it just won't wear out.

I'm drinking an AG right now. A lot of times when I do a MIAB, I just think about what character ale I want, and do a simple brew. E.G, this one is just 2row, and some 10L, 3 hop introductions, Amarillo and Perle each introduction. Delicious, nice head, foam, lacing ... ahhhhhhhh

Yah, I could send you some recipes if you want, but I have a feeling you already know what you're doing.

All my mashes have been AG so far, but I'm going to start some partial mashes, which will be the same thing, only add LME to make a double brew for two MrB fermenters. Then, I can compare two yeast strains in the same recipe.

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BTW, I made a Red Ale that was put up on here by Swenocha ... you can easily search it. I pretty much used the same recipe, minor tweak, but the last time I did it was MIAB and it certainly was delicious.


Basically, I'm finding that, about, 5lbs of two row are getting me gravity like 3.3 lbs of LME. That's because my efficiency is off a bit with my lackadaisacal sparges. I just to some extra dunks and squeezes with the water temp up a bit after the mash ... I'm getting over 65% and I sure the hell can live with that being I bought no extra equipment, and am getting Ales that are excellomundo.

WORD TO THE WISE .... You mash, make sure your thermometer is not off. Important. Get an extra thermometer or two. I have three, that I keep tucked into the sixers that are conditioning in my basement. If one of them looks a few degrees different than the other two .. it's time to test it by putting it in boiling water and seeing if it's within a couple of degrees of 212 ... if not, adjust.

Other than that, you use common sense, there's not much to worry about. I could not believe, the first few times I did it, how long the mash temp, around 155, holds in a covered steel pot. No blanket, towels, Unbelievable. My new induction burner rocks.

The last mash I did, yesterday, strike was about 166, when grain went in, stir, check ... hit 156. It held a full hour with the burner turned off the whole time. In fact, I went 75 minutes without having to turn the damned thing on ... never went below 152.

If you ever do have to add a little heat, use a real low setting, stir, check, stir, check. The bottom of pot can heat up quick with the grain density. Treat your mash temp gingerly. Don't shoot up your temp. But like I say, I got it down, I never have to add heat more than a tad, if at all, it is a beautiful thing. No tun, no cooler ... right in the brew pot. No racking ... it's already in the pot for the brewing ...

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I agree with Tabasco, there really isn't any reason that one beer would lend itself to the BIAB technique any more than another. You should really be able to do most any recipe you wanted. I would suggest that you plan on a lower efficiency, if you are trying to plan your malt bill to achieve a particular gravity. I've heard of people getting as high as an 80% efficiency with BIAB though, which is pretty good for any mashing style. There are quite a few good videos online showing the process if you haven't seen it done yet.

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oly wrote:

I agree with Tabasco, there really isn't any reason that one beer would lend itself to the BIAB technique any more than another. You should really be able to do most any recipe you wanted. I would suggest that you plan on a lower efficiency, if you are trying to plan your malt bill to achieve a particular gravity. I've heard of people getting as high as an 80% efficiency with BIAB though, which is pretty good for any mashing style. There are quite a few good videos online showing the process if you haven't seen it done yet.

Yah, I'm lucky to hit 70, usually high sixties. The people getting 80 are doing a seperate sparge pot, for sure. I don't do that. But, I've been getting typically 5.5% ABV with, say 4.5 lbs 2 row, and .5 lbs specialty, and I'm happy.

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Tobias and I typically get high 70's to 80% efficiency with very little effort put into the sparge. Squeeze a little, pour a little water through the bag (open it versus just pouring over the outside) and all is good.

I'm working on an AG red recipe now that I hope to brew soon, but as stated above - any AG recipe will work.

Good luck!

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I did a Brown Ale for first AG batch and it was awesome! I use a round cooler for my mash tun. The only thing better than doing all-grain batches is kegging your AG batch in a Corny keg!!!

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Tomorrow I will try my first All Grain BIAB. Here is the recipe:

All Grain Irish Red

4 lb Six row
1 lb two row
.5 lb Carapils
.25 lb Crystal 60

.5 oz Hallertauer 60 min
.25 oz Hallertauer 20 min
.25 oz Hallertauer 10 min

I think I will use Safale 0-4 yeast

Qbrew gives Est OG 1.057 EST FG 1.014
Color 12, IBU 27 ABV 5.5%

Looks pretty simple as a first attempt. What do you guys think?

