Second BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #1 made 8 months ago
I finally managed to get my second brew on using the MaxiBIAB technique (which is easily searchable via the internet). My first attempt was 18 months ago and I wasn't 100% happy with the results - I've since found out my hydrometer was reading high and that the brew was a bit thin probably due to a lower-than-intended mash temp. This time I was determined to get it right. Recipe... (am I allowed to link to Brewgr??) - still working on a name but I'm in to darts so somethng along that line (Big Finish maybe..?)

Date - 22/1/18
3kg Maris Otter
250g Torrified Wheat
33g chocolate malt (for a bit of colour)
500g light DME (needed using up)

hops all 33g challenger (6.1 AA) 60min, 15min and 5min (again needed using)
dry hop 50g cascade

yeast Wilko Gervin (aka Nottingham) - target OG - 1.044 FG 1.01

Got the water on and then took dog for a walk so it was ready when I got back (was actually a bit high so added a bit of cold) Mash went well - added grains at 74C which resulting in 69C temp, wrapped in a sleeping bag and had some brekky. Unfortunately this was the only photo I took so not much use (unless you want to see a photo of a 19L stock pot wrapped in a black sleeping bag). Checked at 45mins and it was down to 67C so put a minute's heat in and wrapped again. It was at 68C when finished after 90 mins (perfect!). Dunk sparged a couple of times and got the boil going - had about 17 litres in the kettle at this point (forgot the reading but I wasn't interested in the figures as it would need liquoring down after the boil to get full brewlength. Hops went it at the right time along with the DME towards the end (put it in separate pan water and heated up to dissolve before adding) - I just forgot to add Irish Moss at the end. My new (homemade) immersion chiller did a great job of cooling within half an hour but the only way I had to transfer was to sanitise a measuring jug and do it by hand through a seive - this is time consuming and annoying as had to dump the hop debris in the bin as I went along and kinda needs three hands to achieve - equipment upgrades on the way

Got about 12 litres into Fv (with some trub!!) at about 1.07 which needed about 8 litres of water to get to target OG of 1.044 - forget the actual figues but I remember working out efficiency to 67% so can do better there too. Yeast in and FV into water bath fitted with aquarium heater to control temp. Took a while to get going but once it did it was like a train - measured FG yesterday and it was at 1.01 so transferred to garage for cold crashing. Going to bottle tomorrow. Sample tasted pretty good for this stage - definitely some subtle hop notes coming through so have high hopes on this one :thumbs:
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Re: Second BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #2 made 8 months ago
Hi Leroy ;) ,

First of all, there's never a problem here providing links to other sites. This can actually help let us know where your thinking is coming from and/or could be a site we've never heard of that may have good info.

Personally I'd like to see you not doing "Maxi-BIAB," at least on your first brews. If you do do it, I'd really like you to use the BIABacus as it's the only software that can actually handle the extremes of maxi-BIAB.

For example, in your brew, you've added 8 L to your 12 L Volume into Fermenter to give you 20 L. The BIABacus would have thrown a warning at you on that. This doesn't necessarily mean you've done something wrong, it just forces you to examine your decision. Whether those 8L you added were highly chlorinated tap water or distilled water could significantly affect your brew.

The BIABacus will also stop you focusing on myths such as increasing efficiency. You mentioned, "I remember working out efficiency to 67% so can do better there too."

Improving efficiency is one of the biggest myths out there. For example, how do you intend to improve your "efficiency?" Was there something you did wrong? (My answer is no.)

My only other worry is where you mention transfering using a jug and seive. I'm guessing that was from the kettle to the fermenter? Let's fix that up before your next brew as there are many easy ways to transfer.

Also before your next brew, study up on Clear Brewing Terminolgy and have a crack at the BIABacus. It may initially all look too hard but it's not. Just go through one section at a time.

All will hopefully be fine on this brew however, when playing with the extremes of brewing, you really want to be as clued up as you can be.

:peace:,
PP
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Re: Second BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #3 made 8 months ago
Thanks PistolPatch - the brew was bottled yesterday so I'll know soon enough if my method was flawed.

I have looked at BIABacus and I need to study it more (i don't actually own a computer so I've been sneaking a few peaks at work). I really just wanted to get a brew on and not worry too much about the figures so I've probably dived in a bit quick. The water was indeed tap water so maybe an issue but it is the same tap water that I've done kits and extract with and I haven't noticed an aftertaste or anything that has put me off drinking the brews. I'm lucky enough to live 25 mins away from Burton on Trent and have a similar water profile

The good news is that I've now bought a Burco boiler and also an Ink Bird 308 so I can do bigger/full volume boils and will have proper temp control on fermentation. I'm thinking of a hop spider too. The wife is away next weekend so I've got another chance to get a brew on

EDIT - Have got BIABacus working on my chromebook. :thumbs:
Last edited by Leroy Brown on 05 Feb 2018, 04:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Second BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #4 made 8 months ago
Good on you Leroy!

