Well, I am really enjoying how easy my brew days seem to be. BIAB is just a nice easy way to hit all grain brewing without more equipment. Granted, I would only need a cooler and some adjustments to the drain on it (I’ve had two cooler mash tuns in the past) and I fully understand that. But having one less piece of equipment is simply nice. I will say though, I want to get a bigger kettle, the 7.5gallon pot I have now is just not big enough to get me the 5 gallon batches easily. So, soon I will get a 10 gallon pot.
Anyways, enough of that, here are a few pictures describing my brew day. Enjoy, and check out my Nut Brown Recipe I brewed up on this day.
Like you would expect, heat your water to strike temperature for the grain. For me, generally 8-10F higher than the mash temperature seems to work well. You’ll get to know what temp you need after you do this a few times with your equipment.
As I get close to my temp, I put my bag that I bought at the homebrew store in my pot. Notice I use some small clamps and paper clamps to hold the bag to the pot. A little ghetto, but that is homebrew.
Here is my crushed grain. I had bought this at the homebrew store earlier in the day and crushed it there.
My two additions of hops are measured out. Here you see the hops are crushed pretty much. I ordered these on line, saving a bunch of money, but the 4 oz. bag these came out of was pretty much smashed to a powder. The rest of the bags I received were fine, so I’m not going to sweat this too much.
Here I’ve added my grain, and now I’m just mixing it up, making sure there are no ‘dough balls’, clumps really, in the mash. Doing this BIAB you are using most of your batch water in the mash (except maybe 1-2 gallons you can hold out to rinse the grains if you so choose) so the mash is pretty thin.
Out of curiosity I took a pH measurement of the mash, and it is just around 5.4 Not too bad. Much higher and I would worry a bit about it. These strips cost just a few bucks for ~100 of them. Well worth it.
Here I am getting ready some yeast nutrient, re-hydrating it before putting it into the boil the last 15 minutes or so. I’ve just started using yeast nutrient, and I can say that it seems to have helped my fermentations along.
I also added a whirlflock tablet near this time.
My boil is complete. With about 10 minutes left in the boil I put my immersion chiller in and let it sanitize with the boiling wort.
It took me about 16 minutes to go from boil to 65F with the Portland water (in April) in 4.5 gallons of wort with 20 feet of copper tubing. Good enough for me. I stir on and off during the cooling process to help speed things along.
Here I have the yeast you can see from my previous blog entry. I had saved some S-04 from a batch in February, rinsed it and stored in my refrigerator. I was able to pitch this and get fermentation activity in about 8 hours, and hit my final gravity sometime before 5 days. (I didn’t take any gravity readings before 5 days). I used 500ml of 1.020 for the starter, but next time plan to use 1 liter of 1.030 for the starter. I’m VERY happy with the ability to save yeast for future use, and saving money. It’s a pretty easy process.
Racking from my pot to my fermentation bucket. A nice clear brown color, I like it already.
When I finished cooling my wort, I had one final stir, put the lid on, and then proceeded to clean up as much of my other gear as I could. After about 30 minutes I racked the wort over to the bucket, leaving behind some cold break and hop matter.
Finally pitching my yeast. After this I shook the bucket up with the lid on to get as much oxygen into the wort as I could. The max you can expect with this method is 8ppm.