BIAB Grain bag from Saree

Saree Grain Bag for BIAB


Its a long time since I have written a post for the blog.
My lame excuse ? I was busy brewing a lot of beer, an ofcourse getting wasted on all that homebrew.

I have been a big proponent of BIAB ( Brew in a bag ). This lets you get rid of the mash tun, saves space and time. No hour long lautering.
I have been getting a lot of questions about the grain bag. I though it was very intuitive. For me it was just borrowing my mom's old nylon saree and using a square piece of it to start with. I quickly realized that it worked, but it was not so convenient. A lot of homebrewing websites in the west sell grain bags. So I took the rest of my mom's saree to a tailor who sewed me a few grain bags from it.
Its easy, its just a rectangle bag. How complicated can it be !!!

The rest of the article is for people who have not been nice to their moms :)


Choice of material

Idea is to get something that will hold the grains and let all the liquid drain easily.
Go to the cheapest saree shop around, and ask them for the cheapest, most thin white nylon saree. He may call it chiffon or something. That fine. You should be able to almost see though it. Remember the cheap part !! The expensive ones don't work that great, because they are thicker.

 

Hope this picture shows how thin the material is.

Some may ask, why only saree ? Do we not love our Dads ? We do, and I have tried a dhoti, it does not work. Any cotton will just not work. The liquid does not drain out it. 
I have tried many other materials in my quest to create the ultimate grain bag. Everything from duppata to Mosquito net.
This is the best material, and has worked fine for over 50 brews.


Design


The size of the grain bag will vary depending on your pot.
The circumference of your bag should be 10-15% larger than the circumference of your pot. 
Height doesn't matter that much as long as its enough to fold the bag over the pot edges. I prefer to keep it much taller than needed. It will help when you want to tie it to drain the wort.

Its a simple rectangle that is sewn on 2 sides. Top is open.

Here is my design - 


The circumference of my bag is 110cm. Yours will be different.

Notice that I just cut the corners and sewed them. This allows to liquid to drain from the center . So when you hold the bag up with a lot of grain, all the wort will run down the edges to the center.
Makes life easier. Prevents mess. How much you cut the corners doesn't matter much.


Construction

Most of us don't have a sewing machine at home. So take this drawing to the local tailor and ask him to make as many bags out of the same saree.


Check the edges, they are finished well. Every tailor knows how to do this.
Make sure to tell the tailor that the bag should take atleast 10kgs of weight, so he should double stitch the bottom and the side edges.






Precautions

Now remember this is nylon. It melts very easily. So don't line up the grain bag and start the flame. First put the strike water in the pot, then heat the water to the desired temp. Turn off the gas, and then line up the grain bag. Avoid turning the flame on when the grain bag is in the pot.
I do step mashes with the grain bag lined up, and use the flame to heat the mash, but I make sure that I stir enough, and also have a thinner mash.
Make sure your Grain to grist ration is above 1kg : 2.7 liters of water.


Happy BIABing !!

3 comments:

  1. Hi Sapan,
    Thanks for the info...
    apart from the chiffon saree, will muslin cloth /cheese cloth also work ? (the ones used for making paneer or straining cheese) ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muslin / Cheese cloth should work fine too. I am a little worried about their strength and opening size.
      There are many grades within the muslin cloth range, some very fine, some very open.
      But should work fine for an 8 litre batch.
      Try the fine one and post back.
      Where did you buy the muslin cloth ? I would like to try too.

      Delete
  2. Hi Sapan,
    Thanks for your reply.
    I'm based in Bangalore. I guess you can buy muslin cloth from any wholesale cloth shop. Just Ask them for 'Malmal ka kapda'. They generally have the medium grade with them.

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