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AlanT58

BIAB Equip for newbee

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Hi all,

Im keen as to start BIAB, as this seems the next logical step from extract.

been reading the beersmith book and it sold me, also got the designing great beers book (sofar unread)

so could i possibly get some help compiling a list of goodies im gunna need to accomplish this please.

i already have kegs and FV's from extracting, an inkbird and heat belt, chest freezer for temp control, 2 taps sticking out of the fridge.

so please fire away with any and all basics and essentials to get me goin

im basing this around a 40lt urn and 19lt kegs

Cheers and thanks in advance

Al.

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Urn, biab bag, three piece valve, cube if no chilling,chiller if chilling, pulley system if you plan to easily pull out your grain bag, transfer hose, cleaning agent ( I use citric acid) large spoon or paddle, thermometer, scale, grain mill, buckets for grain, BeerSmith 3, hop bags or spider. 

This is what I run. 

Seems like a lot when you write it down 

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Yep that's pretty much my urn setup as well apart from the false bottom and long handled stainless wire brush. These aren't necessary for starting out though, I added them later on.

I also have a Pyrex jug for mixing up brewbrite, which is a kettle fining added inside the last 10 minutes of the boil (usually with about 8 minutes left). Half a whirlfloc tablet can also be used which requires no mixing in water first. 

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What does all that add up to?

I think if I were to go AG I would just bite the bullet and pick a robobrew for $400.

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I started with a 30L pot (borrowed, or $100) over a 3 ring gas burner (Bunnings $50). I  purchased a biab bag from my LHBS ($10).

No sparge, just bag squeeze. Handy to sling a noose over your nearest rafter to lift the bag and tie it to squeeze and remove the bag.

Get the process right, the grain weight right for your desired ABV, work out your hop schedule, have a means (plastic siphon and tubing; $15) to get the wort into an FV, leaving break behind, or use a no-chill cube, so you need not try to introduce an immediate chill process (best).

I was then brewing superior beer cheap and from there you gradually upgrade your equipment and process to set your course to continual improvement.

Cheers

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Worthog said:

from there you gradually upgrade your equipment

Or you may find yourself in my situation: as above, bought a large pot (second hand), already had the gas burner so the other investment was a BIAB bag and silicone siphon. I was saving for a Grainfather. When the time came, I didn’t feel that a $1350 investment would reap significant returns. The pot, burner and bag set up was (and still is) making great beer! So I put the money towards a bike instead!

 

the only upgrade I’ve done is drilling a hole and adding a ball valve. Still going strong

 

agree with Worthog about improving the process, but my equipment has been mostly static since that first AG in Nov 2016

Edited by joolbag
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So has mine, other than getting a false bottom and the brush. I started with the urn and mill, with cubes. Added a ball valve after one batch to replace the original tap. 

That was in late 2012 and all the equipment is still the original stuff I began with (aside from a few cube replacements), partly because I'm happy with the quality of beer I'm making and partly because it's bloody decent quality equipment. The mill fell off a 3m balcony last year and didn't even have a dent in it. 

I did have to replace a roller on my mill but it was free of charge. A number of others had the same problem with their mills that I was having. I also replaced the hopper. 

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Thanks to all for the feedback sofar

Question for Otto. What's a cube and what's it for

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Just now, AlanT58 said:

Thanks to all for the feedback sofar

Question for Otto. What's a cube and what's it for

It’s a hdpe container. This is used for “no chilling” basically you fill it and seal it up while the wort is hot. 

No chilling is as above other than using a immersion chiller or similar to cool the wort to pitching temps. 

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On a side note, when no chilling is it crucial to fill the cube to the brim so no air gets in? I'm gonna make up an 18 ltr batch of wort on the stove and the only cubes I have are 25 ltrs and it obviously won't fill it right up. Will this be a problem or an infection risk?

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Ensure it is clean and sanitised, including lid, swish it around. I leave air gaps but I have always brewed the following day when temp has been stabilised at 18-20c.

Cheers 

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It is an infection risk unless you pitch it a day or two later, or at least within a few days. My first batch was like that, had like 5 litres of headspace in the cube. I pitched it a few days later and it was fine, but since then I've tried to fill them as much as possible because they often sit around for weeks before being pitched.

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I’ve totally messed up the numbers for my brew and only had 19L wort in a 25L cube. To be safe, I squeezed all of the air out. It’s possible, but not easy! Cube ends up looking a little squashed, and it’s not ideal, but I think better than leaving headspace of air.

