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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Birmingham, AL
First post here, i've got about 3 BIAB beers down now. The first two went into a barrel with 55+ other gallons, and the last just went into secondary so I haven't actually had any of the finished product yet. The current beer is a Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere clone and my efficiency was 73% (the other two I forgot to take post boil readings :oops: )

Somewhere in this thread someone posted the product number for the voile at Hancock Fabrics and that is what I bought. My sister in law sewed the bag, my dry cleaner is currently fixing it a little bit for me. I had a few splits in the seams. Mine looks like the sleeping bag style.

I love this method and it allowed me to jump from extract w/specialty grains to AG. I just don't have any more room for more equipment right now. I have an old beck's keg that I converted to a keggle. My bag fits in it great (and the pot can fit in the bag as well).

I have a heavy duty drawstring sewed in, which I also use to hang the bag from hooks in my porch. They used to hold my 2 year olds swing before his swing set, now they just hold my bag as it drains. Here's a photo:Image

Thanks for sharing all of the ideas!

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mmm, Brettanomyces


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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Birmingham, AL
Maybe the photo didn't work due to being my first post, here's another try:

Image

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mmm, Brettanomyces


Last edited by BadRock on Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fixed photo


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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:37 am
Posts: 1
I'm close to getting a stainless conical, and making heat sticks so I can brew indoors. Then I came across this site. Now, the caveat is obviously that it's no longer Extract to AG for < $10, but what I'm thinking is -
get a 14g SS conical, add 2 heat sticks, then BIAB. No lauter tun, mash tun, or brew pot. Using an immersion chiller, with the dump valve you don't have to worry about cold break, and you don't need any pumps to transfer. The heat sticks would be in the conical section, so below the bag, which would still rest on a support of some kind. A permanent jacket could also be added to hold the mash temperature, help the boil get up to temp quicker, and control the fermentation temperature. With the valves on the conical I could add a motor and do a recirculating mash later on.

I will only be doing 5G batches, so the larger conical to hold the mash and total water and resulting headspace could be a consideration if the fermentation process doesn't produce enough CO2. So, cost of the conical aside, which I'll close to incurring anyhow, what else am I overlooking?


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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 5
Thirsty Boy wrote:
I actually am not sure what affect it might have on taste to use a bag that is too course - I would be mainly concerned with physical effects.

BUT - the words bitter & slimey when used together - well that shouts alkaline to me.

Your dark beers are OK?? Your light beers are bitter, harsh and have a nasty mouthfeel?

I taste it easily with my lights ones, but I'm not really satisfied with my dark ones either.

Thirsty Boy wrote:
Not BIAB - Water chemistry!!!

Do you measure your pH?? If not, I would get some pH strips and check it out. Read John Palmer's How to Brew and look for the Water chemistry, residual alkalinity parts - Listen to the Brew Strong series of episodes on Water Chemistry - obtain a local water report if you can - and consult the Residual Alkalinity Spreadsheets by John Palmer that are stuck to the top of the All Grain sub-forum.

I think thats where your problem is going to be. Its where I would look anyway.

I have a (cheap) pH electric meter. My tap water is around 8.2pH. But the mash mostly drops down to 5.6pH, so i presumed this was fine. But this can be surely be a part of it. Astringent taste can be a covering term of the taste, and i see http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter21-2.html points this taste to a pH problem in the mash.

I'm pretty new to home brewing so I have only used dry yeast. But I'm thinking of trying liquid yeast to see if this will make me more satisfied. It can off course also be a sanitation problem, though i thought i had this pretty covered. And the brews does not taste sour which i would expect if i have an infection?

I have made a new big tea-bag of some real voile. I will try this bag this weekend and see how it goes. Also thinking of ordering a mash stabilizer (pH 5.2). Will this help or do i need a full water treatment? I have not heard that people need to adjust their water around here for brewing, but i have neither heard about people doing BIAG around here, so.. (Norway, Oslo, Maridalsvannet).

Btw. I have a time and equipment saving idea to the BIAG method. I lately bought an Induction Hot Plate, and since you don’t need to be in direct contact with the stove I got this idea to just use a plastic bucket fermenter with some (magnetic) metals objects in the bottom. The bottom of the bucket should be flat so the distance between the plate and the metal objects are minimized (effect goes otherwise down). I first thought I needed some distance between the metal and plastic but the water seems to take care of proper cooling of the metal objects.
In this way you can warm water, mash, boil and ferment all in the same bucket. I’m thinking of trying it out, I just need an immersion chiller first...

Thanks for the reply!


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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 12:46 am
Posts: 1051
Location: Melbourne Australia
hackNbrew wrote:
I'm close to getting a stainless conical, and making heat sticks so I can brew indoors. Then I came across this site. Now, the caveat is obviously that it's no longer Extract to AG for < $10, but what I'm thinking is -
get a 14g SS conical, add 2 heat sticks, then BIAB. No lauter tun, mash tun, or brew pot. Using an immersion chiller, with the dump valve you don't have to worry about cold break, and you don't need any pumps to transfer. The heat sticks would be in the conical section, so below the bag, which would still rest on a support of some kind. A permanent jacket could also be added to hold the mash temperature, help the boil get up to temp quicker, and control the fermentation temperature. With the valves on the conical I could add a motor and do a recirculating mash later on.