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No this was a 5 gallon recipe that I scaled down to 2.14 gallon Mr Beer size
so it will be in 1 Mr B fermenter

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Gotcha - I saw the 5 lbs of grain and figured it after. Still in extract mode thinking. Let us know your results. I think I'll be going to BIAB before going full bore into 5 gal AG brewing too. Seems like a good in between step. Thanks.

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That looks like a nice brew. Just as a warning, you may not get the efficiency you want for your first AG beer.

If you've done partial mashes, you've already figured out your efficiency.

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Good luck, Doc. Let us know how the process goes for you, and keep us updated on the status of this particular brew. Inquiring minds want to know.

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20 minutes left in the hop boil as I type this. Mash went well, except for spilling some grain on the kitchen floor when dumping the grain. I mashed for 60 minutes at close to 156 degrees, then squeezed the hell out of the bag. The paint strainer is a great bag to use for this. Smells great so far. Will let you know if I hit the OG. :)

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Now in the fermenter. OG was 1.058 vs predicted 1.057. Cooled in ice bathe for 30 minutes and pitched at 66 degrees. This one took about 3 hours start to finish including clean up. Hopefully I will get faster at it. The wort tasted great.

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docpd wrote:

Now in the fermenter. OG was 1.058 vs predicted 1.057. Cooled in ice bathe for 30 minutes and pitched at 66 degrees. This one took about 3 hours start to finish including clean up. Hopefully I will get faster at it. The wort tasted great.

Wow imagine that he hit is OG with BIAB :) Just playing since many say thats the biggest knock on BIAB and ive hit my OG every time but 2.

3 hours seems just about right. 1 hour mash, 1 hour boil, 30 cool and 30 clean. I cant see where to cut time.

Grats on first run let us know how it tastes

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Did a quick search, but couldn't come up with an answer: How do you calculate mash efficiency?

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I'm glad it went well for you, Docpd.

In following this, I noticed two things, and together they made me think a little.

1) You hit your OG, and Tobias says he's done that with every BIAB he's done but two. This sort of puts the lie to what Tobias says is the biggest knock on BIAB. In other words, hitting the projected OG can be done.

2) You say you squeezed the hell out of the bag. I've read other threads where guys don't squeeze or sparge, or otherwise get a little lax in this department.

Perhaps Point One is directly influenced by Point The Second?

I'm just speculating.

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Dave,

I think you are right. The videos I watched all recommended squeezing the bag well. Just have to see if that produced any off flavors.

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If it did, wouldn't it make sense for the videos to be edited or redone with the instruction or warning not to squeeze, as off-flavors could result?

I mean, these are instructional videos, after all, you'd think they'd know what they were doing.

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Well, we're talking the videos from more legit homebrewing sites like basicbrewing.com, as opposed to kennys_coors_lite_clones.com.

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Dang! got the address wrong again... thought it was kennys_coors_lite_clones.putzmore/idiot

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Dave and Dag,

Both of your points are well taken. That's why I said I will just have to wait to see how the finished product turns out. The process was fairly easy though and a $2 paint strainer is a lot cheaper and easier than building a mash tun, IMO.

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actually docpd, I am giving serious thought as to trying this. However, after reading some of the stuff said about it, and being a woosy regarding burning myself, I would consider building a overhead pully system, and something to squeeze the bag, such as a press of sorts.

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That sounds like a great idea. In one video they did make a rack to suspend the bag and squeezed it by twisting.

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FedoraDave wrote:

I'm glad it went well for you, Docpd.

In following this, I noticed two things, and together they made me think a little.

1) You hit your OG, and Tobias says he's done that with every BIAB he's done but two. This sort of puts the lie to what Tobias says is the biggest knock on BIAB. In other words, hitting the projected OG can be done.

2) You say you squeezed the hell out of the bag. I've read other threads where guys don't squeeze or sparge, or otherwise get a little lax in this department.

Perhaps Point One is directly influenced by Point The Second?

I'm just speculating.

Could be. You don't want to leave anything behind. No off flavors derived from this method yet so squeeze to your hearts content.

Rest assured Doc, you'll be fine.

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docpd wrote:

That sounds like a great idea. In one video they did make a rack to suspend the bag and squeezed it by twisting.

The video I saw the guys were brewing outdoors and they brought a ladder over and tied the bag to the ladder and twisted it.

I was thinking that if I did this in my basement, I could just run a dowel or a pipe between two floor joists and use that.

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does buying 50lbs of grain at a time save much money or just trips to a homebrew store? right now i just hand them a list of the grains and get them to crack it for me

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Yes squeezing the bag can be unpleasant. The way I do it now is use a second pot with a steamer basket. I set bag in pot and use a pie tin to press down on the bag then dump the goodness into boil pot.

