1st BIAB tonight

For those who like to brew BIAB just using their stovetop.
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1st BIAB tonight

Post by sb944 » 3 years ago

Well, feeling more than inspired right now to have a crack at all grain. Some background, I've got 2 Coopers DIY kits, 3 batches in the original, and 4th in the new one, ready to be bottled. But reading up a lot on AHB and here, has got me overly excited about doing a "real" brew. Skipped extract/partial/hops additions, straight into mini-biab. I decided to do a small sparge, not necessary, but I do want to up batch size soon (5.5 hours for a slab is a bit much), so I'd like to test it out. Initial equipment was hard work, with Big W giving me the run around on the 19L stock pot, I almost gave up and spent a lot more, however I found a store eventually that had them, so bought 2, just in case. I then did a "wet run" last night, prepared the grain and hop amounts, tested my stove/pots/insulation/chilling etc. So times in my checklist are based on those findings.

I've attached the spreadsheet, which has my checklist. The basics will go:
2.5kg ale malt, 500g Munich, 250g amber, under 40g Amarillo
13L of strike water to 71C
Mash grain at 66C 90 minutes
Sparge in 7L of water 15 minutes
Boil both, add sparge to wort when boiling
Boil wort for 90 minutes
Delay initial hops a little to offset lack of good chiller
Chill in tub, first with water, then with plenty of ice
Roughly 12.5L into fermenter, add yeast

Couple of questions I can think of, no matter if they aren't answered by tonight, I'll just go ahead with what I currently think:
1. Chilling. I had read "never" take the lid off the wort after the boil, a big source of infections. Yet some sites say to chill with the lid off the wort, some to stir (obv sanitised spoon), so a lot of lid off time. my default is to take a bit longer and leave it on, but that took quite a while last night.
2. Am I right to delay hops a little due to the fact my chilling might take that long, or do I just stick with the 60/20/5? And stupid question time, 60 means 60 minutes from end of boil, 20 means 20 minutes from end of boil, etc?
3. With hydrating yeast (US-05 packet), I've read 40C/30C is the initial point to add yeast to a cup, and that it should be boiled/plain water, so picked a spot in the middle. Is this OK for a plan: boil water, put in clean coffee cup. After a few minutes glad wrap, put in cold water to cool to 35C. Put yeast in at 35C, put glad wrap on, keep in water to cool to 20C over next 25 minutes, pitch whole cup into fermenter.

Other things may jump out at people, heaps of help got me here so far, so I appreciate all of that, and anything else people may add.
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Post by PistolPatch » 3 years ago

Can't write much sb but hopefully someone else will answer some of your questions.

Two quick things. Don't rehydrate on your first few brews. Search my posts of last week for info. If you do rehydrate, I wouldn't go over 30 C.

I had a quick look at your file before walking out the door. Your VIK is too high. Unfortunately the warning is not working in that version. You are asking a lot from that size kettle. Reduce sparge water and increase water added during boil. You will probably have to reduce your desired VIF in section B as well to ensure grain quantities match those you have bought.

Good luck!!!
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Post by BobBrews » 3 years ago

sb944,
1. Chilling. I had read "never" take the lid off the wort after the boil, a big source of infections. Yet some sites say to chill with the lid off the wort, some to stir (obv sanitized spoon), so a lot of lid off time. my default is to take a bit longer and leave it on, but that took quite a while last night.
1. When the boil is over you "can" stir in a circular direction to form a cone of trub and hop residue in the middle of the pot. You cover the pot and give it a short few minutes to give the "Irish Moss" a chance to do it's thing. You should always cover your wort after boiling. Whatever steam is still rising will not harm your wort. A 90 minute boil will have driven off DMS precursors already.
2. Am I right to delay hops a little due to the fact my chilling might take that long, or do I just stick with the 60/20/5? And stupid question time, 60 means 60 minutes from end of boil, 20 means 20 minutes from end of boil, etc?
2. Follow the recipe. If the recipe says 60 minutes it means 60 left in the boil. So if your doing a 90 minute boil add the bittering hops after 30 minutes. late hops go in with 10 or 5 minutes left or 0 (flame out). Whoever has published a recipe has done all the work and is proud of it. Trust your fellow brewers.
3. With hydrating yeast (US-05 packet), I've read 40C/30C is the initial point to add yeast to a cup, and that it should be boiled/plain water, so picked a spot in the middle. Is this OK for a plan: boil water, put in clean coffee cup. After a few minutes glad wrap, put in cold water to cool to 35C. Put yeast in at 35C, put glad wrap on, keep in water to cool to 20C over next 25 minutes, pitch whole cup into fermenter.
3. The package's of yeast normally tell you to hydrate. Tests by home brewers show that "in theory" you should follow the instructions. But in practice. Just sprinkling the dry yeast on top of the wort works just as well. It eliminates the chances of infecting your beer and leaving yeast in the cup. I just sprinkle the dry yeast on top and have not had a bad fermentation.