I will only be doing 5G batches, so the larger conical to hold the mash and total water and resulting headspace could be a consideration if the fermentation process doesn't produce enough CO2. So, cost of the conical aside, which I'll close to incurring anyhow, what else am I overlooking?


Only that you can only brew again when your conical is empty.

For the Mash/boil part - the fact that its a conical makes no difference. Its just a pot with a pointy bottom. I have brewed BIAB with heat sticks (well, hand held immersion elements anyway) plenty of times.

Don't put the heat sticks below the bag, don't have anything in the conical to rest the bag on. Too complicated and not needed. Put your strike water in the pot, no bag, put your heat sticks in there to heat things up to strike temp. When its up to temp, heat stick off and out - bag in - grain in - stir - take temp. Add heat with a heat stick if required. If you keep on stirring it will not melt the bag and your temp will be even when you measure it. Thermo in left hand, heat stick stirring in right hand - stop when you hit target. Heat stick off and out - lid on - walk away for an hour. If you really feel the need, check temp and add more with heat stick as required. After main mash - heat stick/s in - stir (with the heat stick) and add heat to a sparge/mashout temp of 78°C - heat off, rest 5 min - bag out - Heat sticks straight back in to start raising to the boil while the bag drains (either hanging from your skyhook or in a bucket somewhere)

Boil, cool, dump trub out the bottom, pitch, ferment - drink - awesome.

I see no reason whatsoever it wouldn't work perfectly well.

TB


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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Birmingham, AL
any calculators out there specifically for BIAB? I have just been using my brewpal app on my iphone to give me my starting water volume. My efficiency has been fine until this last beer I made. I brewed the Belgian Strong Golden from Brewing Classic Styles and my pre-boil volume was waaaaaaaaaaaay low compared the recipe. Now I didn't measure the pre-boil volume, but ended up adding an extra pound of sugar to offset it (I had a buzz and made an executive decision). Then my OG ended up like 17 points higher than was expected. It got so many bugs and critters added though that i'm not too worried about it...

Just wondering what calculators you other BIABers are using.

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mmm, Brettanomyces


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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:59 pm
Posts: 94
I still use BeerSmith for BIAB. I've just been making minor adjustments to my equipment and other settings in it so I can dial it in.

I do a number of things differently from the suggestions. For example, I don't put my entire boil volume in during the mash. I actually lift my bag up above my kettle in a basket (then put that basket on a couple planks of aluminum-covered wood) and sparge it with at least 2-3 gallons of water--my mash volume is generally ~4 gallons, and the grains still retain about 0.5 quarts per pound of grain, so the calculations aren't tough.

If you're off on your boil volume, adding sugar is not the way to go about fixing it. Instead, you should add water (use something to measure your volume... I use a yard stick and I made a spreadsheet to calculate volume based on cm).

The more important thing to get right is gravity, not volume.

If your gravity is higher than expected, add water to get the right gravity (BeerSmith has a Dilution Tool to do this quickly).

If your gravity is lower than expected, you'll need to adjust it by either boiling off more water or by adding some extract (I have some organic light dry malt extract that I use for yeast starters, and I sometimes use that to adjust my gravity up. I'm more likely to just boil extra water off, though).

The main thing to make sure to adjust on-the-fly if you're dealing with different volume or gravity is hops, because it will be utilized more with more volume and less with more gravity.

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 Post subject: Re: How to go from Extract to AG for < $10.00
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:02 am 
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 12:46 am
Posts: 1051
Location: Melbourne Australia
TheBlack77 wrote:
any calculators out there specifically for BIAB? I have just been using my brewpal app on my iphone to give me my starting water volume. My efficiency has been fine until this last beer I made. I brewed the Belgian Strong Golden from Brewing Classic Styles and my pre-boil volume was waaaaaaaaaaaay low compared the recipe. Now I didn't measure the pre-boil volume, but ended up adding an extra pound of sugar to offset it (I had a buzz and made an executive decision). Then my OG ended up like 17 points higher than was expected. It got so many bugs and critters added though that i'm not too worried about it...

Just wondering what calculators you other BIABers are using.


Here you go - this is a spreadsheet written by Pistol Patch (who has posted in this thread a number of times) it will work out your required volumes, boil off etc etc and builds in the ability for you to refine and tweak your figures to zone in very accurately on how your particular BIAB system will perform.

PP arrived at the numbers and assumptions he uses by surveying a large number of BIAB brewers and the actual results of hundreds of BIAB brews... even on the 1st time you use it, you will be pretty close to hitting your volumes right on the head.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key= ... ZUHc&hl=en

Have fun

Thirsty


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