BIAB#1 Amarillo Pale Ale

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%
Colour: Pale
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

Mashing

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).

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24 thoughts on “BIAB#1 Amarillo Pale Ale

  1. BIAB is the only thing i know. I love the ease, apart from when you get to the 6kg grain mark, things can get back-breaking! Did you insulate the pot during the mash? Did you get a noticeable decrease in temps over 60mins? Seems like a good deal for £100 considering you get the IC as well!

    • Ha, I might stick to the wimpy 2.5kg split into two bags! I didn’t insulate the pot, as wanted to see what happened. Strike temp of 80 and was at 66 after an hour, so not bad. Tasted the beer and it has good body (which was the plan with the hot mash).

      I think that’s what sold it to me tbh…the IC and pot are a bargain at the price….I have all the other stuff

  2. Great write up there, easiest way to get good tasting all grain beer. I switched to BIAB as it’s quicker and easier to fit in with work and family, also less cleaning up afterwards! Although I use a 40l electric boiler for 23l batches so I can’t quite get the time down to 4 hours… most of my time is waiting for things to get up to temperature, oh and waiting for things to cool when I overheat the water!

  3. Pingback: BIAB#2 Apollo Pale Ale | broadfordbrewer

  4. Hey im really intrested in this kit can i ask what sort of boil off did you get roughly.

    And do you get the tshirt as part of the kit ?

    Cheers

    • Hi Grant. Are you asking about loss from the boil? If so, then I used 6.5 mash liquor and 7L sparge liquor, and after all losses collected 9L. So I’ll up the sparge next time. Downside to this is you end up using a second pan to boil the excess wort. The alternative being to brew short, (so higher gravity) then liquor back in the FV. Bought the t-shirt separately. Cheers.

      • Nice one cheers for that do think its a great kit i just wonder if a 15ltr pot would of been better to account for boil off.Love the kit good to see someone offering a great priced small set up

  5. Yeah i would still brew a 10 ltr batch but 15 ltrpot would allow for boil off and not need second pot .I will still likely pick one up its ideal for my flat.Great blog btw

  6. Would be new to brewing but eager to treat myself to the Massive Brewery kit.
    When the finished brew is in the fermentation vessel where does it need to be kept? Presume temperature is important.
    If kept in the house to ferment does it create any aroma that may cause the dear wife to pull the plug on my new hobby?

    Thanks very much,

    Dan.

  7. Interesting. BIAB is all I do, although I follow the no sparge technique. All the info is at http://www.biabrewer.info, but since I only ever make 10l, you heat about 18l and mash. No sparge (I suppose you have to up the grain bill for a lower efficiency?), just go to boil as per usual.

    The issue comes when you want to brew larger amonts – there is a what looks like a batch sparge technique – or higher gravities (although I managed a Belgian recipe this way).

    Might experiment with a mix of mash and sparge and see what my efficiency is like. The other disadvantage I have found is mashing too high (as you add all the water in at the start)…so I suspect doughing into about 12-15l would be better, and then adjusting with hot and cold water up to mash volume.

  8. Pingback: My BIAB Bubble Burst | broadfordbrewer

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