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.