We are very excited about the latest entry in our electric brewing line, Brew-in-a-Bag (BIAB).
For the last few years brew-in-bag has been gaining steam (pun intended). There are a lot of good reasons for this and even more when you are using an electric BIAB system.
First, if you live in a apartment or small house, brewing with a 3-tier brewing system is probably too big and cumbersome to use, leaving you stuck with an extract, mini-mash or igloo cooler setup to brew your beers. BIAB has a very small footprint. All you need is counter space to set your kettle on and a 220 dryer outlet. We can make the power cord up to 50 feet so you can reach the outlet. And because our system is all electric all you need are a few hot pads to set under the kettle to protect the counter surface. Storage is a breeze as well. Just fit all the hoses, pump and chiller in the BIAB and store in a closet. Easy…
Second, it saves time. When you are doing a brew-in-a-bag brew session, everything takes place in one vessel. You aren’t wasting any time transferring your strike water. No extended sparge. You just lift the bag out of the vessel and let it drain into the pot. As it is draining your are already heating up the wort to a boil. Cleaning is easy. Again, only one vessel to cleanup when you are finished. We estimate it cut our brewing session by at least 2 hours.
Third, no more brewing outside!!!!! When you are brewing with an electric system, there isn’t any propane used so you get to brew in the comfort of your home. No more sitting out by the hot propane burner in the middle of the hot summer or freezing your buns off while brewing outside in the winter. Remember though, you are putting off quite a bit of moisture during the boil so you may want to open a window to let it escape. (Or you can do what I do and let the condensation clean the walls. After the first few batches your walls will look like new!)
Forth, electric is mush more efficient than the propane. Just think about all that heat escaping into the air when you are brewing with propane. With electric, all that energy goes directly into the wort. No wasted heat. No wasted energy. During the cold of winter we can get 15 gallons of water to strike temperature in less than 45 minutes. It is amazingly quick. We love it.
So, what are the downsides? Not many. Your efficiency will probably suffer so you will need to increase your base grain to compensate. Our 15 gallon system can really only do 5 gallon batches. Ten gallons are possible if you are doing a 1.050 or lower beer. The space that is used when you consider the full volume of water is in from the git-go limits the amount of grain you can use. Honestly, that is all I can think of as far as a downside to BIAB.
One other thing I should mention. Many people feel that electric brewing scorches and burns the wort. Not true. The heating element creates an instant jacket of steam around the element preventing it from scorching the wort.
So… How does our system work?
High Gravity’s Electric BIAB features an integrated PID controller for precise automatic temperature control of the BIAB vessel, and our own analog infinite power level control. The system includes a Chugger stainless steel head pump rated at 250º F for very hot liquids. A stainless steel temperature probe with 6 ft. cable is installed in a SS Tee fitting to monitor temperature at the input of the vessel during the mash. The system requires 220V 30A service and includes a 6 ft power cord (can be incresed to 50′) with either a 3-wire plug (NEMA 10-30P) or a 4-wire plug (NEMA 14-30P).
The wort temperature is maintained using a RIMS setup. Wort is constantly recirculated via the Chugger pump. A temperature probe located on the intake back into the vessel monitors the temperature and a heating element located at the bottom of the vessel is turned on when the wort temperature drops below the set point designated on our EBC-SV, which is the heart of our BIAB system.
The “bag” part of our BIAB system is a stainless steel basket that rests above the the heating element and holds a fine mesh nylon bag that contains the grains. This ensures that only wort and not grains are in contact with the heating element preventing the possibility of burning the grains.
For more on our Brew-in-a-Bag you can checkout our YouTube video below: