My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Where new site members and/or new brewers can get to find their way to great info and ask any questions they like.
Post Reply

Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

Right, as mentioned in my intro, not getting overly good efficiency. I've only really done 1 BIAB so far (the other AG I did was a bagless mini stove top, with even worst efficiency... lol). I came away from this knowing 2 things for certain:-

1) My boiler/mashing system is inadequate:-

30 litre SS stock pot, wrapped in about 4 layers of reflective loft insulation. Now the pot itself isn't a big problem, I should be able to get 18 litres into FV from this ok. The real problem is how I am trying to bring to the boil, the big ring on my gas hob. It JUST manages a gentle boil when the pan is near full, barely slightly more than a simmer. I only just got a gentle rolling boil with the pan only half full (stronger boil until I opened the bag door and kitchen window to let steam out, my wife doesn't like me using the industrial sized extractor hood we have as it literally eats electricity... lol).

In an ideal world, it'd be a simple fix. Get it outside on a propane burner, switch out the insulation for something more flame retardant first naturally. Not going to work though. Our back yard/garden has no shelter, unless you count a LOT of very large, very leafy, trees, all dropping rubbish down from on high almost constantly. :angry:

So, I'm looking at getting OFF the hob (my wife wants this too, as the pot almost fills it, leaving cooking meals a near impossible task when I am brewing. ), but still indoors.

So, right now I am looking at 2 alternatives:-

Electrim (PECO) Digital bucket (or the non-digital ones) (more volume) + a suitable bag

or

ACE digital boiler (comes with bag etc) off ebay - slightly less volume, possibly a bit safer than a big hot plastic bucket

I'd welcome thoughts on this. I certainly need a better bag than the one I tried so far (fine mesh nylon with draw string. Good diameter, not enough depth... Kept trying to pull off until I finally managed to secure it and put an SS trivet under it).

2) My process needs improving. I got an efficiency of just under 60% doing the following:-

Treated 23 litres of water with half a campden tablet. Water was 70 tap water, 20% RO water (I have a drinking water RO system with a 10 litre pressure tank, I keep sensitive freshwater shrimp as another hobby. lol).

Weighed out grain.

Weighed out, and labelled, hops and boil adjuncts.

Put 20 litres approx of water into big pot to heat.

Put 3 litres of water in smaller pan to heat for dunk sparge with.

Strike temp 72 degrees (probably a bit higher than needed, as it kept temps better than I expected)

Doughed in, realised I still had lots of headroom in my pot, put those 3 litres of already heated water (also at 72 degrees) into the pot. *probably one of my big mistakes right here, I should have left well enough alone.*

Dechlorinated another 10 litres of water with a 1/2 campden tablet, put 3 litres of this in a pan to heat up to use to sparge with.

Mashed at 65 degrees C for 90 minutes. Stirring gently every 30 minutes.

Mash out, raising to 75 degrees C then holding for 10 minutes. Was supposed to raise over 7 minutes, but even on full power it took a full 15 minutes to get to 75 degrees, so I paused the timer until it reached this, then held for the full 10 minutes at this. (first sign my hob wasn't up to the task)

Let the bag drain until barely a drip by resting on an SS cooling rack over pot. Then moved to bucket where I dunk sparged at 75 degrees C for about 15 minutes, pouring this into the kettle to top up.

Put lid on and brought to rolling boil. Boiled for 90 minutes. I went for this long as I was using pilsner malt as my base malt. Good job, as I had to put the lid back on (with a 1 inch gap) every 20 minutes or so to get back up to a vigorous rolling boil. ) The other sign my hob isn't up to the job...

Re-hydrated a 12g packet of a French Saison yeast (not one anybody outside the UK will know, but for those that do it was Crossmyloof Saison De Lille dried yeast) at 30 degrees in dechlorinated and boiled then cooled water (hence I did so much extra...).

1/2 protofloc tablet added at 15 minutes from end. Copper immersion wort chiller put in at 10 minutes from end of boil.