4. Brewing is very forgiving. Missing temperatures or time will not cause you brew a crappy beer. But it may prevent you from brewing a perfect beer? If you are sloppy about sanitation you will brew a bad or undrinkable beer! Good luck! :luck:
Last edited by BobBrews on 16 Jan 2014, 21:17, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by sb944 » 3 years ago

Thanks for the responses, I had PP's response before attempting, so I didn't re-hydrate, but didn't change anything else for now.

Here's how it went. I'd done a wet run the night before, so knew a little about my stove, heat loss and chilling.

I had little patience when I got home, so the stove and 13L water was on pretty quick. I'd started a couple of items on my checklist, then I checked the temp and it was 71C already, grain bag and grain not even in the kitchen yet! I had thought this was going to be a big part of the process to deal with, but 30 seconds later, I had the bag and grain in, mixed up nicely with my big spoon, really nothing to it. I measured 67C after the grain, covered, waited 5 mins, checked temp again, 67C still, mixed and covered. Put a sleeping bag around, bungee cord that to the pot, and 3 towels on top. After 90 mins that was still 66C, so I'm happy with that mash. After what PP said, I definitely think another 1-2L could have been in the mash, and might have helped... next time. But other than that, I can't imagine the mash going any smoother. The smell was strong, but not as strong as I'd imagined (thinking about feeding horses with my dad 20 years ago, big buckets of mollasses). After draining for 3 mins, I put the bag in pot 3, took the bag to pot 2. I noticed a bit of wort in pot 3 after the transfer, then put that in pot 1. I was looking at my wort a few minutes later, and noticed about 3 grains floating in it. I'm not sure if that was from pot 3 in the transfer, or if some grain got through the bag. I'm now really worried my grain bag is not up to this process, as I don't have swiss voille, just a large medium mesh grain bag from craftbrewer. I'm guessing there is not only a grain or two in there, but also smaller fragments throughout my brew?

Pot 2 had boiled 8L of water, and cooled down to 83C (cooled quicker than I thought) With the grain in it dropped to 73C, which is about 2C lower than I thought I'd get, but I'm sure that's OK. I put pot 1 back on to boil, while I stirred the sparge. 15 minutes later I put the bag in a colander in pot 3, and put pot 2 onto boil. I used some decent gloves to massage the last out of the grain bag. Pot 1 took about 20 minutes to get a proper boil, and pot 2 was about 5 minutes behind, so all of pot 2 went in pot 1, very close to a full 19L pot at that point, no cover needed, still boiled away, no spills either. A few minutes later I put in the pot 3 drained wort, then threw out the grain. No liquid added after 10 minutes into the 90 minute boil.

For some reason when I seperated the hops, I decided to use the 6g left over, by splitting them in the 3 cups. I don't know why, because I was already worried about strong hops with my average chilling techniqes. I also followed the recipe, 60, 20, 5. Hops smelt very strong, and I swear there is still hops smell in my kitchen, and on me the next day! They were rolling around (in a bag) the whole time, so I assume I got a decent rolling boil. After the boil, I took a sample. I let the sample cool, then cooled it more. It measured exactly 1.058 at 26C, which I think means closer to 1.060.

I thought I had chilling down, but work to do here. I sanitised the lid, put it on, then let it sit for 5 mins, then put the pot in the cool sink water. I replaced that water 3 times, each time it got quite warm, then 20 mins in, I figured it was time for ice. I had plenty of bottles of frozen water, but they didn't easily get into the water, so needed my constant attention. Next time, I need ice that can easily be dumped in the water all at once. I decided I needed help, so started taking the lid off and temporarily swirling the pot every 5 mins with a santised spoon, but still not sure this is OK. I didn't leave the sink for more than 30 seconds, yet still spent about 80 minutes cooling it down to 23C, so this process drained me a lot. I had put sanitiser in the fermenter earlier at least, so that was ready for me. I put a sanitised strainer on the fermenter, and poured the wort in OK. I saw some trub going in, so stopped, unsure how much I'd held back, but decided to stop there. It looked a little frothy, so I took a sample, but the froth was really weak, so whisked it after, and pitched. The STC1000 said 22C when I got it in the fridge, 18C by 30 minutes, so happy with how that went.

