Micro-BIAB or 1L batch

For those who like to brew BIAB just using their stovetop.
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Micro-BIAB or 1L batch

Post by Doppler » 3 years ago

I am looking for a recipe I can do in a 3L pot, 26cm diameter-
Image I'm a newbie and would like to start a series of experiments doing, having aprox 1L final brew length.

The aim of this experiment are two:
1) to find a recipe that my mother can do at home and try brewing alone for the first time.
2) to find an easy recipe I can use as a starting point to several experiments

According to the BIABacus (I'm learning to read it), with 60min boil my mash volume will be of 3.85L which will not fit in the pot.

My questions are:
1) Anybody has experience with very very small batches?
2) Can I start using 2L for preparing the mash and adding the rest of the 3.69L total water needed (1.69L in this case) gradually a I see it is needed?
3) Do I really need to boil for 60min (or more), or can I reduce the boiling time?
4) Any advice I should follow doing so small batches?

Thanks for any comments
Last edited by Doppler on 10 Jul 2014, 01:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by nosco » 3 years ago

Hi doppler, I am hoping to do something similar with 5lt batches soon so I would like to see what others have to say.
I am not speaking from experience here coz I dont have alot but I would say get a bigger pot.
It would depend on what sort of experiments you want to do of course but I think it would be hard to measure any variables with such small quantities of ingredients
The general consensus on this site I think is to boil for 90min. It helps to break down proteins and also makes for clearer beer. Ill post link.
I just want to taste different malt and hops so I think 5lt should be ok. I hope I might be able to test different ibu levels as well.
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Post by alymere » 3 years ago

I've just started doing a series of small batches in preparation for the winter when I will get back on with the big batches.
I'm using a 10 litre pot (approx) from Ikea. I got hold of a nice premade bag from Hambleton Bard.
I can get it to the boil in around 10 mins and the great thing is the pot fits in our oven which holds very stable low temperatures, so perfect for the mash.
I've tried a few step mashes and found it so easy to do and as the grain bag only weighs just over a kilo for the 5 litre batches I'm producing I can hold the bag off the bottom quite easily while adding heat on the stove top.
I just have to add maybe 1 or 2 litres of water to the boil depending on the gravity of the brew.
All in all it's been very successful and biabacus has made it all so much easier.
Definitely do a 90 minute boil and mash.

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Post by nosco » 3 years ago

Here is the link about boiling Doppler. It explains alot more than my half ass'd attempt of 90 minute boils :thumbs:
Last edited by nosco on 10 Jul 2014, 22:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by PistolPatch » 3 years ago

Doppler, welcome to the forum :salute:.

I think the only thing I can add to the above is that a 1 litre batch is just too small for at least two reasons...

Firstly, you probably won't learn anything from 1 litre. I can taste a beer today and taste it again tomorrow and might see different qualities in that beer on those two days.

Secondly, if you did notice a difference, it would be really hard to narrow it down. At this small quantity, you would actually be having to chop hop pellets in half or quarters and a single ho pellet might be different from it's 'neighbour'! Yeast is another problem. If you used dried yeast,you would want 1 or 2 grams in a 1 litre 'batch' (even that is way too much). How do you measure that? And, how long can yo keep the remaining dried yeast for? (They say not long.)

I think, at a minimum, the 5 L Volume into Fermentor 'batch' is as low as as is really practical.

:peace:
PP
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Post by Doppler » 3 years ago

Hi guys, thanks for the replies!

I'm responding now as mail from biabrewer.info was going into spam :P

I'm already doing 5L batches and wanted to know if I can push the limits to 1L.

This was for the reasons above I'll repeat here:
1) I want my mother to start brewing beer at home without buying a new pot, and reducing the equipment she needs to buy. (She lives far from me, so I can't lend her my equipement).
2) I experienced the easyness of brewing 5L instead of 20L. I wanted to know if somebody had the experience with even a smaller batch, maybe it's even easier! Or probably I am wrong...

For item n.1, at first, I don't need to be particularly precise. I just want my mom to get the basics of the process. For n.2 instead, PistolPatch poses an important issue: measuring quantities at small scale.

PistolPatch, I thought using a precision scale (precise to the 0.1gr) would be enough. Image And I didn't know hops would differ so much inside a single pellet. So maybe that's one of the reasons nobody goes under 5L.
So hops experiments would not be possible for 1L batches, and I guess also other ingredients experiments would be difficult.


PistonPatch, what do you mean with
you probably won't learn anything from 1 litre. I can taste a beer today and taste it again tomorrow and might see different qualities in that beer on those two days.
??
Last edited by Doppler on 17 Jul 2014, 09:44, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by PistolPatch » 3 years ago

Hi again Doppler,

Those scales* are fine for weighing mini amount so no problem on that side of things.

As for the hop pellets being all slightly different, I am no authority on the matter but could imagine that if the shredding was not very fine in the pellet making process that it would not be unheard of to get some discrepancies from pellet to pellet. As a matter of interest...

I just changed an existing recipe to your pot dimensions and have attached the resulting file. (Obviously, you would want to brew beers with less grains than the attached recipe as I'm not sure who would sell you 4 grams of a malt, let alone 121 grams :)).

On the hop side, you see that 1 gram of aroma hops is needed. That is probably one large pellet. You almost need to buy a pill cutter as well!

(Doing the above also showed me that your evaporation rate would be massive in that diameter pot. A taller narrower pot would be better.)

...

Now as to your other question about learning something from 1 litre. Well maybe you can. 1 litre is about three bottles of beer so I suppose you would get to taste your beer at three different times.

The real question I think though is that this is a lot of time and work just to make three small bottles of beer. Now if your Mum only drinks a bottle of beer a week, enjoys the process and only wants to brew very simple beer, then this could be fine....

No, it isn't fine. I exaggerated the yeast amount needed in my last post. You actually only need half a gram of dried ale yeast for a 1 litre brew. Everything, ingredient-wise, is just way too impractically small!

I'm amazed enough at your 5 litre batches Doppler :salute:. Small pots are really cheap and I really think that 5 litre batches are already at the extreme.

:peace:
PP

*Hey! How on earth did I never know you could post IMG files like that? :). I suppose though that if the original link disappears then so does the pic :dunno:.
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Post by Doppler » 3 years ago

Thank you very much PistolPatch! You forgot to attach the file.

You have convinced me. I'll stick to 5L batches.

I'd like to keep the thread open so anyone else who had done a micro experiment can contribute. By the way, here is a post with 4L viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2110

PistoPatch, you are right, I think that if the original image disappears, then so does it here.
Last edited by Doppler on 17 Jul 2014, 22:00, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by PistolPatch » 3 years ago

Knew I forgot something! Here you go!
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