At flame out I activated the wort chiller, and less than 30 minutes later it had hit 20 degrees C and I transferred to a sanitised FV via sanitised auto-siphon through a sanitised fine stainless steel sieve (did a nice job of removing the hop pellet debris to be honest). 19.8 litres into the FV.

Even though I was working to a check list, and using Beersmith 2 app for my recipe and timers, I forgot to check pre-boil SG. Post boil SG though was 1.040, target was 1.045 though so I used Beersmith 2 to calculate how much pale dried malt extract I needed to adjust to target. Gave it a really good stirring with my mash paddle (now sanitised), then pitched the yeast. Followed advice I'd found on UK forums, and instead of airlock or blow of tube I used a square of foil taped over the hole in the FV lid (current thoughts over here are that back pressure from airlocks or blow of tubes and build up of CO2 behind these causes Saison yeasts to stall).

I took 2 things from this. My efficiency isn't good, and my boil down wasn't adequate (was aiming for 18 litres into FV).

The recipe I was using (from Brewdog DIY Dog, Electric India):-

Malt bill

3.8 Kilos Belgian pilsner malt
0.13 Kilos German light Munich malt
0.25 Kilos German pale wheat malt

Hops and additions

5g Amarillo hops at start
5g Amarillo hops at 45 minutes
5g Nelson sauvin hops at 45 minutes
2.5g lightly ground peppercorns at 45 minutes
8.5g lightly ground coriander seeds at 45 minutes
20g Nelson Sauvin hops at end
12.5g Amarillo hops at end
62.5g mexican orange blossom honey at end

Anyway, no idea what this is going to come out like yet, fingers crossed it's not a total disaster.

Lessons learned:-

Need a better boiler solution (be gentle, outside just isn't an option, no garage, no shed, no shelter, lots of trees that want to add leaves to my beer if they can.... lol).
Need a better BIAB bag.
Need to re-order my brew day (do my grain weighing whilst the mash water is heating, weigh my hops whilst mashing, so I don't have grain and hops sat around waiting).
Need to make sure I get a pre-boil SG (I remembered this when I did a little stove top, which turned out more work than this brew.... lol)
Maybe tweak how I am sparging?
Try to be more relaxed whilst I brew, it's a hobby, not work.
NEVER brew with a migraine, EVER! I get cluster migraine, triggered by getting too hot (easily done, I'm type 2 diabetic... lmao) and which gets to super nova proportions I discovered if I get REALLY hot whilst I already have one..... :headhit:
Need to brew where I am not getting in the way of meals been prepared (see type 2 diabetic comment..... :idiot: )

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Be blunt if you need to, I'm from an area of the UK where blunt is never taken as rudeness. :peace:

Thanks

Ade
Last edited by AdeDunn on 24 Oct 2017, 02:48, edited 2 times in total.


Scott
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 689
Joined: 3 years ago
Location: Jefferson, Oregon, USA
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by Scott » 1 month ago

Good job posting a new post on this. :thumbs:

Just a couple of quick comments...

Yeah, way too high of a mash in temperature. Not sure what else... Hopefully the grind was okay.

I would look for something outside, even if it means making some sort of covered porch arrangement. My opinion. Or it will cost you lots more to setup a much fancier electric setup for the inside. And that can work...if you have enough power and much less power required for proper fan.

For outside, you mention concern of blowing leaves and whatnot. One season a year in the UK? Have it mounted at the edge of the beam in the soffit. I have mine about a foot or just over / 1/3M to 1/2M or so depending on height to roof - inboard from the edge of the roof.

Most of us use the BIABacus (free on this website), similar to but with advantages over BrewSmith. For us, helping with BIABacus will be much easier than having to dial back and help with BrewSmith... But we will do our best.

