All-grain to BIAB

Post #1 made 5 years ago
The overview: I am an all-grain brewer that does 10 gallon batches using 2 keggles and a cooler. The keggles are heated via propane. I currently fly sparge, have a RIMS tube for mashing, a trub filter, immersion chiller, an oxygenation assembly, 2 pumps, and PID control panel for pumps and RIMS. I am looking to make my brew day shorter, have less equipment to clean once done, and to increase variations of beers on tap at all times.



Here is the concept. I want to scale down to 5 gallon batches. Highlights are: Bottom drain keggle, all Tri-clamp and welded fittings for additional CIP solution at a later date, hard plumbed, recirculating RIMS mash, no sparge, electrical kettle, 2 and 3 way valves, trub filter, immersion chiller, whirlpool.



I pretty much have everything I need minus the 3-way valves, some Tri clamp tubing, and smaller dedicated stand. In fact, I will be selling my 3 vessel setup with some other quick disconnects (not tri clamp like it is now) to help fund some of the changes or possibly purchase new slim quarter kegs as I ferment is 15 gallon kegs under pressure. A second chest freezer for layering may be in there too.



The thought would be to also bring it indoors in the basement.



Thoughts? Missing anything?
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Post #2 made 5 years ago
Jimyson, the RIMS ,I think is what is throwing me off. With BiaB you don't need to recirc the mash. Let it sit for 90 min. then pull the bag . If you want , some of us oldies do a mash out a approx. 170-175* . Not sure what you are trying to do with Biab. I do see and understand but, you are missing the simplicity of BiaB.
Joe
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Post #3 made 5 years ago
I will definitely be mashing out to help things flow since I will not be sparging. The recirculating is just my habit and thought process from all-grain. Essentially, I am trying to ensure I can do a good grind and not worry about flour in the boil. I thought the recirculation may help compact stuff in the bag. The other main reason for RIMS is mash temperature stabilization.

I could easily lose the top input on the kettle if i learn that the recirculation will help me in no way.

The other thought is that the top input would help with a CIP solution when a spray ball is added.

Post #4 made 5 years ago
First off, BIAB is all grain. It is just single vessel instead of 2 or 3 vessel all-grain. I have read several threads here of folks trying to do recirc to improve efficiency, and always seem to end up at the same conclusion. It does not improve. I get 85-90 percent efficiency depending on how high my OG will be. It will always be slightly lower on higher OG beers. I mash for 90 mins, in -20C ambient, with my kettle wrapped in an old comforter. At the 45 min mark I check temp and usually lose no more than 1 degree. SO recirc for efficiency or temp control isn't necessary at least for me.

As far as flour in the boil, if I lose an extra litre or 2 to trub, I would much rather that than have to clean all that extra stuff. Again just my opinion, but I would suggest maybe just try a batch with a simple kettle and a bag and see how it goes. Start simple and add complexities if needed, rather than working the other way...

Just my 2 cents, I am by no means a veteran at this, your mileage may vary...
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Post #6 made 5 years ago
Hi Jimmyson and welcome to the forum :salute:,

Nicely written thread and first post :clap:.

I think what we get worried about on this forum on a thread like this is...

Equipment Often Costs the Brewer Rather than Serves the Brewer

For example, a pump might sound great but the other parts required and maintenance it involves means it results in more work/labour than simply applying a little heat and manual agitation during the mash. Let alone the dollar cost.

Before adding equipment to a home brewery, it is important to really slow down and visualise how that equipment is going to work on a brew day. Will it work for or against you? I have a massive cupboard full of things I thought would work for me but actually cost me time and labour.

Making Wort is Over-Glorified - It is Easy.

Making wort (mashing/sparging and boiling) is not rocket science. Way too much attention is paid to this very simple process. Pure BIAB (full volume, simultaneous mashing and sparging, single vessel brewing) shows just how easy it is.

The hard thing in home brewing is maintaining the production of high quality wort brew after brew and the more equipment you have, the more likely you are to have subtle infections creeping into your system.

Flour in Wort: A fine grind should not be used in BIAB or traditional home-brewing.

Read here.

CIP (Cleaning in Place) is for Commercial Breweries.

