Second BIAB - amber ale

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Nov 6, 2017
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I did my second BIAB on Monday. Compared to my first one it went incredibly well I think. Here's the recipe:

OG: 1.054
ABV: 5.6%
Size: 19L

4kg Maris Otter
300g Simpsons Amber Malt
300g CaraAmber
350g Simpsons Medium Crystal

8g Centennial - 30 mins
8g Chinook - 30 mins
8g Centennial - 10 min
8g Chinook - 10 mins
10g Centennial - 20 min whirlpool/steep
10g Chinook - 20 min whirlpool/steep
20g Centennial - 5 day dry hop
20g Chinook - 5 day dry hop

M44 US West Coast Yeast

I bought myself a corona grinder (not related to the virus) to give my grain an extra grind before using it. It was pretty easy, although I need to find a faster and cleaner way of doing it. I'm going to see if I can attach my power drill to the crank to turn it, and I could probably do with getting a bigger bucket that I can have the grain fall in to.

I started by bring up 25L of strike water to about 70°C. I then doughed in and decided to use my kitchen whisk to help with this process. It felt easier to break up the clumps than using my paddle. I used an insulated camping mat to wrap up my kettle and managed to more or less maintain the temperature within 1-2°C of 66°C for the 75 minute long mash. I also gave the mash a stir with my paddle and whisk every 15-20 minutes or so. I achieved higher than expected for my post-mash gravity reading and had a mash efficiency of 85% which I was very happy with considering the first BIAB was 56%. I’m putting the high efficiency down mostly to the extra grind on the grain.

After completing the mash I began the boil. I went for a 60 minute boil with hop additions at 30 and 10 minutes, along with a profloc for 10 minutes. Once the boil was complete I used my copper chiller to bring the temperature down to 80°C and then stopped it, before adding the whirlpool hops. Now my technique for this was to use my paddle to create a whirlpool and then just throw the hops in. I would then periodically start the whirlpool again. Overall I whirlpooled/steeped the hops for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes I started up the chiller again until I got to about 23°C when I began the process of moving the wort to the fermenter. Here’s where I had my biggest issue. In my eagerness to start brewing I forgot to put the false bottom in my kettle before adding water. And so I had to add the false bottom with water already in the kettle which means it didn’t sit very securely within the kettle. What this resulted in was a small gap opening when it came to moving to the fermenter and so some hop remains also made it into the fermenter. I’m not too worried though, I can’t imagine it will impact flavour much, and I will cold crash before bottling.

For pitching yeast I simply sprinkled the packet on top of the wort.

In the end I achieved a 20L yield with an OG of 1.055 and so my mash and BH efficiency were both higher than calculated for. After a couple of days fermentation seems to be going pretty well. Having a fridge with a heat tube added in really helps keeping a steady 20°C for fermentation. I’ll allow the primary fermentation to continue for a few more days before I add the dry hops for 5 days, and then I finish off with a cold crash before bottling.

I think at the moment the one thing I could do with buying is a water pump to keep water circulating more duing the whirlpool and chilling. Does circulating water during the mash have any benefit as well?