This is one of my first posts, but I've been checking out this forum ever since I discovered the BIAB method. I'm one of those home brewers that brewed a couple of beer kits (still managed to destroy a batch of a beer kit, don't know how!) but was not really happy with the outcome and not really feeling like a brewer. So, I decided to do all-grain and google brought me to the BIAB world. Since I'm going small and brewing in my kitchen, I think this is the perfect method.
Some details about my setup:
- Brewing in my Kitchen
- 10L pot from Ikea to get started
- 30L plastic fermentation bucket
- Plan to bottle in 0.5L bottles
After reading about it for a couple of months and also procrastinating quite a bit, I just decided to jump head first on it and made a semi-random purchase of malt, hops and yeast. I did 2 batches yesterday:
1) 6.5L Ale with admiral hops.
-wort tasted good and sweet;
-taste before fermentation was a bit more hoppy than I expected, I thought it was too bitter. Will have to see how it goes.
-Gravity was 1.054
Already bubbling like a champ!
2) 5.5L Lager with cascade hops
-Wort tasted good and sweet;
-taste before fermentation was quite nice, not so bitter as the ale.
-Gravity was 1.052
This is not bubbling yet, might be because of temperature.
I checked a couple of recipes and saw some youtube videos. I'm just trying to say I didn't follow any particular recipe but was more interested in the technique itself. I had a couple of drawbacks, but my point is to learn from this experience so that my next try will turn out great.
You might think this was a bit of an impulsive approach and it doesn't sound like I was prepared. I can't agree more. That's exactly why I wanted to do this "test drive" brews, in order to test the limits of my setup, limits of my patience and see if I could pull this through. I wouldn't want to spend even more money in more equipment or expensive ingredients just to conclude I couldn't do it or, even worst, I wouldn't enjoy it.
In fact, I already learnt a few lessons:
- Had some challenges using BIABacus. Already figured out I was putting 1050 in gravity, instead of 1.050, which was giving me negative numbers for quantities. Lesson learnt!
- I realized my thermometer was broken right after I started, so ended up using a meat thermometer. Not sure how accurate those things are.
- I think my mill was crushing my grains too thin, until I eventually got it right.
- For next time, I might buy a refractometer, because I don't feel like my gravity readings were very accurate, especially with warm wort.
- Used the same brew bag for the mash and for hops. Not sure that was a good idea because the bag turned green. For next time I might buy small hop bags.
- Also realized in the middle of brewday that my oxiclean was expired.
- Had a small boilover, not very spectacular.
To learn a few more lessons, I have a couple of questions which you might be able to help with:
- Regarding the grains crushing, I read in some articles that it's not a good idea to crush them too much (or too thin), but also saw some posts of people claiming it increases the efficiency. Is there any consensus around this question?
- I did some sparge, hoping to increase efficiency, especially because I'm brewing small quantities. Would you advise against this?
- Is it a good idea to use a 30L fermentation bucket for a ~5L batch?
- Oxiclean expired - does it really lose effect? I guess I'll see in 10 days when I open my fermentation bucket
- When it comes to bottling, shall I add some sugar for priming? Since I'm not following any particular recipe, I'm not really sure about this step.
Thanks in advance, hope to have some constructive comments.
Post #1 made 1 year ago
- Under 5 Brews From Portugal