I recently brewed a Bell’s Two Hearted clone recipe (which I found in a back issue of Zymurgy – the magazine of the American Homebrewers Association). This is a one hop IPA brewed by THE Bells Brewing in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since I’ve moved from extract brewing to all grain brewing, I really like how much “play” I have in the process. I can change the grain and malt bill slightly or significantly, mash at different temperatures for different flavor profiles, etc. The downside is the extra hours in invested (albeit a small price to pay for good beer)!
For this brew day I tried a new all grain technique, called Brew in a Bag (BIAB). This is a way to mash your grains right in the brew pot, without needing a mash tun. I was a little nervous at first, because most people lose efficiency by doing this, but after reading an excellent post on BeerSmith’s website, I decided to give it a try, and came out at over 85% efficiency (which is a great number for any type of all grain brewing). I encourage you to read the Beersmith article, but I will throw out a few key things that likely helped with efficiency:
I think one of the keys to BIAB is to double crush your grains, which will aid in sugar extraction during the mash.
- Using the pot, you have to make sure you can keep your mash temperature (which is not as easy as using an insulated mash tun). It helps to heat the water to your strike temperature, stir in your grains, and cover the pot in a towel. Try not to open the lid to often to check temp or you lose a significant amount of heat. It helps to insulate the pot with a towel (with the burner off of course), and maybe check the temp halfway through the mash. You can slowly heat the water if its fallen too far, but make sure you lift your grain bag off the bottom of the pot so you don’t scorch it.
- Have a plan to remove your very hot grain bag at the end without burning yourself (such as using gloves).
Have a strainer/collinder that fits over your brew kettle so that you can remove the grains, and allow very concentrated wort to drain back into the boil. After it’s cooled a bit, you can squeeze the bag to remove more highly concentrated wort, which will increase your efficiency.
- At the end of your mash time (60 minutes in this case), raise the temp of your water to 168 for 10 to 15 minutes (considered a mash out) to extract additional sugar.
If you’re already an all grain brewer, I highly recommend you give this method a try for those times you want to experiment on formulating your own brew and don’t want to do a full 5 gallons. It’s also great for those days when you want to cut your brew time down, but don’t want to do an extract brew.
As far as the beer itself, it is brewed with two grains and one hop (Centennial). It’s in primary right now, and I plan to secondary/dry hop shortly. I’m posting the recipe below from the Zymurgy magazine. As always, I like to drink one of my prior home-brews, and in this case had a glass of my Pliny the Elder Clone brew (a double IPA), which turned out fantastic!
If you have any questions feel free to comment below!
Recipe note: mash at 150 for 60 minutes.
|Batch Size||Boil Time||IBU||SRM||Est. OG||Est. FG||ABV|
|5 gal||60 min||64.4 IBUs||9.4 SRM||1.063||1.012||6.7 %|
|Pale Malt (2 Row) US||9.5 lbs||71.27|
|Pale Malt (2 Row) UK||2.83 lbs||21.23|
|Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L||1 lbs||7.5|
|Centennial||1.2 oz||45 min||Boil||Pellet||10|
|Centennial||1.2 oz||30 min||Boil||Pellet||10|
|Centennial||3.5 oz||5 days||Dry Hop||Pellet||10|
|Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)||4.00 g||60 min||Mash||Water Agent|
|California Ale (WLP001)||White Labs||77%||68°F - 73°F|
|Mash Out||170°F||10 min|
|Download this recipe's BeerXML file|