How Many BIAB Brew Days Until I Don't Make A Mistake?

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by merrydown, Dec 2, 2019.

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  1. Dec 2, 2019 #1

    merrydown

    merrydown

    merrydown

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    I only have something like 7 BIAB beers under my belt and they have all been good results, if I don't count the one I bottled before it had settled out enough which was also slightly over-carbed (foam party). I drank half of them before they got to that state happily. Hoorah for desperation and a strangely slow carbonation peak!

    I haven't had one that resulted in a 'duff' beer yet, but I always have something go wrong. I'm ok on the prep by and large but it's the on the fly stuff :)

    Today's first bit of fun was ripping the bag I was mashing in as I took it out to dunk-sparge. Luckily I only had a smallish amount jump ship before I plucked the ripped section up. I ended up racking through the hop spider, though to be honest, most of the escapees were caught in my dead-space. I am glad I caught on to not bothering to tip that last bit out a few brews ago.

    Apart from the drag of losing a good bag and having to buy a new one, I hit the predicted numbers on the nose and think it'll be a nice lager when it is done anyway.

    The second thing I got wrong is forgetting I needed two sachets of yeast for the lager, being used to using just one for Ales. I've a 15 mile round-trip tomorrow to pick up a second packet of the same! I pitched late this evening and will have the second in place mid-morning, so hopefully that boat won't be rocked... Derpy derp derp.

    I only brew 3 or 4 a year so far, I am drinking less to deal with my beer belly :) I started at the beginning of last year, so I am not being too hard on myself about it. I just thought to myself, I wonder if I will ever get it rote and enough experience so I don't have a single thing go curly? Darned brain!

    Never discouraged, always lucky, sharp as a hammer :laugh8:

    Jim
     
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  2. Dec 2, 2019 #2

    chthon

    chthon

    chthon

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    Make notes: buy a brewing diary. Shouldn't be much, just something that you can use to prepare your brews, tick off what you did, and make notes afterwards.
     
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  3. Dec 2, 2019 #3

    An Ankoù

    An Ankoù

    An Ankoù

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    Yes. You must keep notes.
    If you rehydrate your lager yeast before pitching then there's no need to buy two sachets. I've never pitched two sachets in a 5-gallon batch. Or you could step it up by making a starter if you do a day or two in advance of brew day.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2019 #4

    merrydown

    merrydown

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    Yes, thanks guys, I make fairly extensive notes. I hope that it'll reach critical mass one day and that mistakes will become rarer. It's more little things, like forgetting the temperature probe in the boiler sticks out 3 inches and when the bag seemed heavy, it wasn't the size of the grain bill, but that the bag was caught on it.

    Interesting you say that about rehydration as I did rehydrate it for half an hour before pitching, but the Mangrove Jack yeast sachet says maximum 23 Litres or something and 2 packets should be used above this. I thought this was just a selling ploy, but I have read the same advice here and elsewhere.

    The last lager I did was 12 months ago (as I only make it for my wife really) with a Whitelabs Lager Yeast and that didn't pick up within 72 hours following the cues to the letter so I repitched with a second and it flew within 24 hours. I guess it could have just been a slow starter and would have gone anyway, or the yeast could have been a dud. It's hard to know with only a couple of examples.

    This batch was a 6 UK gallon batch, so perhaps stretching it a bit, I'm not sure. Thanks for the advice anyway. I will indeed keep making notes!

    Jim
     
  5. Dec 4, 2019 #5

    Duxuk

    Duxuk

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    Brew more often. Practice makes perfect. I hope you're not drinking whilst brewing? I know a lot of brewers see brew days as an opportunity to have a few refreshing beers but it does affect concentration. My next BIAB is number 150 and I don't expect anything to go wrongacheers.. I just need to find out who drank all that bloody beerashock1
     
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  6. Dec 4, 2019 #6

    merrydown

    merrydown

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    Ha ha!

    No, I don't drink during the day at all and I don't brew at night because it would keep the kids awake - light sleepers.

    I would brew more often, but my setup seems optimal for 6 gallon batches and my boiler has a gallon deadspace or thereabouts. Since I only have one or two (literally) at the weekend and my wife maybe one a fortnight, my stock builds up quite quickly :)

    I could do lots of tiny experimental batches using other equipment, but that wouldn't help me much when transferring skills to my larger equipment.

    All the same, I think you are right, only doing something more often brings mental memory and muscle memory.

    I'll be good at it by my mid 50s :)

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Dec 4, 2019 #7

    peebee

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    I just fixed another of my "mistakes" the other day: I'd mistakenly hit "1" instead of "2" when entering mash thickness into Beersmith. Things began to get a bit sticky mixing a mash of 1kg grain to 1.7 litres water. (Conventional mash).

    So how does this answer your question? Listen to the above and pretend you haven't heard of continuing mistakes from someone with countless brews and 45 years of experience. Doing it so long I can do it with my eyes closed … yeah, right :roll:.

    Have fun.
     
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  8. Dec 4, 2019 #8

    merrydown

    merrydown

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    Heh heh!

    Yeah, human error will creep in from time to time no matter how much experience you have. Thanks for sharing yours!

    I'll be happy when I have one or two that don't cause a panic of some kind :laugh8: As I say though, at least they've almost all worked out well in the end :)

    Cheers! Jim
     

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