Welcome to make beer easy my friend. You will find that in this place we focus on making great beer as easy as we possibly can.
We strongly believe that making beer should not be difficult and in fact regardless of what some of the old cave men in this industry try to tell you, making beer can be easy! And one of the easiest ways to make great tasting beer from grains is by brewing using the brew in a bag method or BIAB for short.
So What is Brew in a Bag you say?
Brew in a Bag is an ingenious, simple, fun way to make all grain beer.
=> It is less expensive than other all grain methods
=> It is less work than other all grain methods
=> It takes less equipment than other all grain methods
=> Time spent on clean up is less than other all grain methods
=> And… it makes just as good of beer as other all grain methods or better…
Great question… in the majority of cases I believe they probably did not know about this method of brewing when they got started and now are stuck in their ways; brewing the way they first learned how to.
Because once you go BIAB you will never go back my friend…
Take it from me… I started brewing all grain beer using this method of brewing… tried a couple of other methods and simply could not justify not doing brew in a bag… it is that much more enjoyable and simple.
Table of Contents
Brew in a Bag Vs All Grain
It always cracks me up when I see someone trying to explain the difference between brew in a bag and all grain…
Why does it crack me up? Because there is no difference… There is no difference to explain… You see brew in a bag is all grain brewing!!
When it comes to all grain brewing there are simply different methods you can use to make your beer abd BIAB is one of them…
In the end it really comes down to the equipment you use specifically the amount of vessels (Kettles) you use:
=> some people will use a 3 vessel system (Hot Liquor Tank, Mash Tun, Boil Kettle)…
=> others will use a 2 vessel system where the Hot Liquor Tank starts out as a hot liquor tank to heat the water, but after the Mash is done the wort is pumped back into the Hot Liquor Tank which now becomes the Boil Kettle. (I use this system at my brew pub actually)
=> and than others will use my favorite method of brewing which uses only a 1 vessel (Kettle) and a bag! Yup BIAB baby. Like a 2 vessel system the kettle is both your hot liquor tank and your boil kettle… BUT the difference is that your kettle is also your mash tun… because you put the bag into the kettle and the bag acts like a mash tun.
Confusing? Read on… everything will be made clear grasshopper!
The Brew in a Bag System
Ok so here is the system itself…
=> You will need a kettle… a 10 – 15 gallon kettle. Preferably a 15 gallon. This will make you about 5 gallons of finished beer. (Adventures in Home Brewing carries a good selection of kettles)
=> You need a turkey fryer… basically an outside propane burner that will hold your kettle. (you can get this at most any hardware stores or even Walmart and Costco)
=> You need a propane tank… just like the one you use with your BBQ.
=> You will need a big spoon… called a Mash Paddle (Again Adventures in Home Brewing has a good selection)
=> You will need… yup you guessed it a Brew Bag!! (There are lots of bags you can buy out there, but no question the bags made by The Brew Bag are the best of the best. They are designed to fit your kettle and are as strong as they come)
That’s it… easy peasy… so what is brew in a bag? It’s simply a less expensive way to get into making All Grain Beer… literally a fraction of the price of the other methods of making all grain beer.
All In One Brewing System
Which is all well and good, especially on a nice hot sunny summer day… BUT if it is raining OR if you live in a snow infested place like I do in Canada than you may want to look at an all in one brewing system.
Basically an all in one brewing system is a brew in a bag system that is electric and uses a basket instead of a grain bag. Or I should say it comes with a basket; as I still use the grain bag as you get a better efficiency than the basket.
So since it is electric you can brew inside, which is nice.
I use both systems… if it is nice outside I fire up the kettle and turkey fryer. If it is shitty outside I fire up my all in one brewing system and brew inside.
If you are interested in getting one of these systems… you can check out my Brewers Edge Mash and Boil Review.
I have brewed many beers on that system and I go over all of the plus and negatives of it.
Where Do You Get Recipes?
I have seen some supposed experts in this industry say that you can’t use standard all grain recipes if you are BIAB brewing.
This is BS! Pure Crap!
I have always used standard all grain recipes when brewing in a bag and the beer turns out great!
Adventures in Homebrewing has some very good all grain kits that come with all the ingredients and instructions to brew their beer. These all grain beer kits will make you some super fine BIAB beer.
So don’t worry about the recipe… any all grain recipe can be used with this method!
What is Brew In A Bag? It’s The Answer to Great Beer!
So by now I am sure you can not only answer that question but you see why I am in love with this way of brewing.
When I first started looking at getting into all grain brewing I was overwhelmed by what I saw. I thought I was going to have to spend a fortune in equipment. I thought I was going to have to get a PhD in brewing in order to figure out how to operate all these fancy 3 vessel systems. I thought what a nightmare it would be to clean up after a brew day.
And than I stumbled upon this simple, inexpensive but oh so effective way of brewing and I fell in love with it.
So my recommendation is before you shell out the big bucks on an expensive brewing system, give the brew in a bag method a try… my gut is you will be glad you did!
Here is another post I did that will not only help answer even further the question of what is brew in a bag; but it will also walk you through the step by step process of brewing your first batch of BIAB beer:
That’s it my friend… I’m done… I need a beer! 🙂
If I can be of any help to you with any questions etc... feel free to ask any question in the comment section below and I will be sure to respond.
Big Robb is out!