Here is the deal. I am really starting to like this whole brew-in-a-bag method of homebrewing, BIAB for short. Some homebrew purists might disagree with me, but so far, the BIAB method has resulted in some pretty great beers for us.
Until you are truly ready to spend the money on a full three-vessel all-grain setup, it’s not a bad alternative. Not to mention, it simplifies the idea of all-grain brewing a bit. We are, after all, just making beer for leisurely drinking — Beer-related hobbies should be relaxing and fun, not stressful and complicated.
So for those who haven’t heard of BIAB, here are a couple of sites that do a good job explaining the detailed how-to’s and technical info that I won’t bore you with here:
Overall, the idea is simple. You heat your water to its strike temp, mash in your grains (in a bag), pull out said bag of grains, and then start your brew process with your wort (adding hops, etc) all in one kettle. No need for a separate hot liquor tank, mash tun/lauter tun, and brew kettle. It’s all the same kettle! Genius, I know.
Now, I tend to get a little over-excited when it comes to finding a simpler way to do things. So you should know that BIAB isn’t the utter perfection I might have led you to believe.
Here is a small disclaimer to my overt advertising of BIAB’s greatness: brewing in a bag may give a haze to your beer or possibly lower efficiency. And it can get a little difficult to lift large amounts of grain out of your kettle if you are brewing larger batches and so on.
So brew in your bag with caution, but do it…cause it’s amazing 🙂
photo by: Plutor