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BIAB: the journey begins. Now for recipes and guidance


Marty_G
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Well I am off today to pick up the BIAB gear I bought on GumTree.  I have been doing some reading on hop use, playing around with some brewing software  and getting my head around the IBU's of the beers styles I like and the colours, EBC's. It looks like my tastes are in the 20-50 IBU range and up to the 30ish EBC's.   So now to get some recipes.  So I am wondering if the good folk here have some beginner recipes  that they would like to share.  The styles i like are Czech Pils, Real Ales and English Bitter, not big on the Pacific or American ales. My palate is pretty old school and I still have to warm to the fruity characteristics of some of the new world hops.  But I must say I am getting there.   Not sure whether i will be no chill or not to start. The gear does have a SS immersion coil and a whirlpool pipe, whatever that is?  

 

I can see that this is a huge rabbit hole I have entered but good to have a new project to get into. I will have to give the gazebo we have that is used to store the garden tools, the ride on and the like a good clean and set up the brewery over the next few day.  I await the replies ad please any tips I need will be much appreciated.   Also need to get my head around water. I use tank water so will I have to adjust it or will I be OK.    

 

Oh and thanks in advance. 

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I have a good Czech pilsner recipe which is regularly posted in the brew day thread. I reckon tank water would be ideal for this style without adjusting it as it's already low in mineral content. Adjustment should probably be done for other styles, but I would focus more on learning the process and your system before getting too involved in the water profiles. 

My red ale might suit your tastes as well. It does use a couple of the fruity hops but not in huge amounts like pale ales or whatever, so they are there but it's more of a complimentary flavour than a dominant one. 

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The red ale should be in that thread too, as it's a reasonably regular brew I make. 

No idea what a whirlpool tube is for though, unless it sort of creates a false wall inside the pot so all the crap is kept away from the tap outlet. At the moment I just take the hop sock out and stir it up then leave it with the lid on for about 15 minutes before I transfer to the cube. I'm thinking about getting a big stainless bowl or something, to make something to contain the crap away from the tap and get more of the wort out. Might be a holiday project. 

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Hey marty. Just to back up kelseys comment i do my pilsner in straight tank water and it comes out great. 

My advice to you is measure everything for the first few brews. How many litres in. How many litres after mash. How many litres after the boil. How many litres into fermenter. After a while you wont need to measure. You will just know where to start and go from there.

Enjoy the journey mate.

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59 minutes ago, Greeny1525229549 said:

Forgot to answer re the chiller. For lagers where i value clarity i fast chill. IMO its the best thing you can do to stop chill haze. A fast chill and gelatin treatment in the cold crash will give you a crystal clear beer. Every ale i no chill in the cube.

Thanks for that advice re chilling.  I like crystal clear beer when I can get it but naturally not as important in ales as they are higher EBC and not as transparent. 

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Quick question re sparging i dont really want to sparge however the  software that i have been playing with has a volume for sparge water. If i dont want to sparge how would i calculate the volume of the strike water.  would I add the strike water and sparge water together.  to make a total volume?  

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Hey Marty, 

I’m far from qualified to give you a 100% accurate answer but I may be able to offer something. I sparge and I have found that 20L mash and 16L sparge gets me 23 ltrs in the FV After the boil and with some crud under the outlet in the kettle.  I think You may have to consider some grain absorption in your volumes too.  As BIAB is full volume, I’m guessing,36L in your kettle would put you in the ball park. I’m very green and still working out best volumes etc but that’s what I’ve been tinkering with recently. 
 

Just spit balling here. 
 

20L mash + 16L sparge 

5ish ltrs grain absorption (according to beer smith)

3L p/h boil off and 2 ltrs dead space under my kettle outlet equals 

23L Or there abouts into the Fv

 

 

Edited by MitchBastard
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11 hours ago, MartyG1525230263 said:

And what is a whirlpool tube for?

Hey Marty

I saw your post about the equipment you have acquired - nice one. 

I have a Grainfather that I have converted to a camlock connector instead of its standard screw connector.  The camlock makes it easy to switch between recirculation arm and the counterflow chiller.  I have bought a whirlpool tube for a Guten, with a camlock fitting, that I can use on my Grainfather.  I have not used it yet, so do not know how effective or useful it will be.  However, my understanding is that, connected to your recirculation pump, after you have manually got a whirlpool going, the whirlpool tube will keep it going.  This should help to concentrate your hot break proteins and any hop material into the centre of your brew pot.  When you transfer to a cube or fermenter having this material in the centre of the pot should reduce how much gets into the next phase.  It is probably a lazy (effective) way to do a five minute whirlpool without your arm falling off.

