Help need enlightened on a few BIAB Factors.

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by JockMcBrew, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. JockMcBrew

    JockMcBrew New Member

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    Ok so

    To paint the picture of where a am. I live in a tower block pretty cramped, Some years back done the classic cooper 5 gallon dilute system Once or twice with pretty watery boring results, always was keen to try all grain but niver had the space or an understanding wife, last year I became aware that it is possible to do 4.5 litre (oor gallon) batches, in a Demijohn, So I bought a kit fi the brew store, loved the process and the beer came oot...no to bad, (better than the cooper can fi previous years)
    I later found this PDF produced by Brewdog describing all their recipes but these were 20 litre/5 gallon recipes, then on joining Brewers friend learned I could scale a recipe doon to 5 litre.

    Tried a few of these and again made some reasonable strong beer, (aside from the loss due to like 2 inches oh trub at the bottom of each DJ)

    HOWEVER on taking this up again this year, there are issues I need to clear up. and some helpful guys on here have already helped me oot understanding water chemistry a bit better,

    I know folk will hink why go to aw the effort for a gallon batch.. but small scale is ma only option, I cant get a bot to boil bigger than 10 litre so am pretty stuck on this tiny scale and want ti make it the best a can.

    I use a 10litre pot on top of a cooker ring with a boil off ratio of aboot 2.4litres an hour, the original all grain kit I bought the first time suggested 5 litre mash water then sparge to bring it up to 8 litre for the boil.
    The fact I could not get back doon to my target wart volume after 60 minutes meant in future batches I hud reduced the boil volume to like 7.4liters this ensured I got to my target volume however when aiming for an OG of 1.060ish a few times the OG has been 1.070

    I am assuming this is connected with me reducing the boil volume,

    Can somebody please clear up How I decide on mash and boil volume to hit my desired OG for this kind of situation, I know its connected with water to grain ratio kind oh thing but have seen different numbers, I should mention Im aware original BIAB was meant for full volume mash with no sparge but this way described is what i've taken on and find the idea oh a full volume mash being difficult for me to control mash temp.

    Also is 60 minutes a compulsory time for the boil or can it be longer without negative effects

    Any info would be much appreciated
    Slainte
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a BIAB guy but I do run 90 minute boils almost by default. I live at 6,000' elevation so the boiling point of my water is 202 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer boil ensures I get rid of any DMS.

    At that scale, I think I'd go with no-sparge, that means mashing with all of the water so that what's left in the pot is boiled. It costs a little more grain but takes out the entire sparge step, just pull your bag of draff out of the kettle, let it drain and boil. I'll let the BIAB guys deal with the rest of the questions.

    CHeers!
     
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  3. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure you will see quite a few brewers posting that they regularly or exclusively brew small batches. So, no worries there. One of the tricky parts of small batch brewing is needing to be precise with measurements and process. So, any variance from expected results could be due to a little more of this or a little less of that.

    Sixty minute boils are fairly standard but, definitely not mandatory. The biggest reason for it is hop bitterness. If you shorten the boil you get less bitterness and therefore would need to increase the amount of hops added at the beginning of the boil to maintain the same IBU. Brewer's Friend has an excellent recipe editor. Add your recipe there. Then play around with the boil times and see how it changes the IBUs.

    For sparging, you can do as @Nosybear suggests and go no sparge. Again, play with the recipe editor and see how much grain you would need to add to make up for not rinsing more sugars from the grist. I batch sparge and follow the formula that the amount of wort drained from the mash should be approximately equal to that drained from the sparge. You can also just pour hot water over the grain bag to rinse off some of the sugars.

    In the beginning there will be a lot of trying, measuring and tasting that will lead to adjustments for next time. Because once you catch the brewing fever there will always be a next time! :cool:
     
  4. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Member

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    Yeah, sparging will get you more accurate numbers, but in small space may be a pain in the ass.

    I mash for 75 mins for my efficiency, and if it isn't wheat, I'm spot on.

    I recently brewed a White IPA, and the wheat screwed with my efficiency. So next time I'll spargr like @BarbarianBrewer said, and pour hot water, 77 C, over it to get those sugars out and not mess up my batch boil numbers.
     
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  5. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Member

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    FYI, if I'm not using wheat, and just brewing a regular IPA, I don't sparge, and I love my beers
     
  6. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I only do small batch BIAB and am quite happy with it. Like @BarbarianBrewer said the recipe editor is really good. Play around with your boil and what you are boiling in to dial in the water.
     
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  7. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    With brew in a bag, you can also sparge in a bag. With my 2.5 gallon batches, I mash with about 10 quarts. I lift the bag, squeeze out as much wort as I can and put the bag in a bucket. I look in the cooker and see how much more liquid I need to get to 3 gallons, usually another 2 quarts. I add that much hot water to the bucket with the bag and stir well. I lift the bag and drain and squeeze again. The "light" wort goes into the boil.

    This is a pretty easy technique and ups the efficiency.

    Also, as stated, boil time is variable. I almost always boil 30 minutes. I adjust hops to hit the IBU target. Longer boils certainly don't hurt.
     
  8. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking two demijohns may give you a bit more flexibility, while you work on getting your process down and having numbers you can rely on.

    So for your 1.070 batch of 7.4 litres that you wanted to be 1.060, you can pour in 1.25 litres of boiled water and you'd have 8.7 litres of 1.60 wort. Too much for your single demijohn, but if you've got two you can split the wort and have two fermentors going. A few brewers, like @Herm_brews have done this regularly. You could even play around with different yeasts or dry hops in the different fermentors to give you two beers for the effort of one.

    I started out at your scale with no sparging and have kept on using that approach. It may simplify your process in the short term to get you to some reliable numbers. And as it's such a small pot you won't be able to put in much sparge water, so I'm not sure it's worth the extra complexity. Just adjust your efficiency in the recipe editor down 5% (via the Scale option in the Tools menu) to add the extra grains needed.
     
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  9. CausticWolf

    CausticWolf Member

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    Yo I really like this idea. Like I said, I don't normally use wheat, but summer is coming and I'd like to. Never even thought of using a bucket to trap all the beautiful sugar gold! Thanks!
     
  10. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Before I got my Brewzilla, I BIAB in a 10 gal kettle and I did not sparge. I also would put a colander in a bucket then drop the grain bag on top so it would drain more. I would prolly get about a quart to quart and a half more juice to add to the kettle.
     
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  11. JockMcBrew

    JockMcBrew New Member

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    Brilliant info mark thanks, I hadnae thought oh dilution being an option ti lower the OG, this makes things a lot easier, and the idea oh splitting it in two DJ's opens a lot oh doors to experimentation..

    With Sparging a guess the reason I chose this was the fact that most full volume mash recipes a saw, had a starting volume oh like 9-10 litres and for a 11 litre pot which I know it is noo, seen it unlikely that 10 litres plus the grain bag would fit in the pot, however a notice there are a few 9 litre full volume recipes a could try.

    thanks ti the rest oh yoose guys tae, yis huv made it clear there are a good few techniques to try and a plan on geein every yin a go ti find the maist convenient, starting to get the hang oh aw the calculators noo as well and this is creating a much clearer picture thanks again

    SlĂ inte
     
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  12. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I do this
     

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