BIAB vs PM vs AG

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ltrog, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    I am moving into BIAB brewing. I have bought a lot of my kits of PM from NB and the local shop. Most of the time they have premade recipes with a specific grain bill. All places have a wide variety for AG and PM but very few recipes for BIAB. Is there a scaling calculation that I can apply when I see a recipe of AG that I like but will be using the BIAB method? A secondary question....it seems BIAB is geared toward 3G batches as opposed to the standard 5G batches for PM & AG. Any thoughts on why this is?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    just a few quick thoughts:

    you need twice the size of pot for bib than the batch, for a 5 gallon batch you need a 10 gallon pot, if done in a hurry without a good rinse of the grain, your efficiency will go down, you can either add more grain or figure out how to sparge with a bag to compensate, most people don't drain the bag correctly.

    I can explain an easy way later!
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the reason for 3 gallons is they probably started out using a 5 gallon pot on the stove for extracts and since the pot isn't twice the size for a 5 gallon they step down to a 3 to get started since all you have to buy is a bag. I will tell you that once you get your equipment bought all grain is cheaper than extract and buying grain locally and creating your own or following someones recipe is even cheaper

    as far as the recipe any all grain will work as a bib
     
  4. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    As Ozark says, you can use any AG recipe for biab. Just make sure you adjust it for your efficiency, and you will have to work out the water calculations for your setup.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    this is my old 10 gallon turkey fryer, aluminum too, I converted it to electric so I can do infusion recirculation and I have trouble with boil overs in this pot just because my element is too big but works great
     

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  6. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    Got it. Thanks for the advice! It makes sense now and sounds like getting max efficiency is key to success.
     
  7. injun Joe

    injun Joe New Member

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    Itrog, while OMB is correct about the pot needing to be twice the size ,the efficiency angle is wrong .
    I have been during full volume mashes (true BIAB ) for about 3 years and consistently run 81+ % efficiency.The key is to have all the water hit the grains forth full mash. This is known as a passive sparge. This also deletes the extra step of true sparging and shaves about an hour off your brew day.
    I have been about to save about $5 per brew day because of the higher efficiency leading to less grains for my optimum starting gravity.
    Hope this helps.
    Joe
     
  8. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    Very interesting. If you have time could you elaborate on the passive sparging technique. In my simple mind, I figured the most efficient way would be to expose the entire grist throughout the mash process, lauter, and sparge with a quart or so of hot water. This would increase the volume of beer but I would guess the beer coming off of the grist would be very concentrated allowing higher OG and producing more beer. Again, I am pretty new at this so please excuse the ignorance if this seems 'dumb'.
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    easy way to start out, fill the water about 1 inch or so above the grain bed after absorption, do your normal mash then lift the bag to drain. doesn't matter how long because of the next step. calculate how much water you need to add then divide the water in half by adding it to 2 five gallon buckets "now this water can be any temp you want, I do mine cold" take the bag of grain and set it in the first bucket, let it set for about 5 or so minutes, then lift the bag and drain then set it in the second bucket and do the same. after pour both buckets of rinsed wort water into the pot and top off the rest if needed

    you then should have a good enough efficiency
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    personally do a continuous sparge mash by recirculating over the top with a pump like a rims set up, works very well
     
  11. PZ

    PZ Member

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    In its simplest form BIAB is, well, simple, and a great way to make all grain beer. There endless variations. Some variants, like OMB's, aren't so simple ;) . Regardless of the method you choose, don't let efficiency drive the bus. A pound of extra grain won't break the bank and we won't tell anyone. There are many measures of efficiency and I've found that brewers put up efficiency numbers that are about as accurate as men's heights and how much women say they weigh. I think the reason for the smaller batches is that BIAB is *really* messy and holding up a large bag of wet grain that is spewing hot wort is difficult and dangerous. If I had a place to brew outside (or a garage or anywhere with a drain in the floor) I would probably still be BIABing away. After a few BIAB batches I moved to a standard all-grain setup and found it was a better fit for a New York City kitchen. It's all good! Happy brewing, PZ
     
  12. Norwaystout

    Norwaystout Member

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    I started doing BIAB this past year and have found a few things that help my efficiency. A good setup, like a 10 gallon kettle, burner, and a good bag. I had my bag custom made so its like a liner in my kettle. Also I use about .25 to.50lb of acidulated malt for PH balance to a 5 gallon batch, my lhbs told me about that tip. Finally I send my grain through the mill twice, really a plus for us BIAB brewers. I must say I do agree with what the guy above me said, don't let efficiency be the bus, a bit more grain isn't the end of the world. Cheers and good luck!
     
  13. injun Joe

    injun Joe New Member

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    Skeevy , very true on the acidulated malt. I picked up on that from I think one of the brewing malts guides that I use . But, in addition , get some PH test strips. I was using about .25 per 5 gal BIAB and my PH came in under 4.6 , I had to add a little BK. soda and water mix to bring it up. The advanced water chemistry calculator here is vey good. But , my PH does come in lower than projected.
     
  14. injun Joe

    injun Joe New Member

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    Itrog , it's called passive sparging because you use the whole amount of water for the mash. This is why the need for a larger pot. Biabrewer.info has an extremely good calculator for this . I use both BF and them when designing my beers. But , as stated before , don't let efficiency be the main thing . Get the process down first , then worry about other things.
     
  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    my newest set up, Im planing a rms set up in the next couple of months

    [​IMG]
     

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  16. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    I am really impressed with all of the knowledge and willingness for people to help. All I can say is thank you and I am getting more excited about dialing in my process. I started with extract/PM about 20 years ago before the internet was such a good tool for things like this. I then had arrested development over the next 20 years in my brewing. Glad I am back in the swing of it and have the ability to call on such knowledgeable people such as those who responded. Thanks again for all of the help and this will make it even more fun (and better beer) in the long run.
     

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