Tag Archives | brew in a bag

Brew In A Bag Video

While I was brewing up my Rogue Demon Hunter (English Bitter), I turned on my camera to capture my process. I used a Brew In A Bag (BIAB) method for my mash.  This method is popular in Austrailia, and is becoming better known here in the States.  I cover my whole process including water, grains, rest, boil, hops, cooling and pitching my yeast.

I hope you enjoy the video.  It was a lot of fun to make and hope to make more in the future.

Category: Home Brewing, Videos

Rogue Demon Hunter

Rogue Demon Hunter LabelI spent a semester in London on a study abroad program when I was in college. One of the things I loved most about Englad was their pubs. It is so different than American bars, I wish I could put into words. Its just something you have to experience. I spent many afternoons and evenings at the local pubs throwing back a few pints with good friends. So I was pretty excited to brew this version of a standard English Bitter.

I’m calling this brew my Rogue Demon Hunter.  This is an reference to a character in the Angel series (a spinoff of Buffy The Vampire Slayer).  In the show, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is a proper English gentleman who worked for the Watcher’s Council (they train the current slayer and monitor demon activity).  Unfortunately, he got fired, so he went “rogue.”  Armed with a cross bow and a Harley, he scoured the streets of Los Angeles killing demons as a self-proclaimed “Rogue Demon Hunter.”  But his chosen image and title contradicts his mild mannered and awkward persona.  So while this beer has a bad-ass image, this mild mannered English ale is more suited for a civilized gentleman.

The recipe is based on one from Northern Brewer. I adjusted the hops to account for the higher alpha acid. My local brewstore didn’t have London Ale Yeast, so I swapped it with Danstar Noddingham yeast instead. I used a Brew In A Bag (BIAB) method for my mash. Everything went according to plan and I’m really happy with the results. While I was brewing this batch, I turned on the video camera to capture my process of brewing this beer. Check it out if you’re interested in this brew, or my brewing process.

BeerTools Pro Color GraphicRogue Demon Hunter
Style: 8-A Standard/Ordinary Bitter
Type: Brew In A Bag (BIAB)
Batch: #9
Size: 5.0 gal
Calories: 127.9 kcal per 12.0 fl oz


Original Gravity: 1.039 (1.032 – 1.040)


Terminal Gravity: 1.010 (1.007 – 1.011)


Color: 11.2 (4.0 – 14.0)


Alcohol: 3.79% (3.2% – 3.8%)


Bitterness: 32.9 (25.0 – 35.0)



  • 6 lb Maris Otter
  • .5 lb Crystal Malt 60°L
  • .5 lb Cara-Pils® Malt
  • .25 lb Belgian Biscuit
  • .75 oz East Kent Goldings (6.7%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • .5 oz East Kent Goldings (6.7%) – added during boil, boiled 30 min
  • .5 oz East Kent Goldings (6.7%) – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • 1 ea Danstar Nottingham


  • Mash In (BIAB)Liquor: 4.0 gal; Strike: 159.13 °F; Target: 152 °F
  • RestRest: 60 min; Final: 152.0 °F


  • Brew In A Bag (BIAB)
  • Based on a recipe from Northern Brewer
  • Target Mash at 152° F – Actual 151° F
  • OG spot on at 1.039
  • Schedule way off.  38 days of fermenting.  About 3 weeks primary, 2.5 weeks in second
  • Bottled on: 9/6/2011
  • FG at 1.014 – 3.2% AVB
  • I got 48 bottles exactly.  I’ve never got an even number of bottles!

Category: Home Brewing

Zuul Drool #8

Zuul Drool LabelMy first batch of Zuul Drool was awesome, so I wanted to brew up another batch.  As I mentioned in my last brew post, I tacked onto an order from Norther Brewer.  So I decided I’d grab their Nut Brown Ale kit.  Even thought this is a different recipe from my original Zuul Drool, the name is too good to set aside.  So I’m calling this one Zuul Drool as well.

This is another batch using the Brew In A Bag (BIAB) method.  I learned from my last batch not to do it outside where there is any kind of breeze because the temperature drops too much during the mash.  So this time, I moved it to the front of my garage.  This blocked me from any wind, but the open overhead door still allowed me fresh air and view of my yard.

