Hi Sara, that's a really good question and no, I'm not offended at all!scarer wrote:Hi there
I'm in the UK and have been brewing all-grain at home for about 2 years but I'm interested in brewing in smaller batches so that I can brew a wider variety of styles because 21lts of beer lasts me ages!
I also brew for a craft brewing club and smaller batches would make it easier to keep up with the brewing schedule.
I'm intrigued to find out if BIAB will produce beers as good as the traditional method (no offence!) particularly where clarity is concerned.
Now, I know you didn't say this explicitly, but reading between the lines, I'm not sure where the link between cloudy runnings and cloudy beers comes from, however it would seem intuitive anyway as BIAB does indeed yield quite cloudy runnings. However, the wort boil takes care of the aggregation and precipitation of particulates and complexes which form cloudiness and haze and there seems to be no carry over of poor clarity into the finished beer, particularly when using cargeenan, PVPP and so forth.
Let there be no mistake though, there's plenty of cloudy BIABs out there and I've made quite a few myself, but there's also plenty of cloudy kit, extract and 3V beers too, but I'll put my neck on the block- there's no direct link between BIAB and poor beer clarity! However, BIAB has just as much likelihood of cloudy beer as any other method.
I've found that a few things should help clarity, regardless of method: Whirlfloc (cargeenan), a longer boil (90 to 120 minutes), scum skimming at the start of the boil (debatable), water profile, yeast strain, gelatine/ agar, cold conditioning, Polyclar (PVPP). IMO clarity is mainly a cosmetic feature and haven't really invested much effort in it, so long as it is not excessive I don't think it has that much impact on flavour and aroma, but competitions demand it so I have to oblige, but I'm not likely start filtering beer.
As far as 'beers as good as the traditional method' goes, how's this lot sound for competition results, also the Brisbane Club winner last year too (BABB- BeachBum may elaborate). In this year's Queensland State competition (QABC), the fact that BIAB has taken out two of the three places in the Pale Lager category is probably significant, it has always been regarded as a particularly tough nut to crack for BIAB. But, as I say, BIAB isn't likely to have clarity issues any more than other methods, so I don't actually support that assertion (I'm just narked that we didn't win it... Oh well, there's always next year!). Oh, first place in New South Wales state competition in Pilsner, plus other placings too.
Hope this helps, always happy to discuss!