From Extract to All Grain – Part 2 – BIAB

With my new all grain equipment in place, the next thing to do is christen it with a brew.  For the first brew, I decided on an IPA recipe from the Brooklyn Brewshop Beer Book.  The recipe, Everyday IPA is a good starting point for me, plus the hops correspond to what I have on hand. (Note: This has got to be one of the best brews I have made – both great taste and aroma, but more on that in a later post)

Brew in a bag (BIAB) is a fairly cost-effective method to get into all grain brewing.  The equipment is simple – your basic brewing gear plus a brew kettle and nylon / polyester bag fitted to your brew kettle.  The grains are mashed in the bag in the kettle and then removed and drained.  From there you proceed with your typical boil.  There’s lots of information out there, but the BIAB Brewer Info page is a good place to start.

With brews two (Propeller ESB Clone) and three (Blonde Ale) now completed, I’m starting to see a pattern here.  My mash efficiencies are somewhere between 80% and 85% but my overall “into fermentor” efficiency is in between 63% and 65%.  Hopefully with a few tweaks I can bump that up to 70-75% and be happy.  I suspect the problem lies with my volume measurements in my keggle.

Brew Day Pictures

Brew Day Pictures


3 thoughts on “From Extract to All Grain – Part 2 – BIAB

  1. Nice set up! I can’t say enough about BIAB method. It’s amazing to me that anyone would want to spend the money for a 3 vessel system, pumps, etc when BIAB is so much more efficient, easier, and cheaper.

    You did a nice job with polishing up your keg. I was anxious to brew so mine is still tarnished and has sticker gunk on it.

    If you want some pointers on efficiency, check out the website. There are numerous conversations/topics on this and other BIAB subjects.

    I started a blog myself at

    Long live BIAB!


    • Hey Ken,

      Thanks for the comments and also the reminder to add BIABrewer to my list of related links. I’m already a registered member. I checked out your site as well – nice setup. Electric does have its benefits for temperature control. My issue with it is lack of 220V available close to my breweing area. Panel is at the opposite end of house and with finished basement, unlikely that I will ever run the new wires. Maybe there’s a chance if I ever get to build my brew / smoker shed!

      With respect to efficiencies, my first step is to recalibrate my dip stick, especially on the lower end. I’m hitting the Beersmith estimated mash efficiency, just missing my into fermenter efficiency. I plan to recalibrate tonight and brew an Oatmeal Stout on Friday night. If I still find that I am missing the mark, I’ll try to go to a finer grind, but since my LHBS is doing the grinding, that’s a bit more difficult.



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