Is there a Brew in a Bag system that only uses one Vessel? (yes)

Will the real Single Vessel System please stand up? After searching the internet high and low, I have yet to find one example of a homebrewer using one vessel to brew beer. So I had to invent one. By one vessel I mean one, not two, three, or four. I’m not just talking about Brew in a Bag. Sure, every BIAB guy out there claims to have a single vessel system, but what they really mean is that they mash and boil in one vessel. But what about the others? The fermenter, the secondary that you dry hop in, the bottling bucket, the little pot you place your bag of grains in, the bucket of sanitizer, etc.

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Theoretically, this boggles my mind frankly. I cannot be the first person to think of this. Making beer involves soaking grains, boiling, cooling, adding yeast, and then bottling. It seems to me the default position should be one vessel. Instead, the default position is 4 (mash tun, boil kettle, fermenter, bottling bucket). If we mash and boil in the same vessel, why don’t we just go ahead and add yeast to it? And since we’ve come that far, and if we are bottling (instead of kegging), then why not just punch a spigot on the side of the vessel (above the trub, roughly 2 inches from the bottom) and bottle from it? It just seems incredibly simple and reasonable to me. Is this system bad for business? Well, yes, but does that explain it? I’m I insane here?

I guess I’m just a little mad that this isn’t a viable option for beginning homebrewers, as it wasn’t an option for me until I invented it. I regret spending money on plastic fermenters. Nobody is promoting or selling a single vessel system and that’s a shame because more people would brew.

I know, I know. We all think we have the best system in the world, and I fully admit that my system ties up my only brewing vessel for up to two weeks (do you brew more than once a month?…are you an alcoholic bro? just kidding). It’s all about what fits for you. I’m just honestly curious why I apparently invented this system (I probably didn’t, but I’ve searched the internet high and low).

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9 thoughts on “Is there a Brew in a Bag system that only uses one Vessel? (yes)

  1. Steve says:

    Hi
    Inspiring blog. I have just completed a one pot BIAB brew – saison. My kit is even simpler than yours – no spigot. I use a sterilised racking cane and silicon tube to rack off the yeast at the end of fermentation. I am using a large silicon washer and weights on the lid to “seal” the vessel while it chills. It was my first BIAB and one pot though I am an experienced 3V homebrewer. I want to do more brewing with this method maybe an APA. The saison is good. Thanks for your site, I like to experiment with technique and process and I like the simplicity of your approach.
    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks Steve. I definitely almost went that way. Sounds awesome but one question. What’s easier to clean you think: a spigot or a plastic tube and racking cane? In my experience, every time I try to use a racking cane it’s hard to use (that could be user error), awkward to clean in my sink, and takes forever to dry tubing.

      Man, I must say, I used a bottle filler attached to my spigot last night. Loved it! I bottled 60 beers well within 1 hour (that includes from start to end, everything).

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  2. Steve says:

    I have my racking routine down pretty good. stainless cane which I flush immediately after use and blowtorch immediately prior. My silicon tube is thin walled and I autoclave prior to use. So pretty confident that it’s all sterile, and no need to dry the tube. The other advantage of silicon tube is that when bottling (which I do rarely nowadays) you can control the flow by pinching the tube, i.e. when the bottle is full, pinch, move filling tube (also stainless and autoclaved) to next bottle, release tube and fill. It’s quick and I reckon our bottling times would be comparable. For info I just squirt some sugar syrup in the bottles – I see you use sugar lumps. Nowadays I keg (using the same approach) and bottle using a pegas bottle filler.
    I accept that not everyone has an autoclave (mine was salvaged from a dumpster!) but boiling the silicon tube would work too.
    I wouldn’t be strongly opposed to having a spigot, I just like the idea of an intact pot. I can see that a spigot might be useful for removing the yeast \ trub, by just tilting the pot and opening, but not really sure you need to do this (much?). Also the other potential issue that I have with a spigot is that I control fermentation temps by putting the FV in a large bucket with water and an aquarium heater. The addition of a spigot would mean buying a larger bucket as my current one only just fits. Trade offs…
    Anyway sorry for the long post, I will be doing an APA with this method tomorrow. I am keen to know if a late hopped style will work with this approach.
    cheers
    steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • Autoclave? holy shit, I had to google it. Very nice sir. Makes a ton of sense to have one. How long does it take to sterilize? My dish washer ‘sanitize’ setting takes over 2 hours. Bottle filler also looks sweet. I would love to see a picture of your set up. It seems very simple to me, and so much faster to transfer to a keg.

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  3. steve says:

    It’s a medical autoclave for surgical instruments etc. 126C for 20 minutes. Kills.Everything. I couldn’t buy one but you can now get electric pressure cookers which will work as well and a lot cheaper. Here’s some pics:
    My one – pot trial – https://flic.kr/s/aHskmEKUJ5
    normal 3v kit and process – https://flic.kr/s/aHsjSyyvUq
    When I look at that last set of pics it really makes me think how simple the one – pot process is in comparison!
    cheers
    steve

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Steve says:

    Hey matt, my second one pot BIAB is now kegged. Has come out well, except for being a bit too bitter. This is a result of my recipe rather than the process though. I dry hopped with vic secret and it is a nice fruity APA. Re – pitched US-05 and S-04 dry yeast. I am currently fermenting yet another APA, with all late – hopping.

    This is fast becoming my preferred method of brewing. I love the fact that there is minimal cleaning and a brew “day” can be done in about 3 hours. I use “no chill” so just leave the pot to cool overnight before pitching.

    cheers
    steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • awesome. I’ll probably start no-chilling too, just pop it in my ferm chamber and pitch yeast the next day. That keeps brewday under 2 hours. I’m also frustrated with bottling right now – two latest batches are talking a month to carbonate – that alone is reason to keg.

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