The end was a little sour though. Even with chilling taking more effort than I'd like, I liked that I had 1.058 @ 26C, and hadn't lost any liquid to any silly mistakes. So some things came as a surprise at the end. Firstly, I only got 11L in the fermenter, not 12.3L. I poured the remaining trub into a 1.3L container, and it overflowed and then some, so I probably had around 2L of trub that I threw out, need to work on getting less leftover trub. Also, my OG tested at 1.052? I'd measured around 1.060 post boil, how did it get to 1.052? One idea is faulty reading, as I'd only taken the first draw out of the fermenter as the sample, and nothing else had changed between the post boil and fermenter, except leaving the trub. And I'd swirled the pot quite a bit during chill, so I can't imagine too much got lost to the trub, don't know?

The taste? I'm still unsure on this part. The hops taste were massive in both of my samples, overpowering at first. Yet today, I'm feeling a bit different about it. I'm wondering if that's just because I'm so used to mega-swill, and more recently kit and kilo, that this strong hop is a bit in your face? One thing I know, is nothing about this tastes like the kits I've done, and tastes very "fresh". The hops are bigger, the taste behind the hops a whole lot smoother. I'm really looking forward to how the taste changes.

Safe to say, I'm hooked, as I figure I would be.

That 11L in the fermenter sure looks lonely though. I bought enough grain/hops/etc for 2 of this recipe, so I think I might do it all again tonight, and put the new wort in the same fermenter. What do you think?

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Post by mally » 3 years ago

Great follow up sb944 :salute: .

It would be no problem doing the same recipe again and adding to the fermenter... Other than - what if you don't like the recipe?
I guess it's up to you, but if you could taste the conditioned" beer you just brewed and didn't like it, you could always make changes with what you have left. Just a thought. :think:

As for...
sb944 wrote: Also, my OG tested at 1.052? I'd measured around 1.060 post boil, how did it get to 1.052
If I understand correctly; you are saying you took a gravity reading just after flameout on a cooled sample and got 1.058, but then after chilling the wort the gravity was suddenly 1.052?
This is something I see to some extent on every brew, and I don't have a definitive answer to it (yet) see this post I did here
Last edited by mally on 17 Jan 2014, 16:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by sb944 » 3 years ago

I decided to go ahead and do the 2nd half of my grains and put it in the same fermenter on Friday night. The process was a lot more relaxing this time. I tweaked a little due to what PP said, a little more water in the mash, a little less in the sparge. Mash went well, no noticable temp drop over 90 minutes again. Sparging went fine, and made up a top up amount to almost fully fill the 19L pot. 90m boil. This time a bit less hops. Last time was 2g over the recipe, this time 2g under. Tasted a little smoother after, measured at 1.058 @ 26C post boil. I cooled by "no-chill" this time, but given our hot weather, this only got it to 35C by the following morning, so I still had to use an ice bath the following morning to drop it down the last few. I whisked the pot up, then poured it into the fermenter, which was showing strong signs of fermentation by the time I put it in. 23L all up now. Another day or so later, and the fermentation was stronger again, good signs.

So 2 mini's out of the way, and even though that seems like a great start to AG, I now see what a monster I have ahead of me. So many questions, to which there are so many answers. Some of these are:
1. What to brew next? I'm not really a fancy beer drinker (yet), so just going from megaswill is an experience in it's own (which I'm enjoying), so not sure what to try after an APA. But I'll have to make that decision soon, as I have to order grains.
2. What size batch next? I don't think 2 nights to achieve 23L is something I enjoyed, yet 9-10L batches are also not appealing. I have 2 pots, so with a little more investing I could do 2 pots at once, but I'm not sure about this yet.
3. How to chill in the future? I keep thinking an immersion chiller is going to make my brewing a lot more enjoyable, but I haven't been able to spec one up cheaply enough from local sources. I do want to get the chilling done on the night, so have to work a little harder at perfecting the ice bath for now.

For now I'll keep an eye on the fermenter, and start testing once it's noticably quieter in the fermenter.


