Why BIAB?

The backbone of BIAB. All the files and commentary needed to understand and Brew in a Bag.
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Why BIAB?

Post by BIABrewer » 7 years ago

[For new members who have never brewed any type of beer at home before, it is recommended you read here for now. All other brewers should read on.]
The Reasoning
BIABrewer recommends BIAB to all brewers who are contemplating or are already practising all-grain brewing. BIAB has many advantages for all these types of brewers. Jump to the section/s below that is/are most applicable to you.

A Simple Answer for the Inexperienced All-Grain Brewer
A Detailed Answer for the Inexperienced All-Grain Brewer
An Answer for the Traditional Brewer
When Shouldn't I Consider BIAB?
Last edited by BIABrewer on 11 Apr 2010, 08:07, edited 17 times in total.

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Post by BIABrewer » 7 years ago

A Simple Answer for the Inexperienced All-Grain Brewer

BIAB is a method of all-grain brewing that due to its quality, simplicity and economy, enables an easy skip from the often uncertainty of kit or extract brewing, straight into the delights and certainty of all-grain brewing. (You can forget about extract twang, steeping and partial-mashing or saving up for a traditional rig.)

BIAB not only produces beer equivalent in quality to traditional brewing techniques but also...

1. Is cheaper - BIAB needs less equipment than traditional methods.
2. Is simpler to do - There are several less steps in BIAB.
3. Is easy to understand - BIAB requires less terminology
4. BIAB takes less time - Less actual as well as, "hands on," time is needed in BIAB.
5. Needs less space - BIAB is ideal for those with limited brewing and storage space.
6. Is flexibile - Temperature steps, maintaing mash temperatures, brewing exotic beers are not only possible with BIAB but usually easier.
7. Uses equipment that remains valuable to all brewers - All the gear used in BIAB can be utilised by all types of all-grain brewers. The reverse is not true.

Unless you inherited a traditional brewery, it is very hard to think of any situation where BIAB is not the ideal set-up in both the short and long term. (see When Shouldn't I Consider BIAB? below.)

Cheers,
BIABrewer
Last edited by BIABrewer on 11 Apr 2010, 08:09, edited 17 times in total.

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Post by BIABrewer » 7 years ago

A Detailed Answer for the Inexperienced All-Grain Brewer

Most all-grain (mash) brewers will have started with extract or extract kit brewing and then moved to steeping and/or partial mashing before going all-grain. This is often a long and frustrating process not just because of extract’s inflexibility compared to all-grain but also due to the difficulty, in many locales, of sourcing fresh extract of consistent and high quality. Those brewers who cannot access such quality extract will always be disappointed in their brews due to, "extract “twang,” – an astringent, puckering flavour to many palates and that new brewers often blame on themselves.

This twang causes many brewers to give up the brewing game completely without even realising they were not to blame for their low quality beer.

If you are lucky enough to be able to source high quality extract, you can certainly brew an excellent beer (there is no doubt about this) but there is still nowhere near the flexibility, certainty and enjoyment of all-grain. Very few people give up all-grain brewing because it is almost impossible to brew an undrinkable beer if you follow a sound recipe and know the basics of cleanliness and temperature control. In fact, if you use a brilliant recipe such as those found in the book, “Brewing Classic Styles,” by Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer, on your first brew, you could even brew an award-winning beer on your first batch.

BIAB enable brewers a simple and sensible skip out of extract or kit brewing and into all-grain.

Cheers,
BIABrewer
Last edited by BIABrewer on 11 Apr 2010, 08:09, edited 17 times in total.

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BIABrewer
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Post by BIABrewer » 7 years ago

When Shouldn't I Consider BIAB?

There are a few situations where BIABrewer would not recommend BIAB but even these two situations are not definitive. The two possible situations are...

1. If You Are Happy With Your Existing Set-Up: If you are enthusiastic about your existing set-up and have read the post above, BIABrewer sees no reason why you should change your brewing method. If you find it fun and rewarding, why change?

2. If Your Passion is Brewing Automation: Some brewers love automation and software. For some, playing around with this aspect of brewing is more fun than brewing itself. BIABrewer has a real appreciation of this and hugely enjoys seeing the ingenuity and passion of such brewers. There is however a very real danger that technology and, "time-saving," devices often end up costing more time - both hands-on and actual. A simple example is putting a ball-valve on a kettle. It might, "feel," and, "look," good but can end up costing a lot more time and trouble than the temporary inconvenience of a syphon in many situations. The continuous challenge though of, "high-teching," a brewery can be a heap of fun in itself. If you love this challenge then go for it.

Even BIAB can be cleverly teched up though. A look at this thread shows a clever application of technology to BIAB.

If BIABrewer has missed anything here, please feel free to post in the Traditional Brewing section of the site.

Cheers,
BIABrewer
Last edited by BIABrewer on 11 Apr 2010, 08:10, edited 17 times in total.

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