Late for me so will have to come back later to review your other notes and see if there is anything else... And yeah, it is all just for fun. You’re at the start, trying to figure out what works for you. Hope this helps a little bit... :salute:
Last edited by Scott on 24 Oct 2017, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

We actually have a running joke here in the UK, that we have 2 seasons a year, 11 months of autumn with 1 month of summer thrown in when it's actually not damp and grey. :lol: This year they've added a new season it seems, wind at 60-80 mph season..... :idiot:

I've downloaded BIABacus, just trying to get my head around it. I'm sure that once it clicks into place it'll seem fairly simple. I have a weird number anxiety problem though, my brain freezes up and goes into a panic when it sees a lot of numbers. :lol: Had it my whole life, I actually dropped a grade when I resat my maths exam in high school. :headhit: I'll get the hang though eventually. Not been too impressed with Beersmith 2 app to be honest anyway, it seems to guesstimate quite a bit. That said, if I had trusted it for the strike temp and volume the temps wouldn't have been so high.

Something that did occur to me, having read around a bit, is that some of this could possibly be blamed on my mashing pH. Our tap water has a pH of 7.4, GH of 14.7 degrees dGH (can't remember the KH off hand). I keep freshwater bee shrimp, that have a requirement for soft acidic water, so have to process their water through our RO system and then re-mineralise with special salts because of our hard and alkaline water. Of the 2 brews so far, the BIAB I did using a small percentage of RO water, the stove top I used just tap water. I know that other factors could impact this, but I did get much better (still rubbish though) efficiency with the BIAB where I used some RO to soften the brewing water. To this end, I have ordered some brewing pH test strips that I'll test my mash pH next time around. I did download Brun Water spreadsheet, but the data needed for that would require a significant outlay on testing to complete, as in would end up costing more than a picnic box mash tun... :headhit:


Scott
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 689
Joined: 3 years ago
Location: Jefferson, Oregon, USA
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by Scott » 1 month ago

Hi Ade,

You ought to review the Clear Brewing Terminology (CBT) Page. It is a big help! Helps to make sense of the acronyms, etc.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2685.

Use the CBT info from above, and take the BIABacus one step at a time, one section at a time. It will make sense soon. And if you want to see an example let me know.

Freshwater bee shrimp...! Never heard of them before. Sounds like another interesting persuit. ;)

Let me know if more questions... Hope this helps.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

Thanks for the help and advice.

I realise now I needed to read more, plan more, before I tried to get going. Luckily most of the malt I have is in the form of single type bags (eg. 25k of Belgian pilsen malt divided into 5k bags etc), I did however make the noob mistake of buying a couple of "recipe kits". I'm going to approach these as just practice malt, and just expect drinkable beer (can't be worst than kits right? lol).

Moving forward, I've done a fair bit more reading, and purchasing. Amongst my purchases, a pack of brewing pH test strips so I can check my mashing pH to see if I need to be adjusting the water I use.

The other, much bigger, purchase is I have purchased one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-BEER-MASH ... 2749.l2649

I was attracted by the digital temp control (which seems fairly "accurate" in the sense that the temp it shows matches the temp my meat/jam thermometer read at), grain/hops bag, bazooka filter, ball valve tap with a screw on hose barb, and false bottom. Oh, and I don't need to "tweak" it any or invalidate the warranty to get it to work. Having "had a go" with BIABacus, I am however aware that I will be looking at 15-17litres into FV if I try to do full volume with it. This is enough for me though to be honest, I'm not a heavy drinker.

Oh and yeah, as mentioned I've been having a good "play" (hate to use that term to be honest, more a matter of practising using it) with BIABacus. It's not that hard now I've figured it out.

Currently running some tests on the boiler (good job too, as discovered I needed to unplug a few things whilst using it... lol) to figure out time to mash temp (14 degrees C to 66 degrees C in 1 hour and 2 minutes), how well it holds heat (not as useful, as I know from experience that once malt is in there this improves a LOT, however over an hour it dropped from 66 degrees C down to 59 degrees C, a WAY better result than my insulated stock pot) and then I'll time how long it takes to get to a boil before doing a 1 hour boil off test. I know that without malt though these will be very inaccurate as water behaves very differently to wort, but just trying to get a baseline. It's also serving to give everything a good clean. :lol: I am so far surprised it how well the boiler works. I was expecting the temp control to be really inaccurate, but it's working nicely. 2 concealed elements, each with a switch, 1 900 watt and 1 1, 1600 watt, for a total of 2,500 watts.

