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LBK Small Batch All Grain (BIAB or whatever.)

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Okay all....I now have a kick butt brew kettle capable of handling BIAB batches.

 

So.....Maybe we can get a thread going dedicated to small batch all grain knowledges.

 

I'm thinking two to two and half gallon BIAB batches. Anything that can be fermented in a LBK. But I'm also willing to discuss 5 gallon all grain batches. Just realize I'm not there yet.

 

So here is my first question.....how do I figure out how to do a two....two and a half BIAB batch? I really want to do a belgian quad.....but I'm willing to start with anything. I just need to get over the hump and get my feet wet. Any of you outstanding brewers have some ideas? The guys at the LHBS made my head swim with conversions.....numbers....boil off....etc. I get where they are coming from, but I just need to jump in and do something that produces drinkable beer. I'll master this whole thing later. One thing I was thinking was I could just find a 3 gallong BIAB kit (I think Northern Brewer has them) and brew that up as a 2.5 gallon recipe...(sorry Mr. Beer......but as far as I can tell you aren't offering any kits yet.)

 

Hey... @MRB Josh R, @MRB Josh B, @MRB Tim - Are there any plans to offer small batch all grain kits?

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I know everybody calls a 2.5 gallon batch small batch brewing, but that I about all I do.  I do an occasional 5 gallon batch but not all that often and only on my proven beers that I just can't get enough of.

 

There are many recipe calculators out there, I use BeerSmith.  It is probably one of the best with regard to being able to make a recipe come out on your system.  Yes, the guys at your LHBS probably did get your head swimming because of all of the calculations that will go into an all grain batch.  In order to get the software configured to your system you need to know some answers. 

 

1.  Boil off - This one can be figured out prior to doing your first batch by simply filling your pot with 3 to 4 gallons of water, the total amount isn't critical as long as you know what it is.  Then simply boil it for an hour and measure how much is left.  The difference is your boil off per hour rate.  Some things can affect it slightly but this is a good number to start with anyway.

2.  Conversion % - This one will let you make a recipe and give you an idea of expected preboil gravity and original gravity.  The only way to calculate this one is to actually brew a batch.  This one depends on many factors.  How small is your grain crush?  What is your grain to water ratio in your mash?  Do you go without sparging or do you sparge your grains after mashing?  The important thing here is consistancy.  If your conversion % is 68% then that is what it is and you scale recipes based on that.

3.  Numbers - You will hear all grain brewers state that they hit all of their numbers on a particular brew day.  This is a term that all grain brewers use to define all of the points where you measure gravity in your brewing day.  Post mash, sparge runoff gravity, pre boil gravity, post boil gravity and original gravity.  These all depend on how you brew.  If you batch sparge like I do, the mash gravity and sparge gravities don't mean much.  You can measure if you like, but I don't.  If you are brewing no sparge, then your post mash and preboil gravity are the same thing.  If you fly sparge, then runoff gravity needs measured constantly so that it doesn't fall too low.  Unless you top off your batches to get a certain volume, then post boil and original gravity are the same.

 

There are many other things that go into all grain brewing, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  My suggestion is to read, read, read any forum you can get your hands on.  Join your local brew club and of course just try it out.

 

Dawg

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My buddy used to do BIAB all the time. 10 gallon batches. The one thing id like to point out is that you can still "sparge" to get to your strike volume. We used to just use the sprayer nozzle from the sink on as hot as it gets with the grain bag sitting in top of a cheap canning rack inside my MRB 6 gallon fermenter. When I measured we still always hit out target pre boil OG. He never measures when im not there, but he always make good beer and isnt that the point?

 

ill post some recipes later once i scale them down 

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On 4/30/2017 at 8:01 PM, MrWhy said:

Okay all....I now have a kick butt brew kettle capable of handling BIAB batches.

 

So.....Maybe we can get a thread going dedicated to small batch all grain knowledges.

 

I'm thinking two to two and half gallon BIAB batches. Anything that can be fermented in a LBK. But I'm also willing to discuss 5 gallon all grain batches. Just realize I'm not there yet.

 

So here is my first question.....how do I figure out how to do a two....two and a half BIAB batch? I really want to do a belgian quad.....but I'm willing to start with anything. I just need to get over the hump and get my feet wet. Any of you outstanding brewers have some ideas? The guys at the LHBS made my head swim with conversions.....numbers....boil off....etc. I get where they are coming from, but I just need to jump in and do something that produces drinkable beer. I'll master this whole thing later. One thing I was thinking was I could just find a 3 gallong BIAB kit (I think Northern Brewer has them) and brew that up as a 2.5 gallon recipe...(sorry Mr. Beer......but as far as I can tell you aren't offering any kits yet.)

 

Hey... @MRB Josh R, @MRB Josh B, @MRB Tim - Are there any plans to offer small batch all grain kits?

 

Yes.

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Maris Otter smash ale.

