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Old 02-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #1
bradfordmonk
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Default BIAB: Low efficiency?

*Update: Contacted Midwest and they did what they could to provide great customer service. So if you have a problem, contact them, as they are really understanding and want to make sure you are taken care of.

This is my second attempt at BIAB, first attempt went well, just ended with twice as much wort then intended because I used the wrong calculator online

So I tried again with same recipe, minus 1lb of base malt grain. According to Hopville, my OG should have been 1.086, I ended at 1.060, which is what, 50% efficiency. (I attached recipe)

I think in future I'm going to skip the sudo-sparge I was doing (as you'll see below) and just do full volume and use the 170* rest for 10minutes.

Perhaps someone can help explain where I went wrong...
  1. Water used was bottled Deer Park
  2. Mashed for 60minutes, temp was between 152* and 155* (mostly 153*) for the entire 60 minutes. So that was good.
  3. Pulled grains/bag out, let drip, moved to a bucket to capture runnings. Heated wort in pot to 170*, then put grains/bag back in for 10mins
  4. Pulled grains/bag out, let drip, moved to bucket and poured additional volume of water of 180* and poured over grain, to rinse grains and also bring my volume to needed volume.
  5. Continued boil as regular.

Only possible thing I can think of is either...
  • First time ordering grains through midwest, maybe the crush?
  • Flame blew out during boil a few times, but only for less than a minute/few seconds while I re-lit.


Any ideas?
biab_loweff.jpg  
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Last edited by bradfordmonk; 02-18-2013 at 07:24 PM. Reason: added note about contacting midwest and their customer service
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
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Did you rinse your grain bag with the wort before pouring the 180 water over it? Seems like that would be the cause, as you got the sugars out, then dunked the grains back in the wort and (im guessing) the sugars went back to the grains and stayed there. Not sure if that makes sense...
For future batches, id recommend just heating up water to 170 or so and dunking your grains in there, stirring furiously for 10-15, then pulling and letting it drip. When i did biab i did that and ended up at around 80% efficiency.

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Old 02-17-2013, 06:52 PM   #3
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I've seen several post about bad crush at Midwest (never used them myself) so that would be my bet. When I order grains I always ask for a double crush. I can see 15-20% jump with that alone. I do full volumeand get 75-78%

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Old 02-17-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicklepickles View Post
Did you rinse your grain bag with the wort before pouring the 180 water over it? Seems like that would be the cause, as you got the sugars out, then dunked the grains back in the wort and (im guessing) the sugars went back to the grains and stayed there. Not sure if that makes sense...
For future batches, id recommend just heating up water to 170 or so and dunking your grains in there, stirring furiously for 10-15, then pulling and letting it drip. When i did biab i did that and ended up at around 80% efficiency.
I basically put the grains after the 170* 10 minute rest, i moved the whole bag with the grains into a bucket, and poured the 180* water in there then, after pouring water in, i pulled bag out and let drip out (didn't let it sit in the 180* water for any amount of time).

I don't know if it's Midwest, I've read that as well from Midwest, and it's my first time I ever got grains from them. When I did this recipe before and ended with twice as much water I still ended at 1.070. Figured it was off from the 1.086 because of the extra wort amount, and I got the grains from Northern Brewer.

Just wasn't sure if it was because the crush may have been not good...or if my own process somewhere is not good. I still should end up with a good beer, just not what I was looking for.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:49 PM   #5
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i am sitting here just about to finish up my boil and i do the BIAB method as well. I leave the bag in the pot as i raise the temp to the 170* mark. no need to take it in and out constantly. after the 10 min rest i pull out and have it rest on top of boil pot with some pipes to support so it drains straight back in. then i pour my strike water over until i am just about where i need to be then i take a mashing tool (the thing you mash potatoes with) and push down to get all the rest of the good juices out of my grain. never had a problem with that. I will let you know what my efficiency was today using this method as soon as it is cooled down. My moto is that if there is a way to do things that are less hassle then do them that way. Thats why we go with BIAB anyway right? LOL
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
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All i did to figure out what my efficiency was is adjust the setting for efficiency in Hopville til the OG changed to what I had of 1.060.

Yea, I may do that, I'd like to at least just get 75% as that's what default is in hopville so I don't have to play with more grains and all.

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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With BIAB there is no need for mashout. When you remove the grain from the pot and squeeze the wort out of it, the conversion from the enzymes that you want to stop to keep the correct mix of sugars pretty much stops since there is no grain left in the pot. You can start heating that wort right away and if there was any conversion still going on in the pot it will stop shortly.

Getting efficiency with BIAB is about getting a fine crush. Most suppliers will crush coarse enough that the standard mash tun will not get clogged but you don't have the standard mash tun, you have a bag with a huge filter area. You should request double crush or BIAB crush.

When I pull the bag out and squeeze out the wort (I squeeze hard) I can expect to see about 80% efficiency. If I haven't used enough water in the mash to get my pre-boil amount, I do a pseudo sparge with (gasp, that can't be right) cold water. When the water mixes with the grain it gets warm enough to dissolve the sugars but cool enough to squeeze without burning my hand. With this I get another 5% to my efficiency. No extra heating, no extra time waiting for mashout (needs at least 10 minutes at 170) and I can reduce the length of my brew day.

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
With BIAB there is no need for mashout. When you remove the grain from the pot and squeeze the wort out of it, the conversion from the enzymes that you want to stop to keep the correct mix of sugars pretty much stops since there is no grain left in the pot. You can start heating that wort right away and if there was any conversion still going on in the pot it will stop shortly.

Getting efficiency with BIAB is about getting a fine crush. Most suppliers will crush coarse enough that the standard mash tun will not get clogged but you don't have the standard mash tun, you have a bag with a huge filter area. You should request double crush or BIAB crush.

When I pull the bag out and squeeze out the wort (I squeeze hard) I can expect to see about 80% efficiency. If I haven't used enough water in the mash to get my pre-boil amount, I do a pseudo sparge with (gasp, that can't be right) cold water. When the water mixes with the grain it gets warm enough to dissolve the sugars but cool enough to squeeze without burning my hand. With this I get another 5% to my efficiency. No extra heating, no extra time waiting for mashout (needs at least 10 minutes at 170) and I can reduce the length of my brew day.

So you don't even do the 170* sit at all? hmm.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:54 PM   #9
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My brew goes from 152 to 170 while I am squeezing out the grain bag and is on its way to a boil. No wait.

When you fly sparge it takes some time to complete the process during which time the wort is sitting in the grain at mash temperature so then you need a mashout to stop conversion while you fly sparge. With BIAB, the grain is gone and you heat right away. You'd probably be at a boil before the 10 minute mashout would normally be completed and at a boil, the enzymes are destroyed.

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
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at least i do something correctly...1 hour after pitching yeast, it's going to town

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