CIP is a practice that is perfectly sensible in a commercial brewery but can really cost you a lot of time and labour on a home brew scale. Also, a commercial or even craft brewery is constantly making beer so their system is never stagnant - a home brewery spends most of its time idle. Even so, the commercial breweries still have maintenance schedules which involve completely dis-assembling equipment into individual components. (For example, when I was in pubs, we even dismantled our dispensing taps once a week and cleaned and sanitised them completely.)

A ball-valve, kettle tap is far more likely though to get an infection than a dispensing tap. Ball-valves are used everywhere in breweries and are cleaned in place but they are also still pulled apart regularly. Ball-valves actually are a sphere inside a cylinder and this means that the valve holds liquid in a dead space. Search this site for 'sphere inside a cylinder' for more info. In a commercial brewery, there is no time for the wort etc to stagnate in the valve as the next batch is always coming through. In a home brewery, that liquid has a week or sometimes months to stagnate. Even if the ball-valve sees boiling point temps (which most kettle taps don't) then the wort can still come out tainted.

So, more equipment might sound great but it really can work against you. I think this money is much better spent on fermentation and fridges and dispensing or, better still, making an excellent area for cleaning and sanitising your equipment.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 02 Mar 2015, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #7 made 5 years ago
goulaigan wrote:First off, BIAB is all grain. It is just single vessel instead of 2 or 3 vessel all-grain.
Clearly. Most don't need this level of explanation or correction. BUT, being a post in the new member forum, sure, I get the correction.
goulaigan wrote:I have read several threads here of folks trying to do recirc to improve efficiency, and always seem to end up at the same conclusion. It does not improve. I get 85-90 percent efficiency depending on how high my OG will be. It will always be slightly lower on higher OG beers.
Are you just increasing grain? Is it your crush? What are you doing to get that high of an OG? Are you sparging? etc.
goulaigan wrote:As far as flour in the boil, if I lose an extra litre or 2 to trub, I would much rather that than have to clean all that extra stuff. Again just my opinion, but I would suggest maybe just try a batch with a simple kettle and a bag and see how it goes. Start simple and add complexities if needed, rather than working the other way...
I guess I thought that you didn't want any flour in the boil. May need to go back and read more on that. Was it because of tannins possibly? I think the cleaning if everything being sanitary connections, hard plumbed, and a good circulation, running things with a hot PBW solution and good rinse should do the trick with most cleaning. If anything more is needed, simply un clamp, and let soak. It's only a few tubes.
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 00:52, edited 1 time in total.

Post #8 made 5 years ago
Mad_Scientist wrote:Per your 1st paragraph last sentence ---

My thoughts are, I brew 9 gallons at a time in one keggle, probably it would be 10 if a 1.050 beer. I also pressure ferment.

You can view my Flickr photo set for my flow process.

MS
I will check your pictures out for sure. So my thought on doing high gravity 5 gallon batches is not a problem in the keggle and if I want to increase, I can easily either drop the OG or use adjuncts during the boil to get the 10 gallon batches like I do today.
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 00:54, edited 1 time in total.

Post #9 made 5 years ago
Jimyson wrote:
goulaigan wrote:First off, BIAB is all grain. It is just single vessel instead of 2 or 3 vessel all-grain.
Clearly. Most don't need this level of explanation or correction. BUT, being a post in the new member forum, sure, I get the correction.
goulaigan wrote:I have read several threads here of folks trying to do recirc to improve efficiency, and always seem to end up at the same conclusion. It does not improve. I get 85-90 percent efficiency depending on how high my OG will be. It will always be slightly lower on higher OG beers.
Are you just increasing grain? Is it your crush? What are you doing to get that high of an OG? Are you sparging? etc.
Sorry I wasn't trying to be offensive here or talk down to you in any way. Correct terminology is one of the things strived for around here, helps keep things clear for everyone, new brewers and veterans alike. And yes, since it is in the new members forum I just wanted everyone to be on the same page with that. Apologies again if it came across as a shot at you. :peace:

I do not increase grain, double crush, or sparge to achieve the efficiency I get. I design my recipe in the BIABacus and use the amounts of grain and water that it suggests, nothing more. (Unless my kids are eating it as I am trying to crush it, then I may throw in an extra handful to make up for that haha)

I use the simplest of equipment, a fine voile bag and a 60 litre stock pot, and I usually do around 23 litres into fermentor. I mash in, stir, cover the kettle with a blanket, check temps at the 45 min mark and stir again, and add heat if I lose more than a degree. After 90 mins I do a 10 min mashout around 76-78 C, and pull the bag. I squeeze it a bit but don't worry much about getting every last drop. I then boil for 90 mins. That is my entire process...
Last edited by goulaigan on 03 Mar 2015, 01:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #10 made 5 years ago
PistolPatch wrote:Equipment Often Costs the Brewer Rather than Serves the Brewer

For example, a pump might sound great but the other parts required and maintenance it involves means it results in more work/labour than simply applying a little heat and manual agitation during the mash. Let alone the dollar cost.

