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First All Grain BIAB

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I put down my first all grain BIAB batch today and no chilled in a cube. The day mostly went well with only a couple of issues which I can sort out next time. I got a recipe kit from National Home Brew which had instructions I decided to follow. This included a step mash and changing temps, stirring the mash etc. I dont think I'll do this again but just do a single mash, and possibly a mash out for 10 mins, it was just a PITA and it seems people are getting decent efficiency without step mashes. It also called for a sparge (which was possibly because the recipe was geared towards grainfathers or 3V systems), I didnt have any issues doing a batch sparge and got the water levels spot on for the boil.

 

One issue I had was a really low pre-boil gravity reading, but I sorted this out by taking another after stirring the wort to mix it up properly. The post boil I found had to cool to at least 71 in order to use a gravity calculator so I ran the tube under the tap to cool it down. The trub all separated and I was hoping the sugars werent taken with it too, so I put my hand over the end and shook it up.... causing an Ow F*&^!! moment when it burnt my hand unsure

 

The only other main problem was the urn cutting out with 20 mins of the boil to go because crap had burned onto the element cover. I still had the false bottom in and couldnt lift it up to scrub the bottom so just had to deal with it cutting in and out. In future, I'll fit some wire to the false bottom to lift it out after mashing and scrub the bottom of the urn before the boil starts.

 

Finally, my 25L cube only ended up filling to about 22 or 23L, but I managed to squeeze it up pretty tight and got most of the air out. In future I can scale the batches up slightly. All up, I dont think it was a bad go for a first attempt and thanks to many of you for hints and tips I picked up along the way. The OG was a little lower than estimated in the instructions, 1.050 but I got 1.044 but I can live with that and maybe improve it with a different mash style.

 

Cheers guys!

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Nice work mate! It's pretty easy really once you get the hang of it and dial in your processes more precisely.

 

I'd say a step mash isn't necessary for most beers especially with today's malts; I use single infusion mashes for everything except lagers and it works fine. Lagers I only use a two step mash. What were the temperature steps for the mash that were given in the recipe? This may be the reason for the excessive crap on the element. I don't sparge either but that's not to say that you can't or shouldn't do it.

 

Don't worry about the sugars being taken with the trub, they aren't. I always take my post boil gravity into a 500mL Pyrex jug after draining the wort into the cube and let the trub settle out, then pour the clear wort on top into the testing jar. I don't care if it takes a couple of hours to cool down to room temp. It's probably better than taking readings at 70 degrees. You want to keep that trub out of the cube as much as physically possible as well.

 

Another thing that can affect the efficiency (your SG readings pre and post boil) is the grain crush. I found a finer crush was less effective. When I went to a coarser crush my efficiency improved.

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

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Thanks Kelsey, your posts were extremely helpful, and part of the reason I went with the Crown / BIAB route rather than a Robobrew.

 

I'm at work and havent got the instructions on me, but from memory the mash steps were 54 for 10 mins, 66 for 65 mins, 72 for 20 mins and 74 for 10 mins.

 

The grain was crushed for a Grainfather, looking at a sticker on the pack. It didnt specify what grains they were, but it was a Golden Ale, so I was guessing a Light base malt as the majority and a small amount of crystal perhaps ?? It weighed just under 4.2kg.

 

With a single infusion, do you just add all your water at the start taking into account boil off and absorption, mash, remove grain and begin the boil? This would be a lot simpler if the results are good.

 

Thanks again!

Andrew

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No worries mate. biggrin

 

Ok, yeah the step at 54 is probably what's caused the excess crap build up. I don't think this step is necessary. I tried a couple of full step mashes last year and had the same problem with crap build up, to the point where I couldn't even heat the mash let alone bring it to a boil. So that idea went on the scrap heap pretty quick!

 

I don't know what the crush for a Grainfather would be like, I have my own grain mill anyway so I can easily adjust it to suit. This also allows buying grain in bulk, uncracked, which lasts a lot longer than cracked grain. Grain bill for that would probably be mostly pale malt and some form of crystal yeah, maybe a bit of Munich and wheat chucked in as well.

 

Single infusion just refers to the temperature, not the method as such. So basically you'd mash it at 66C for an hour or 90 minutes or whatever, then raise it up to the high 70s for 10 minutes for a mash out (although I'm led to believe this step isn't entirely necessary either).

 

The no sparge method of mashing is just that yeah, you add all the water needed at the beginning, mash in it, remove the grains and let the bag drain then bring it to the boil. Normally I squeeze the bag too. At this point I also remove the false bottom with a length of stainless rod bent into a hook shape at one end. This allows cleaning of the element if needed, which I always do before the boil now. Haven't had a cut out for quite a while doing this.

 

For 25 litre batches I normally start with about 36 litres of water, just a ballpark figure to work with if you decide to go down the no sparge route. cool

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

 

 

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For 25 litre batches I normally start with about 36 litres of water' date=' just a ballpark figure to work with if you decide to go down the no sparge route. [img']cool[/img]

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

 

 

What do you use for 20 litre batches? I'm picking up a crown urn on Monday and hopefully doing my first BIAB on the Thursday. Going to no chill into 20 litre cube so was curious about the ball park for a 20.

