Mashed In Blog
Getting started with BIAB (Brew In A Bag) Brewing July 22, 2015 21:37
Want to start brewing with minimal investment? Are you already brewing using extract and want to move to all grain? Already brewing using the all grain method and looking for a quicker, easier method that requires less space and less cleaning? If your answer to any of the above questions is "Yes!", then BIAB is the method for you!
Here's a quick list of what you will want for equipment if you're looking to get started in BIAB. Keep in mind, this is a general list and preference may vary from person to person.
The most common batch size for homebrewers is 5 gallons, and this is because it's the perfect size to fill one cornelius keg (19 liters). If you're aiming for a 5 gallon batch, we suggest brewing with a 15 gallon pot. The 15 gallon pot will give you plenty of room for high gravity brews, and will also allow you to brew the odd 10 gallon batch if you want. If a 15 gallon pot just isn't feasible, a 10 gallon pot will work, but can limit you when it comes to higher gravity beers and will prevent you from brewing larger batches.
You can generally find a suitable pot at your local homebrew shop, or at a restaurant supply store. Here in Canada, a 15 gallon stainless steel pot can be purchased for $115CAD.
Depending on your batch size, you may be able to use your stove as a heat source. Our suggestion is for anything 5 gallons or larger, that you use a dedicated heat source. A "turkey fryer" style propane burner is a high powered, low cost heat source for brewing. Some people prefer electric, and here in North America, hot water heater elements are a widely used method to heat wort for homebrewing.
In Canada, a turkey fryer can be purchased as cheap as $60CAD at most hardware stores.
You get that from us ;) We offer a few different styles. One is designed specifically for square coolers - this is a hybrid BIAB method that is outside of the scope of this discussion. The other two bags (classic & premium) are basically the same, except the premium bag includes a ring of webbing with a velcro strap around the top. The webbing and strap are designed to secure the bag in place while it's in your pot.
Our bags are $34.99 and $39.99CAD, with free shipping world-wide!
The chiller is designed to chill the wort (unfermented liquid) after you're finished boiling. Using a chiller is fairly standard procedure, however, some people feel the chiller is an unnecessary piece of equipment. If you do a quick search for "homebrew no chill method" you'll find a lot of information on this topic.
A standard immersion chiller can be found for about $85CAD, but as mentioned, this item may be considered optional.
You'll still need your other equipment - buckets, carboys, transferring lines etc., but you can get by with just a couple of food grade buckets, and some siphon hose to transfer the liquid.
As you can see, getting started with brewing using the BIAB method is easy and inexpensive. The necessary equipment can be found new for as low as $210CAD.
What are you waiting for? Order your BIAB bag now!
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.