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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Why doesn't everyone just BIAB?
View Poll Results: How do you brew?
I BIAB 295 34.87%
I use a 3 vessel system 340 40.19%
I don't brew all-grain, I'm an extract brewer 100 11.82%
What's BIAB? 22 2.60%
I use a system that doesn't fit into the other categories 89 10.52%
Voters: 846. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-09-2012, 10:26 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by adixon3
I think the main reason most people don't use the BIAB method is because you have to take in to consideration the amount of grains in your grain bag that takes away from the water in the pot which effects your efficiency. Plus I think it just another name for partial mash
Somebody already rebuked your ridiculous comment on grain water absorption, and now I'll comment on your partial mash claim. What does the word partial mean? It means you only do a piece of something. So a partial mash means that you only mash a portion of the fermentables that will be used, and the rest comes from extract. BIAB is a full mash method, all fermentables come from mashing.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #52
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Somebody already rebuked your ridiculous comment on grain water absorption, and now I'll comment on your partial mash claim. What does the word partial mean? It means you only do a piece of something. So a partial mash means that you only mash a portion of the fermentables that will be used, and the rest comes from extract. BIAB is a full mash method, all fermentables come from mashing.
Partial is also a misnomer. You are mashing the entire amount of grains that need mashing, just a smaller amount of them. So, in essence, it is a mini-mash. I never understood the whole 'partial' name. That would mean you were only mashing a portion of the mashable grains. But I digress...

I've only BIABed once for a small batch. It is nice when making small batches. Otherwise I use the equipment I've had for years. Not to mention that I often brew double batches, or back to back, and it would not work FOR ME to use BIAB for that.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:30 PM   #53
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Partial is also a misnomer. You are mashing the entire amount of grains that need mashing, just a smaller amount of them. So, in essence, it is a mini-mash. I never understood the whole 'partial' name. That would mean you were only mashing a portion of the mashable grains. But I digress...

I've only BIABed once for a small batch. It is nice when making small batches. Otherwise I use the equipment I've had for years. Not to mention that I often brew double batches, or back to back, and it would not work FOR ME to use BIAB for that.
IMO, you are not mashing a different amount of grain with BIAB. You use the same amount. The recipes for 5 gallon batches are valid whether you use a cooler/3 vessel system, a BIAB, or any other method for that matter.

I believe that the definition of a mini-mash is to increase the amount of grain used in an extract-only recipe while still including a few pounds of extract. Using BIAB doesn't automatically make it a mini-mash.

But you do have a valid point that BIAB isn't the best option for double batches or back to back batches.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #54
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Just to give a different perspective...
From my understanding BIAB was conceived here in Australia after home brewers first became aware of the Braumeister. They wanted a cheaper alternative of mashing in a similar fashion. A lot of the older brewers I've met here still prefer the traditional 3v system.
But for me BIAB was born out of necessity. When I was still living in the US, buying a 48 quart cooler and the bits needed for a ball valve and stainless steel braid was cheap. Also large pots and turkey fryers are dirt cheap in the US. But here, an equivalent sized cooler would sell for $200+ and similar propane burner costs $170. As a poor grad student, I can't afford a 3 vessel system here.
But now after I've seen how cheap and easy it is to make award winning beer with BIAB and no-chill, I don't know if I'll ever go back to a traditional system. One day when I do have a larger budget, I think I'd rather spend my money on other things (conicals, walk in cool room, etc.) rather than the method in which I make barley sugar-water.

And for the curious, no-chill was implemented because of the droughts and subsequent water restrictions we get here.

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:33 PM   #55
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I think the main reason most people don't use the BIAB method is because you have to take in to consideration the amount of grains in your grain bag that takes away from the water in the pot which effects your efficiency. Plus I think it just another name for partial mash
Efficiency in a no-sparge system (regardless of the use of a bag) is generally lower but it's not that much lower than a batch sparge system. It just has to be accounted for and accepted. In a true "bag" brew, the squeezing action of just lifting the bag actually drains more wort out than if it were in a static tun over a false bottom.

In my daydreaming about building a system like this, I'd have a heavy pressure plate that would be placed on the mash as I hoist the basket up.


The partial mash thing is just false. Partial mash means that your total fermentables only comes "partially" from a grain mash. This is no-sparge all grain brewing.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #56
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In a true "bag" brew, the squeezing action of just lifting the bag actually drains more wort out than if it were in a static tun over a false bottom.

In my daydreaming about building a system like this, I'd have a heavy pressure plate that would be placed on the mash as I hoist the basket up.
Bobby this is completely accurate. I have had to adjust Beer Smith to account for the squeezing action in order to hit my pre-boil volume mark. I found I ended up with almost a gallon extra wort after squeezing the bag using the default value. My Grain Absorption rate is currently set to 0.0150 in Beer Smith. Significatly lower then the default 0.5xx.

I have also started trying to come up with a solution to more easily press the grains. Currently a use a 4.5 gallon pot with steamer tray and a pot lid to squeeze the bag.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:35 PM   #57
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In my daydreaming about building a system like this, I'd have a heavy pressure plate that would be placed on the mash as I hoist the basket up.
i would have two giant logs swing together at the same time- just like the ewoks did to that walker in return of the jedi. messy- maybe- but super rad.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:59 PM   #58
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Ive seen recirculation of the wort mentioned in this thread several times .... is that done to somehow make better wort? Is it to increase efficiency? ... sorry for the ignorant question ... I'm still pretty new and I really don't know.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:08 AM   #59
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Ive seen recirculation of the wort mentioned in this thread several times .... is that done to somehow make better wort? Is it to increase efficiency? ... sorry for the ignorant question ... I'm still pretty new and I really don't know.
Whirlpooling helps to cool, separate the solids left from the hops and hotbreak, and aerate(?).

The main reason out of those 3 is to separate the solids from the rest of your beer so your beer runs as clear as possible into your fermentor.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:24 AM   #60
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All good points, and with that considered I only have one last thing to put into this conversation.

I do a full-volume BIAB. What does that do to the pH? I know that going out of the usual water to grist ratio should have an effect on the pH and thus tannin extraction, among other things. If I brew a beer with a typical 1.3 ratio and another with the BIAB full-volume method and they are perceivably the same after fermentation, where does that leave us?

At what point does the water to grist ratio become an essential factor in getting the mash just right? If on a low OG, 5 gallon batch the differences aren't noticable, that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't there.

Is it just a factor of scale that allows us not to worry so much about that issue?

Edit: I'm thinking about what was said in this thread, particularly: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/mash...e-mash-146961/
I've also wondered about the effects of a thinner mash on pH and final product. Anyone have any thoughts or experience with this?
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