Before adding equipment to a home brewery, it is important to really slow down and visualise how that equipment is going to work on a brew day. Will it work for or against you? I have a massive cupboard full of things I thought would work for me but actually cost me time and labour.
Sure, so I should have added, my father gave me much of his equipment when he became a quad. I get that when adding too many things that you don't benefit as much on quality as you do in cost or time. I think this is where my circulating cleaning (not true CIP) would come in handy to decrease the time. As far as the equipment, I have 90% of it already.

I also like bling. I tend to do that with hobbies. I enjoy it.
PistolPatch wrote:Making Wort is Over-Glorified - It is Easy.

Making wort (mashing/sparging and boiling) is not rocket science. Way too much attention is paid to this very simple process. Pure BIAB (full volume, simultaneous mashing and sparging, single vessel brewing) shows just how easy it is.

The hard thing in home brewing is maintaining the production of high quality wort brew after brew and the more equipment you have, the more likely you are to have subtle infections creeping into your system.
Cleanliness and sanitation is key. ABSOLUTELY! I do feel as though going from 3 vessel to 1 is helping the cause here. The use of a pump, RIMS, filter, and oxygen setup is not all that much, plus i use it all successfully today! Many batches under my belt but just newer to BIAB. I have down some BIAB to create some test batches on the stove or to create starter wort that I put in mason jars and can. My issues that I ran into were low OG and use of a not so ideal bag and ending up with flour in the boil.

The main thing that I can still learn is the mashing techniques with BIAB vs my cooler MLT.
PistolPatch wrote:Flour in Wort: A fine grind should not be used in BIAB or traditional home-brewing.

Read here.
Need to read more about this. I thought that I've read that most BIAB brewers do multiple grinds and it is usually finer. I currently wet mill using a .035 gap one time through and leave the majority of the husk intact while sticking with an average 80% mash eff.
PistolPatch wrote:CIP (Cleaning in Place) is for Commercial Breweries.

CIP is a practice that is perfectly sensible in a commercial brewery but can really cost you a lot of time and labour on a home brew scale. Also, a commercial or even craft brewery is constantly making beer so their system is never stagnant - a home brewery spends most of its time idle. Even so, the commercial breweries still have maintenance schedules which involve completely dis-assembling equipment into individual components. (For example, when I was in pubs, we even dismantled our dispensing taps once a week and cleaned and sanitised them completely.)

A ball-valve, kettle tap is far more likely though to get an infection than a dispensing tap. Ball-valves are used everywhere in breweries and are cleaned in place but they are also still pulled apart regularly. Ball-valves actually are a sphere inside a cylinder and this means that the valve holds liquid in a dead space. Search this site for 'sphere inside a cylinder' for more info. In a commercial brewery, there is no time for the wort etc to stagnate in the valve as the next batch is always coming through. In a home brewery, that liquid has a week or sometimes months to stagnate. Even if the ball-valve sees boiling point temps (which most kettle taps don't) then the wort can still come out tainted.

So, more equipment might sound great but it really can work against you. I think this money is much better spent on fermentation and fridges and dispensing or, better still, making an excellent area for cleaning and sanitising your equipment.
Yeah, need to think this through but also not really doing a true CIP yet. See me comments above with recir/pbw/rinse/etc. Luckily, I al sourcing ti-clamp ball valves that are easily dismanlted and able to be soaked. Very easy in fact. So a deep clean is easy.

I whole heartedly agree on fermentation. Money definitely well spent there.

Great conversation here. It is definitely making me think harder about the approach.
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 01:14, edited 1 time in total.