Oh and yeah, love my shrimp. Tiny little gems. :)

Anyway, thanks again.
Last edited by AdeDunn on 01 Nov 2017, 05:24, edited 1 time in total.


Scott
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 689
Joined: 3 years ago
Location: Jefferson, Oregon, USA
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by Scott » 1 month ago

Cool deal! Thanks for posting it. ;) Yeah, at first look the BIABacus seems a little scary because everything is all there. Taking it one step at a time, reading CBT to understand the terminology, and a little slower going over the BIABacus will show a person it’s actually very logical and not too difficult. Certainly is a huge help!

Let us know how your new contraption works... :pray: it’s quite a bit different from my system so I don’t fully understand it. But others that come to this forum are in your situation and I think could benefit from the experience you are developing.

For sure, let us know how it goes, and hope to see you on here. :salute:


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

Thanks muchly. I picked up a fair bit of the terminology when I read the books by Greg Hughes and Graham Wheeler (before that, terms like mashing, sparging, flame out, well it was kinda like reading a Fantastic 4 book! lol), the CBT topped them up with the abbreviations etc from BIABacus. :peace: I just then had to focus down on each section, rather than trying to see the whole at once. Pretty self explanatory once I did that. Now finding it easier to use than Beersmith 2, and does a MUCH better job of resizing recipes. My plan now is to use Beersmith 2 just as a handy timer, whilst working with BIABacus to recipe plan and print of my brew day check list.

The biggest con for the ACE boiler is probably the size. You're only supposed to really boil 25 litres at a time. That and the lack of graduations (turns out the full level is actually more than 25 litres... lmao). Not a biggy though, although my wife may be a little unhappy that her beer supply isn't quite as massive... :whistle: Plus, once I get my efficiency up I'll be able to increase brew length a little as will be able to reduce grain used to mash a little. The other con is the lid is hard to fasten in when the bag is on, it blocks the slots that the lid twists into to fasten. I wonder if I really need to fasten the lid down though even when mashing? End of the day, I couldn't fasten on the lid on my stock pot anyway.. Oh and bringing it to the boil with the lid on is a bad idea! It's a condensation trap with it having a void between the 2 layers of steel, the upper layer just traps the steam, where it condenses then goes everywhere.

I think the best way to describe the ACE is a tea urn that's been modified at the factory for brewing beer. They moved the temperature probe (and the thermal cutout I believe) away from the element, fitted a proper ball valve tap and hose barb etc. Kinda like what a lot of folks do when they modify a tea urn to brew with, but done at the factory so still has an intact warranty, and no need to hire an electrician. As in an included hop filter, false bottom and grain bag, et voila. Oh and it has 2 hidden elements, 1 x 900 watt and 1 x 1600 watt, each with a switch. So you can use 900 watts, 1600 watts (which maintained a nice rolling boil) or the full 2,500 watts (which brought it from mashing to boiling nice and quick, but boils it's brains out if left on so to speak). The main attractions for me though were it been purpose made and the extras it came with for the price.


Scott
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 689
Joined: 3 years ago
Location: Jefferson, Oregon, USA
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by Scott » 1 month ago

When mashing if kid not on can use some towels around the top. With using propane like I do, I wrap in 2 blankets followed by old sleeping bag. 90 minute mash. Usually reheat one time in middle of mash as will have dropped a couple degrees Fahrenheit. Them re-wrap...

Yes with boiling you want the lid off.

You are kind of at the start of this quest for brewing knowledge. It’s fun, and like peeling an onion. Not all the info you come up with will turn out accurate but the more you do it and experiment the more knowledge you get. And there is always more to learn...

Past posts / questions and answers on BIABrewer.info is a great place to read, or has been for me. Less BS than most of the other brew forums in my opinion. Less posts too which makes it easier to go through, so higher “average post quality”.

