Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #26 made 3 months ago
I just wanted to say, I'm still about and still brewing. Brewed my 8th BIAB yesterday, in the form of a Patersbier, and still getting excellent efficiency, allowing me to use less grain and get more beer into FV. The Patersbier I used 4k of Dingemans Pilsen malt, and got 23 litres of wort into the FV with an OG of 1.046. :peace: Using Maris Otter malt I get even better efficiency, as an example I brewed a golden ale with 3.6k of Maris Otter and 100g of Crystal malt, and got 21 litres into FV with an OG of 1.050.
TheWatchAle.jpg
Oh, and switching to whole hops worked a treat! No blocking during transfer, and after about a litre into the FV the wort runs clear. A bonus, I'm getting more wort out of the boiler and into the FV, losing only around 500mls to the trub. A heck of a mess left in the bottom of the boiler though, but better there than in the FV...
trub.jpg
I've purchased a large, 300 micron, hop bag for when I really need to use pellet hops, and will make sure to still use mainly whole hops with them, in order to form a filter bed on the bazooka.
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #27 made 2 months ago
Well, of course the journey has continued, with me refining my process and making tweaks. I can get clearer beer now for one, this is a pic of a English style golden ale I made (a fuggles/maris otter smash in fact, delicious!):-
GlodenGlowPint3.jpg
I got 76.3% EIF on that one.

I made some alterations to my equipment though, fitting a recirculation pump to my mash tun/boiler.
ModifiedOutlet1s.jpg
AlteredFitteds.jpg
Mashings.jpg
It made for very fast and effective cooling when the outlet was placed inside my immersion chiller, dropping from boiling to 15 degrees C in about 25 minutes. Uhm yeah, I was aiming for 18 degrees C though... Warmed it back up a bit to 17 degrees C and pitched at that... :whistle:
overshotpitching.jpg
I didn't stir my mash at all (other than when I doughed in) relying on the recirculation instead. My software (sorry guys, I was brewing a Braggot, and BIABacus really struggled with it, I had to use it to just double check numbers) gave me a mash efficiency of 90.7%, and a brewhouse efficiency of 87.98% (that one is probably so high thanks to the 2.27 kilos of honey that went into it... lol). So yeah, it was a very effective improvement. :peace: Don't worry folks, next brew I'll be back to using BIABacus fully as it'll be a dry stout that I've already constructed using it. :salute:
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #29 made 1 month ago
My pleasure bud. :peace:

I did a 2nd brew on the 29/3, this time with no honey or simple sugars, just grain. Another hoppy Saison (our favourite style to date). My target OG was 1.047, I ended up with an OG of 1.050 and an EIF (according to BIABacus) of 90.6%. The only stirring I did was whilst doughing in. Oh, and I had crystal clear wort going into the boil, so yeah I am very happy with the re-circulation mashing. Oh and (sorry guys, I'm about to use the s word...) it massively improved my ... sparge... too, crystal clear runnings with a higher SG than I was getting with dunk and rinse sparging. Sorry folks, I know that's a rude word on here, but it allows me to get 23 litres into FV with my boiler, with good efficiency numbers too. Especially when I'm brewing with a slightly larger grain bill. I've been diluting in the FV too (the GAW was 1.058, and the dilution was planned in BIABacus). I'd love a larger boiler, but that's not going to happen any time soon sadly.

Made some more tweaks today though. Fitted a T piece return to the lid to use whilst mashing, as the "jet" return sits too low in the boiler and made it hard to fit the steamer insert under it.
MashingT1.jpg
So I'll use this when mashing, and the "jet" when cooling the wort after boiling (it'll go in at the same time as the wort chiller, so they both get a good boiling to kill anything on them).

I also modified how I attach the pump to the boiler, so now it attached using quick disconnects, directly onto the tap.
Pump2s.jpg
Looks nice and tidy, and I'm happier with the pump better supported.

TweakedS.jpg
Disconnects for cleaning super quickly, thanks to the quick disconnects.