Post #11 made 5 years ago
goulaigan wrote: Sorry I wasn't trying to be offensive here or talk down to you in any way. Correct terminology is one of the things strived for around here, helps keep things clear for everyone, new brewers and veterans alike. And yes, since it is in the new members forum I just wanted everyone to be on the same page with that. Apologies again if it came across as a shot at you. :peace:
Yep, I hear ya.

goulaigan wrote:I do not increase grain, double crush, or sparge to achieve the efficiency I get.
I'm amazed now.
goulaigan wrote:I use the simplest of equipment, a fine voile bag and a 60 litre stock pot, and I usually do around 23 litres into fermentor. I mash in, stir, cover the kettle with a blanket, check temps at the 45 min mark and stir again, and add heat if I lose more than a degree. After 90 mins I do a 10 min mashout around 76-78 C, and pull the bag. I squeeze it a bit but don't worry much about getting every last drop. I then boil for 90 mins. That is my entire process...
So this seems to be the common here. 90 minute mash and minimalistic. I currently do a 75 minute and may just need to bump it up for BIAB. Minimalist....so against my american roots! :lol:
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 01:31, edited 1 time in total.

Post #12 made 5 years ago
I should probably ask for those against RIMS for mashing when using an electric system, what is the environmental temp? Today is a little warmer for this winter season and it's 27F for a high and 15F for a low. Last week we were in the neg 0. It's not as much of a big deal with my cooler MLT but a keggle is a different story unless insulated really. That just seems like a mess waiting to happen.

Post #13 made 5 years ago
Something to be aware of: I built a single vessel electric BIAB rig with the heating element in the pot. I had planned on recirculating to maintain temp but after burning a few batches I learned a valuable lesson: When you draw through the bag you will have to recirc VERY slowly as the combination of grain bed plus tight weave of the bag does not allow liquid to flow through very quickly. In the real world this will translate into an air pocket in your RIMS and scorched wort if you recirc to aggressivly.

Search the forums for the keywords "cavitation" and "scorched".

---Todd
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Post #14 made 5 years ago
The restriction from the bag is something that I didn't think of.

I do use a 5500 W 240V element stepped down to 120V to further decrease the risk of scorching in the RIMS tube.

https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/element5500.htm
This element will make 5500 watts at 240 volts or approximately 1400 watts on 120 volts. The length of the element from the hex flange to the tip is 12.5 inches. At 5500 watts, the watt density is approximately 120 watts per square inch making it a LWD element. At 120 volts/1400 watts, it's a mere 30 watts per square inch which would be perfect for a RIMS tube application.
So are you just using the element in the kettle for the initial water temp and boil while maintaining mash temp by insulating? Will check into cavitation.
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 02:05, edited 1 time in total.

Post #15 made 5 years ago
I set the temp with the PID, the element brings the kettle up to temp, I dough in and stir until temp stabilizes, shut heat off, throw blanket over it, and go take a nap for 90 minutes. I do recirc aggressively while stirring the hell out of it when I ramp up to mashout, then pull bag and boil as usual. (as long as you are stirring, the grain is in suspension and flow through the bag is not an issue)
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Post #16 made 5 years ago
Jimyson wrote:So this seems to be the common here. 90 minute mash and minimalistic. I currently do a 75 minute and may just need to bump it up for BIAB. Minimalist....so against my american roots! :lol:
The 90 minute mash makes up for the extra grain to water contact time you would get during the traditional sparge in a multi vessel setup. With BIAB, the sparge takes place throughout the entire mash process, as all of the grain is in contact with the total water required for the brew for the duration. A few folks around here (PistolPatch for sure) have tested the benefit of sparging with full volume BIAB in side by side brews, and found nothing or very little is gained from a separate sparge step.

Here is a post from PistolPatch that explains it better than I can...

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2558&p=36456&hilit=sparge+side+by+side#p36456
Last edited by goulaigan on 03 Mar 2015, 03:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #17 made 5 years ago
thughes wrote:I set the temp with the PID, the element brings the kettle up to temp, I dough in and stir until temp stabilizes, shut heat off, throw blanket over it, and go take a nap for 90 minutes. I do recirc aggressively while stirring the hell out of it when I ramp up to mashout, then pull bag and boil as usual. (as long as you are stirring, the grain is in suspension and flow through the bag is not an issue)

So, I am doing a bottom drain keggle which will take a centered 2" opening in which I will use a concentric reducer down to 1/2" input to the pump (809). Since this will likely be extremely easy to drain compared to a standard dip tube, do you still see the possibility of cavitation during a recirculation?
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 04:26, edited 1 time in total.