 

i now use 20L cubes which fit in 22.4-22.5L of wort in them. That’s my batch size for my equipment (my pot is only 33L)

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would it help to fill the cube headspace with co2 (for those with kegs) to store for a little while before pitching maybe

 

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My thought was to just dump the wort into my 25 ltr cube and put it in my fermenting fridge and set it to chill to pitching temp with the inkbird, then transfer to the FV the next day and pitch the yeast. That'd be ok surely...?

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Karlos I’ve done this when I had a “cube crisis”. Filled one up with my Gose and that cube had a pin hole in it. I panicked.

my other cube was full of Rye IPA. I ended up dumping the wort from cube into sanitised FV. It was still pretty hot and I sloshed it around to try and hit all surfaces with hot wort.

it took over 24hrs to get to pitch temp and then I pitched in us-05. I might have posted this in the fail thread.

beer turned out fine! I do prefer using my kolsch yeast WLP029 for this style and for my Berliner Weisse, but us-05 did just fine

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1 hour ago, karlos_1984 said:

My thought was to just dump the wort into my 25 ltr cube and put it in my fermenting fridge and set it to chill to pitching temp with the inkbird, then transfer to the FV the next day and pitch the yeast. That'd be ok surely...?

With a clean and sanitised cube, that will be well and truly ok.

Cheers

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2 hours ago, Worthog said:

With a clean and sanitised cube, that will be well and truly ok.

Cheers

Cheers. Actually now I think of it, I've got a 25 ltr round drum with the wide lid, same HDPE material as the cube, which I use as a second FV. Would be just as easy to dump the hot wort into this then I could just pitch straight in there once the temp is down low enough.

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5 hours ago, karlos_1984 said:

Cheers. Actually now I think of it, I've got a 25 ltr round drum with the wide lid, same HDPE material as the cube, which I use as a second FV. Would be just as easy to dump the hot wort into this then I could just pitch straight in there once the temp is down low enough.

The only issue I see is aeration of the wort just prior to yeast addition.

When I  cube, the wort is later aerated through a sieve when added to the FV.  Otherwise the boil leaves the wort lacking oxygen which the yeast needs to thrive.

Cheers

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12 hours ago, karlos_1984 said:

My thought was to just dump the wort into my 25 ltr cube and put it in my fermenting fridge and set it to chill to pitching temp with the inkbird, then transfer to the FV the next day and pitch the yeast. That'd be ok surely...?

Then surely this is not no chill. I suppose we really need to understand why people use this method. I think generally they use it as a means to continue brewing while either they dont have a spare fermenter or spare capacity in a temperature controlled environment. Using cubes gives them the ability to stock up on wort and use when space becomes available. It also saves time on brew days where you dont have to use a chiller to get the wort tempeature down. The physical act of transfering from a cube to the fv airates the wort so no need to stir.

27 minutes ago, karlos_1984 said:

Couldn't I just stir it Up with a sanitised big spoon?

Yes you can and should. 

8 hours ago, karlos_1984 said:

I've got a 25 ltr round drum with the wide lid, same HDPE material as the cube, which I use as a second FV. Would be just as easy to dump the hot wort into this then I could just pitch straight in there once the temp is down low enough.

I use this method all the time. However i do chill with a counter flow chiller before hand so i dont have to wait long before pitching.

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On 3/22/2019 at 5:47 PM, Brettmo said:

What does all that add up to?

I think if I were to go AG I would just bite the bullet and pick a robobrew for $400.

Went to LHBS yesterday in capalaba and found they have a BIAB kit with ingredients for a pale ale recipe total cost $465

Guess I'll start with that and go the no chill route20190324_071757.thumb.jpg.6a05f6f4264225c994d9f042cec0d03d.jpg

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1 hour ago, AlanT58 said:

Went to LHBS yesterday in capalaba and found they have a BIAB kit with ingredients for a pale ale recipe total cost $465

Guess I'll start with that and go the no chill route20190324_071757.thumb.jpg.6a05f6f4264225c994d9f042cec0d03d.jpg

That's a great setup. You'll be off and running with that for years to come. Crown Urn, good choice, good package!

Cheers

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I wish craftbrewer was local to me, about 45-50 minutes each way instead 😂

Stirring the wort will help aerate it but not as much as tipping it from a cube, which again is not as much as injecting pure oxygen. But doing nothing isn't a great idea. 

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I'm building an electric 1/2 batch BIAB kettle.  Has a BigW 20Lpot, K-Mart 2200W kettle heater, a spigot/tap/bazooka and I'm just waiting for a thermowell for temp control.  I think I've spent about $60 on it all up with the bag all new.  Here's a pic of the inside just before the test boil- I've got a false bottom to go over the element etc.

Having some slow leak issues - but not at the element, at the bulkhead.  Might silversolder it in.

DSC_0190.JPG

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