First BIAB attempt

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abihuniak
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First BIAB attempt

Post by abihuniak » 2 weeks ago

Hey all you BIABers!

Earlier this week I attempted my first home brew using BIAB, and it was a whole lot of fun! This was my first round of brewing by myself, and although was challenging at some points, I had a blast!

I chose to make a wheat beer for my first go around for a few reasons (1. Its one of my favorite styles of beer and 2. the recommended fermentation temperature for wheat beer fit into the range of my basement temp).

I had found a basic recipe online that would yield about 5 gallons, and scaled it down almost by a half.
BigHefe.xls
Mash and boil steps went smoothly without any issues, other than me not mixing my yeast nutrient with warm water and just dumping it into the boil.

Unfortunately, I had no way of measuring my volumes during brewing, which may have caused a few issues with my beer (I'm curious to know what everyone else uses to measure their wort? wooden dowel, metal rod?) .

After the boil and chill, I ended up with much more wort than anticipated when transferring to my fermentation bucket (approximately a gallons worth). Once I hit my VIF number, I stopped transferring and the remaining wort went down the drain :sad:

I also had no way of aerating the wort, other than splashing around the wort as it entered the fermentation bucket (since then I have invested in an aeration stone system and 5 gallon carboy).

With all that being said, I'm not anticipating a "good" beer by any means, but highlighted what I need to do better next time :think: .
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PistolPatch
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Re: First BIAB attempt

Post by PistolPatch » 2 weeks ago

Good on you abi and congrats on your maiden voyage :champ:

I think you will have a good beer, it will just be a bit lower in alcohol than you expected (say 3.9% versus 4.5%). This is no problem at all.

Here's a few general notes for you...

Measuring - A stainless steel ruler makes measuring wort volume quite easy. If you are positive your kettle is level, you can take your depth or headspace measurements on the side. If not, take them in the centre.

Rice Hulls - These aren't necessary for this recipe when BIAB'ing. In fact, they are not really necessary when BIAB'ing except for an extremely glutinous brew such as one with a massive amount of rye, oats or rice. (Great job on your BIABacus too btw.)

Your Volume - The BIABacus PR1.3T auto-estimates are less accurate on smaller kettles/batch sizes. Evaporation tends to be less as does the "Volume Loss from Lauter" (see section X). It wasn't a hoppy brew either so you also would have had less Kettle to Fermenter Loss.

Even with the above, an extra gallon still seems very high so I'll also mention the following:
- Make sure to always boil with the lid off your kettle.
- Make sure you have a rolling boil, not a simmer.
- Make sure you have a way of double-checking your initial water.

Also, when you do end up with extra volume, if your fermenter can take it, then ferment it - it just gives you more beer!

Finally, splashing the wort in the fermenter works well so no problem there at all :peace:

All these things become easier as you go along.

Nice job :clap:
PP
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