So you are looking to start brewing up some beer using the ol’ BIAB method eh? Good Choice… In my books you’re making a great decision…
As you will see in the following BIAB instructions it is the simplest form of all grain brewing, the least expensive (by far) form of all grain brewing; there is far less clean up involved (always a good thing) and it makes just as good of beer or better than the other methods of brewing out there.
In fact, I simply have never been able to figure out why anyone would bother brewing beer any other way… just does not make sense to this guy.
Alright enough of that… you get it… Brewing in a bag rocks… now lets get into showing you how to make some damn good beer.
BIAB Equipment You Will Need
I am writing this post with the understanding that you have brewed beer using beer kits before or maybe even partial mash brews…
… as such I will not be covering the basic equipment or process involved with making beer, I am assuming you know how to ferment beer, bottle it, condition it, etc… if not then I recommend you go and read the following post first then come back here. Get Started Brewing Beer
So in addition to the basic brewing equipment you will require the following:
– A brew kettle capable of handling at least 15 gallons of water
– A turkey fryer and propane canister. Using this method you will be brewing outside.
– A Brew Bag. Make sure you get the right size bag to fit the kettle you purchase.
– A mash paddle (large spoon)
– Oven mitts (to squeeze the grain bag to get all the hot liquid out)
– A strainer that will fit over the kettle. This is not a must have, but if you can find one that will fit across your kettle it will make draining the bag easier.
And that my friend is all you need… a drastic difference in equipment required as compared to all the other all grain methods out there.
Alternatively if you want to you can go electric and instead of picking up all the above you can simply get yourself an all-in-one electric all grain brewing system. I use both… the turkey fryer kettle method for outside brewing and the all-in-one brewing system for inside brewing. Both work great!
You will see some supposed GooRoo’s out there telling you that you need to adjust any All Grain recipe you use to account for a lower efficiency with brew in a bag brewing… this is hog wash aka horse shit… you can get just as good of efficiency with brew in a bag as you can with any other all grain brewing method.
As such any all grain recipe you want to use will work with your brew in a bag system.
Recipes are everywhere… But I’ll recommend two places for you:
1) Greg Hughes book Home Brew Beer. It has a pile of good recipes in it. I have brewed many of them and enjoy them all.
2) Pick up an all grain beer kit from Adventures in Home Brewing. You pick the beer you want to make, the kit comes with all the ingredients and instructions/recipe. I still to this day order these type of kits as it is an easy way to brew and the recipes are top knotch.
OK for the “how to” itself of BIAB brewing its easy… and its fun:
Step #1: Heat up the water in your kettle to the strike temperature called for in your recipe.
Step #2: Put the brew bag or basket into the kettle.
Step #3: Once Mash temperature is reached dough in… meaning dump the crushed grains into the bag or basket within the kettle. Stir the grains well while you are doing so to make sure none of the grains clump up. (called dough balls).
Step 4: Let the grains sit within the kettle for 60 – 90 minutes at the mash temperature (As per the recipe).
Step 5: Remove the grain bag from kettle… drain the liquid from the bag into the kettle. Either get a heavy-duty strainer you can place over the top of the kettle and put grain bag in it. Or hold the bag in the air over the kettle letting it drain (good for the biceps!)
Step 6: if you are a little short on your pre-boil volume, you can soak the bag of grains in a bucket of warm water to remove even more of the goodness from the grains and then dump that liquid into the kettle until the preboil volume is reached. This is called dunk sparging. Alternatively you can just top the kettle up with water to preboil level, it will not make that big of a difference in the end product.
Step 7: Boil the liquid (wort) for the amount of time indicated on recipe.
Step 8: Add hops to the boil as per the recipe.
Step 9: Chill the wort down to yeast pitching temperature.
Step 10: Pour the wort into the fermenter and pitch the yeast just like you did when making kit beer.
That is all there is to it my friend! You got this! 🙂
Let Me Know
Let me know how you make out with your biab beer. I always love hearing how other brewers find using this method. And if I can every be of help to you just reach out. Hit me up in the comments section below. I will answer.
Cheers and enjoy your BIAB beer my friend!