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losman26

Retired extract brewer here.

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I'm drinking my second BIAB batch using the HBC 342 experimental hop, and see no reason to do extract brewing anymore unless I'm either teaching someone or need a quick batch. BIABing doesn't really take much more time as extract brewing, and costs about 1/2 as much. I just tasted my hydro of a Citra Rye batch using the San Diego super yeast, and it tastes awesome. The freshness of the ingredients, and being able to control your mash makes all the difference. It also seems a lot easier to adjust or scale recipes doing all-grain. Now, I just need to buy a really good digital thermometer. I'm probably gonna go with something from Thermoworks.

Maybe eventually I'll convert to traditional all-grain. Which method do you prefer?

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I recently put down a pound of cash for a Thermopen after I had concerns that 4 thermometers gave me conflicting temps. Some in the 60's but most in the range of the mash temps. My beers have been fine, though some not attenuating as well as I'd like so temperature control was just one more thing I wanted to remove from the equation.
I'm also showing my evil twin how to BIAB though he's not a regular brewer, he wants to learn the process though it's simply, simple.
I still plan to do an occasional extract/partial mash or steep when time is a problem and simply will make sure the ingredients are fresh as that is the major key to all good brewing.

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I'm really happy with the BIAB. A lot less equipment to store/lug out, and my results have been plenty good.

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"losman26" post=384257 said:


Maybe eventually I'll convert to traditional all-grain. Which method do you prefer?

Go electric.

I went from traditional mash tun AG to single vessel recirculating E-BIAB and am glad. It was an adventure to build it all (from one of PJ's schematics on HBT), but a really interesting and rewarding project.

I love being able to set/monitor my mash temp on the PID controller, let the Chugger pump recirculate wort, and leave it be for 60-90 minutes.

Funny thing is that, during the hot Texas summer, I may just have to do a few stove top 2.5 galllon batches and ferment them in the LBKs. My E-BIAB rig is in the garage where the 240V 50A spa panel is located. Just standing out there can get uncomfortable.

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"BigFloyd" post=384262 said:

"losman26" post=384257 said:


Maybe eventually I'll convert to traditional all-grain. Which method do you prefer?

Go electric.

I went from traditional mash tun AG to single vessel recirculating E-BIAB and am glad. It was an adventure to build it all (from one of PJ's schematics on HBT), but a really interesting and rewarding project.

I love being able to set/monitor my mash temp on the PID controller, let the Chugger pump recirculate wort, and leave it be for 60-90 minutes.

Funny thing is that, during the hot Texas summer, I may just have to do a few stove top 2.5 galllon batches and ferment them in the LBKs. My E-BIAB rig is in the garage where the 240V 50A spa panel is located. Just standing out there can get uncomfortable.


I have thought of either building a electric BIAB rig or buying one from High Gravity.

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"Beer-lord" post=384258 said:

I recently put down a pound of cash for a Thermopen after I had concerns that 4 thermometers gave me conflicting temps. Some in the 60's but most in the range of the mash temps. My beers have been fine, though some not attenuating as well as I'd like so temperature control was just one more thing I wanted to remove from the equation.
I'm also showing my evil twin how to BIAB though he's not a regular brewer, he wants to learn the process though it's simply, simple.
I still plan to do an occasional extract/partial mash or steep when time is a problem and simply will make sure the ingredients are fresh as that is the major key to all good brewing.

The beer I'm drinking now, while it tastes good, didn't attenuate like I was expecting because of a bad thermometer. I'm guessing I had the temps in the 60's for the mash, therefore it finished at 1.020. Not a bad beer, better than my extract brews, but would be way better if it was down around 1.015 or so.

Also, I just bought a Thermo-k-Plus off their site, with the heavy duty wire probe that is about 6 feet. This will be good for monitoring the mash temps without having to open up the pot every time to check it. Also, I can monitor my temp in my cool-brewing fermentation bag much better now.

Hell, pretty soon I'm gonna have to buy a pump. Damn you, expensive hobby!

