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Brewing TV - Episode 54: Jake's Got a Brand New Bag

BTV goes deep undercover on some BIAB action! After reading so much about how easy and fun it can be, Jake Keeler decides to give the "Brew In A Bag" method a try. To put it bluntly - he's hooked! Brewing four batches in less than a month, BIAB has elevated Jake's love for homebrewing. Join us for a brew session and discussion about the pros and cons to see if brewing-in-a-bag is right for your homebrewery.

Related links:

Double Mesh Strainer
Mesh Bag
Partial Mash Equipment Kit (BIAB-friendly: includes strainer, mesh bag and digital thermometer. Product bundle DISCOUNTED 10%!)
5.2 Buffer
Malt Mill Equipment
BTV Forum
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Reader Comments (9)

Glad to see Jake enjoying BIAB, and the method becoming more popular in the US. As a BIAB brewer myself I just wanted to impart some of my own experiences.

Firstly if managing the temp of the mash is your biggest concern ATM, you really should look at insulating the kettle. Anything you have lying around, an old towel/blanket/doona/jacket/jumper or all of the above will help things out dramatically.

Secondly, I know you mentioned it at the start, but the bag you use should be big enough to line the kettle and not interfere with the mash at all. Constraining the mash as you did in the video will probably affect your efficiency negatively. A good rule of thumb is to make the bag big enough to fit the kettle inside it

It might be difficult to manage in a kitchen, but for a larger BIAB setup I would look at investing in a pulley or a hook to support lifting the bag. Personally I brew in my garage so hanging a hook and pulley from the ceiling is a not a problem, and it trivializes lifting the bag and leaving it to drain above the kettle.


April 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFred

BIAB has also changed my brewing for the better. It's reenergized me! I've been in a slump the last few years in my brewing for some reason. I have a nice 2-tier 10 gallon system I built several years ago but I haven't brewed on it much in the last couple of years.

In November 2011 I was looking for a way to teach an all-grain class in 3 hours and BIAB seemed to fit the bill so I did some test batches. I was hooked after the first one and haven't looked back. I've brewed more BIAB batches in the last 6 months than in three years on the big system.

I'm back to a single burner turkey burner, actually the one I started brewing on, and my boil keggle from the big system. I also have my insulation wrap off my big system mash tun. A purpose made bag from the recommended curtain shear material seems to work the best. I made mine slightly tapered and with a drawstring on top to eliminate the bungie cord. This also gives it something to hang from to drain. Northern Brewer needs to market a bag of this type! I'm using this setup combined with a gravity-fed plate chiller and that makes for a fast brew day.

The simplicity is sublime. I've never considered 3-gallon batches but that seems like a natural progression.

Thanks for the episode.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris N.

Could you tell me what issue of BYO is shown -- I'd love to track down that BIAB article. Tried looking around on the Internets, but haven't had much luck. Thanks!

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Hey there,

Did you guys ever review that CDA? I'm really interested in the end product. CC

October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChairman Curley

Hi only just discovered BTV could watch it all day every day but I'm fast running out of episodes. I brew BIAB an electric keggle insulated with silver bubble wrap with 2 kettle elements I use hot tap water to cut down heating time. Home made bags tapered at the bottom so when its time to lift it out the grain falls into the narrow part to exit the keggle without snagging the opening. I lose very little heat. The two kettle elements run separate power supplies so I can switch from two to one at the flick of a switch and use a home made counterflow chiller with a flow control on the cold water side and it chills great. By the time all the wort is in fermented I can usually get it spot on pitching temp. BIAB is GREAT try it....

January 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwarren

I'm new to brewing but have purchased a lot of new equipment. The brew in a bag does sound like a GREAT idea. I just brewed a batch today that had about 24 oz of grain and about 6 lbs. of gold LME. The name is Flat Tire. I can see using more grain in the bag and less LME. The time you could save in just cleaning alone makes it worth while. Picture cleaning all that grain out of your cooler.

It makes me want to re-think the whole ALL-Grain process. HHmmmm. Cheers!!

May 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrlmiller777@aol.com

Hey Jake,

Love the episode, recently got into BIAB myself.

A little trick from Australia – I get wicked efficiency in 12L (~3Gal boil vol?) with only 2kg of grain (~4.4 pounds), well up in the 1055-1060 range (preboil) and 1070-1085 postboil (to 9-10.5L depending on trub).

I use an electric stove, wait til 166C, cover it in towels for 75 min (temp only drops 1-2C). But the main thing is to hang the bag on a hook over the pot and twist it up, put some gloves on and squeeze all the remaining juice out, that's where all the sugars are. No need to sparge.

Thanks for a great ep!

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBenno

Edit: 66ºC mash... As mentioned just a shitty electric stove, no NASA burners in my house.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBenno

Just a note on sparging. It doesn't have to take that much time and can add a lot of quality and efficiency to the process. When I do stove top stuff, I just reserve a third of the total preboil volume in a second kettle, mash as usual, drain in a strainer like you did, then simply set the bag in the second kettle for 5 minutes. Give it one good stir, drain with strainer and add to boil pot. It's a simple batch sparge that takes far less time and effort than the same batch sparge in my 10 gallon tun. I manage to get just better than 70% doing this. It takes 1 minute of setup and 5 minutes of rest time while you get the wort boiling anyway.

December 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterB

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