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Premium Recirculating Electric (240v) BIAB Package (Blichmann Bottom Drain Edition)
Premium Recirculating Electric (240v) BIAB Package (Blichmann Bottom Drain Edition)


 
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Our Price: $975.00


Product Code: BIABPACKAGEBLICHMANNBD


Blichmann Kettle Size:


Qty:  
Description Operating Recommendations
 
We've built a few different versions of this single-vessel electric BIAB system based on Spike's kettles for a few years. Due to popular demand, we've added the option to start with the Blichmann Boilermaker Kettle as well. You can check out all the different editions we offer as each has its own pros and cons, but here's the quick takeaway; We obtain a blank Blichmann Boilermaker with no ports and make it nice in-house. For starters, you get the industry leading Blichmann sight glass which adds a level of convenience. We also bottom drain this kettle with a 1.5" TC port installed on the front edge to avoid sediment during the whirlpool. Here's the rub. Unlike the Spike Tank kettle, you are on the hook for creating the hole in your work surface to allow the bottom drain to clear as the kettle itself does not have legs. The advantage though, is that you get a bottom draining kettle, which is great for clean in place operations, for significantly less than the tank version and quite frankly, it's a cleaner look as well. Similar to the "Get Tanked" version, this kettle build features no NPT threaded ports. TC only.

Our line of single vessel brewing systems remain the only ones on the market designed to both recirculate over the top of the grain as well as actively stir the heated zone of the kettle. We guarantee there is no system out there that maintains as precise a temperature across the entire mash as this one. You're likely thinking "If that was so important, why don't other systems use this design?" Yeah, that's exactly what we're wondering too. To read more about this concept, you can read this article. Furthermore, this system is capable of temperature ramps (step mashing) faster than any 3 vessel system could dream of pulling off, short of steam jacketed commercial systems.


Standard Features:

Blichmann Boilermaker Brewing Kettle (your choice of size based on your desired batch size.)
  • 10 Gallon for low to moderate gravity(up to 8%ABV) 5-6 gallon batches (a full homebrew keg). 3 gallon minimum batch.
  • 15 Gallon for 5-6 gallon finished batches with no upper ABV limit. Also capable of low ABV(4%) 10 gallon batches. 4 gallon minimum batch.
  • 20 Gallon for 6 to 12 gallon batches with practically no upper ABV limit.
  • 30 Gallon for 12 to 17 gallon batches with practically no upper ABV limit.
Note: ABV limits listed above are approximate based on average mash efficiencies of 68-72% and may vary from your experience.


BIAB coarse mesh false bottom to hold the bag above the heating element and drain. This will be appropriately sized for the kettle size you choose. This creates an ample liquid-only area for the heating element to heat wort without getting smothered by the bag while also allowing the temperature sensor to pickup up the absolute average temperature. Since the entire bottom of the bag becomes free draining, the grain bed is also less likely to become "channeled". Recirculating wort drains down evenly across the entire mash volume.




Wilser BIAB drawstring bag. These bags are hand made right here in New Jersey. The drawstring makes holding the bag securely to the upper rim of the kettle a breeze. We also include a small loop of paracord to use as a lifting "choker" since you should not use the built in drawstring as a lifting point. The entire staff here have been using Wilser bags since we all converted to BIAB brewing in 2015 and found that the average life span of these bags is 30 batches granted you don't do anything stupid. To keep the bag flowing optimally, soak the bag in a hot PBW solution for 20 minutes and rinse with hot water (every other or every third brew day).




Locking Rope Hoist. Attach this to an overhead eyebolt or other suitable lifting point. Now you can incrementally lift your bag as necessary and it will hang there unassisted. The end with the locking pully is generally at the bottom so you can reach the lock release lever. This requires pushing the rope upward to lift the bag. You can get even more mechanical advantage if you add a second pulley up higher on the hanging rope and loop the loose end of rope over it. That will allow you to pull the rope down to lift the bag. Once you get to the 10 gallon batch size, it really helps.