Post #18 made 5 years ago
goulaigan wrote:
Here is a post from PistolPatch that explains it better than I can...

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2558&p=36456&hilit=sparge+side+by+side#p36456
Will review this. Thanks.
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 04:27, edited 1 time in total.

Post #19 made 5 years ago
Jimyson wrote:2" opening in which I will use a concentric reducer down to 1/2" input to the pump (809)
Actual operation is probably going to be the only way to know for sure. You really can't test this with water because there is no sugar in plain water hence nothing to scorch on the element.

I suppose if you could add a temp probe to the RIMS chamber directly above the element it would allow some warning as the temp would spike immediatly upon cavitaion due to the steam pocket.

FWIW, as Pistol Patch has stated more than once and many of us have spent a lot of $$ learning, simple is always best. I myself have wasted a lot of time and money experimenting with complex technical solutions only to come full circle back to the basics.

My suggestion would be to use the RIMS to heat your strike water, dough in, toss a sleeping bag over your rig for insulation, shut the element and pump off, and go find something else to do for 90 minutes. This may not be what you want to hear but it is where you will eventually end up at. How long it takes you to get there and how much you spend along the way is up to you. (It's OK, I ignored the same advice when I built my rig)

K.I.S.S.

Good luck with your build!

---Todd
Last edited by thughes on 03 Mar 2015, 05:12, edited 1 time in total.
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All-grain to BIAB

Post #20 made 5 years ago
thughes wrote:
Jimyson wrote:2" opening in which I will use a concentric reducer down to 1/2" input to the pump (809)
Actual operation is probably going to be the only way to know for sure. You really can't test this with water because there is no sugar in plain water hence nothing to scorch on the element.

I suppose if you could add a temp probe to the RIMS chamber directly above the element it would allow some warning as the temp would spike immediatly upon cavitaion due to the steam pocket.

FWIW, as Pistol Patch has stated more than once and many of us have spent a lot of $$ learning, simple is always best. I myself have wasted a lot of time and money experimenting with complex technical solutions only to come full circle back to the basics.

My suggestion would be to use the RIMS to heat your strike water, dough in, toss a sleeping bag over your rig for insulation, shut the element and pump off, and go find something else to do for 90 minutes. This may not be what you want to hear but it is where you will eventually end up at. How long it takes you to get there and how much you spend along the way is up to you. (It's OK, I ignored the same advice when I built my rig)

K.I.S.S.

Good luck with your build!

---Todd
So I do have a temp probe on my tube following the element.

http://www.brewershardware.com/Tri-Clov ... -Tube.html

However, I think I will take the advice here and remove the RIMS. I will let it sit on the shelf for a few batches to see what happens. The great thing is that I can always add it at a later date if needed especially since I will be keeping my whirlpool port. A simple valve addition will allow for the RIMS and additional input for recirculation if I Want to try it. Or I could include it I the 3 vessel package that I will be putting on the market once I find my love for BIAB.

Great thing is that I don't have a ton invested in the current setup.

Simple rework of the drawing.
Image

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by Jimyson on 03 Mar 2015, 13:09, edited 1 time in total.

Post #21 made 5 years ago
Apparently you're a fast learner or much less stubborn then I. You are supposed to ignore advice, state that you have a better way of doing things, and then struggle over the next few brews trying to make it work before finally giving up and admitting defeat. You sure know how to take the fun out of it!

Use the whirlpool to recirculate while heating after you dough in to stabilze temp and again as you mash out. Just remember to stir agressivly and watch your liquid level while you're recirculating: if the level in the pot rises while the pump is on it means you are drawing too fast. I slide a little o-ring over my sight tube to use as an adjustable marker for the liquid level. (got pictures somewhere but can't find them at the moment.

---Todd
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Post #22 made 5 years ago
thughes wrote:Apparently you're a fast learner or much less stubborn than I. You are supposed to ignore advice, state that you have a better way of doing things, and then struggle over the next few brews trying to make it work before finally giving up and admitting defeat. You sure know how to take the fun out of it!
:lol: :lol: :lol:. Oh, how we've missed you Todd.

You are in the best of hands Jimmy.
Last edited by PistolPatch on 03 Mar 2015, 20:11, edited 1 time in total.
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