 

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Hey mate, for my 20 litre cubes I start with about 32 litres of water.

 

It's the pre-boil volume that is more important really, though. For 20 litre cubes I aim for a pre-boil of about 29-30 litres. This allows for the approx. 3.75 litres lost to boil off (I boil for 75 mins standard rather than 60), and also leaving behind the trub in the urn after transferring the wort to the cube.

 

My technique also involves letting the bag drain above the urn until it is slowly dripping, then hoisting it up inside a bucket and letting it slowly continue to drain while the wort comes up to boil and then boils. With about half an hour left in the boil I squeeze the shit out of the bag into the bucket and tip this excess into the urn as well. I probably gain about 750mL-1 litre doing this.

 

If you'd rather avoid doing that and simply squeeze it all out above the urn pre boil, then maybe increase the pre-boil volume to 30-31 litres. It all depends on how much trub you get at the end - if you get less than I do then your pre-boil volume can be reduced in line with that.

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Thanks Kelsey, that's definitely gonna help me on brew day and I"ll drain in to a bucket for sure. What sort rigging do you use to hoist and hold the bag for draining?

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I forgot to mention also if your boil time is only 60 minutes then your pre-boil volume doesn't need to be as high as mine is, as you'll lose less to boil off obviously.

 

For hoisting the bag, I have a hook screwed into a wooden beam above my brew area. I hang a pulley off this hook and then run a rope through it which is then run through the loops on the bag and tied off. I just pull the other end of the rope to lift the bag up and tie it off on one of the urn handles. After that's done I grab one of the old metal fridge shelves and put this on top of the urn to rest the bag on while I untie the rope from the bag, and then remove the pulley from the hook and hang the bag off it by its loops.

 

Once drained I just lift the bag off the hook and put it into the bucket, and that is placed under another hook elsewhere so the bag can be hung up off the bottom of the bucket to continue draining slowly.

 

It sounds like a complicated process when I write it all out lol but in practice it's pretty easy and quickly done. It's ghetto but it works well.

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

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I pick my bag up and place it in a bucket in bucket thing, one with holes, the other with a tap.

 

 

Sybian if you are near NHB go and chat to Martin and tell him what you want, or ring and have a chat.

Or ask us and we can help you with a recipe. The Grainfather pack I think is over priced.

 

4kg pale malt + 250g crystal and some hops is all you need for your first brews. It will help you learn too.

Single infusion and no mash out. Hoist and drain the bag.

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Thanks guys, gunna have to get my act together for a way to hoist and drain the grains and after your advice i think i've got the right tools for the job already.

 

Cheers

 

Greg

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I pick my bag up and place it in a bucket in bucket thing' date=' one with holes, the other with a tap.

 

 

Sybian if you are near NHB go and chat to Martin and tell him what you want, or ring and have a chat.

Or ask us and we can help you with a recipe. The Grainfather pack I think is over priced.

 

4kg pale malt + 250g crystal and some hops is all you need for your first brews. It will help you learn too.

Single infusion and no mash out. Hoist and drain the bag.[/quote']

 

Hi Ben 10,

I'd like to try this 'first brew' recipe - what amount and what sort of hops and boil time would you suggest with the pale malt and crystal.

Thanks.

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Whatever takes your fancy really... my standard pale ale malt bill isn't much different to that actually, for 25 litres I use 4.5kg pale malt, 500g Munich II and 250g medium crystal. Then hop it with whatever I feel like at the time.

 

Boil time I'd suggest 60-75 minutes, as for hops well... Any of the American C hops would work, as would Mosaic, Simcoe, Galaxy and probably a host of others.

 

I just made up a Citra pale ale recipe using the above grain bill with three additions of Citra through the 75 minute boil: 15g at FWH, 20g at 10 minutes, and 20g at flameout to a bit over 40 IBUs. Will also dry hop with 40g after FG is reached. Can't wait to try it!

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Whatever takes your fancy really... my standard pale ale malt bill isn't much different to that actually' date=' for 25 litres I use 4.5kg pale malt, 500g Munich II and 250g medium crystal. Then hop it with whatever I feel like at the time.

 

Boil time I'd suggest 60-75 minutes, as for hops well... Any of the American C hops would work, as would Mosaic, Simcoe, Galaxy and probably a host of others.

 

I just made up a Citra pale ale recipe using the above grain bill with three additions of Citra through the 75 minute boil: 15g at FWH, 20g at 10 minutes, and 20g at flameout to a bit over 40 IBUs. Will also dry hop with 40g after FG is reached. Can't wait to try it![/quote']

 

That sounds good, I might give that a try. I think I've got your red ale recipe in a to do list as well!

 

The US05 in this batch took a bit longer to kick off than I was expecting. I checked at 24 hours and nothing, but this morning, which is about 40ish hours, its bubbling away with a little krausen of about 15mm. It wasn't rehydrated, just pitched dry which may be why.

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Yep nice and simple is the key for learning the process and the equipment.

I'd recommend Mangrove Jack's New World Strong yeast. Quick and lovely.

