As I was waiting for the mash water to get up to 155 degrees, I sat there looking at the 15 pounds of grains I had just bought, sitting in a large plastic bag. Then I looked at my empty Brew in a Bag bag. I thought: wouldn’t it be nice and convenient to just fill it beforehand and dump it? The internet says it won’t work. Took a sip of whiskey. Fuck it. I’m doing it.
So I did. And, to my surprise, it worked. I was amazed that, for some reason, there was no dough balls. I simply dunked, stirred, and put the top on. In fact, it worked better than what I was used to.
Normally, I slowly and awkwardly pour the grains in with one arm while stirring with the other. At my homebrew store, they come in a large plastic bag, so it’s a balancing act. Not only have I spilled grains on several occasions, but it takes a while. Plus, I sometimes got dough balls!
I can only guess that the large amount of water in my pot allows this to happen smoothly. For this batch, I was adding about 15 pounds of grain to 8 gallons of water. In other words, with all grain no sparge Brew in a Bag, you have a large water to grain ratio, a thin mash.
Needless to say, I will be using this technique from now on. BIAB wins again!
update: at the 17 or 18 pound mark, I have gotten dough balls. For example, I made a big IPA the other day and got them. Not a big deal.