BIAB Brewing

My brew system is best for 10-20 gallon batches. I tend to shy away from IPAs because the 2nd and 3rd keg usually has lost most of its spark. Also with my larger system I have to do a fairly large yeast starter to get to the right pitch rate and lagers need a huge starter. So I’m thinking BIAB can solve two problems. I’ll make ~7G batches and pull ~2G off for yeast starters and use the rest for a 5G batches. This should allow from some fresh IPAs (or other beers) and wort for yeast starters. Here is my general plan as I think it through and as it evolves in practice.

  1. First, figure out how large of a yeast starter is needed for the next batch
  2. Design the small batch recipe
  3. Increase the batch based on the beer strength and yeast starter size
  4. Double check that this will fit in the kettle

Part of my BIAB plan is to do this quickly in the evenings. To do this I’m going to do 45min mashes, 30-45 min partial boils, partial chills by adding ice to ~100F, and then will pitch yeast the following day. Depending on the beer I’ll either pull the yeast starter after I chill or before whirlpool hop additions for hoppy beers.

  1. Setup kettle and add water
  2. Add mineral additions and acid
  3. Heat mash using either
    1. propane burner
      • This is the fastest way to heat. My guess is that this will take about 20mins to heat to mash temps. make sure kettle insulation is removed.
    2. heat stick
      • I have a self made heat stick. Using either my brew controller or a programmable AC socket I can set this up ahead of time and heat things prior to really starting my brew night. Best guess is that this take 1-2 hours to get to mash -in temps. This should make the brew night go faster than using a kettle. I’ll also attach the kettle insulation now to help with efficiency.
    3. Sous Vide cooker
      • Similar to my heat stick, I can set up my Inkbird Sous Vide cooker ahead of time and be mash-in ready when I start my brew day. My heat stick is 1500W while the inkbird is on 1000W so I’ll have to start earlier
  4. Once ready to mash in, attach the kettle insulation if propane was used and then add grain.
  5. Stir every 10-15mins.
  6. Lift out Brew bag and drain into another pot
    1. I’ve never done BIAB before and am unsure if I’ll be able to hold and squeeze the grain bag myself. I’ll plan to transfer to a smaller pot to squeeze just in case.
  7. Remove the kettle insulation and boil using propane
    • Propane will be much faster than my heat stick (I’m not even sure I could get to a boil)
  8. Follow the recipe hop additions
  9. At boil end, if this is a hoppy beer then pull out yeast starter amount
    • need to adjust pull out at this time for the concentrated wort
    • I’ll likely be transferring into elyhpmere flasks so there isn’t any worries about wort temp at this point
  10. Perform any whirlpool additions
  11. When done, add ice.
    • This should get the wort down to ~100F. Isomerization stops below 140F, but I’ll be transferring to glass carboys most of the time so I need to make sure I don’t thermal shock the glass
  12. Pull yeast starter amount, if not done previously
  13. Place wort in fermentation chamber to chill overnight
  14. Clean up quickly and go to sleep
  15. Pitch the yeast the next morning