5500 Watt, TC integrated heating element with L6-30P locking male plug, TC clamp and gasket to install in the TC port welded in to the kettle. Note that we install the element TC port on the right side of the kettle (at the 3 o'clock position if the front of the kettle is 6 o'clock) though the temp probe port is going to be on the rear side at 12 o'clock.
SlingbladeOPTIONAL: You can upgrade to the Brew Built SLINGBLADE style element if you would like the center bottom of the kettle to be wide open for dropping an immersion chiller all the way down. The only issue is that the Slingblade is more expensive initially and upon any need to replace. Finally, note that the wattage is lower than our standard ripple elements. To research these elements, you can click here. You can CLICK HERE to drop the upgrade into the cart ($35 additional cost).



Wort Out Port- During mashing and post boil whirlpooling/hopstands, the port that feeds into the pump is the bottom drain port 1.5" TC located near the front edge of the kettle. You'll need to make a 3" hole in your brewing table to let this port pass through. First, a 90 degree elbow is clamped on and then a butterflyvalve is clamped on. We finish off the valve assembly with a TC clamp and gasket to attach whichever pump kit you select below. Since you'll be supplying your own table/work surface, it would be best to consult with us via email or phone to discuss your table thickness to be sure you'll get the clearance to operate the valve.


Whirlpool Return- This port is also a 1.5" TC located on the front of the kettle. First a Spike rotatable pickup tube is clamped into the port. Then a Blichmann brand linear flow valve is clamped on. We finish off the valve assembly with a TC clamp and gasket to attach whichever pump kit you select below. It's not immediately apparent why the whirlpool should be rotatable, but it offers two advantages. If you whirlpool back into the kettle during chilling, you can rotate it upward at a 45 degree angle to better mix the temperatures vertically. Second, if you want to drain off ultra clear wort after some settling time, you can drain off via the whirlpool port and precisely tune the pickup eight to avoid the mass of trub.


Locline Recirculation Kit Installed through the lid of the kettle via TC port. This solution is decidedly better than draping a silicone hose on the grain bed because it is articulating and holds its position exactly where you position it. You're thinking of asking us about some other spraying or spreading mechanism that you saw on another system somewhere. Trust us when we tell you that we've seen them and have tested them all already. Locline is the best choice. You can orient the outflow exactly at the height of the top of the grain bed to reduce boring holes in the grain bed. It is also superior to lid mounted sprayers that cannot be height adjusted because spraying or dripping wort from several inches above the grain bed causes more heat loss and oxidizes the malt more than necessary. Just like the drain and whirlpool ports, the connection to the hoses is done via quick disconnect. The TC port in the lid may also be used for installation of a CIP cleaning ball. We recommend using the Spike branded CIP ball because it spins with the least amount of pump pressure we've seen. Note that you can pop the black locline segments off of the QD x TC adapter and repurpose that as the input to the spray ball if you wish to avoid buying an extra adapter. You will need an extra TC clamp and gasket however.



Dual Path Recirculation ArticleDual Path Recirculation. This "split flow" is the key to the different modes of kettle operation so we'll explain this in some detail before showing you the pump kit options. With the manipulation of two valves, you will select whether recirculated wort goes into the whirlpool port, goes up and over the grain bed or both. The individual valves for each wort path also allow you to customize the flow rate to each destination. Whirlpool is used during initial water heat up as well as during immersion chilling. In the "both" position with both valves open to some degree, wort is recirculated over the grain to distribute new heat input as well as whirlpooled to keep the lower layer fully mixed and at the same temperature during the mashing phase. This recirculate and stir combination feature is not found on any competitor systems and is the real key to perfect temperature. This cannot be emphasized enough. Many users of recirculating BIAB systems complain about temperature stability issues along with pumping too quickly over the top and possibly dry firing their element. This dual flow path system is the solution to both problems. We recommend limiting the recirculation flow rate to 2 quarts per minute or less to avoid dry firing the element. One side note specifically regarding the Blichmann kettle build is that the presence of a built in sight glass gives you a visual indication if you are recirculating back into the bag too quickly. The level in the sightglass will drop below the internal liquid volume if you are going too fast. Finally, the recirculate only mode is great for filling your fermenter. Instead of this hose going up to the lid mounted locline port, it gets quick disconnected from the lid and dropped into or connected to your fermenter. To read more about this concept, we have an article here.