I also decided I’d mash with only 3 gallons of water in my BIAB instead of the full volume of 6 gallons.  Last brew, the pot was much too full and was close to spilling.  I figured if nothing else, a thicker mash would work better anyway since typical all grain brewing has a very thick mash (compared to BIAB).  It made managing the ingredients much better, and moving the pot for insulation much easier.

The brew day really went without a hitch.  My mash only dropped a couple degrees over the entire 60 minutes.  The brew went smoothly.  I must be getting comfortable with my process, because this brew day went without any drama.  I was able to smoke my pipe, drink my beer, brew some beer, and watch the world go by.  You can’t ask for much better.

BeerTools Pro Color GraphicZuul Drool #8
Style: 11-C Northern English Brown Ale
Type: All Grain – Brew In A Bag
Batch: #8
Size: 5.0 gal
Calories: 150.87 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.045 (1.040 – 1.052)


Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 – 1.014)


Color: 19.42 (12.0 – 22.0)


Alcohol: 4.46% (4.2% – 5.4%)


Bitterness: 25.3 (20.0 – 30.0)



  • 7.5 lb Maris Otter
  • .25 lb Chocolate Malt
  • .25 lb Belgian Special B
  • .25 lb Belgian Biscuit
  • .25 lb Special Roast Malt
  • .25 oz Northern Brewer (8.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • 1 oz Fuggle (4.8%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • 0.5 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10 min
  • 1 ea Danstar Nottingham


  • Mash (BIAB)Liquor: 4.0 gal; Strike: 162.56 °F; Target: 154 °F
  • RestRest: 60 min; Final: 154.0 °F


  • BIAB
  • Northern Brewer All Grain Kit – Nut Brown Ale
  • Added an additional .25 oz of Northern Brewer to the kit to bring the bittering up into range.
  • Target mash at 154° F – Actual 153° F
  • 2 weeks primary – 1.5 weeks secondary
  • 3/4c priming sugar for bottling
Category: Home Brewing

Dishwater Wheat #7

This time around, I wanted to do an American Wheat beer.  Something that will compliment the hot summer days.  My friend was placing an order at Northern Brewer, so I thought I’d tack on the order and split the shipping.  I ended up getting their American Wheat Beer based on the reviews.  Boy, I’m sure glad I did.  This beer is amazing!

When I put the recipe into Beer Tools, it pretty much hit the mark on everything but color.  The beer would be super light.  I toyed with the idea of darkening it with some crystal, but in the end I decided to go with what they had.  The result is this super pale yellowish color.  A color no beer should be, but somehow facinating.  But the taste was incredible.  After sharing it with some friends, we all laughed at the color and finally came up with the name of Dishwater Wheat because of the way it looked.

I must admit, the brew day was pretty  much a disaster.  I went with a Brew In A Bag (BIAB) mash.  I got the temp right where my software told me to put it to, and stirred in my grain.  But the temperature dropped much lower than expected.  But I covered it anyway with blankets and monitored the temps.  Over the first 15-20 minutes, the temp dropped by 7 degrees.  Frustrated, I put it back on the burner and got it way too hot.  I left off the lid for a while to get the temp back down.  All in all, the 60 minute mash went too cool, then too hot, then too cool again.  I was saying many bad words.

After the mash, everything finally went according to plan.  The boil, cooling, and pitching all went without a hitch.  I was even able to enjoy a beer and a cigar while I was boiling my wort.

In hindsight, I don’t think I should have kept the burner/mashing outside.  There was a good breeze which can take away much more heat.  I didn’t cover it as well as I should while it was resting.  I also left the pot on the burner while covered.  I also figured you need to make sure you stir and keep the lid off the closer you get to strike temperature, since the area you’re measuring could be a much different temperature than the rest of the water.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to reproduce this amazing beer, but I sure will try.  I’m already running low and the thought of running out keeps me up at night.


