It’s been a little while since I’ve brewed at home, but recently bought a 10L BIAB (Brew in a bag) kit, or what has been dubbed – the stove top pilot kit. I bought it online from Massive Brewery for a mere £100 and you can check the site out to see what you get for your money, or tweet Steve @MassiveBrewery.
Original Gravity (OG): 1.040
Final Gravity (FG): 1.010
Alcohol (ABV): 4.0%
Bitterness (IBU): 40ish
2.500 kg Golden Promise Pale Malt
20g Amarillo (8.7% Alpha) @60 minutes from the end (Boil)
50g Amarillo (8.7% Alpha) @0 minutes from the end (Boil)
If you’re not familiar with BIAB brewing, then in summary, you have one vessel (in this case an 11L stock pot), a bag or two for your grain, and a bag or two for your hops. The bags keep your brewing liquor and your barley and hops apart, and is essential when you come to transferring to your FV, as there is no hop stopper or tap on this kit.
For anyone who is thinking of trying this, I’ll describe what the brewday entails. There’s nothing complicated to do, and I tried to be laid back about temperatures etc. I used the Massive Brewery Excel spreadsheet to calculate the volumes and temperatures for the mash and sparge liquor and treat the 6.25L of mash liquor with roughly a quarter of a Campden tablet. I used a combination of kettle and warm tap water to get an 80C strike temperature (to achieve a mash temp of somewhere around 70C), then put the two grain bags and the 6.25L into the pot, gave the grain a good stir in each bag to make sure there were no dry spots, then hung the grain bags over the side of the pot, put the lid on and left it for 60 minutes. Towards the end of the 60 minute mash, I boiled a couple of kettles of water and added them to a large pan (not part of the kit) and added tap water to hit 80C, and in preparation for the sparging.
To sparge – I lifted each grain bag out in turn and squeezing as much of the wort from the bags and into the stock pot (turning the hob on at this point to start bringing it towards the boil – just as a bit of a time saver). Then using the plastic fermentation bucket (part of the kit) and a large colander (not part of the kit) I poured the sparge liquor from the additional pan, through the grain bags, each in turn. I let them sit a while, give the grain a stir and then transferred the wort from the fermentation bucket into the stock pot, squeezing the bags again to get as much wort (sugars) as possible.
Once the wort in the stock pot reached boiling point I added a 60 minute addition (20g) Amarillo hops. At 15 minutes from the end of the boil I added quarter of protofloc tablet and the Immersion Chiller (part of the kit). At 0 minutes (flame out / hob off) I added my second addition of Amarillo hops (50g) and turned the chiller on. It was
I collected 9L of 1.045 wort and pitched half a packet of US05 yeast at 19C. After 3 days it was down to 1.025 and tasting/smelling great.
I’m impressed with the kit. It’s basic, but it gives you exactly what you need to brew a beer in about 4 hours, which is a big plus for me at the moment.
Also included in the kit price, but not shown in the photo: Digital thermometer, hydrometer, bottle capper, crown caps and ingredients for your first beer. You may need to borrow the odd item from your kitchen, but other than that, the only things you’ll need to buy are some sanitiser and some protofloc (copper finings).