CHOICES YOU HAVE TO MAKE OUTSIDE OF ORDERING THE BASE KIT ABOVE
Everything listed above represents the common "base" kit that all share the same components regardless of any of the following add ons you select. The price listed is for the base build by kettle size. The cost of the pump kit add on is the same regardless of which kettle size you select.

We have three pump kits available for use with the bottom drained eBIAB systems.


1. Native TC - This kit starts with the Blichmann Riptide TC ported pump. The output of the pump is split two ways with a TC based "tee". The three included hose sets terminate onto TC x hose barb adapters. The hoses get connected to the kettle ports and pump ports "natively" with clamped TC connections except for the hose connection to the lid recirculation port which is setup with a female quick disconnect. This is the only junction that will be disconnected during a brew day so it makes sense. If you plan to use this hose to fill your conical fermenter, it's a good idea to have a TC x MQD adapter on the fermenter to snap this hose on. This pump kit option is the least bulky and most economical way to preserve fully sanitary connectivity. $455

To add this version of the pump kit with the BLICHMANN RIPTIDE PUMP into the shopping cart, CLICK HERE.

If you would prefer the same kit with the SPIKE FLOW PUMP in place of the Riptide,
CLICK HERE.






2. TC + QD - This kit also includes the Blichmann TC Riptide. The difference in this kit is that all TC ports that get hose connections are first converted to male QDs with adapters. Then the three included hose sets are equipped with high flow female QDs. This option is more expensive due to the extra parts but is offered for those who desire quick disconnections without having to master TC clamp manipulations. $545


To add this version of the pump kit with the BLICHMANN RIPTIDE PUMP into the shopping cart,
CLICK HERE.

If you would prefer the same kit with the SPIKE FLOW PUMP in place of the Riptide, CLICK HERE.





3. Threaded NPT + QD - This is the most economical of the three options. It starts with the NPT threaded version of the Riptide Pump as well as NPT threaded versions of the splitting TEE, Ball valve and male QDs. The three kettle TC ports that get hose connections are converted from TC to Male QD with adapters. The three hose sets have high flow female QDs. $420


To add this version of the pump kit with the BLICHMANN RIPTIDE PUMP into the shopping cart, CLICK HERE.





Temperature Controller (You will add as a separate cart item if you do not already have a controller)

We stock two controllers for your consideration; The Blichmann Brew Commander and the Auber Cube 5e. The Brew Commander has been sporadically available so if you're unable to add it to the cart, it's because they are fully unavailable. The Cube is always available. You can read about each of the controllers on their respective product pages linked above but we've also created a buyer's guide to help compare the features.





Be sure to visit the respective product pages to add one of the controller's to your cart. IMPORTANT- Remember that this version of this system uses a 1.5" TC port for the temperature probe. If you select the Blichmann Brew Commander, we will swap out the included probe install fitting for a 1.5" TC adapter. Similarly, if you select the Auber Cube, select the "TC probe" option and enter #14 in the specific probe type.


*Not Included*


Steam Control

If this is your first venture into electric powered brewing, you're probably psyched about the prospect of brewing indoors, maybe in a garage or a dedicated brew room in your basement. Don't be caught off guard by the amount of steam that builds up in enclosed places when you boil for an hour or more. If you set up near a window, you can do a reasonable job of venting with a small fan blowing out. If you want to keep the brew day as silent as possible and keep your heated/air conditioned air inside, read all about the the Steam Slayer product on its dedicated product page.

One nice thing about any of the bottom drain versions of the system is that the mash recirculation port is located in the lid and this port can be repurposed for the steam slayer after the mash is completed. You would simply need to add the steam slayer unit itself to the cart, a TC 90 degree elbow, and an extra TC clamp and gasket.


Chiller
We do not include a standard chiller because the "best" type of chiller is so highly debated. We have a selection of several chiller types.
  • Plate Chillers are extremely efficient but you will need to bag all your hop additions to use it.
  • Counterflow chillers are the next most efficient chillers and generally don't have a problem with hop clogging.
  • High efficiency immersion chillers, such as the Jaded Brewing Hydra but the availability/lead times have been so sketchy lately that we hesitate to recommend them.

With the endless system options out there, what sets this one apart? That is a completely reasonable question and we're going to spend a good portion of time explaining why the whole staff chose this configuration and why some of the more popular systems fall short (for us).You can use this information to make an informed decision for your own system. There are a few different aspects to compare and contrast so we'll break it down by topic rather than brand specifics.