BeerTools Pro Color GraphicDishwater Wheat #7
Style:  6-D American Wheat or Rye Beer
Type:  All Grain – Brew In A Bag
Batch: # 7
Size: 5.0 gal
Calories:145.21 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.044 (1.040 – 1.055)


Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 – 1.013)


Color: 1.44 (3.0 – 6.0)


Alcohol: 4.29% (4.0% – 5.5%)


Bitterness: 28.6 (15.0 – 30.0)



  • 4 lb White Wheat
  • 4 lb Standard 2-Row
  • 1 oz Willamette (4.7%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • 1 oz Cascade (6.1%) – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • 1.0 ea Safale US-05


  • Ambient Air: 70.0 °F
  • Source Water: 60.0 °F
  • Elevation: 0.0 m
  • BIAB MashLiquor: 5.96 gal; Strike: 157.67 °F; Target: 152 °F
  • Sacch RestRest: 60 min; Final: 152.0 °F


  • All Grain kit from Northern Brewer – American Wheat Beer
  • Brew In A Bag method with 6 gallons of water.
  • Mash temps were all over.  Started too low, I put some fire to it and it then got too hot.  (see introduction above).
  • Target OG was 1.044 but ended up being 1.050.
  • Very, very light and clear (for a wheat).
  • My favorite brew to date.  Will brew very soon (within the next couple batches)
Category: Home Brewing

Lawnmower Man Cream Ale

Lawnmower Man Cream AleFor this brew, I wanted a nice, light beer for the hot summer days ahead. ‘Course I probably jumped the gun by a month, but I was excited to brew a light session ale.

This batch will be a few firsts for me.  This will be the first time using my new turkey fryer setup to brew a full wort boil.  This will also be the first time brewing a full size Brew In A Bag (BIAB).  My previous ale (Freezer Burn Raspberry Ale) was a small batch, stove top BIAB.

This brew went without a hitch…for the most part.  I spilled a little grain while pouring it from the plastic bag.  Next time I’ll transfer it to a plastic bucket before adding it to the mash.  It will be much easier to control this way. I did have my first boil-over, though.  Kinda wished I was in the driveway instead of my garage.  But it was going to rain and I didn’t want to chance it.

My strike water was hotter than I thought.  Next time I’ll remove the cover, stir, and check temp the closer I get to my target.  So my mash was at 154°F instead of the target 150°F.  Oh well.  The Sacch rest went really well.  I covered up the pot with an old blanket and it only dropped 1 degree over the hour.

I’m thrilled with my new wort chiller.  I built it while the mash was resting.  It cooled my wort down in 15 minutes (we have cold ground water).  I wish I had built one earlier.

BeerTools Pro Color GraphicLawnmower Man
Style: 6-A Cream Ale
Type: All Grain – Brew In A Bag
Batch: #6
Size: 5.0 gal
Calories:140.64 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.042 (1.042 – 1.055)


Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.006 – 1.012)


Color: 7.42 (3.0 – 5.0)


Alcohol: 4.16% (4.2% – 5.6%)


Bitterness: 15.4 (15.0 – 20.0)



  • 7 lb Standard 2-Row
  • .75 lb Honey Malt
  • .25 lb Belgian Biscuit
  • 1.25 oz Liberty (3.3%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • 1 ea Fermentis US-05 Safale US-05


  • 00:03:00 MashLiquor: 5.72 gal; Strike: 155.37 °F; Target: 150 °F
  • 01:03:00 RestRest: 60 min; Final: 150.0 °F


  • Based on All Grain Cream Ale by Norther Brewer (Substituted 1oz of Cluster for 1.25 of Liberty)
  • I poured the grain from a plastic bag and spilled about 1/4-1/13c of grains on the floor.  Uggg.
  • My target mash temp was 150.0 °F.  Unfortunately the strike water was hotter than I expected and the final mash temp turned out to be 154°F.
  • Fermenting was hot for the first 12hrs (72 degrees).  I removed the heating pad and let the ambient temp of 64°F balance it out.  I shouldn’t have put the heat pad on the fermentor.  Old habits from wintertime, I guess.
  • Spent 1 week in primary.  Racked it to 2nd on 5-8-2011.  2 weeks in 2nd.
  • Bottled on 5/22/2011 with 3/4c priming sugar.
  • Final gravity was 1.014 (target was 1.011) which marks at 3.66% ABV.  This is actually good because I wanted lower alcohol.  Not sure why I missed my mark, though.  Probably due to a higher mashing temp creating more unfermentables.  I tried changing mash temp in Beer Tools, but it didn’t alter my expected gravity.
  • Tasted the beer when bottling.  It tasted amazing.  Can’t wait to try it cold and carbonated.  😀
Category: Home Brewing

Freezer Burn Raspberry Ale

This time around, I really wanted to brew a Raspberry Wheat ale. I’m not necessarily fond of fruit beers, but the idea fascinates me. Besides, I wanted something for the warm weather. Since I don’t drink many fruit beers, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try a couple of things. First, I wanted to brew a small batch using the Mr. Beer keg. 5 gallons of fruit beer is too much, but 2 gallons is easily doable.  Second, I wanted to try the Brew In A Bag (BIAB) method.

