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 78Â°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.