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How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00

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Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:40 am
by Thirsty Boy
bubba wrote:I wonder if you didn't want to sew, you could use multiple large grain bags like you would for mini mash. Maybe you could probably get some for about the same price.

mmmmm....... maybe.......

Current BIAB wisdom is that you really dont want the mash to be "restricted" by the bag. You dont want to be mashing inside a bag, you want to be mashing in a pot... that just happens to be lined with a bag.

Actually, on the smaller scale that I use for my BIAB; I haven't even sewn a "bag". I just use a big circle of the polyester material and hold it in place with a giant rubber band. Then I am careful about gathering it all up. I have had an accident and spilled grain into my wort though, so I am going to get the mother in-law to sew a drawstring onto my circle of material, kind of like a giant marble bag. I think I'll like this better than the pillow slip style bag, because there are no seams to split or for gunge to get trapped in.

BTW. The $10 estimate is really conservative. I actually only paid $6.75 australian for more than twice as much material as I needed. And thats only about five bucks in US dollars.


Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:10 pm
by bergerandfries
If wet grain weight limits the amount of grains the bag can hold due to tearing, why not double up the material and stitching to handle extra weight? Might have to use a coarser mesh for the outer layer so that draining isn't impacted, but so what? You could get really nutty with it and do 3 layers of material while increasing the coarsness of the mesh with each outer layer...

Thanks for the idea Thirsty. With my 5th kid on the way, a quicker brew day is going to be a requirement for a few years. I was thinking I was heading to extract only batches, but maybe I'll give the ol' BIB method a shot first...

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:05 pm
by codewritinfool
That kicks ass.

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:24 am
by PistolPatch
OMG - My first post in the US of A!

Thirsty, you've done a top job at describing BIAB* and I'm sure the guys here will enjoy it as much as we have in Oz. I reckon we could add your description into the AHB Wiki.

Here's one or two corrections that I'd whack in though plus a couple of other thoughts...

1. Mashing Time: Mashing time is as normal. No need to stretch it out. Brad_G and I did some iodine tests while brewing side by side and both brews converted within minutes of each other - about 35 minutes from memory.

2. Efficiency: Tests have shown that BIAB gives higher efficiency. Efficiency into boiler is from 5 to 9% higher than batch-sparging so no problems in this area either.

3. No Need to Raise to Mash Out: I usually just pull the bag out at my mashed temperature. I might give this a go next time as a matter of interest though.

4. Maintaining Mash Temp: I don't have any insulation on my kettle. When mashing I like to check the temp regularly during the first 20 minutes, giving it a good stir each time. If it needs a bit of heat, I just hit it with a little flame. Rarely needs it though.

4. There is Room for Technology Buffs: This is an area that we haven't worked on much but I'm dead keen. I actually want to change my bag to a very fine mesh (like a fish frying basket). I think there's a pic of a great one that FingerlickinB made in the following thread which was the catalyst for BIAB - good on you James Squire!

I also generally brew two different types of beer in one session and am currently thinking of building a setup where I can do two brews simultaneously. I'll have to buy another pot and burner but that's it.

Anyway, that's all for now. All of us BIAB guys will look forward to hearing how you go and I'm sure you'll keep Thirsty busy answering all your questions :wink:

Special thanks to all the AHB guys who got BIAB under way. You'll see some of their names in the first thread Thirsty linked and there are more that need to be added. A quick mention though to jimmysuperlative, AndrewQLD, AdamT, Phrak, Coodgee, Ross, sjc and Trough Lolly - I better stop now!

Cheers all,

*Screwtop came up with the BIAB abbreviation and was very encouraging and supportive of this method before we even had a chance to test it out. If you get a chance to read any of his posts on AHB, then do. He's bloody funny!

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:58 am
by Lufah
Welcome to fourm and thanks for the input.

PistolPatch wrote:
4. Maintaining Mash Temp: I don't have any insulation on my kettle. When mashing I like to check the temp regularly during the first 20 minutes, giving it a good stir each time. If it needs a bit of heat, I just hit it with a little flame. Rarely needs it though.

Keep in mind your in Australia. I regularly brew in 10F(-12C) weather and some of our Canadian brothers brew in colder weather than that. Not a big deal, but the method may have to be changed a bit for location.


Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:51 am
by LunaticSoup
G'day all, happy to support the BiAb lobby here, although my brewery is pretty much conventional. I believe the BiAb system is a vehicle capable of introducing more homebrewers to mash brewing for a lot less money and requiring a lot less dedicated space, a real issue for a lot of home brewers. Not sure if anyone in the cold country here is BiAb brewing. In Oz we can have bushfires, drought, -10C and +40c all on the same day in different parts of the country, it's a farking big island. But I'd imagine they would insulate the kettle during the mash much as brewers do using a Keep Cool or Igloo Cooler for a Mash Tun. A lot of guys use a thermal blanket or sub 10 rated sleeping bag wrapped around the cooler, works a treat.

Bub, you knobster, give it a go.

Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:07 am
by Lufah
I didn't know you guys had parts of the island that got that cold. Goes to show WTF I know :oops:


Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:13 am
by agiseasy
I brew in australia and these guys do not talk for whats going on in 'current trends' for brewing. Everyone starts out on kits, and it is not rocket science to go from kits to AG within a few months. I see no need to dumb it down, costs are not expensive to go to AG and if your so scared that you need to use a bag then another tun then go take up knitting. Keep brewing the tried and true way that has been done for so long. How many Micro's do you see brewing with a bag???

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