All that's left to do now: put some heat shrink on that power connector (wibble!), leak test it, try it out on a brew again. Seriously reduce the work I have to do on brew days now though, and gotta love that lovely clear wort going into the boil....
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Last edited by AdeDunn on 07 Apr 2018, 20:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #30 made 5 days ago
So, yeah, my ACE mash tun/boiler packed up on me... A cable to one of the elements burned right through. Tried to fix it, but the screw holding the terminal connector on was shot too...

So, anyway, now in the process of converting my old 33 litre stainless steel stock pot into an electric, re-circulating, BIAB pan...

So far, fitted a 2.4 kw element, and a tap. Got some bits to build a false bottom, and a nice large bag. I've also cold leak tested it, but will want to run a hot leak test too to check with heat expansion.

I've skipped using my bazooka filter, gone with a pick-up and an elbow to minimise dead space. Also I'll be putting a stainless steel pan scourer on the end of the pick-up to act as a filter.

IMG_20180517_204950.jpg
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I'll be adding temperature control etc at a later date, and I have some bits and bobs to make a false bottom to keep the bag away from that element.
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Last edited by AdeDunn on 18 May 2018, 04:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #31 made 5 days ago
The joys of brewing Ade :)

There is lots of fun in building an automated system however, it often ends up that the more parts we add, the more complications occur and our brew day becomes longer and sometimes harder. If there is a God, he/she seemed to have installed in brewer's brains, not only a love of beer but also tinkering - possibly a design error :) ? I've had heaps of fun tinkering but I must say that I do have a room full of discarded "time-saving" devices I dreamed up.

Main thing is to keep in the front of your mind when tinkering, "Can I easily keep my system cleaned and sanitised?" That's the key I reckon.

Once again, thanks for your great read :salute:
PP
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #32 made 4 days ago
That's the good thing about this build, PistolPatch, it all comes apart for cleaning. :peace: The pump and hose etc are all easily cleaned in place too, making cleaning a little easier. The big con with this build is the exposed element, this will be harder to clean than the concealed element in my ACE. On the flip side though, if the element fails I can easily remove it and fit a new one.

A few more bits done. False bottom made, just wish I could find one about 34.5cm in diameter....
IMG_20180518_143305.jpg
The bag in the pot.
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Fittings in lid to allow return from pump.

IMG_20180518_142152.jpg

The whole lot, including the pump, fitted to the boiler.
IMG_20180518_143147.jpg
It's all using either quick release connectors, or cam-locks, so comes apart very very easily (when you want it to that is... lol).
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Last edited by AdeDunn on 19 May 2018, 02:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #33 made 3 days ago
AdeDunn wrote:
4 days ago
That's the good thing about this build, PistolPatch, it all comes apart for cleaning.
That is music to my ears Ade :party: :drink:

It's really one of my biggest worries in brewing when I see a brewer embarking on a build with massive enthusiasm. I see their passion and want to encourage that most valuable quality but often the build they are working on I can see will eventually destroy their passion :scratch:. What am I meant to say in those situations?

I'm so pleased to see your reply above. So far, I've just been a reader of your thread and really enjoyed it. I have only read it in glances though, not with the concentration I would have liked to have spent on it. Things are freeing up a bit for me now though so a pleasure for me will be to re-read your thread in entirety. I'll focus on finding any potential "passion-killers," as I think, if there are any, you'll use your brain/passion to solve them.

In other words, I'll try to be super-critical, because, if there is anything wrong, I have a feeling you will take it on board*. (Don't worry though, if there was some glaring error, I would have already registered it in my brain and it would have niggled at me as I'd have an overwhelming desire to correct it :lol: )

Love your attitude and passion Ade :salute:
Pat

* And I expect you to teach me or some others some stuff as automation is not my specialty.
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #34 made 3 days ago
My biggest error so far has been going too small for boilers, right from the off. It forced me down the route of messing around trying to find ways to increase volume that little bit further, messing around with formulating a grain rinsing (calling it this, as a big part of it was a case of recirculating AFTER the actual sparge, to rinse out every bit of sugar I could) method, not to mention diluting in the FV. All creating more work for myself than doing a simple, true, BIAB. Thing is though, I enjoyed doing it. I've enjoyed the challenge of stretching things that bit further to get better results! Oddly, I always get better results when my wife helps me to dough in (she pours the grain, I stir it in... lol). :think:

