Brewing 5BBL of Craft Beer in the BREWHA BIAC

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[Transcript of video]

Hi, and welcome to another BREWHA video. In this video I want to show you just how easy it is to use the BREWHA BIAC to make 5BBL of your own craft beer. The BREWHA BIAC is an innovative brewing system that takes all of the control that was afforded through the traditional four pot method of brewing and puts it into one compact system. It takes up less footprint, is easier to clean, easier to setup, easier on brewday, and one of the major benefits of it, is that by boiling inside the fermenter you are pretty much guaranteed perfect sanitation throughout the whole fermentation process. This is a major advantage over traditional systems where you have to use chemical cleaners and sanitizers, constantly flushing lines using a lot more water, taking more time, and possibly risking ending up with chemical cleaners and sanitizers inside your craft beer.

California Common brewsheetSo, we are going to get right to it. We are going to through the process of making a Blonde Ale [correction: the recipe is for a California Common Ale style beer, although not being a huge fan of Norther Brewer hops, I substituted those out], and will show you all the steps that are required for doing that. First off we have filled the 5BBL BIAC (4-in-1) with a strike volume of just over 500L of water and have heated it up to about 73°C. We have the strike temperature higher than the mash temperature because when the grain is added, it is going to cool it down.

With the drill and mixer on the end, I am making sure that there are no air pockets in the grain—the grain is able to absorb water and expand a bit and form a nice filter bed so that the wort is able to drain slowly through the filter bed and filter out all the small particles to give you clearer beer and keep grain out of the wort when it comes time to boil.

We have the return hose from the pump in the Colander—we are going to be turning the pump on to vorlauf and clear up the wort a little bit later—and we have the water level sensor here that goes in the side and measure the water level around the Colander. If the water level drops too much the level sensor is going to shut the pump off which will then stop removing wort out the bottom of the fermenter. That is going to protect the elements as well as helping prevent a stuck mash.

The mash period is under way and we have started to circulate and run the pump, it draws wort out the bottom of the cone at the side. We don’t withdraw wort from the very bottom as the grain settles down there [and could plug the lines]; near the end we are going to take that grain and put it back up on top of the grain bed. The pump circulates wort out the bottom, past the temperature sensor and the heating elements, and back up to the top of the Mash Colander. This causes movement down through the grain bed which allows for greater carbohydrate/enzyme interaction, improving mash efficiency and it also allows for temperature regulation. After the grain is added into the water, sometimes it can cool at different rates, depending on the temperature of the grain, and so going down past the sensor and the heating elements allows for the wort to be warmed up. This circulation can also be useful for multi-step mashing.

So the mash is complete and we are going to start to mash out and start to raise the temperature to boil. We have turned the pump off and we are getting ready to sparge. As we raise the Mash Colander out and the water level drops, we are going to be adding fresh water to rinse the grain off as it is pulled out. To heat the sparge water we are going to connect our fresh water source to the jacket. The fresh water will go into the base of the jacket, up through the jacket, and be heated as it goes up through. We are going to disconnect the pump return hose (after we make sure we close the valve), and connect it to the jacket exit so the heated water will leave the jacket and go into the Mash Colander above the grain.

This is the pump return hose and we are going to connect it to the exit port of the jacket. So as the water rises up through the jacket, it is going to be heated and we will then be putting hot water into the top of the Colander. So it comes up through the jacket, out this hose, and into the Mash Colander as we raise it.

When running water into the jacket, whether for chilling or sparge water, always make sure that the pressure of the water line is regulated to not above 7psi. This jacket is NOT designed for 80psi or other pressures that municipal water can sometimes be supplied at so it needs to be throttled back with a pressure regulator to 7psi.

I am starting to raise the Colander so the wort is going to be draining into the vessel. As the grain starts to be exposed as the water level drops, I will be adding sparge water to the top.

I’m raising it very slowly. We don’t want to rush the lautering as it can lead to a stuck mash or inefficient conversion and so as we raise it we want to keep the water level around the Mash Colander should be within a few inches of the water level inside the Mash Colander.

As we raise the Mash Colander, the wort level drops and the grain begins to be exposed, the top of the grain bed is near the surface, we start adding our sparge water. We start adding it slowly, just trying to keep the fresh water within an inch or two of the top of the grain bed as we raise the Colander, and the fresh water is going to down through the grain bed and rinse the grain.

As the grain gets to the top of the fermenter the water level will start dropping into the grain so if you want to control the exact amount of sparge water (to prevent over filling) you can use a flow meter and install it inline so you can measure the exact amount of liquid going into the Mash Colander.

The bottom of the Mash Colander is now out of the water and we will let it drain into the vessel. We have turned the element controller up to 100% power so it is starting to heat up to boil. We are going to let the wort finish dripping out of the Mash Colander then we will move it over and dump the grain out.

Grain that has settled down through the Mash Colander is going to settle to the bottom of the cone where we can remove it out the bottom port and put it back into the Mash colander.

The temperature is approaching boil and the wort has drained out of the Colander and is in the fementer now, so I am going to bring the Colander over and dump it out into a bin and take the grain away. There is a little hook on the back here and we have this cable connected to the top of the trolley and are going to connect it there to the hook so that as the Colander is lowered, the Colander is going to tip so it will be easy to unload the grain.

And that’s it for dumping out the grain—its much faster than having to rake it out of the standard mash tun and a lot less labor intensive. Just need to hose the Colander out and it is ready for the next brew.

So we have a good rolling boil going. As soon as the hot break subsides will be adding our boil/bittering hops. We are going to boil for 60 minutes and a couple minutes before flameout we are going to add some aroma hops.

There are just a couple minutes left in the boil so I'm taking the top cap off of the lid, and am going to raise the lid and put it over the vessel. Not quite on because it might foam up so I place it over the steam and it will sanitize the lid.

We have reached the end of boil—the lid is now sanitized and the hops have been added. I turn the power off and will then add fresh water into the bottom of the fermenter to top it up to the 590L mark that I want as the post boil volume going into fermentation [if you have added the full sparge volume, you might not be adding any water at this point].

Connect the chilling water (I am using municipal water) to the jacket (remember to keep it below 7psi so use a regulator) with a hose, and the outlet port runs to the drain. The first bit of chilling water (~500L) you can use for the next batch if you have a waiting vessel or you can put into a hot liquor tank for hot water storage, or you can dump it. The wort is chilling down with the cold water going through the jacket and it will lower it to yeast pitching temperature. I will remove the protein that settles down to the bottom of the cone and will then aerate. The aeration will agitate the wort inside the vessel and make sure there is no temperature stratification inside the fermenter so I will check the temperature sensor again after aeration to make sure we are at the right temperature, and THEN pitch the yeast.

And that’s it! We have gone start to finish with an entire brew in the BREHWA BIAC. We are going to let it ferment out over the next two weeks and then will be kegging, and then…celebrating!

Thanks very much for watching. If you have any questions, please send them in using the form on the website.