Moving to BIAB, what equipment will I need?

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Paulus

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Hi, I was hoping I could get some pointers before I go buy stuff.

I have been using kits for about 8 months and as I live in a place with a challenging environment for fermenting, I have been getting the temperature control for both primary and secondary ferments down pat before moving over to all grain BIAB on a small scale. I may move on to full brewing later, depends how this adventure goes.

I have all the kit for fermenting upto 23L (both 30 and 20L ferment bins available) and then bottling.

I would like to move to all grain BIAB doing about 9L (2 gallons) at a time.

From what I have read I need a pot about 2.5 x the volume of the wort I want to produce?

Probably best to have a false bottom in the pot and I'll need a small BIAB bag.

I would hope to be able to scale up or down from online recipes so will be using about 2Kg of grains at a time?

I am interested in how I would use dried yeast at this small a volume. I usually re-hydrate the pack first and add a small amount of nutrients then pitch it. Would a whole pack of 6.5g be too much for this?

Any advice/info is much appreciated.
 
You don't need 2.5 times the wort size, just enough space so it doesn't boil over. I'll go and check mine later but I think I do 13 litres in an 18 litre pot.
I pitch a full 11g pack when I do 13 litres and just sprinkle it on.

I don't know what other kit you need apart from the bag unless you are thinking of using a portable hob ? I often boil and ferment in the same pot, cool it (or no-chill) then pitch.
 
You don't need 2.5 times the wort size, just enough space so it doesn't boil over. I'll go and check mine later but I think I do 13 litres in an 18 litre pot.
I pitch a full 11g pack when I do 13 litres and just sprinkle it on.

I don't know what other kit you need apart from the bag unless you are thinking of using a portable hob ? I often boil and ferment in the same pot, cool it (or no-chill) then pitch.
Hi Twostage, were you able to measure the size of the actual volume of the pot you use?
I may end up using a portable hob as my Mrs hates the idea of brewing in the kitchen and 9L is easy enough to move manually.
Thanks.
 
Hi Twostage, were you able to measure the size of the actual volume of the pot you use?
I may end up using a portable hob as my Mrs hates the idea of brewing in the kitchen and 9L is easy enough to move manually.
Thanks.
Yes, I've measured the diameters of the pots I've used (they are all straight sides like cylinders) and worked out the height of 1 litre and then made a measuring stick I can hold up the outside to see how much liquid is inside. I find it accurate enough to guestimate the volume by holding the stick up against the pot.

If its helpful, here's how to make the stick - measure the diameter (say 23 cm) and half it to get the radius (11.5). The area of a circle is the radius squared times pi so multiply the radius by itself and then by pi (3.142) which in this case gives 415.53. To get the height that 1 litre takes up use 1 over the area * 1000 (for a litre) so 1/415.53 * 1000 which in this case is 2.4 so each litre takes is 2.4cm on your measuring stick. So mark out your stick with 2.4cm increments. Obviously you'd use your own diameter in the above. You can check your calculations by measuring the height and divide it by the graduation you've calculated and comparing that with what the volume should be. So if its 24cm high, 24/2.4 = 10 so filling it right to the top will be 10 litres.

Hope that helps and sorry if I've been teaching my grandma to suck eggs :D
 
If you are boiling with hops in a bag, tie the hop bag to the stock pot handle so it won't tough the bottom of the pan during the boil. That way to don't need a false bottom for the pan.

You may want to consider a large collander or tiers from a steamer to suspend above your stockpot when draining the wort from the grain bag.

And you don't need to rehydrate dried yeast, just sprinkle on top when it reaches put hung temperature.
 
Thanks Twostage and jof.
What is a rough estimate of pot capacity needed for a given wort volume? I'd like to do 9L so would a 15L pot be enough? Not a problem buying a pot to suit the volume I plan to make, I'd just like to get a reasonable idea of the volume is all.
Is there a calculator for what gravity change is likely from a given weight of grain to water used in the brew?
The grains absorb a fair bit of water, is that a standard loss that can be taken into account?
I assume that the wort could be watered down before the boil to get the required gravity?

Thanks all.
 
Yes, what size pot will comfortably sit on your hob.
I used to use a 15l pot, but it used to take a long line to heat on our electric hob.
So I used to give it a boost to start on a camping stove.

Also rather than just water down the wort, try & work out how to sparge the last sugars out of it using the biggest collander you can find.
 
I would buy a bigger quality pot preowned and make sure it's induction.

Bigger gives you future proof & scope to upgrade.

Induction gives you ultimate portability and fine mash control.

I assume you have a sleeping bag, to wrap around it.

@jof good call about the colander. Never thought of that.
 
When I started on small batch partial mash I used a big steamer & transferred the grain to the steaming tiers to sparge.

When I went up a size I found a nice big collander that I could move the biab onto, but as grain bill went up, it was harder to sparge with as the load became too wide for the collander.

I also saw some specific pasta cooking pots once that had a big lift out section like one giant steamer tier that might also work.

But you want something that's compact enough for your needs & not too expensive, because if you continue the next step up in volume will cause you to look at expensive, shiny stainless steel items.
 
I can do 10-12L BIAB in my 15L pot. Boils easily on a gas hob.

All I have is a mash bag and a big colander, after doing the boil I can fit the pot in my sink full of cold water to cool it: change the the water a few times and keep stirring the brew, it'll be done in 20-30mins. Then I tip it into my FV via the colander to remove the hop debris, top up with cold water if necessary and add the yeast.

Been doing this for 9 years and 185 brews, works fine.
 
Yes, I've measured the diameters of the pots I've used (they are all straight sides like cylinders) and worked out the height of 1 litre and then made a measuring stick I can hold up the outside to see how much liquid is inside. I find it accurate enough to guestimate the volume by holding the stick up against the pot.

If its helpful, here's how to make the stick - measure the diameter (say 23 cm) and half it to get the radius (11.5). The area of a circle is the radius squared times pi so multiply the radius by itself and then by pi (3.142) which in this case gives 415.53. To get the height that 1 litre takes up use 1 over the area * 1000 (for a litre) so 1/415.53 * 1000 which in this case is 2.4 so each litre takes is 2.4cm on your measuring stick. So mark out your stick with 2.4cm increments. Obviously you'd use your own diameter in the above. You can check your calculations by measuring the height and divide it by the graduation you've calculated and comparing that with what the volume should be. So if its 24cm high, 24/2.4 = 10 so filling it right to the top will be 10 litres.

Hope that helps and sorry if I've been teaching my grandma to suck eggs :D
Great info
I've just done those calculations for my pot.

Re the stick; any tips one what to use? Wood? Plastic?

Thanks
Matt
 
Great info
I've just done those calculations for my pot.

Re the stick; any tips one what to use? Wood? Plastic?

Thanks
Matt

I just used a piece of wood I found in the shed and marked it off using a marker pen. I don't think it matters what it is made of as it stays outside the pot. You could use plastic and use a waterproof marker so you could stick it into the liquid for a bit more accuracy.
 
I just used a piece of wood I found in the shed and marked it off using a marker pen. I don't think it matters what it is made of as it stays outside the pot. You could use plastic and use a waterproof marker so you could stick it into the liquid for a bit more accuracy.
Ah yes. Sorry - I was thinking the stick would go inside the pot. Of course, outside will be as good / better.
 

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