Author Topic: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)  (Read 11280 times)

mini 1l

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Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« on: March 13, 2009, 02:04:47 PM »
Hello All,

I'm seeing more and more reference to Brew in a bag, in essence mashing grain in a bag contained in a brew kettle.  Any one out there doing this? Does beersmith support this time of mash profile?

Thanks!

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 02:36:35 AM »
I think this sounds like a partial mash technique (as I am looking into partial mash) .... but don't take my word for it
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 09:56:28 AM »
Yep, people also use a 2-gallon cooler.  Saw someone do it a few weeks ago at a session.  Worked great.  The brewer steeped the crystal and roasted like usual, and mashed the "mash required" grains in the cooler in a muslin bag. 

Google up "counter top partial mash method" and you'll find a BYO article on it.

feistycapn

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 12:30:43 PM »
I'm far from expert on this but this rarely stops me from offering my two cents  :)

The limited research I did recently on this along with playing with BeerSmith suggests that BIAG is might be called steeping by some and somewhat different than partial mashing. In partial mashing the objective is to convert the grain starches to fermentables.

Steeping seems to be a "add-on" to Extract brewing. In steeping the objective is to add color and flavor and other characteristics derived from specialty grains with out attempting to convert their starches to significant fermentable sugars. The amount of specialty grains is usually small relative to the malt extracts.

I did a lot of "what-if" variations in BrewSmith with a recipie that called for almost 6# of extract and less than 2# of specialty grains (Half chocolate malt and half oats and wheat flakes) Varying the specials (in BS) made a big difference in color (and presumably/hopefully flavor & feel) but no difference in initial gravity. Modifying the extracts changed the IG but had little effect in color (this was a dark stout).

I concluded that (for this recipe) the chocolate malt grain dominated color and the extracts provided the fermentables. BrewSmith gets the credit for hitting the preboil SG on the head and to my mind validates  this conclusion in at least this experiment. BrewSmith handles steeping in the "Extract" type well. One could use the "Partial Mash" type but it seems unnecessary if the specialty grain bill is a small source of fermentables.

I might add that one big advantage (IMHO) of employing brew software is the "what-if" exercises like this one can do easily. Thanks BrewSmith!

Doug

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2009, 06:58:44 AM »
....less than 2# of specialty grains (Half chocolate malt and half oats and wheat flakes) Varying the specials (in BS) made a big difference in color (and presumably/hopefully flavor & feel) but no difference in initial gravity.

I concluded that (for this recipe) the chocolate malt grain dominated color and the extracts provided the fermentables. ............One could use the "Partial Mash" type but it seems unnecessary if the specialty grain bill is a small source of fermentables.

You are mostly correct on the diff b/t steeping and mashing; however, even charred grains like roasted and chocolate have gravity to contribute.  If you scroll thru the grains list you will see varying PPG (potential points per pound per gallon, I think) for each grain.  DME and sugars are highest, then base grains, crystals, then the darked roasted stuff, etc.  Within a recipe, if you toggle b/t the three settings of all-grain, partial mash and extract, you will see the potential gravity from those grains that require mashing will drop out if you select extract. 

So, the setting for extract is only accurate (on the OG) if you are using only steeping grains, as it will ignore the gravity from any grains that do require mashing.  But to your point, if you're using those grains strictly for their color and possibly flavor, and do not need their potential gravity to reach your OG, then you're fine. 

The big advantage in partial mash over extract/steep is that you can use any grain you desire and get that unique character from a Vienna or Munich grain etc.

Offline stoloma

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2009, 06:12:48 AM »
In the last issue of Brew Your Own they has an article on this technique. It's evidently popular in Australia. It's more than just steeping grains. It's actual mashing but instead of a separate mash tun the malt is mashed in the brew kettle in a large mesh bag. The bag is removed, allowed to drain and the boil is started. Simple and cheap but I would think efficiency would suffer.

Mark
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
-Dave Barry

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2009, 03:27:18 PM »
In the last issue of Brew Your Own they has an article on this technique. It's evidently popular in Australia. It's more than just steeping grains. It's actual mashing but instead of a separate mash tun the malt is mashed in the brew kettle in a large mesh bag. The bag is removed, allowed to drain and the boil is started. Simple and cheap but I would think efficiency would suffer.

Mark

So I have this copy of BYO but have not read the article on Australia / their brewing method. My question(s) would be how would setup BeerSmith to do this type of brewing ?   Would you use the partial mash brew type and fudge for lower brewhouse efficiency or fudge other partial brew settings ? Or would their be a more scientific way to derive these values ?

I'll have to read the article later as the sun is out and chores are calling
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 11:34:04 AM »
So I read the article and all I can say is those blokes down under are doing some bizarro brewing. I do agree with their general philosophy that simple is better.

Soooo using the the 3 brew books I have + BeerSmith + a dash of the web I'll have to concoct a partial mash method that fits my own brewing style which could be described as          (simple/lazy) x laidback = why am I doing this
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

BillTheSlink

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009, 08:47:56 PM »
Firstly, I've yet to brew a thing, but I bet I've read more books and net material than anyone in my position.  On another forum that is American based (perhaps brewer's round table, I've forgotten) there is a pictorial step by step guide by a young guy with long hair.  He says he was getting great results and loved it and was coming from traditional all grain.  It looked really easy, other than that bag of grain is very heavy after mashing (I think that's the term.  You pull it up and let it drain out before the boil.  I may have my terms confused.)  Since he was doing it in the kitchen he didn't have a hook, but that would make it easier.   My LHBS is now carrying these bags pre-made and when I get some extracts under my belt I'm going to try.  I specifically bought a 7 1/2 gal pot so I can move up.  It is possible according to him to do a partial batch and add water after to top off the fermenter just like an extract partial boil, but of course it wouldn't be the best way to go.  I'll see if I can find it and come back with the link.

Bill 

BillTheSlink

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Re: Brew in a Bag (BIAG)
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 09:11:28 PM »
This isn't the exact post I was thinking of, but it is the same step by step picture type of thing.

Good Luck,

BillTheSlink

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4650

 ;D