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Author: whafa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2851  
Subject: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 7:35 AM
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Has anyone tried this? I'm surprised something so simple and elegant hasn't been around for much longer than it has, but apparently it's a fairly recent (last few years) idea. The gist is a no-sparge mash that is run straight in the kettle, with the grains in a large bag that lines the vessel. When the mash is done, you lift the bag out, allow it to drain, and start the boil.

It's very appealing to me. Living in a NYC apartment, I haven't had the space to brew beer since I moved here from CA 7 years ago. I see a lot of possibilities here, like easy step- or decoction mashing right in the kettle.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Brew_in_a_Bag
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Author: LakeEffect Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2715 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 7:56 AM
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I've never done it but it gets great reviews. I would expect efficiency to suffer with no sparge but the aficionados claim 80% or better, so what do I know? I'd say go for it and post your impressions...

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Author: dlbuffy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2716 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 10:05 AM
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Just started BIAB last weekend. I have been doing partials from the start, so the BIAB was next logical step for me. It's probably the only way I'd have gone all grain as well, since, well, somehow the GF and I have filled up the entire house. (I say it is all her stuff, even after she whittled it down. Sigh)

Actually, I just really like the simplicity of the one pot.

Two batches down. A Scottish Export 80 that should hit around 5.5 and an English ESB clone from Pyramid that should hit high 4's. They were all grain kits from Midwest, and I hit the high point on the gravities dead on. Impressive for a system everyone assumes will only be like 70-75% efficiency.

I have a 9gal pot with two welds. The 10.5 and 12.5lb grain bills worked pretty good. I will be pushing the extreme limit on my pot with a barleywine next weekend. 19.5lbs of grains. (!!!!!)

Oh, and I do an attempt at a batch sparge kinda thing. So after an hour mash (so far have not figured out how to keep temps solid, so bouncing around between 154-148) I then turn on heat and pour in another 2-3 gallons of boiling water to get up to 170. Let that sit for ten min, then vorlouf(?) a couple times, then pull the grain bag.

Things I have learned:
- 12.5lbs of grain and about 6.5 gal of water is the limit of my pot, right to the rim almost
- The 2" thermo probe I have on the pot just doesn't work for BIAB, since it is near edge and not in middle of grains
- This pot has the temp probe weld up around the 4.5 gallon mark, so you have to start at least there.
- Even my attempt at double ply aluminum bubble wrap doesn't seem to help hold temps, throughly confused! Someone mentioned lid, but I had a towel over top most of time.

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Author: whafa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2717 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 10:09 AM
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I would expect efficiency to suffer with no sparge but the aficionados claim 80% or better, so what do I know?

As craft brewers, we have an advantage over professionals in that cost efficiency is optional. I was doing no-sparge batches in my Gott cooler mash tun before I had to abandon the hobby. My thinking was that the first runnings would be of a higher quality, and it would reduce the possibility of leaching out tannins to zero. I would run some of the wort through a few times to set the grain bed, but after that I would just run the wort out into the kettle, top up with water if needed, and start my boil. I got great results with this.

So the no-sparge thing doesn't bother me. I'll have to get my BIL to ship me my kettle and a keg or two, but it looks like I'll be reviving my brew hobby thanks to this new method. I'll post my results!

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Author: dlbuffy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2718 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 10:14 AM
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I think you just like following me around fooldom. LOL. :^P

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Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2719 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 10:16 AM
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I wonder if it is easy to maintain the mash temperature as the person says it is.

PSU

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Author: whafa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2720 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 10:58 AM
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I think you just like following me around fooldom. LOL. :^P


Welcome to the brewing board, buffy! Be sure to check out the FAQ.

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Author: whafa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2721 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 12:54 PM
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I wonder if it is easy to maintain the mash temperature as the person says it is.

I bet it's not easy and requires more stirring than is ideal. If your kettle has a spigot, it wouldn't be too hard to whip up a basic recirculating system and control the temp with a much smaller volume of liquid in a smaller pot on an adjacent burner, returning the wort to the top of the mash. This would help to set the grain bed as well, although that probably doesn't matter if you're lifting the bag out.

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Author: dlbuffy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2722 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 1:00 PM
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Welcome to the brewing board, buffy! Be sure to check out the FAQ.

HAHA...whatever. :^)

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Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2723 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 1:02 PM
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I bet it's not easy and requires more stirring than is ideal. If your kettle has a spigot, it wouldn't be too hard to whip up a basic recirculating system and control the temp with a much smaller volume of liquid in a smaller pot on an adjacent burner, returning the wort to the top of the mash. This would help to set the grain bed as well, although that probably doesn't matter if you're lifting the bag out.

Then you start outgrowing your NYC apartment with the additional equipment.

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Author: whafa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2724 of 2851
Subject: Re: Brew in a Bag Date: 1/8/2013 1:58 PM
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Then you start outgrowing your NYC apartment with the additional equipment.

This is clearly destined to happen, with or without the bag!

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