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Yankeedag,

The video that oly posted on the first page of this thread shows the bag suspended.

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Bottled today. It came out a tad lighter in color than I expected, but tasted great. Will let you know how it tastes in a few weeks.

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FedoraDave wrote:

Well, we're talking the videos from more legit homebrewing sites like basicbrewing.com, as opposed to kennys_coors_lite_clones.com.

Actually, the address is... oh, let me just link the vid instead...

:banana: :banana: :banana:

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docpd wrote:

No this was a 5 gallon recipe that I scaled down to 2.14 gallon Mr Beer size
so it will be in 1 Mr B fermenter

doc, how do you calculate the amount of water for a MB batch? I've been looking into doing a BIAB but can't seem to find out how much water to use.

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I'm still trying to nail down the perfect amount, but I've found that somewhere around 3 gallons (or a bit more... I've been doing around 2 gallons in the mash, and one in the sparge) hits the 2.4 (bottom of the 'Q') after boil-off.

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swenocha wrote:

I'm still trying to nail down the perfect amount, but I've found that somewhere around 3 gallons (or a bit more... I've been doing around 2 gallons in the mash, and one in the sparge) hits the 2.4 (bottom of the 'Q') after boil-off.

Thanks swenocha, I've been trying to figure it out using beersmith but I'm just not getting it. Anyone use beersmith and know how to set it up for a BIAB method and a MB size batch?

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Great link, Swen. I guessed at the right amount and used a bit less water on my first one and had to add about a quart of water to the fermenter before pitching. I know this is supposed to be an All Grain No No, but it didn't really seem to adversely affect my brew.

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I'm gonna go ahead and do a MIAB stout!

off the top of my head: 5 pounds 2 row, .5 pound roasted barley, 1 oz kent goldings @ 60 min.

this will be my first mash or partial mash so any tips or recommendations are welcome!


OP great job! I'm envious of that ale!

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tesilential wrote:

I'm gonna go ahead and do a MIAB stout!

off the top of my head: 5 pounds 2 row, .5 pound roasted barley, 1 oz kent goldings @ 60 min.

this will be my first mash or partial mash so any tips or recommendations are welcome!


OP great job! I'm envious of that ale!

Not sure what MIAB is? Is it going to be a all-grain or partial mash batch? According to your ingredients its an all-grain. According to Beersmith your SRM and IBU's are a little low. I like a 15 min and a 5 min hop addition of Williamate's in my stouts. Maybe some chocolate malt and Carafoam or Dextrine.

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I thought you guys might want to see the results of this recipe. At 5 weeks in the bottle it tastes great; a nice smooth Irish Red:


f3334d0c.jpg

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"Take pride in your beer" indeed!

That's a fine looking brew. I imagine you'll be doing more BIAB in the future.

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My second one is in the ferementer now, a Bells Two Hearted Ale clone :P

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Very good.

I'm looking forward to the AG IPA I brewed recently. I will definitely be on the lookout for more AG recipes in the future, and I know it'll be a red-letter day when I brew my first 5-gallon AG batch. For me, this is where the real fun is to be had; learning new things that will allow me more freedom and creativity. And when it all works out, as yours did, and you get to drink the positive results, there's a real feeling of accomplishments.

:cheers: to you, docpd!

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docpd wrote:

I thought you guys might want to see the results of this recipe. At 5 weeks in the bottle it tastes great; a nice smooth Irish Red:


f3334d0c.jpg

Very nice, congratulations.

I've been doing mash in bags for a while now, having good success. As I've gotten more attentive my efficiency has been a bit over 70, I don't sparge. I do have a "squeeze" method using a grill over the top of the pot after the mash (another no-no that works yes-yes for me).

I recently brewed some double batches, which are almost ready to drink. For those, I had to add water to the fermenters to bring up, and we'll see how the beer turns out when I pop one, but the sample taste at bottling was great.

BTW, you said adding cold water at the end in the fermenter is a no-no, and I agree it is considered to be, but when I have to do it, I do it, and I get great beer. Fine grinding is another no-no that is yes-yes for mash in bag.

Bottom line, you don't break any real solid rules, like adjunct ratios, sanitizing, blah blah, and use common sense, you will mostly, if not always, be victorious. You are the brew master. Not someone who wrote a book. Use that info for guidelines, think about it, but it's not your master. I think you have done great stuff. I'm so glad you mashed in bag ... I get a great kick out of it myself.

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