488423281_Whirlpoolarm.jpg.afdc1d6e51b35608931031bf397af2b9.jpg

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1 hour ago, MitchBastard said:

Just spit balling here. 
 

20L mash + 16L sparge 

5ish ltrs grain absorption (according to beer smith)

3L p/h boil off and 2 ltrs dead space under my kettle outlet equals 

23L Or there abouts into the Fv

Thanks Mitch,  you are right. I re-visited the software and did some quick maths and the total volume included the sparge and the strike water volume. The figures we very close to what you have written.  

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Just ignore the sparge water thing. Beersmith has it too although I think it sets it to nothing when doing BIAB. Grain absorption is less with BIAB in Beersmith as well, something like 580mL/kg.

I use about 11 litres more water than the intended batch volume into the fermenter for my BIAB brews based on a 75 minute boil. I'll use 12 litres more for a 90 minute boil 

Edited by Otto Von Blotto
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7 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

I use about 11 litres more water than the intended batch volume into the fermenter for my BIAB brews based on a 75 minute boil. I'll use 12 litres more for a 90 minute boil 

I will probably be cautious and put a bit less water in as I know it is easier to add water to the brew that have to boil it off.   I realise that it will be a bit of trial and error for the 1st few batches but eventually I will know exactly what I need. Potentiall I have 3 different batch sizes as I have 12, 19 and 25 litre kegs. I can see myself doing 20L, 26 litre and 38 litre batches. Wit hthe lager filling the 12 and 25 litres kegs.  Actually the kettle is a 70 litre so I can probably  do double brews for the cornie kegs.   I just ordered a cheap submersible pump of e-Bay and will set up a reticulated system for my immersion coil.  Are there any tips on brewing midstrength beers, should i increase the dextrin malts for added body? I have to reduce my alcohol consumption and having a few pots of mid of an afternoon. rather than pints of heavy will do that.    

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Marty, for tank water it's a good idea to get some calcium salts into your water, particularly to lower the pH of the mash to avoid leaching out tannins and for general yeast health later on. That's why harder waters such as "Burton" are so desirable for a lot of pale ales.

You can download EZWater and other fairly easy to follow programs, but they tend not to give really good figures for BIAB. I've been brewing for over 10 years now and find that a flat tsp of - say Calcium Sulphate (Gypsum) and a flat tsp of Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salts) is a perfectly good rule of thumb for a hop accented UK bitter,  and substitute Calcium Chloride if you are doing a malt-forward beer such as a Yorkshire bitter.

For lagers with tank water I use Calcium Lactate buffered with a spoonful of Lactic Acid. Alternatively you can get acidulated malt which you can use in small quantities for the same effect.

All available from HB suppliers.

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9 hours ago, Greeny1525229549 said:

Nigh on impossible to make a low or mid taste like a heavy in my opinion.

Unfortunatley I have little option... I have always been a heavy drinker but due to a recent bout of acute pancreatitis which was not alcohol related, I required imergency surgery and was told NOT to drink again.  So I am compromising and drinking mids. So far so good.  I try to make sure the blood ABV stays as far under 0.05 as i can keep it  whenever I have a drink.  

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2 hours ago, Greeny1525229549 said:

Made an english style one too which came out nice as well. 

I think the English style bitter/ales and the American hop driven ales are better suited for mid ABV as they have a fuller flavour profile which doesn't rely on the acohol as much.  

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20 hours ago, MartyG1525230263 said:

Unfortunatley I have little option... I have always been a heavy drinker but due to a recent bout of acute pancreatitis which was not alcohol related, I required imergency surgery and was told NOT to drink again.  So I am compromising and drinking mids. So far so good.  I try to make sure the blood ABV stays as far under 0.05 as i can keep it  whenever I have a drink.  

Hi Marty, being a diabetic  I also do mid strength AG brews, to be honest I havn't noticed any difference in taste and are producing some really good beers, I also am a reasonable drinker, and my Doc. is happy at this stage, which makes me happy, 😊 

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3 hours ago, MartyG1525230263 said:

So @John304  I suppose all you do is find a full strenght recipe and adjusts the SG in the software and brew to the quanities supplied therfore making midstrength versions of those recipes. 

Correct, I use beersmith and adjust accordingly, I have used Benny,s and Kelsey,s recipes with great results 

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