Brewing bag

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LisaMC

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Could be easier yes, however I'll try the bag first cos it'll keep the grain from getting in my wort as well.
 

davidm

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Yep, I do that when I'm doing regular mash + sparge brews

Also... keep some DME to hand until you get your efficiency dialled in
 

Leon103

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I intend on using the mash pipe, including the bottom, but without the stick in the middle, then I can just lift the mash pipe as normal with the bag in it to drain the wort, but not sparge. Bingo! However I'll need a well-draining bag so it can circulate properly and doesn't dry out at the bottom, which is why I was asking the original question.

I want to try a brew without the middle pipe as it's annoying as well - my thinking was if I don't use a bag then bits of grain will get down the hole where the middle stick was, if you know what I mean.

I accept I will probably have to do smaller volumes of brew if I do it this way but it's worth a try to see if it saves some time, and/or improves the efficiency. If you have the gear then why would you not try all options to see which suits you best? Experimentation is part of the fun! What I'm trying to do is get the advantages of both methods at once.
I suppose I get where you are coming from. But having moved from biab to an all in one I don't personally see the need. What is annoying you about the middle pipe?
 

LisaMC

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It's just when you're mashing in, it kind of gets in the way, and bits of grain get all over lol. Not a fan.
 

Leon103

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It's just when you're mashing in, it kind of gets in the way, and bits of grain get all over lol. Not a fan.
Perhaps a full volume mash will not be such an issue? I am only 2 brews in with the all in one and haven't come across any issues. Saying that my efficiency took a big hit moving from biab. It's more to do with managing the different volumes than equipment fault. Second one was 5% more efficient than the 1st so I don't see me being long working it all out.
 

LisaMC

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We are still trying to dial in the efficiency too. It's not easy. At first we were getting early fifties - not good. I think the best we've done is about 69.
 

Covrich

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I intend on using the mash pipe, including the bottom, but without the stick in the middle, then I can just lift the mash pipe as normal with the bag in it to drain the wort, but not sparge. Bingo! However I'll need a well-draining bag so it can circulate properly and doesn't dry out at the bottom, which is why I was asking the original question.

I want to try a brew without the middle pipe as it's annoying as well - my thinking was if I don't use a bag then bits of grain will get down the hole where the middle stick was, if you know what I mean.

I accept I will probably have to do smaller volumes of brew if I do it this way but it's worth a try to see if it saves some time, and/or improves the efficiency. If you have the gear then why would you not try all options to see which suits you best? Experimentation is part of the fun! What I'm trying to do is get the advantages of both methods at once.

My hopcat is the 45l version I just do it a full volume no sparge in that.. recirculate during mash. raise the temp at end of mash, stir and raise the basket and recircl over it a bit and then drain and boil
I get 70+% on this and I find it easier
 

Florin

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I do BIAB in a grainfather, so the same principle. Just got a bag from my local homebrew store

One thing to be aware of is how quickly you run out of space in an all-in-one system eg...

5kg of grain, vol = 8l
Water at 2.7x grain weight = 13l
Dead space under the basket = 3.5l
You're looking at 24.5l in the BZ which is fair enough

Take out the bag and you'll lose roughly 1l/kg to absorption
so you'll have a pre-boil BZ volume of 11.5l

To get your post-boil volume back up to a full 23l (21l into the fermenter) you'll need to add 11.5l to your original water volume. Which takes you up to 36l in the BZ
I just did a 22L (into the fermenter) batch using BIAB in brewzilla, without malt pipe, only the false bottom.
I had 4.53kg of malt.
The initial water used was 26.76L and 3.6L sparge. (yes, i did sparge with BIAB :) )
For me this works better because it's a pain in the .... to clean that malt pipe. It's so damn easier to clean the bag. I used a double sided ladder to drain the bag. :)
 

stripeyjoe

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(yes, i did sparge with BIAB :) )
For me this works better because it's a pain in the .... to clean that malt pipe. It's so damn easier to clean the bag. I used a double sided ladder to drain the bag. :)
Here's my BIAB sparge set up, a bucket with several big holes drilled in the bottom resting on an old fridge wire shelf. Inelegant but it does work. The sparge is my main reason for wanting to go to an AIO system, did you find the bag easier to clean than the malt pipe? I'd have thought it would be the other way around.
IMG_0466.jpeg
 

Florin

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i have the brewzilla 65L and the malt pipe is big. I don't have a big sink to fit it in and by the time I get to cleaning usually the malt is dry on the pipe also.
I don't say the brewzilla is a bad choice, i just didn't find a great workflow to be ok for me.
Using biab i got 80% mash efficiency and 72.3% brewhouse eff. Maybe for others is nothing great, but for me it's fantastic compared to the previous tries. (to be fair, this is my first recipe without wheat malt, but I always used rice hulls and never had stuck mash)
 
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stripeyjoe

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Using biab i got 80% mash efficiency and 72.3% brewhouse eff.
I get similar from my set-up, 82% Mash and 75% brewhouse, though I'm usually down on what I want from my volume going to the fermenter - I should start liquoring back.
 

DekH

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I do full volume mash, no sparge brew in a bag with my 35 litre Klarstein. I run my pump a low rate to recirculate the wort during the mash to stop burning/maintain even temp. I have no issues with water space getting 20-22 litres of wort after boil or lifting the bag its not that heavy. I am now on my 8 brew with this set up, I definitely wont go back to sparging and using the malt basket/pipe.
 

ecirpian

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I have a 65L Hopcat and been doing this recently. I leave the malt pipe in and put the grain cap in the hole where the overflow pipe normally goes.

I bought big BIAB bags (can’t remember where from, I’ll try and find receipt and let you know later- prob GEB or MM). I lift the bag using the malt pipe as normal. I have tried full volume mashes and mash/sparge both successfully. Is it easier to clean-yes(a lot), but not easier to mash in or if you stir part way through. It does prevent a lot of crap potentially circulating through the pump and can reduce blockage. You can lift the bag partially on one side if too much wort is sat on top, but I just recirculate slower. On balance I prefer so I’m sticking with it for no.
 

UKSkydiver

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I removed the malt pipe and used my old BIAB (in order to try and reduce the bits that needed cleaning) but when I took the BIAB out it kinda expanded wider than the AIO and started dripping everywhere. Plus is was a bit heavy and I could not rest it on anything.

I can be a bit dim sometimes; such a simple solution: use the BIAB and the malt pipe excluding the overflow pipe. Thanks for the tips.
 

ecirpian

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Yep it was maltmiller-Large Grain Bag/Kettle Liner - BIAB - Brew in a Bag £10
 

Gerryjo

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Why not simply cover the screen in the base of the malt pipe with the overflow removed which will reduce the grain bypass in the recirculation pump and give plenty of room to stir frequently helping to improve efficiency using some Voule/net curtain or cheese cloth and will help seal the edges of the screen.
 

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