Bag vs Basket
We chose a food grade mesh bag for our system, in contrast to systems that use a rigid stainless steel basket (sometimes called a malt pipe). For one thing, it reduces the overall system cost. There are some low cost systems that use a rigid basket but they are flimsy and generally only drain at the bottom. The premium basket systems have a substantial price increase and is frankly no easier to use than a bag. The flexible bags tend to drain wort more completely due to the teardrop shape that forms due to the grain weight. It also allows for more wort extraction with a gentle squeeze with a gloved set of hands.
The last, and perhaps the most important thing to consider with basket designs is if they allow an undesirable amount of grain particles to pass through and into the boil kettle. Unfortunately some designs use the same hole/slot pattern on baskets that you would regularly find on a mash tun false bottom. False bottoms could get away with letting grain through since a recirculation in a dedicated mash tun would clean that up and allow clear wort into the boiler. In a BIAB system, any grain that gets through is now in your boil for good.
But doesn't the basket keep the grain off the heating element? Yes, but we've custom designed a coarse mesh false bottom to keep the bag from touching the element and to form an adequate liquid-only area to receive and disperse heat from the element.

Contrasted to All In One "URN" style systems

Proprietary vs modularity: One of the biggest downsides to the full system, small foot print coffee urn style systems is the proprietary nature of all the components. The heating element has to be sourced from the manufacturer if it burns out. If that model or brand is discontinued and the parts market dries up, you will have to discard the entire system. A similar issue exists with some systems that have built in temperature controllers and recirculating pumps.

On the other hand, we use standard modular components that have existed in the market for long enough to ensure long life, serviceability and if all else fails, a suitable open market substitute can be purchased at any time. For example, install industry widely accepted heating elements using the Triclamp standard. You are never stuck buying elements from any one vendor. The same can be said for the pump and whatever controller you use.

Power/Time Investment: Most all in ones are painfully under powered. While they get the job done eventually, the ramp times for heat water initially as well as ramping the wort up to a boil are quite long. Even the systems that offer 240 volt input options still use lower wattage elements than we prefer. We put a hefty 5500 watt element in our systems. For comparison's sake we can take 6 gallons of strike water up to 160F in 15 minutes while the same would take 55 minutes on a 1600 watt URN system. That's a 40 minute difference just for the water heat up step. In almost all cases, you're never waiting for something to heat up with this system. It's usually hot already and waiting for you.

Batch Size Scaling and Future Upgrades
This is a similar contrast as the topic of modularity, but specific to batch sizes. When you buy an URN system, you are buying something cable of typically one batch size and that's it. There is no upgrade path without buying a whole new system. On a modular system like ours, the only thing you need to change to upgrade your maximum batch size is the kettle, false bottom and bag.You'll use the same heating element, pump, controller and accessories. The kettle is the cheapest part of the whole system.

What is Brew In A Bag? This all grain brewing method is purported to have been born in Australia based on minimalist pragmatism. The rest of the world started catching on and most of the big manufacturers have finally released their versions of this simple type of system.

This process involves mashing your grains directly in your slightly oversized boil kettle. Grain is contained within a large, fine mesh food grade bag and the spent grain is removed from the wort by pulling the bag out. The concept of sparging (rinsing extra sugars off the grain) is not impossible with this process, but the vast majority of BIAB brewers run a full volume, no sparge mash which means the removal of the grain leaves the desired pre-boil volume. The method makes perfectly good, award winning beers and the brew day is simple and the gear is easy to clean up.

NOTE: These systems are not offered with free shipping as the box size and total weight costs a lot to ship and we didn't want to make it unfair for local and nearby customers to try wrapping the average shipping cost into the package. The compromise we did make was to rate the shipping weight much lower than actual so you'll pay a little less than half the shipping cost and we pay the rest.

Accessories
1.5 TC Clamp 1.5 TC Silicone Gasket (Heat Resistant to 400F) Spike CIP Ball 1.5" TC 90 degree Elbow
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1.5 TC Clamp 1.5 TC Silicone Gasket (Heat Resistant to 400F) Spike CIP Ball 1.5" TC 90 degree Elbow

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