 

4.5 kg Pale, 250g Crystal

Mashed @ 65°c.

 

20.00 g Perle [10.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 3 18.9 IBUs

15.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 5 6.4 IBUs

25.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 6 4.3 IBUs

25.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 7 0.0 IBUs

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The above was one of my early ones. So nice and easy.

 

Do you use software? Beersmith is really good.

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Yep nice and simple is the key for learning the process and the equipment.

I'd recommend Mangrove Jack's New World Strong yeast. Quick and lovely.

 

4.5 kg Pale' date=' 250g Crystal

Mashed @ 65°c.

 

20.00 g Perle [10.00 %'] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 3 18.9 IBUs

15.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 5 6.4 IBUs

25.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 6 4.3 IBUs

25.00 g Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 7 0.0 IBUs

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The above was one of my early ones. So nice and easy.

 

Do you use software? Beersmith is really good.

 

Thank you Ben 10,

I've been kits and extract so far and haven't actually tried all grain, but I aim to very soon. Unfortunately, I only have a 18L pot for the stove so hopefully if I approximately halve all your ingredients I can make a smaller batch.

I've got the pot, grainbag, kitchen stove - I can't make bigger batches than 12 -15L.

My LHBS does not have grains so I have to buy on line. I'll do a smaller version of your and Otto's pale ale.

Should I use 11g of yeast, or halve it like everything else.

Thanks.

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Should I use 11g of yeast' date=' or halve it like everything else.

Thanks.[/quote']

 

Go the whole packet.

 

You can always water your beer down. I used to do that.

High gravity brewing.

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Do you use software? Beersmith is really good.

 

Yeah I've been mucking around with Beersmith and Brewers friend. I'm still getting my head around all the Beersmith setup stuff with equipment.

 

I've got a basic app too I play with called 'Wort'. It's not too bad but doesnt seem as accurate as the others. I also found a timer app the other day which you can set all your boil times in and It alerts you. I found it easier than setting a number of timers using the standard phone app. It's called 'Brew Timer' on Android.

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You'll have to measure real world figures to enter into the Beersmith equipment profile. I have two equipment profiles for my Crown Urn on there, one for 25L batches and the other for 21L batches.

 

Some ballpark figures based on my set up are 3L boil off per hour, 3L trub loss, pre-boil volumes about 8-9 litres higher than the intended batch size due to boiling for 75 minutes. Initial strike water 11 litres higher than the batch sizes.

 

Also when constructing a recipe in BS, be sure to tick the BIAB Full Volume Boil box on the design screen (it's near the bottom on the right). This changes the grain absorption rate to the BIAB number instead of the normal figure.

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I calculated my first and so far only Urn brew (40L Crown) on the BIABcus spreadsheet but found it hard to follow and ended up putting in too much water in at the start and had to dump some as I was putting my grain in. It was a massive grain bill (7kg to get 21L). Admittedly maybe I'm not the sharpest of tools in the shed, I just need something simpler and to get my info right before I try again.

Might try the Beersmith for the next if it's easier to understand.

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Brewers friend has a brewday feature , either prints out a run sheet or has in built timers and alarms

 

it does have it's quirks and being US based most of the recipes are in stupid Lbs and gallons , i quite like it and paid up to keep using it

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i just make my own recipes , or there's plenty of metric ones out there

if in need of inspiration the brewday thread here has enough tried and true ones to get you started

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I calculated my first and so far only Urn brew (40L Crown) on the BIABcus spreadsheet but found it hard to follow and ended up putting in too much water in at the start and had to dump some as I was putting my grain in. It was a massive grain bill (7kg to get 21L). Admittedly maybe I'm not the sharpest of tools in the shed' date=' I just need something simpler and to get my info right before I try again.

Might try the Beersmith for the next if it's easier to understand.[/quote']

G'day Burton,

 

If you haven't paid the money for Beersmith yet, I'd have a go at persevering with BIABacus if you are brewing BIAB - it's tailor-made for that. Pat and some of the others over at biabrewer.info will be able to help you troubleshoot how you ended up with too much water. I use Beersmith myself because I have a 3-vessel setup, and after working around a couple of peculiarities it works well enough. However, for my BIAB batches I used to enter them into both Beersmith and the BIABacus, and found BIABacus to be better.

 

Cheers,

 

John

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Thanks John.

I'll read into some of the existing recipes and try a couple which have the same vessel size as mine. I think all that information when I look at it might have had me bamboozled.

 

 

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I have just purchased a crown urn and grains for my first brew. I ordered over the phone and then asked for a couple of their recipes they use for their fresh wort kits which they happily made up for me. When i picked it all up it the grains are for a 23 litre batch which is fine as I'm keen to just get a few under my belt. I have ran the profile in Beersmith and the recommendation is 32 litres pre boil with close to 36 litres as a start volume. I was just wondering if this sounds in the ball park. The recipe is a US IPA with 6kg of grain, 60 minute mash at 68 degrees with 10 minute mash out at 76 degrees with a 60 minute boil. The start volume seemed a bit large to me but then I'm a green horn so hence the question.

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