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Yep, it's cheaper until you buy lots of extra shit! It only costs half as much isn't quite true at least until the investment in whatever goodies you buy/build is payed off. Back when I did nothing but AG in my former brewing life, I don't know that I ever brewed enough batches to really break even.

If I started doing nothing but AG again, I'd invest or build an EBIAB rig. Not sure how many batches that would take to "break even" but it will be a lot of them, that much I know.

For now I'm happy with my mix of all things, I'm making good beer and not having all the weird kinds of issues you were having.

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"mashani" post=384267 said:

Yep, it's cheaper until you buy lots of extra shit! It only costs half as much isn't quite true at least until the investment in whatever goodies you buy/build is payed off. Back when I did nothing but AG in my former brewing life, I don't know that I ever brewed enough batches to really break even.

If I started doing nothing but AG again, I'd invest or build an EBIAB rig. Not sure how many batches that would take to "break even" but it will be a lot of them, that much I know.

For now I'm happy with my mix of all things, I'm making good beer and not having all the weird kinds of issues you were having.

LOL. Here's what I have bought in the last two weeks.
1. 15 gal pot with valve- $90
2. Kettle screen $15
3. plate chiller $140
4. Thermometer- $158 with the extra probe and shipping.

Now I probably need a pump. Or a pump would be useful. Not an absolute necessity, but would make things easier chilling, and getting rid of some of the cold break

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Since my first AG using the BIAB method, I haven't looked back. I can fit the pot in my stove which has a digital control so the temps stay put. The cost of grains is so much cheaper than extract, and when you start washing your yeast to use in future batches, it becomes even cheaper. I only make LBK batches so I do full and partial volume boils in my 12-qt pot depending on how much grain a recipe calls for, topping off the LBK with water to the target volume if needed. The only thing I really want is an immersion chiller to help cool the wort faster, but otherwise, what I have gets the job done.

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I've only done three grain batches, all biab. I like it. I'm still doing extract too, for time and temperature. When it's eighty in the kitchen, I don't want to boil four gallons for an hour, after running the stove and oven mashing. My wife doesn't want it either!

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I do all my brewing in the garage. I plan for days below 90*. I like the AG brewing, makes me feel like I creating something, and have more control. I am still learning... I make what equipment I can to keep costs down, but never thought of it as being a cost saving idea. Unless I justify the equipment expense as an entertainment expense, like how much would I spend if I went to a movie kinda thing. Then I would be saving money...

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I do a 100% cost write off the first use. I get a batch of primium cost beer, but after that, it's way cheaper than buying brews off the shelf.

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I don't think I could ever go E-BIAB, for money AND space reasons though I'd love to. But, I can still love what and how I do my brewing and it still tastes great to me.
That's one of the many great things about this hobby....you can accomplish what you want in so many ways.

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"losman26" post=384257 said:

I'm drinking my second BIAB batch using the HBC 342 experimental hop, and see no reason to do extract brewing anymore unless I'm either teaching someone or need a quick batch. BIABing doesn't really take much more time as extract brewing, and costs about 1/2 as much. I just tasted my hydro of a Citra Rye batch using the San Diego super yeast, and it tastes awesome. The freshness of the ingredients, and being able to control your mash makes all the difference. It also seems a lot easier to adjust or scale recipes doing all-grain. Now, I just need to buy a really good digital thermometer. I'm probably gonna go with something from Thermoworks.

Maybe eventually I'll convert to traditional all-grain. Which method do you prefer?

I'm mostly doing BIAB; modified, since I typically recirculate/vorlauf the wort and do a fly sparge. I'm making a bunch of excellent beers this way. I also crush the grains immediately prior to mashing. The whole process typically takes 4-5 hours, or about 4 hours longer than a MrB recipe. You would think it costs 1/2 as much, but when I come out of the homebrew store and look at my receipts, I know that is not true. On the occasional purchase when I just purchase grains, hops, and dry yeast, then it could be 1/2 the cost. I enjoy my homebrewing and sharing some well made beers; that's the bottom line!

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