My last brew for example, the one my ACE died in the last 5 minutes of the boil on, BIABacus gave some lovely numbers. 80.5% EIB, 84.5 EAW and 82.5 EIF, with 20.5 litres into FV with an OG of 1.060. Took the first post ferment SG today too, and it's down to 1.012. It'll get another 7 days now to rest, then I'll check the SG again see if it's moved any. Purists though would slap my wrist, as to get that I "sparged" with 5 litres, and added another 3 litres a short way into the boil. I was way over target though (target OG was 1.052), so there's an argument that I could have easily hit target OG with a pure BIAB IF I had gone for a decent sized vessel.

I did try brewing a smaller volume by the way. It vanished in the blink of an eye, and left us wanting more! :idiot:

One thing I have learned experimenting with automation though is, not to rely on it too much. The brew before last I was persuaded to not both stirring at all during the mash, relying on the recirculation instead. My EIB dropped a full 10% from what I usually get when I stir the mash every 30 minutes. What recirculation HAS given me though is much much clearer wort going into the boil! It's put an end to the suspended "flour" from the grain making it into the boil, with the bonus of less scorching. Or, to put it another way, it's a much easier way to vorlauf. :peace:

I welcome constructive criticism! Anything that helps me to brew better beer is more than welcome, as this is always my goal. Over the length of this thread you can see that process in action, it took me from producing beer with low efficiency, to massively improved efficiency! Too often if you mention efficiency under 70%, then that you BIAB, you get told that that's just BIAB... There's a myth out there that BIAB has lower efficiency. I used to reduce my numbers when posting elsewhere in case folks though I was making them up. :lol: I increased the intensity of my boils too, from a normal rolling boil for 90 minutes, to one that tried to leave the boiler completely for 70 minutes. Result, haze free beer that tasted way better.
MrPumpsBraggot.jpg
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #36 made 2 days ago
Scott wrote:
3 days ago
Your beer looks good...!
I have to confess to cheating slightly. That pic is of a hoppy braggot I made, was the first brew I did using recirculation. Still BIAB though, just 47% honey to 53% grain. Blows your head off if you drink too much of it, as it's about 8.7% ABV. :lol:

I've made a Saison and an IPA since then, using the ACE and recirculation, but the Saison is still conditioning, and the IPA is still in the FV (the one that my ACE died on... lol). I'll get a pic of the Saison soon though to put up, not tasted it yet anyway so probably about due a sneaky bottle... :drink:

I can however show you a pic of the (hot) wort from my last brew day, I was running it out of the boiler before I sparged the grain (hence still hot) and moved the boiler to under our big extractor hood for the boil. It was lovely and clear.
PocketRocketMooseIPAWort.jpg
Also, some pics of my new boiler, all insulated.



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IMG_20180520_141158.jpg
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Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post #37 made 1 day ago
Here it is, the last Saison I brewed. Nice and clear, but appears to have hop particles in it. Not been in the fridge yet though, so they should settle out once it has. Flavour wise, it's spicier than I'm used to, quite peppery. Big hit of bitterness too (my notes say 17 Tinseth, but I'd say it's a lot higher than that). My wife loves it though, I reckon it'll improve with more time. Oh, this one got hopped with Pilgrim (bittering), Mosaic, Citra and Amarillo. It was also "dry hopped" with an entire pouch of Brewferm Hop Sensation Peach Melba (basically Amarillo), which is probably where the extra bitterness has come from.
GreeboPee.jpg

I poured extremely carefully, so no head, plus I find I get a better head once I've had the beer in the fridge for a week or so.

This was bottled on the 2nd of this month, with an ABV of 6.8% approx, so could definitely do with more time to condition.
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Last edited by AdeDunn on 22 May 2018, 04:15, edited 1 time in total.
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