I’ll see if I can find a picture of my brew setup. On the back patio where I brew... Here are a couple of pictures.

4A50DE40-683B-4DEA-936D-A0C5353544E0.jpeg
37F1E0C1-380F-47FC-8EB2-1907149EFA64.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Scott on 01 Nov 2017, 21:46, edited 3 times in total.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

Thanks bud, looks good.

Might be helpful if I show you my boiler.
Image Insulated with 2 layers of reflective loft insulation (Plus the twin wall void insulation) tape is all weather adhesive tape, so water proof and doesn't actually get hot where it is). You can see the timer, temp control jog dial, temp control display, ball valve tap then 2 element switches.

Image The lid, insulated again with 2 layers of reflective insulation. This is the lid in the locked position I was talking about.

Image The lid on, but in the unlocked position. This is how I was thinking of using the lid during mashing if that wouldn't be a problem?

Image The supplied bag. You can see how the handles of the bag are designed to hook over the black handles into which the lid locks, making locking the lid really fiddly to do.

Image Illustrating how the bag handles interfere with the lid locking mechanism.

Image The false bottom. I'm assuming this should be removed after mashing, prior to boiling? My wife has ordered some butchers twine to tie to the handle so I can fish it out without too much trouble.

Image Hop filter (yeah, I won't be relying on this. I have so far pretty much exclusively used pellet hops, which would pass right through this. My plan is to use my old grain bag as a big hop bag to keep the pellet mush under control) and bottom of the boiler. As you can see, the elements are nicely concealed away.


Last but not least:-
Image Pretty sure this is the rolling boil I should be aiming for? This was with just the 1600 watt element turned on. With both elements on it goes insane and tries to leave the boiler. I am aware that wort has a higher boiling point, so I won't know if the 1600 watt element can maintain a rolling boil in wort until I do an actual brew in it. My stock pot on the gas hob though couldn't even manage a rolling boil with water when filled more than about half way up....

I WON'T be using the boiler where you see it in those pics, the condensation everywhere during the test was insane! :headhit: So the plan is to put it on top of the gas hob, under the massive industrial style stainless steel cooker hood we have. I know from experience when I did the 5 litre stove top brew that very little steam makes it into the room from there.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Cheers.


Streamer
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 150
Joined: 2 years ago
Location: Seattle Washington, USA
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by Streamer » 1 month ago

RE the "roiling boil" in the last picture. A couple of thoughts. It's hard to tell from the photo if the water is really boiling vigorously enough, I think this is something you'll have to experiment with to get adequate boil off.
If I'm looking at the set up right it appears the liquid is only about 2" or so from the top of your kettle. I understand you were testing your equipment prior to your first brew, but if you boil wort with only this much room you're going to have boil over and a big mess. Have you put your kettle's measurements into section B of the Biabacus? Once you do that and input your desired VIF, section K gives you all your correct volumes and will warn you if you're getting too much volume for your kettle.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell

User avatar

ShorePoints
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 317
Joined: 4 years ago
Location: Connecticut
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by ShorePoints » 1 month ago

Streamer is right in questioning the "rolling boil" in the pic. The dictionary isn't a help in this case, ask an experienced cook.

The surface of the liquid has to really move around, not just bubble.

As for kettle volume maxing out at the start of the boil, you might be OK, depending on what's in the liquid to a certain extent. I retrieve my false bottom (vegetable steamer thing) from the kettle after I pull the grain bag. My metal stirrer reaches the bottom of the kettle. If I stir gently, continuously scraping across the metal bottom of the kettle, at temperatures above 95 deg. C all the way to boiling, foaming is minimized. Things behave well enough to stay in the pot with the same headspace as in your photo. Occasionally, I have to quickly turn the gas flame down to keep foam from growing too tall, but not often. It is imperative that you not look away for a second during this time. Once there is a true boil, then you can let it rip.

It has to do with nucleation of bubbles that are large enough to rise to the surface. If 'scratching' the hottest surface is enough, then all the tiny particulates of precipitated matter will not all make bubbles burst forth at once to make foam. Look up "boiling chip" on Wikipedia. Constant agitation/scraping has a similar effect.

