BIAB Questions

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by borkic, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. borkic

    borkic New Member

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    I hope somebody will be able to help me with some issues related to the BIAB method. I've been preparing beer several times in this way and the taste was very good. However, what constantly troubles me is efficiency. I'm always about 55% and I do not know where I'm wrong. I have done sparging and full volume method and the result is the same. Maybe it's a problem in maintaining the temperature, because I'm working manually. I used grist to water ratio 1: 3.

    What do you think may be the main problem in BIAB method?
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by working manually to maintain the mash temperature?

    Are you squeezing the bag after you've let it drain? That'll get you a few extra points.

    Have your water volumes been about right? Extra liquid in the fermenter could throw off the numbers if it's not accounted for in the recipe. For that matter, is your equipment profile set up correctly?

    And lastly, are you sure the hydrometer is measuring correctly?
     
  3. Hatseflats

    Hatseflats New Member

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    #3 Hatseflats, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Grist - water ratio I always use:
    Grist weight in kg. x 2,7 + 3,5 liter water
     
  4. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Not sure, have you tried "sparging" with pouring water over the grains? I've heard that helps. I generally get around 70% with my MIAB system and as long as it's consistent I don't really worry to much about it.
     
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  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Do you know which part of the process is giving you the efficiency drop? Generally most of the problems are in the pre-boil stage of the process.

    Grist to water ratios aren't generally a big thing in BIAB. Most people either do full volume (i.e. put all the water they need in at the start of the session) or full volume with a sparge as Hawkbox mentions (keep some of the water aside to rinse the grains).

    There's a whole bunch of mashing efficiency fixes and most of them aren't unique to BIAB. This recent thread was interesting - https://www.brewersfriend.com/forum...h-efficiency-numbers-i-read-about-real.10788/

    For BIAB specific advice I've settled on a 90 minute mash without a sparge and squeezing my bag like it owes me money (as trialben and others have recommended to me).

    I'm not a real efficiency hunter. I'm happy enough with my 65-70% efficiency so I haven't looked at other things like finer milling of the grains, recirculation and some of the other efficiency gains that you'll also see for multi-vessel systems.
     
  6. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    There are two things that I think you could try ..
    1) mash longer .. Many of the early adopters of BIAB mash for 90 minutes. It increases the chance of all of the grain being saturated and you need saturation for conversion.
    2) crush the grain finer. This is a bit more complicated .. easy if you own your own mill, but harder otherwise. And You want a fine mesh in the bag. But the idea is the same .. grain more sully saturated.
     
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  7. wallyLOZ

    wallyLOZ New Member

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    This is what helped me. I was always in the 55-60% range when I depended on the LHBS. Searched the threads on here about efficiency and a big factor is the crush. I bought a mill and my numbers are now 75-80% Next time you buy grains for a brew, ask them to double mill and see what that does for you. Hope this helps. Cheers.
     
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  8. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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    Ditto the double milling of grains for BIAB.
    I used to get high 70s for efficiency with BIAB when I would drain off most of the wort then put the bag at top of kettle, using a large collander to hold it, and then poured sparge water slowly over the hanging bag. On my last BIAB a few months ago, with an extra good squeeze of the bag I actually ended up with 88% efficiency, which turned my weizen into a weizenbock with a 6.7% ABV.
     
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  9. borkic

    borkic New Member

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    Thanks very much to everyone. I will write what my results are.
     
  10. borkic

    borkic New Member

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    I have another dilemma about mash calculation. Here is an example.


    I want to achieve:

    Boil volume - 15 liters (about 4 gallons)
    Final volume - 12 liters (about 3 gallons)

    For that goal, I take 2.6 kg (5.7 pounds) of grain and put it in 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of water (grist to water ratio about 1: 3). After draining the bag, I have about 6 liters’ (1.6 gallons) worth. I sparge with 9 (2.4 gallons) liters of water to reach the 15 (4 gallons) liters pre boil volume. Is this the right procedure or not?


    Thanks in advanced.
     
  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Seems fine to me, I generally do a 3L/KG ratio in mine too for the mash.
     
  12. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Active Member

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    You can also do a batch sparge with BIAB. I drain the wort and then pour about a gallon of 165 degree water in. This gives a quick “final rinse” that is fast and improves the efficiency.
     
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