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Post by sb944 » 3 years ago

This thing has had a steady ferment for 5 days. Not as wild as Coopers kit gets 30 hours after pitching, but then Coopers is usually finished by now too. That's probably a good thing to be honest. But I couldn't resist taking a sample. Even though I decided to draw a little and not use that, I drank it anyway. Honestly, tasted like sand in the fermenter. I took another sample, and tested it. 1.012. Recipe said FG 1.017, and there is still a head on this, so I'm very surprised. Plus it looks like mudwater. I have no idea how it's 1.012, when almost see through samples of other beers have been 1.020. Tasted that, no sand taste this time thank god, tasted OK. Still very strong hops, not sure I'm ready for this strong hop beer yet, it's overpowering to my mega-swill taste buds, though I realise it's very early to judge that. Actually now it's 10 minutes later, the after taste is OK with me, it's just very confronting when I'm actually drinking it. I've never cold conditioned, but will on this one before bottling I think.

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Post by BobBrews » 3 years ago

sb944,

Good beer takes a little time. Don't rush things too much. The harshness of new hops smooths out after a few weeks. I make a few hop bombs a year and they change rapidly. The clarity of the beer is a question. Give it time and hopefully it will clear up. If not then we will have to look at a few things. Get a few batches going in the pipeline. Then, while you are brewing or fermenting? A previously brewed batch of beer will be ready to (keg?) bottle or try? That takes the sting out of waiting. :party:
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

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Post by sb944 » 3 years ago

Don't worry about my planning. I'm trying to find 3-4 recipes to make an online grains order now, which will keep me busy. Next week I'll be doing my 2nd AG recipe, so there isn't much time to kill before I'm at it again. In the mean time, I can make an immersion chiller, which I'm seriously considering buying the stuff for tonight. And all this time, I have 2 batches still bottle conditioning, and 1 ready now, so I certainly don't have to rush into drinking my first all grain.

Interesting couple of points about the hops. I had a couple of my k+k home brews while playing guitar in the man cave last night, about 1m from the fermentation fridge. After emptying a glass, I decided to take 1/3rd of a glass out of the fermenter (it has a tap). In a more normal drinking size, the hops didn't quite seem so overpowering. Very strong, but I was starting to see it as complimentary. About half way through my next k+k beer, for the first time I started seeing it as a boring, watery drink, and started craving another taste from the fermenter! I started thinking, this hops thing is going to hook me. I've spent my whole life avoiding strong taste in my beer, now I feel my eyes are opening for the first time.

So today, the work gang decides to go to the Bavarian cafe (http://www.bavarianbiercafe.com/pure_bier/), and given I was brewing a fairly hoppy beer, I decided to try the Paulaner Premium Pils, 32 IBU's. Even though IBU's were very similar to mine, I expected it to be like day and night compared with mine, but the hops hit me the exact same way, with a very similar taste. I said that out loud, and a work mate instantly said "I'm buying beer off you if it tastes like that." I quite enjoyed all 500ml of it, safe to say I'm hooked on hoppy beer now!

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Post by BobBrews » 3 years ago

sb944,

I am happy you have seen the light. "Hop-Head" 101 is a class that leads to an appreciation of the flagrance and taste of hops.

Here is a link to a hoppy recipe that I love, that will make it a favorite of yours. http://www.northernbrewer.com/documenta ... ackIPA.pdf

Here is a list of all the recipes. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/brew ... ?limit=all Click on the picture and it will take you to the individual beer and then click on "Additional Information" to print out the exact recipe of that beer. Very nice of them to provide it to you. :drink:
Last edited by BobBrews on 23 Jan 2014, 20:36, edited 2 times in total.
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!


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Post by sb944 » 3 years ago

So, I am drinking 2 kit beers, and now have this batch about 1 week in the bottle. The kit ones have definitely benefited from time in the bottle, better this week than last week etc, no noticeable twang now, just nice bitter beers with decent carbonation, decent aftertaste etc. I'd happily drink these compared with some of my previous bottle shop purchases. I also tried 2 bottles of this batch, and it's in a completely different league. Firstly, there are no problems with it, it tastes clean, is starting to carbonate nicely, so that is very good. As it should be, this just tastes interesting and fresh compared with the kit beers. I'm really enjoying it, and enjoying what it will be in a few weeks time.

I see this is where home brewing is taking me to a whole new level with drinking. Previously I would do what I need to do to get a buzz. As long as it wasn't nasty to my taste, I would enjoy it in any form, wine, beer, bourbon, vodka, cocktails. But the end point of it all was to get a nice buzz after the working week. Now I look forward to tasting the beer. Like I wonder what it will taste like next weekend, as I wonder what my next batch will taste like. So now my preference is definitely a nice beer to a glass of wine, or a bourbon, because to me now, the beer is just so much more interesting to drink.

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