Lately I’ve been doing the BIAB method of brewing with my electrim mashing bin, I’ve found it to be a lot more enjoyable than the traditional methods. The usual way of getting out my mash tun and boiler seems to require a lot more space and time. Being quite new to all grain brewing (which means this blog could contain mistakes so please let me know if you spot anything a bit odd) I find it a bit more manageable and doing just 20 or 30 bottles at a time suits me fine, gives me more of a chance to get more batches done and try to perfect my recipes and methods.
As it was a nice sunny weekend I decided to take some pics of the process and write a small guide for anyone else that is in a similar position, new to all grain with limited space and funds.
The beer I’m making is a simple one, not from a recipe and is a bit of an experiment. The grain is all Fawcett Grains and consists of Maris Otter 95%, Dark Crystal Malt, 4% and Torrified Wheat 1%, (Total 4kg of grains which should work out as 3.5 gallon batch). East Kent Golding Hops 30g in the boil for 1 hour then 15g for last 15 minutes for aroma.
I start of by putting in the mashing bag into the mashing bin and tying it up very tight. Its going to have a lot of grain in there so you don’t won’t it coming lose. Fill it up to 20 litres and turn it on at 66 degrees C. When the water is up to temperature add the grain and mix with a stainless steel paddle thoroughly to get out any dough balls. Stick the lid back on a leave to mash for 1 hour. After an hour turn it up to 75 degrees C for 10 minutes then turn it off.
Now the mashing stage is complete you need to start draining it off into another vessel and start the sparging stage. For my sparging water I heat up 10 litres of water up to 67 degrees C in a big pan. My sparging method is simply using a jug and pouring it over the grains whilst still in the mashing bag.
Once all the wort has drained through into the vessel its time to remove the bag of grain from the mashing bin, take care as its heavier than you would expect. Clean out the mashing bin and bag, then pour the wort back into the mashing bin and place the mashing bag back inside. Set the mashing bin to 101 and get it up to the boil. When you have a good rolling boil its time to add your hops. Boil for an hour and for the last 15 minutes of the boil you’ll want to add a bit more hops for aroma and some Irish Moss (copper finings) to help clear your beer.
After the boil you’ll need to cool it down as quick as possible using a wort cooler. I made my own wort cooler, its 10 metres of 10mm copper tube bent round a paint tin, with 2 washer machine hoses on either side, tightened on with some jubilee clips. Much cheaper than buying one as does the job great. How it works is by attaching one hose to a tap and the other end goes into the drain, the water passes through the coil and takes the heat out of the wort.
Drain it off out from the Mashing bin into another vessel. When doing this I put a little hop bag over the tap to collect any bits of hops. I cool it then take a sample for testing and tasting. A refractometer is a great device for getting gravity readings. Once you’re happy with the gravity reading and cooled it down enough its time to pitch the yeast. I used a Saf US-05 for this beer, I’ve had some great results so far with it so its gets included in my recipes quite a lot.
Its quite a quick guide but hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions below.