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Old 10-06-2012, 01:22 PM   #941
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I'll ask this here, since it seems to be the local repository of BIAB knowledge, and I haven't been able to find anything. I'm getting ready to do my first BIAB batch soon and was wondering, what ratio of water to grain do most people use for BIAB? 1.0-2.0 qt / lb is of course the recommended range for AG brewing, but it sounds like most people who aren't sparging are using a much thinner mash than this?

I ask because I would think (just from Michaelis–Menten kinetics) that efficiency would be reduced at extreme thinness (unless mashing for much longer), since the substrate concentration is reduced (and so the rate of conversion is reduced).
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I think most people with a large enough kettle capacity tend to mash with full volume. I, for example, use about 8 gallons (depending on the brew), mash-out and squeeze the bag. I generally get about 75%+ efficiency.
yeah... what eulipion2 said.

to determine water needed use batch size + absorption + boil off +trub loss = water needed.
to determine absorption use weight of grains * .066 = absorption.

of course the water absorbed can be higher or lower depending on how much you squeeze the bag. don't worry about tannin extraction from squeezing.. that myth has been busted a while ago.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #942
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Originally Posted by SiriusStarr View Post
I'll ask this here, since it seems to be the local repository of BIAB knowledge, and I haven't been able to find anything. I'm getting ready to do my first BIAB batch soon and was wondering, what ratio of water to grain do most people use for BIAB? 1.0-2.0 qt / lb is of course the recommended range for AG brewing, but it sounds like most people who aren't sparging are using a much thinner mash than this?

I ask because I would think (just from Michaelis–Menten kinetics) that efficiency would be reduced at extreme thinness (unless mashing for much longer), since the substrate concentration is reduced (and so the rate of conversion is reduced).
Normal (full-volume no-sparge BIAB with mashout and squeeze the bag) batch for me is @ 12lb grain and @ 8.5 gallons water, that's almost 3 qts/lb and I get a consistent 82-83% efficiency.

Instead of taking all the scientific theories and advice from non-BIAB brewers as gospel, I'd suggest trying it for yourself and drawing your own conclusions.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #943
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Originally Posted by SiriusStarr View Post
I'll ask this here, since it seems to be the local repository of BIAB knowledge, and I haven't been able to find anything. I'm getting ready to do my first BIAB batch soon and was wondering, what ratio of water to grain do most people use for BIAB? 1.0-2.0 qt / lb is of course the recommended range for AG brewing, but it sounds like most people who aren't sparging are using a much thinner mash than this?

I ask because I would think (just from Michaelis–Menten kinetics) that efficiency would be reduced at extreme thinness (unless mashing for much longer), since the substrate concentration is reduced (and so the rate of conversion is reduced).
Most conversation is done within the first 20-30 minutes of the mash. So mashing for a full hour accounts for any additional time needed with BIAB.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:58 PM   #944
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I'm also mashing appr. 3 qt/lb, 60 min + 10 min mashout. And exta few mins for mini sparging, dunk sparge, squeezing the bag - if needed etc while wort is going up to the boil.
So ratio 2,5.- 3 qt/lb is pretty common among the biabers. As previous post said, conversion is / should be done in first half hour. Experiment and check it yourself with iodine. No bother about density of the solution, check new(october) BYO and some experiments results at biabrewer.info.

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Old 10-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #945
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I think most people with a large enough kettle capacity tend to mash with full volume. I, for example, use about 8 gallons (depending on the brew), mash-out and squeeze the bag. I generally get about 75%+ efficiency.
So say 32qt, that's probably 2.0-3.2 qt / lb ish (10 to 16 lbs of grain for a 5 gallon batch) with no notable loss of efficiency.

I have an 8 gallon brew kettle (bought it before I knew about BIAB, grr) and equivalently sized bag, so I'm right on the edge of having to do partial mash (for stronger beers). Do people find that their BIAB efficiency is reduced with thicker mashes (just thinking it's more likely to be retained in the grain without sparging)? A mash-out would be a must, of course. My concern is not having enough pre-boil volume; I'll have to run the numbers.

EDIT: Sorry, forum glitched for me and didn't show the mass of other replies... I suppose since most of the enzymatic action occurs early on in the mash, the full hour should take care of any slightly decreased rate.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:03 PM   #946
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I have heard anecdotal evidence from other BIAB'ers that a thicker mash (usually a necessity when doing big beers) does result in a lowered efficiency but as I have not tested this myself I cannot say for sure. Perhaps some BIAB'ers that have experience doing high gravity beers can chime in here?

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:19 PM   #947
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I have heard anecdotal evidence from other BIAB'ers that a thicker mash (usually a necessity when doing big beers) does result in a lowered efficiency but as I have not tested this myself I cannot say for sure. Perhaps some BIAB'ers that have experience doing high gravity beers can chime in here?
This wouldn't surprise me, since I think the reason you can get away with no sparge with BIAB is because the mash is so thin.

I'm thinking the best option at this point for me is to mash up to ~7-8 lbs and add DME as needed for higher gravity beers. 8 lb @ 3.0 qt/lb = 6 gallon, which should be about the max in my 8 gallon pot (including the grain volume), keeping in mind that I'll need enough pre-boil volume.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #948
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About the highest I've tried so far has been about 1.070 with about 74% efficiency. If I do smaller beers in the 1.030's I tend to get in the mid- to upper-80's. I've got a couple "to be brewed" beers in my sig, and once I get those under my belt I'll let you know how my efficiency is on big beers.

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #949
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About the highest I've tried so far has been about 1.070 with about 74% efficiency. If I do smaller beers in the 1.030's I tend to get in the mid- to upper-80's. I've got a couple "to be brewed" beers in my sig, and once I get those under my belt I'll let you know how my efficiency is on big beers.
Oh man, a Three Philosophers clone... I think I'm gonna need a sample bottle to confirm your efficiency.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:19 AM   #950
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if you have a smaller pot... just sparge by either dunking (think tea bag) or by pouring hot water through the grains as the bag sit over the kettle. just reduce the full volume of water by 2-3 gallons.. mash and then sparge. it's still BIAB just not full volume.

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