BIAB alternatives

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Johann, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Vinnerstad
    I just started homebrewing with BIAB, totally from scratch. I brewed my first IPA about two weeks ago and tried a British Special Bitter yesterday. When I finished my brew yesterday I tasted the sample from it as I took the OG, and I also checked the SG on the IPA and had a sample taste from it. Disappointed I suppose is the word for it. I won't get into it much more, but I think my conclusion now is that I'm a bit too eager to experiment and play around with things I don't know too much about (yet).

    So, my plan now is do a BIAB brew as it's supposed to be (and yes, I know I should have done that from start... but I'm too much of an engineer and got carried away!). But reading up on BIAB, once more, I see so many variations and alternatives I don't even know now what would be the "right" way to do it. For instance we got:
    • Start with the full amount of water in the kettle from time zero ... OR....
    • Start with X amount of water for the mashing, and then add Y amount of water to get to the boil size (no real sparging, just squeezing the bag somewhat and add water afterwards) ... OR ...
    • Start with X amount of water for the mashing, and then sparge add Y amount of water (I'm sorry if I formulate this wrong, not only new to brewing but also not having English as my native language)
    • Mash time, some say 70 minutes, but some say 90 minutes
    • Boil time, some say 60 minutes, some say 90 minutes
    • ...etc ...
    I understand that probably all of these is a way to do it, and as people get more experienced they have their own tweaks and variations and in the end there probably as many variations as there are brewers. But as a beginner, what would the most fail safe way be to do a BIAB brew? I really want a good next brew :)

    I might as well throw in a bonus question here, considering my first brews. Would a sample from those mentioned above tasted good (or sort of good) or should I not give up hope on them just yet? The IPA tasted...not much (haven't done the dry hopping yet though) and the Bitter tasted... bitter :eek:
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    60 minute mash, 60 minute boil is what I do for nearly all of my recipes. When you pull your grains out of the mash, you’re going to have sugar still on them. Sparge with 170° water. I like to dump a gallon at a time twice through the grains. I set the bag of grains on top of an upside down colander in an empty bucket. Than I put that water back in to my kettle until I get my preboil volume (for me, 7.25 gallons).
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,422
    Likes Received:
    9,478
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    Welcome fellow BIABer :).
    Don't write them beers off test samples never taste as good as the carbonated and fermented product a lot of change happens to that wort by the time it's bubbling away in your glass with hopefully a nice creamy head atop of it. Give them time...

    1st thing I do is mill my grain nice and fine like course raw sugar fine not quite like flour.

    2nd a sparge is always helpful in washing the remaining sugars from the grain so always sparge you've gotta wait for the boil anyways so you can fill in time just sparging. You'll get better efficiency than just full volume mashing.

    Then there is the grist to water ratio. Mine is quite thin I mash 1kg grain to 6 LT of water. Or in total I usually have around 4kg ish of grain and I'll mash that with 25lt of water and sparge with 5lt.

    Good luck johann plenty of help here.
     
  4. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Vinnerstad
    Thank you for the responses! Well I'm not going to give up, neither on the two beers in progress or on brewing :)
    Okay, so I will do a sparge on my next beer, even if I had my mind on a full volume BIAB for it, just to play it safe. But I do understand efficency (probably) will suffer with that method.

    How do one know how much water to use for mash and sparging respectively? Is there a formula for this? Is the grist/water ratio used for calculating the mash water volume and then sparge amount to the desired boil volume? @Trialben, 6L/kg is very thin as I understand, is that to produce low alcohol beer?

    I've been reading some about "over-sparging", that's nothing you guys worry about?
     
  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    9,422
    Likes Received:
    9,478
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Pest control tech
    Location:
    Palmwoods QLD
    6:1 sometimes 7:1:eek:. Sparging rinses the sugars off the grains. I dont personnaly think the grist to water ratio matters. Reasons i mash in with more volume is it holds temperature better and i dont have to fluff around sparging as much with only 5 liters.

    What i do know is any kind of sparge will yeild better efficiency than no sparge at all.

    So it's up to you:).
     
  6. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2017
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    28
    +1 on all Trialben said.
    now im even crashing the grains extra with a kitchen blender. im using a 4-5x water/grain Ratio and also sparging with hot water twice to get all the Juice out of the grains. im getting efficiencies up to 81%.
    I believe that the mash time and boiling time is quite dependend on your recipe. You could do an iodine test after 60 minutes mash to check if you still have starches, if so, leave it more.
    Good luck
     
    Trialben likes this.
  7. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Vinnerstad
    Thanks for the answers.

    I think I can understand why one would use higher ratio water/grist; better holding the temperature etc. But what are the cons by doing it? I guess the "recommendations" (in the region 3:1) are there for a reason?

    Milling the grain to finer product, does that apply to all kind of grain? Or just base malt?
     
  8. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    Group W likes this.
  9. Gledison

    Gledison Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2017
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I think for all grains. As you are using a bag to hold it, you are not clogging anything. It will be just a bit harder to squeeze....hehhehe, so squeeze it hard;)
     
  10. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Vinnerstad
    This weekend I bottled my first IPA, and all though I was a bit sceptical in my first post, I think it might have turned out rather good. Had a lovely smell, nice color and my quick taste sample was rather pleasing.

    However, I was about to bottle my second batch today, a British Bitter, but I think my concerns about it was justified. It wasn't a pretty sight, at least not to me. I just want to get this confirmed...lots of unpleasant things floating around on top and also in the beer. Only thing to do is to dump it?
     

    Attached Files:

  11. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Better to go by taste than by sight. I’ve seen that before in my beers, and live to you about it. Doesn’t look like anything I’d worry about.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,367
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Look like yeast flocs to me, perfectly normal, and perfectly harmless. Taste the beer and see.
     
  13. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Vinnerstad
    Okay thanks :) it looked rather ugly to me, but I'm not used to see beer that way :confused:
    So the thing floating on top could be yeast flocs, thats ok...just have to be careful not to get it in the bottles. But, it's not just things floating on top, there is a lot of things in the beer too. Not sure how to describe it in english...not like the things floating, just... stuff, nothing I would want to have in my beer when I pour a glass.
    I wouldn't say my first IPA was clear and bright, but it was nothing near like this.
     
  14. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2017
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    131
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Occupation:
    Biomanufacturing Specialist
    Have you tried cold crashing the beer? Leaving it in a fridge for a day or two can do wonders to clear up anything that hasn't settled out.
     
  15. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Vinnerstad
    No I haven't done that. I might give that a try, thank you.
     
  16. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Vinnerstad
    What I forgot to mention was that the SG reading is down to almost 1.000 which I understand can be a sign of an infection?
     
  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    RDWHAHB. Good words to live by! Time will also bring all that stuff down. No worries.
     
  18. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    1,947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rosedale, MD
    Besides all of this good advice, use smell as an indication. Your body has a natural aversion to bitter and bad tastes and smells, go with your gut and you're usually ok
     
  19. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    British style...tan/brown yeast rafts on top...very high attenuation....I'm nearly willing to bet money you used Danstar Nottingham yeast. ;)
     
  20. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,887
    Likes Received:
    1,280
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Master carpenter , all round good guy
    Location:
    Radelaide SA , Australia
    Cold crashing and finings will drop that junk straight out .
    If you did use Nottingham then it'll drop out all on its own anyway
     
    Trialben likes this.

Share This Page

arrow_white