How do I brew using the cooler BIAB (Brew In A Bag) method? July 07, 2015 09:00
So you want to brew using the cooler BIAB method, or just want to explore the various option for brewing all grain? Well here is your post to show you how the cooler BIAB method works, as well as identify a few of the advantages with using this method.
Why use BIAB with a cooler you may ask? There are a few main reasons:
- It's easier to clean compared to the traditional cooler mash tun: With a false bottom, manifold, or bazooka tube, you typically end up scooping grain out of the cooler, and there are usually nooks and crannies that you have to get at to remove the grain. With the cooler BIAB method, you just pull the bag of grain out, and dump it! Easy, right?
- You don't need to vorlauf: With the traditional cooler mash tun, you typically need to vorlauf before draining the mash. The grain acts as a filter, but first it has to be "set" (that's the vorlauf part). Not a huge deal, but it's a time saver. With the cooler BIAB method, you just open the valve, and let the cooler drain. The bag does all the work!
- You can use a finer crush: With BIAB, you can normally crush your grain on a finer setting - this typically helps with efficiency.
- No stuck sparges: With the traditional method, you may end up with a stuck sparge (meaning your wort stops draining, and is "stuck" in the grain bed. With BIAB, the sparge step isn't necessary, and you can easily get every last drop of wort out of the grain. If you're looking to squeeze a little extra out, you can slide the bag to one end of the cooler after it has finished draining - there will typically be a little bit extra that drains out that can be captured and then transferred to the boil kettle.
Here's a video that show's the cooler BIAB method from start-to-finish. Sorry for the quality - we hope to make a new one in the future!
And here's a shorter video that only shows the mash draining.