 

Need about 5.5 gallons heated to 164 before adding grains. Add grains, mash at 152 for 1 hour. Sparge if needed to get to about 4.4 gallons before boil. First wort hop in this one. Just dump the hops in after you lift the grain bag and your water is heating to a boil, then boil for 60 minutes

IMG_2768.PNG

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Citrennabus Pale Ale - 4 gallons

 

5.8 gallons to start at 164 degrees. Add grains, mash at 152 for 60 minutes. Sparge if needed for a preboil volume of 4.4 gallons. 

 

Staggered hop additions here. Basically columbus and citra at every interval. 

 

 

IMG_2769.PNG

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@Creeps McLane Thank you for the recipes!

 

I am happy to report that straddling two burners I was fairly easily able to bring 5 gallons up to a full boil, so I feel these are well within reach.

 

A couple of quick questions -

1. What determines the different start volumes? Experience? Is there some formula you use?

2. Sparging -this is when you take the grains and put them in another pot with hot liquid right? Or is it pouring liquid over them? If that is the case, can you just plan on starting at 5 gallons and then work from there? Could you even start at 4 gallons knowing you are going to sparge 2 more gallons?

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, MrWhy said:

@Creeps McLane Thank you for the recipes!

 

I am happy to report that straddling two burners I was fairly easily able to bring 5 gallons up to a full boil, so I feel these are well within reach.

 

A couple of quick questions -

1. What determines the different start volumes? Experience? Is there some formula you use?

2. Sparging -this is when you take the grains and put them in another pot with hot liquid right? Or is it pouring liquid over them? If that is the case, can you just plan on starting at 5 gallons and then work from there? Could you even start at 4 gallons knowing you are going to sparge 2 more gallons?

 

 

 

 

1- amount of grains (grain absorbsion), boil length, boil off rate, water to grist ratio. Lots of things 

 

2- basically the same question. Yes you can vary your water as needed to some degree. General rule for mashing is two quarts per lb but with brew in a bag you need to take your sparge water into consideration also. 

 

easybiabcalculator.com can be your new best friend. 

 

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Reviving this one.

 

I was watching some how-to BIAB videos last night on Youtube and definitely see myself doing this down the road a bit.  I've still got a large MRB brew queue and an almost-as-large "Recipes to Buy" list, too, so it'll be probably a year or more (maybe long enough for MRB's small-batch all-grain kits to come out :) ).  I really doubt I'll give up doing MRB extract recipes altogether when I start BIAB as there are just too many recipes I've made that I really, really enjoy.

 

Like MrWhy, I don't have much interest in doing the large scale all grain brewing.  To be honest, it seems too much like work to me and I like my beer making to be an enjoyable hobby, not a chore.  And I don't have an interest in doing five gallon batches, either.  I can still ferment a two-ish gallon batch in my LBK and it gives me just about a case of beer.  That's a perfect amount for me.  Plus, if I just don't enjoy the end product that much I'd rather not have two cases of "meh" beer to drink.  So when looking at all grain options, BIAB 2-2.5 gallon batches seems like a good fit for me.

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@Shrike You summed it up very well.  I'm still working through my Mr. Beer HME inventory so I can relate.  Try mash-in-a-sack!  It does add a little more time but the end result is definitely worth it.     

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2 hours ago, Shrike said:

Reviving this one.

 

I was watching some how-to BIAB videos last night on Youtube and definitely see myself doing this down the road a bit.  I've still got a large MRB brew queue and an almost-as-large "Recipes to Buy" list, too, so it'll be probably a year or more (maybe long enough for MRB's small-batch all-grain kits to come out :) ).  I really doubt I'll give up doing MRB extract recipes altogether when I start BIAB as there are just too many recipes I've made that I really, really enjoy.

 

Like MrWhy, I don't have much interest in doing the large scale all grain brewing.  To be honest, it seems too much like work to me and I like my beer making to be an enjoyable hobby, not a chore.  And I don't have an interest in doing five gallon batches, either.  I can still ferment a two-ish gallon batch in my LBK and it gives me just about a case of beer.  That's a perfect amount for me.  Plus, if I just don't enjoy the end product that much I'd rather not have two cases of "meh" beer to drink.  So when looking at all grain options, BIAB 2-2.5 gallon batches seems like a good fit for me.

Not being a wise ass here, but you get a case out of a 2g recipe?  

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1 hour ago, AnthonyC said:

Not being a wise ass here, but you get a case out of a 2g recipe?  

Just about.  Best I've gotten is 21 12oz bottles, IIRC.  I think it was Dad's Favorite Cream Ale.

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14 minutes ago, Shrike said:

Just about.  Best I've gotten is 21 12oz bottles, IIRC.  I think it was Dad's Favorite Cream Ale.

Damn!  I think that most that I ever got out of a 2g was 16 bottles!

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Unless I have a reason (brewing up a batch for a party, gifts, etc.) I am pretty happy with 2.5 gallon batches. 10 - 12 bombers is the perfect amount for me. Easy to bottle, easy to deal with, all that.

 

I've got my next BIAB batch coming up. No idea what you would call the style....I'm going 9 lbs maris otter, bittering with chinook and flavoring with cascade, and using a dry saison yeast. Looking around 9% ABV (I currently guestimating my efficiency at 60%. Personally I think it is a lot better, but whatever.) Going to have to ferment this one warm because of refrigeration issues.

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