Edited for safety notes: Never add a boiling chip to liquid that may be close to its boiling point.
Never trust a boiling chip to work more than once. Even in the same vessel, if it has boiled and stops boiling, the chip is not a reliable source of nucleation sites a second time.
Last edited by ShorePoints on 03 Nov 2017, 09:20, edited 1 time in total.


Streamer
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 150
Joined: 2 years ago
Location: Seattle Washington, USA
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by Streamer » 1 month ago

Excellent information on controlling the boil ShorePoints, Thanks!
Last edited by Streamer on 03 Nov 2017, 08:29, edited 1 time in total.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

The picture isn't very clear no, but yes it was sploshing around all over the place. I have indeed put the measurements into BIABacus, so when it comes to brew time there will be less liquid going into the boiling, so I should be able to keep both elements on (which gives an incredibly vigorous boil, going from choppy seas to full on storm at sea). The volume there was literally just for testing purposes. ;)

I've been putting various recipes into BIABacus, and then adjusting the VIF until the warnings are removed completely. I'd rather have smaller brews than a darned awful mess. :lol: I also bought a bottle of Brupaks anti-foam to add to my sprayer of water, to help to control the boil foam up (I believe there's a similar product in the US called Fermcap-S). Be assured, I have been reading and taking in all of your advice and guidance. :peace:

Cheers

Ade


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

Hmmm. Been reading around more, and I have concluded that a part of my problem is probably that I was too gentle stirring during the mash. My understanding now is that for BIAB the stirs should be quite thorough? I've been stirring slowly and gently.... :headhit:

User avatar

ShorePoints
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 317
Joined: 4 years ago
Location: Connecticut
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by ShorePoints » 1 month ago

AdeDunn - It is not the speed of stirring, but the thorough turn-over that gets al of the grist loose and in contact with the hot water. I get my stirrer to the bottom of the bag of grains and gently lift the solids towards the top. After 5 or so repeats, it is time to check the temperature, heat while again turning the solids, and then turn off the heat, cover the kettle and wrap the insulation around it. Gentle is OK aa long as you get all the grains stirred. Break up dough balls, if you see any.
A large, long-handled potato masher is recommended. While my stirrer works for now, I will get one of those when I happen to find one.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 month ago

Yeah, I'm not convinced that I was lifting the grains enough. Doughing in seemed a better stir (didn't get any dough balls, and the grain was nicely suspended in the water column), but the 2 stirs I did during the mash I reckon I was too careful and didn't lift it nearly enough.

It's not that I think that this was the only cause though for one moment, more one of a number of contributing factors. Too careful a stir, possibly too high a mash pH (as mentioned, I've bought some test strips to test my mash pH next time. I'll get my tap water KH tested too as already have a couple of kits for this from my shrimp hobby. Haven't checked the tap water before though as with the shrimp it's the KH in the tank that matters as I use pure RO for them, re-mineralised with a salt made specifically for the shrimp I keep. On the plus side, I'm quite used to altering water chemistry. lol), too gentle a "boil", too high a strike temperature...

I'm quite determined to do a better job next brew. Just getting impatient waiting for an FV to come free... That darned Youngs AIPA kit really is taking it's sweet time.... :lol:

I've been trying to find a decent long handle potato masher too, or a decent SS paint stirrer. The only ones I have found that are long enough though are too expensive right now, so going to stick with my SS mashing paddle for now. Sadly the mashers we own (we have 2 or 3 in the utensils draw) are all too short. :headhit:

As always, thanks.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 2 weeks ago

So, did BIAB 2 today. Went much better, much higher efficiency (I actually had to dilute to get even close on the target OG of 1.038, 23 litres in FV and still only got it to 1.040... lol). I used 18 litres of RO topped up with 6 litres of campden tablet treated tap water, and got a mash pH of 5.4. I also was much more thorough with my stirs, making sure to lift all of the grain up into the water column, no gently gently stirring... I don't know how accurate my numbers are, but BIABacus is telling me:-

