Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community

Recommended Posts

I'm transitioning to some all-grain recipes and the Brew-In-A-Bab mashing technique seems to be a perfect match for the 2 1/5 gallon batches. Problem is that even the small batches seem to require a 5-gallon pot and I don't have anything that big.

I just bought a set of stainless pots for around $20 from Harbor Freight that includes a 4, 3, 2 and 1 1/2 gallon and have been working on a way to get the right amount of starting wort. I ran across this Maxi-BIAB method whereby those crafty Aussies are managing full-size batches of beer in pots just barely larger than the finished wort size. By mashing at capacity in a pot that won't quite fit the boil size and doing a serious dunk-sparge to get more liquid to work with, the boil can proceed with the extra, thinner wort can be added to top up as needed.

I've done some testing to determine how well I can hold mash temp and to figure out my boil-off rate and I'm about ready to give it a try.  

Approximately like this:

4.375 lbs grain +2.625 gallons water in 4 gallon pot

Mash 155 degrees for 90 minutes (maximizes efficiency) - Grain absorption should leave 2.125 gallons of high-gravity wort, maybe more with a squeeze

1.125 gallons sparge/mash-out water in 3 gallon pot - Should have minimal loss to grain absorption

Pre-boil volume = 3.23 gallons (2.125 gallons strong wort + 1.125 thin wort) - Just fits in the 4 gallon pot if the thin wort is added after strong wort boils and breaks.

Boil time of 60 minutes should reduce to just over 2.5 gallons at target OG.

 

Anybody else doing something like this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang...Nobody doing any bag-brewing? Surely I'm not the only one to try this. :unsure:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably because most of the brewers here are Mr. Beer brewers since this is a Mr. Beer forum. You might have more luck in a general brewing forum, such as Homebrew Talk (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/), when it comes to more advanced AG techniques.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally understood... I guess because it seemed obvious that some others were using steeped grains, etc, which weren't available until recently,  supplementing the Mr. Beer Products with LHBS stuff and other brand kits and discussing other, more advanced brewing techniques that there'd be some who've branched out a little. Since the 2 to 2.5 gallon batches are sort of particular to the LBK's and the brewers here, like me, are mostly limited to kitchen-sized equipment I figured that batch size specifically might be something that's come up before. Not the case, I suppose.

There's a lot of information out there. I can find info about different size batches and extrapolate I need. Thanks! ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While there has been some AG discussion here, it doesn't usually last long as more than half the members here are still brewing with extract.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I brew in a bag. You're in a world of new discoveries. 

 

I watched a video on you tube the other night of a guy who did a BIAB on the stove top and had it full to the top the whole time. He did a good job but  I wouldn't do that. Seems dangerous and wasteful in the event of a boil over.

 

to be honest, when you start typing mathematical equations you start to lose me. Brew smith has a watch volume calculator right? I'd try that. Between grain absorbion and boil off you lose more than you may expect. Sparging will help, but most videos I've seen on BIAB have a longer mash time and no sparge. I started the other day with 6.5 gallons in my mash and ended with less than 5 gallons, no sparge.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw a nice pot at Walmart the other day for $7.99. Canning aisle. Looked like stainless to me. Probably real thin though

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Chuck N ™ said:

I do BIAB and I do full volume and then some mashes..  And I do 1.5 gallon batches in a six gallon pot.  Here's a link to a BIAB calculator that I use:

http://www.simplebiabcalculator.com/

It's simple - as the name implies - and I hit all my numbers almost every time.

 

I ran across that one and have used it to figure the mash/sparge for a couple of batches. It seems to do extremely well with the amounts and I've gotten good efficiency with a 90 minute mash in the oven on it's lowest setting. I've been able to go up to 5 lbs grain in a 2.5 gallon batch with a 4 gallon pot (plus a 3 gallon pot for sparging). Best effeciency so far is 76 percent. Can't complain about that. 

I've got ingredients for an IPA that needs a little bigger grain bill and I expect that I'll find if I'm past the limit of my mashing capacity. It needs 5.75 lbs of grains and 73% efficiency to get to .060 OG. I'll still have an IPA at 70% efficiency and .057 OG, but I'll miss some of the malty character I'm hoping for. 

An adventure! :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Updating the progress of all-grain BIAB efforts:

 

I've been able to consistently get reasonable efficiency and get wort volume enough to leave a lot of the crap out of the primary fermenter and still get a 2 1/5 gallon batch. All-grain mashing leaves a LOT of break material in the wort. Whirl Floc will make it fall out very nicely, but it takes up a lot of room and if it goes into an LBK it piles up around the spigot. I'm pretty sure it's going to take primary/secondary brewing no matter what to get clear beer into the bottle. I bought a bucket to use as a primary and have been able to get a cleaner secondary in an LBK. Even then, there's a lot of beer wasted out of a small batch.

 

I did a couple of batches without hop bags and it left an even bigger mess and wasted way too much liquid. I just mashed out an IPA yesterday and worked hard to get the max amount of clean wort into an LBK. I used a hop bag and that kept all the hop sludge out. I mashed so that I got about 2 1/2 gallons of 1.052 wort when I really need more like 1.046. I was able to leave about 5 cups of wort in the boil pot and keep almost all the break material out of the LBK. It left me short, but I topped back up to 2 1/2 gallons and diluted to my desired gravity. We'll see how that all works out.

 

Just today I found a couple of 5 gallon glass carboys on Craigslist for $15 each, with stick-on thermometers. Couldn't resist that. Now I should be able to mash out enough to boil down to around 3 gallons, dump it all into primary in a carboy, let it go crazy and carefully siphon very clean beer into secondary in an LBK. That should maximize the amount of beer I bottle. For all the effort it takes to mash grains this way, I want every drop I can get at the end of the process. <_<

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...