I believe I modified a recipe from Brewing Classic Styles, but I don’t remember for sure.  I wanted a bit of a honey flavor, so I added honey malt (something I recently discovered).  For the hops, I just used whatever was in my freezer, which was Northern Brewer and Kent Goldings.  I figured since it was a light tasting beer, hop choice isn’t going to be a major factor in the flavor.

I went to the brew store to get my supplies.  I asked the guy to double-crush my grains.  He gave me a lot of grief for  it, even though I explained what I was doing.  He’s never heard of BIAB.  He was skeptical at best.  But in the end, after confirming three times that I really wanted my grains double-crushed, he got me my ingredients.

I brewed up the ale on my stove-top.  I used a 5 gallon paint strainer from Home Depot to put my grains in.  I used a steamer basket at the bottom of the kettle to keep the bag from the bottom of the pot.  I raised my temp to strike temperature and added my grains.  Then I wrapped the pot with a towel and let it rest for 60 minutes.  Unfortunately, the temperature dropped close to 10° over that hour.  Next time, I’ll put the pot in the oven at the right temp for the rest to maintain proper temperature.  Oh well.

After 60 minutes, I raised the temp to 168° and pulled the bag and drained the excess wort which I added back to the pot.  Then I brewed as normal.

The whole brew day was a bit sloppy.  The sanitation wasn’t top notch.  I spilled the wort when transferring to the Mr. Beer keg, so I topped it off with tap water.  I added frozen raspberries that were 1 year old to the secondary.  Probably not the best idea.  But in the end, this was an experiment with new processes.  Since it cost me about $12 to brew, I wasn’t overly concerned.  But you know what?  It still made beer.  How’s it taste?  Pretty good, if you’re into fruit beers.


BeerTools Pro Color GraphicFreezer Burn Honey Raspberry Wheat
6-D American Wheat or Rye Beer
All Grain – Brew In A Bag
Batch #5
Size: 2 gal
Calories: 148.81 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.045 (1.040 – 1.055)


Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 – 1.013)


Color: 5.63 (3.0 – 6.0)


Alcohol: 4.4% (4.0% – 5.5%)


Bitterness: 24.8 (15.0 – 30.0)



  • 1.25 lb American 2-row
  • 2 lb Midwest Wheat Malt
  • .2 lb Honey Malt
  • .25 oz Northern Brewer (8.0%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
  • .5 oz East Kent Goldings (6.5%) – added during boil, boiled 5 min
  • 1.0 ea Fermentis US-05 Safale US-05
  • 1 lb Frozen Raspberries


  • Ambient Air: 70.0 °F
  • Source Water: 60.0 °F
  • Elevation: 0.0 m
  • 00:03:00 Mash – Liquor: 2.83 gal; Strike: 158.91 °F; Target: 154 °F
  • 01:03:00 rest – Rest: 60 min; Final: 154.0 °F


  • Based on a recipe found in Brewing Classic Styles.
  • My final temp for the rest was 153°F.  I wrapped the pot with a towel.  Over the 60 minute rest, the temp dropped to 144° F.
  • After the rest, I raised the temp to 168°F, then pulled the bag and drained.  I finished my brewing as normal
  • I guess I’m not a very good pour-er, because I spilled a bunch of wort during my transfer to primary (I used a Mr. Beer keg).  So I used tap water to top it off to 2 gallons.  I used an aeration stone to pump pure O2 into the wort for 50 seconds.  Then I pitched my dry yeast.  Fermented at 63° F.
  • 3/2/2011 – I racked to 2nd Mr Beer Keg and added 1lbs of raspberries I had in the freezer.  After talking to my wife, I discovered the raspberries were in the freezer since last summer.  Hence the brew name, Freezer Burn.
  • 3/17/2011 – I used Cooper’s carbonation drops to prime my bottles.  Between loss to trub and the raspberries, I yielded 19 bottles.
Category: Home Brewing