Brew in a bag

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by pilgrimhudd, Dec 12, 2018.

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  1. Dec 12, 2018 #1

    pilgrimhudd

    pilgrimhudd

    pilgrimhudd

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    Hi all,

    Having been bought the wrong starter kit by the olds as a christmas gift, i've had a rethink and decided that i'd like to go small batch brew in a bag. I have a small 3.8l FV a big 30l pot and most of the rest of the kit needed. I may get a larger FV to go to 10l however. With life getting in the way i'm not sure I have the time for larger all grain brewing.

    My questions are I suppose are that I wondered about the recipes on the all grain part of the forum, are the quantities of grain, hops etc the same for brew in a bag (just scaled up/down for the amount you want to brew?)

    Also is there anything you cannot brew or does not come out so well in brew in the bag brewing, I like stouts and porters for example (although i'll drink anything) would they come out ok?

    A lot of newbie q's i'm sure here so thanks for your patience!

    Kieren
     
  2. Dec 12, 2018 #2

    GerritT

    GerritT

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    It's a slightly different approach but as good as others are. The mashing is the same, it's the sparging part that differs. (I do it both a bit: I brew in a bag, and sparge. I didn't know better at the time when I started and can't change anymore I'm afraid).

    If you're looking for recipes: https://www.brewersfriend.com/search/ check the left side to change the Method to BIAB. 10 L is good for scaling, standard recipes are 19-23 L, you should not get much smaller batches though, too much downscaling isn't predictable anymore from some point.
     
  3. Dec 12, 2018 #3

    Drunkula

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  4. Dec 12, 2018 #4

    pilgrimhudd

    pilgrimhudd

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    Thats great, thank you both!
     
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  5. Dec 13, 2018 #5

    MmmBeer

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    BIAB is a great way to start, with a 30l pot you can comfortably make any batch size up to 5 gallons (23l). If you haven't already read it, have a look at the first post on https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/have-a-go-at-simple-ag.51779/ to give you a basic method, the bag just eliminates the straining. For the amount of time it takes to mash, sparge, boil and cool (4-5 hours), it seems pointless to make as little as 7 or 8 bottles, so think about getting a larger FV. 15l will allow you to make 11.5l batches, meaning you can just halve all the quantities in a full size (23l) recipe.
     
  6. Dec 14, 2018 #6

    matt76

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    +1 what @MmmBeer says...

    Check out the link to simple AG... I'll be doing AG#4 tonight like this pretty much. I have a grain bag as it's much quicker for attaining than spooning grain into a little (actually normal size) kitchen sieve.

    I use a 16L FV like this:
    https://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/acatalog/12.5-ltr-Fermenting-Bin-Bucket-with-Lid-Grommet.html

    I wouldn't go as small as 5L brews - having tried it I only yielded 4L beer (8x500ml - just!) and frankly it's not worth the shag and hassle for such a small amount.

    Instead I tend to aim for about a 10L yield but remember you lose some mash/sparge liquid soaked up in the grain, and some beer to the trub - I haven't nailed this juggling act yet!

    Best of luck,

    Matt athumb..
     
  7. Dec 14, 2018 #7

    SteveH

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    +1 on doing slightly larger batches - I'm limited to half (10-12l) batches due to my pot/stove size but it's surprising how quickly the resulting 15 or so bottles go when the batch is ready :beer1:
     
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  8. Dec 14, 2018 #8

    AdeDunn

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    If you live in an area with hard water, stouts and porters are some of the easiest beers to brew! You can get away with just using half a campden tablet to treat your tap water, and have water perfect for brewing a porter or a stout with thanks to the darker grains in most of them.

    Get yourself a good book to start with (I can heartily recommend Brewing Britain by Andy Hamilton for learning the basics from, and Brewing Porters and Stouts by Terry Foster for moving on from there if that's what you want to be brewing) and have a sit down and a good old read. I'd then recommend having a look around at brewing software options, it makes scaling recipes a LOT easier to do once you figure out how to use the software. Usually there's some sort of timer on it too, so helpful when you're brewing...

    Regarding batch size, I'd say brew whatever size you are comfortable with. Myself, I brew 14 litres into fermenter batches, as I find this quantity perfect for me. Allows me to go full volume in my 30 litre system that I build (no sparging, ALL of the liquid in there right from the off) without breaking my back, and also gives me a nice quantity of beer that my wife and myself can get through in a reasonable amount of time (with a few bottles here and there for friends and family). I used to do 23 litre batches, it was crippling, and left me with more beer than we could drink.... lol I did a 5 litre batch once, one of the best beers I ever brewed, gone in a day..... asad.
     
  9. Dec 14, 2018 #9

    pilgrimhudd

    pilgrimhudd

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    Thanks for all the replies! :cheers3:

    Yes I think I will defo go for a 10l FV, at the moment with kids, work and utility room size it does seem the most sensible size of brew to start with!
     

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