EIB: 85.6%
EAW: 86.5
EIF: 79.5

So pretty happy that my efficiency has suitably improved thanks to all of the advice I have received, here and elsewhere and via researching. I was aiming for 21 litres into my FV, with an OG of 1.038. I ended up with 19.1 litres in there initially, with an OG of 1.046. I used a dilution calculator (sorry, was the one in Beersmith 2 app... lol) and it told me that adding 3.9 litres (taking the volume in the FV to 23 litres) would give me 1.038, but nope it gave me 1.040. I didn't want to dilute any more, so left it at that.

I used pellet hops, so I used my old BIAB bag as a hop bag to keep them contained as much as possible. However, I ended up with a fair bit of hot and cold break, and shish did it gunk up the bazooka filter when I was transferring... Eventually I'll get a better "hop filter" for the boiler, but for now I am just going to be more patient when transferring, and maybe use some leaf hops loose in the boiler to try to act as a filter on the bazooka.

Anyway, I was going to use both elements for the boil, was a no go though. There was around 5 inches of head space above the wort, but it was splashing clear out of the boiler! So ended up turning it down to just 1 1600 watt element, but still boiled off about 3 litres in a 1 hour boil. My wife, who is an ex-chef, had a look and reckoned it was a proper rolling boil anyway. here's a vid of it on the 1 element:-

https://youtu.be/9Dp8RC2MKzA

I used Brupaks Antifoam in my water spray (4 mls in 100mls of RO water, about 5 sprays killed the foam dead) to prevent foam over. Worked a treat, as you can see in the vid.

I did try with both elements, and I am sure this will be the boil some of you go for, but seriously it was completely insane! Splashing clear out of the boiler.

https://youtu.be/JDM64Ok5n8Q

I did use this setting for brief periods through the boil though, could be what boosted evaporation to 3 litres/hour.... I couldn't use it long term though, it was just too vigorous.

Anyway, it's in the FV now, with 1 packet of Crossmyloof Real Ale dry yeast (a UK company based in Glasgow, they get their yeast from a German lab I believe, and have really good prices). I've fitted a blow off tube, as I know from experience that this yeast goes insane! I used it in a kit once and made the mistake of pitching 2 packets.... :lol: Rehydrated in boiled water, cooled to 28 degrees C.

Well, the proof of the pudding will be in the drinking I guess, so time will tell now if my modified recipe (I took a summer ale recipe, and changed the hops as it used UK hops that I'm not a fan of...) will make a good beer.


Streamer
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 150
Joined: 2 years ago
Location: Seattle Washington, USA
Region: USA & Canada
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by Streamer » 2 weeks ago

Looks like a roiling boil to me! The fact that you overshot your OG and had to add water is way better than going under and having to figure out how to evaporate more. Keep your notes for future comparison
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 2 weeks ago

:thumbs:

Yup, I wrote plenty of notes on my checklist sheets, and will transfer them (plus a few more that I didn't write down yet) to my brewing log in OneNote. I like to use this as it syncs between my desktop and phone making it easy to access when I need to. :peace:

Checked the FV just now, only a thin krausen so far, but bubbling away nicely in the blow off bottle.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 2 weeks ago

Just a further observation. With this yeast I usually get a HUGE, rather mucky looking, krausen. This time around it's produced a clean white krausen that's a bit smaller too. I suspect that the antifoam is possibly the reason for this. I assumed that it only worked on the fermentation if you applied it to the FV, seems that it carries on working though from the boil. I have a wheat beer planned, and this could be rather handy to tame that beast, keep more of the beer in my FV perhaps. It helps that I use 30 litre bucket FVs though too, as they can accommodate a HUGE krausen when you only put a max of 23 litres into one. ;) Still needed to use a blow of tube though, the way it's bubbling it would have emptied an airlock in 20 seconds or less... Could do with some pint glass sized airlocks.... :whistle:


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 2 weeks ago

I have a confession to make.... My wife and I were naughty yesterday, I drew off a tiny sample via the sampling tap and had a taste of the summer ale... Obviously been so freshly into the FV it was like yeast milk, but WOW did it taste good! My wife just says it's delicious, but I tasted lovely biscuity & caramel notes, with a touch of bitterness and flavour from the hops. I was really surprised how nice it was to be honest after just a day in the FV..... :peace: It can't finish soon enough for me.... :thumbs:

So again, thanks for the help!

