First Attempt A Few Questions

Post #1 made 9 years ago
I had my first go at BIAB using my new 40 litre Buffalo boiler.I went for an Autumn Ale and purchased an "Exact Ingredient" kit that should make 23 litres at 4.5%.

I'd played around with the calculator and possibly due to my own error it seemed to want me to use 40 litres of water initially,thinking this was a bit high I decided to wing it for my 1st attempt as I was eager to get started and went with 33ltrs.I went with a strike temp of 69c with after doughing in left me with my target of 66c,this dropped to 64c in the 45 mins so I added a bit off heat,stirred and and gave it another 45 minutes.

After removing the bag I was confident i'd have enough wort which was 1.032, so opted not to sparge, in fact I thought i'd have too much so decided i'd up the boil to 90 mins.The boil went well though I was suprised at how much steam filled the room but the smell was amazing.I popped the lid on the boiler and left it overnight,15 hours later and it was still 26 so transferred to fermenter and put in bath to bring it down a bit for pitching.

It's now going and smells great, kind of biscuity with a hint of ginger, i've got an SG of 1.044 and I ended up with bang on 23 litres.All in all i'd like to improve as I think I might have got lucky this time

Do you know what could have happened with the calculator to give me the 40 litre figure and do you think i'll hit the 4.5% abv?

Cheers :)

Post #2 made 9 years ago
What diameter of the pot did you enter ? My 40 litre Buffalo is 39cm.

What figure for Brew Length did you use ?

What was your Grain Bill etc ?
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Post #3 made 9 years ago
The calculator is a good starting point to get you going, there are some thing you can tweak in it once you have done a few brews. One of these things is evaporation. Evaporation rates can vary a lot just with your humidity, for example I usually get around 8 litres evaporation but once I did a brew and the humidity was around 90% and I think I only got around 4 litres evaporation. That's a huge difference. So my suggestion there would be, once you have done a few brews and dial on your evaporation rate then modify it in your calculator.

As beer o'clock asked what did you put as your brew length? Was that 23 L ? Was the ingredient kit supposed to be 23l post boil, into fermenter or packaged? If you have given the brew length 23l and it was supposed to be 23l into fermenter then that would give you a higher pre bool volume.

Don't sweat on it to much, you really need to get a few brews under you belt to work out your system.

Hope this helps,
Cheers wiz
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Post #5 made 9 years ago
Hi, the intended target according to the kit was to end up with 23 litres in the fermenter and my pot is 39cm also.I've since played around with the calculator and think I might have got the grain bill wrong the first time, this was my recipe:

Pale Malt (maris Otter) (grams) 4300
Crystal Malt (grams) 320

Start of Boil
Fuggle Hops (grams) 27
Golding Hops (grams) 27

Last Ten Minutes of Boil
Styrian Hops (grams) 26

1 x Protafloc last 15 mins of Boil
1 pack of S-04 yeast.

I went with Safale-S04 just sprinkled in this time, I thought i'd try improve 1 thing with each brew so will try a starter next time.I've attached my calculator if you wouldn't mind checking, it shows a 79% efficiency is that a good start?

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Post #6 made 9 years ago
Wooderson wrote:I'd played around with the calculator and possibly due to my own error it seemed to want me to use 40 litres of water initially,thinking this was a bit high I decided to wing it for my 1st attempt ...............
I had a fiddle with the Calculator and put in 23 litres as Brew Length. This showed 37.4 litres of water required. Giving a Total Mash Volume of 40.86 litres.

Was it these figures that confused you initially ?
I can happily get a Total Mash Volume of 42 litres into my Buffalo (without much headroom left, granted), so don't be put off by that figure.
79% efficiency for a first effort is excellent (I got 60 something). From now on it may vary a bit from brew to brew but it's the average that is important.

Well done for hitting your target OG, as well. Sounds like your winging it did no harm at all.
Last edited by Beer O'Clock on 29 Apr 2011, 21:59, edited 5 times in total.
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Post #7 made 9 years ago
IMO, re-hydrating or making a starter with a dry yeast is not an improvement. I became a believer of just sprinkling it on top of the foamy aerated wort. Granted, cost could be a factor but so is your time and sanity. To me BIAB is all about simplicity.

I use Mr. Malty's (tm trademarks of Jamil Zainasheff) pitching rate calculator; and measure my dry yeast with a gram scale. I've made a 1.068 with 16.5 grams, for example.

Now I've done yeast harvesting and washing... can be fun, worth while and save money. There's a guy [Edit: Mike] in my beer club that is sooo laid back, he just skims/scoops out from his yeast cake from a previous batch (dry yeast used). [Edit: Our club just met for the AHA Big Brew on April 30th, my friend Mike does make starters with his dry yeast and he always brews a 10 gallon batch too. Cheers]

It's all good either way you slice it. It's a nice hobby, have fun with it!

Your recipe sounds yummy and good luck.

Brewing with MS;
    • SVA Brewer With Over 100 Brews From United States of America
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