So glad I didn't scare you too much :). Here in Western Australia, our water changes all the time, sometimes daily. It comes from desalination plants. bore water, "natural" dams and some other things I've forgotten. But, it is always mixed and many days you can even taste a sudden difference.

...

Probably no need for a hop spider and I'm still worried about your transfer method from kettle to fermenter. Any more details you can give us on that one? :peace:
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Re: Second BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #5 made 8 months ago
No was fine - any advice on improving my setup is welcome! The transfer to FV has been an obvious area and my new kettle/boiler has a tap (it's a Burco Cygnet 30L) - I've plugged some figures into Biabacus and it should be able to handle an 18 litre batch (which is just about what I got out of the last brew anyway). I'm pretty much ready to go on Saturday morning so I'll take some pics this time and let you know how I get on

EDIT - here's the file - I've put 18L and it is giving the 'volume approaches kettle limits' warning. Do you think that will be ok (no sparge) or would you hold some water back and add at the end?
BIABacus PR1.3T - Best Bitter - 164 - Batch A3.xls
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Last edited by Leroy Brown on 06 Feb 2018, 18:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Second BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #6 made 8 months ago
[Sorry for my slow reply Leroy.]

Very nice job on The BIABacus :salute:. If I'm not mistaken, that was your first go?

Below I'm going to make some suggestions or corrections. Usually I'd give detailed information backing up these suggestions or corrections however I'm a bit short on time atm and, more importantly, my detailed explanations may lead you into areas of study that are not necessary.

So, in order of importance...

1. Increase your mash time to 90 mins: On most recipes, 60 mins does not allow enough time for "sugars" to leach from the grains.
2. Increase your boil time to 75 mins: There are other reasons for this but the main reason I have for saying this is that it will give the boil 15 minutes to "relax" before your first hop addition.
3. Withhold 7 litres from the mash: This means you will need to buy an extra 200 grams of grain (nothing). The advantage is that your brew day will be heaps easier*.
4. Increase VIF to 19 litres: This means another 200 grams on top of the 200 grams I just mentioned. It's a judgment call. Is buying 200 grams more of grain worth an extra litre of beer?**

* The withholding of 7 L will really make your brew day easier. Imagine putting a teabag in a hydrometer jar and filling it almost to the top. What happens when you pull the tea bag out? Stuff can go everywhere! For the sake of buying an extra few hundred grams of grain, you don't have that worry. After you pull the bag and before your boil begins, add those 7 litres.

** In my attached BIABacus I've allowed for 18 L VIF in Section B. Change that to 19 L and you'll see how in Section C, the grain bill needed increases a bit.

Hope the above makes sense? Let me know if not.

;)
PP
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Re: Second BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #7 made 8 months ago
Thanks PP - that's really helped :thumbs:

I've looked at Biabacus before but it's never really sunk in, so whilst it was my first complete one it probably wasn't my first attempt but I think I've got it now (and it is a great tool). Your method does make sense and I've got the extra grain (I've actually got 4kg in the house) so will go for 19L into the fermenter. Thanks again!!
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Re: Second (now third) BIAB - fingers crossed!!

Post #8 made 8 months ago
Quick post - I need to collate photos and stuff if I'm going to start a new thread (although don't want to hijack the whole site!!)

Went pretty well today - the new boiler was excellent and easily worth the money. It was able to maintain a good rolling boil with 26 litres in and wasn't even on max on the dial. The tap on the side locks open as well which is great for transfer of the wort into the FV. Additional use of a hopsock meant that no trub or hop debris was transferred. The only issue was that I tried the temp probe on the inkbird to monitor the mash whilst I was having breakfast and at one point it had lifted out of the sweet liquor and started reading low which meant the heater switched on automatically. I was mashing at 72C for about ten mins. and had to use some cold water to adjust the temp. Hopefully this won't affect the results - I won't be doing that again!! Back to sleeping bag insulation

I followed Pistolpatch's suggestions above and pretty much hit the figures - pre-boil was spot on and got just about 19 litres into the FV at 1.04 when I was aiming at 1.042. Thanks again PP!!
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