User avatar

ShorePoints
Gold
Gold
United States of America
Posts: 317
Joined: 4 years ago
Location: Connecticut
Region: Please select one...
Preferred Brewing Method: Please select one from below...
City:

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by ShorePoints » 1 week ago

Waiting for beer, the hardest part of the home brewing process. Taking samples earlier than they are bound to be ready just wastes future good stuff, but sometimes the temptation is too much. Only when you have enough inventory does it get easier to leave the recently packaged batch alone.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 week ago

Who said it'd been packaged? :yum: :blush:

Don't worry though, it was just the SG trial jar samples. Believe it or not it's pretty much finished fermenting already, and has actually overshot the target FG too... Target was 1.012, it's hit 1.010. So now it'll be left alone for another 7 days to clean up in the FV, then if I can't get another pressure barrel in time (the book I got the base recipe from recommends this over bottling, in order to give a smoother texture than you get in bottles) it'll be bottled. The yeast I used (Crossmyloof real ale yeast, a bit like Nottingham yeast but a touch more malt forward) is an absolute beast! It's one where a blow off tube is pretty much mandatory if you don't want to paint the room with beer....

I do actually have quite a good stock in already, sadly for me though it's beer made from kits, which for the most part tastes like drain cleaner (as in if it were left to me it'd go down the drain...) to me... My wife likes it though (and her dad... lol) so it got a reprieve and takes up bottle storage space... :lol: I'll be bottling the Saison I did soon though, and the mosaic SMSH I made. I need to increase the speed I'm making AG brews and bottling them so I can build up a stock of beer I can actually drink... The kit stuff is so rank that barely fermented AG wort tastes wonderful in comparison....

Hoping to get either another saison, or a sorta kolsch if my wife chooses this, on before the weekend is out. Need to order more malt too, only have the makings for a wheat beer (which my wife doesn't like....), a bit of Munich and a bit of light wheat malt and a good part of a sack of Belgian pilsen malt, so I'm a bit limited in the styles I can brew at the moment by the malt options. Have a fairly decent stock of hops and yeasts to go at. Hopefully I can repeat the same improvement in efficiency using the Belgian pilsen malt again (Dingemans), and it wasn't that contributing to lower efficiency.


Topic author
AdeDunn
Draft
Draft
Great Britain
Posts: 17
Joined: 1 month ago
Region: Europe
Preferred Brewing Method: Undecided
City: Wolverhampton

Re: My Current equipment and process. 1st BIAB outcome etc.

Post by AdeDunn » 1 week ago

Just finishing off AG #3 right now, a Greg Hughes Witbier. I can't get a proper estimate of efficiency sadly this time, my wife refused to let me put a pre-boil sample of wort in the fridge to cool, so it didn't cool soon enough for me to actually test it before I needed the trial jar for the post boil sample (which seems a lot more important to me...).

The good news is though, post boil I'm well over my target OG of 1.046, with an SG of 1.055, so I am going to gamble that my efficiency was just dandy thank you very much. :peace:

Did have one booboo, I left the boiler for a sec to eat a yoghurt, take my pills and inject my Victoza, and whilst I was doing this I had a tiny foam over..... :idiot: As my wife put it though, I was doing things that keep me alive so never mind. :lol:

I used 1/4 of a protofloc this time having read around that 1/2 is too much in the volume I am boiling, which could be why I had so many problems with the bazooka clogging with break....

Post Reply

Return to “BIABrewer.info and BIAB for New Members”

Brewers Online

Brewers browsing this forum: No members and 23 guests