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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB Brewing > First time BIAB - terrible efficiency. What did I do wrong?
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Old 01-25-2014, 06:23 PM   #11
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I.imagine the food processor will have a similar effect to blade grinding coffee beans. Irregular grinding leads to over extraction and under extraction on both ends which I imagine will translate to off tastes in beer and possible some strange tannin production. This is just from rough off the top of my head though, I don't know of any tests or comparisons of people doing this.
I've never seen any documented evidence of this.

A finer grind creates smaller sized bits of barley that can more easily and more quickly be penetrated by the hot water to extract and convert the starches to sugar. With BIAB you're relying on the bag to act as the grain filter. This is unlike the traditional brewing methods where a coarser grind is necessary to permit the grain itself act as the filter. Advantage BIAB.

On the flip side, all those finer particles in the finer crush hold a lot more water (adhesion). This has the potential to leave a lot of sugar in the bag, adhering to the grain, especially with no sparge BIAB methods. This can lead to very poor efficiency. Traditional brew methods with batch or fly spares, don't have this problem. Advantage traditional brewing methods.

Tannin extraction is much, much, much more influenced by pH and temps than crush. Besides, take a close look at a single vs. Double crush sometime. The husks pop off and survive in large pieces through subsequent crushes.
...and none of this has to do with 'off tastes.'
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:37 PM   #12
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I've never seen any documented evidence of this.

A finer grind creates smaller sized bits of barley that can more easily and more quickly be penetrated by the hot water to extract and convert the starches to sugar. With BIAB you're relying on the bag to act as the grain filter. This is unlike the traditional brewing methods where a coarser grind is necessary to permit the grain itself act as the filter. Advantage BIAB.

On the flip side, all those finer particles in the finer crush hold a lot more water (adhesion). This has the potential to leave a lot of sugar in the bag, adhering to the grain, especially with no sparge BIAB methods. This can lead to very poor efficiency. Traditional brew methods with batch or fly spares, don't have this problem. Advantage traditional brewing methods.

Tannin extraction is much, much, much more influenced by pH and temps than crush. Besides, take a close look at a single vs. Double crush sometime. The husks pop off and survive in large pieces through subsequent crushes.
...and none of this has to do with 'off tastes.'
You're right, that bag of finely milled grains holds a lot of wort and our efficiency is poor,

and then we squeeze the bag and almost all the wort come out and our efficiency approaches or exceeds 80%. Advantage BIAB again. Then some of us add a little water to that bag of mostly dry grains to absorb a bit more of the sugar, squeeze that out and efficiency goes up again. Advantage BIAB again.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:51 PM   #13
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Most people squeeze the bag. Dumb not too. You're not going to squeeze tannins out of the grain like some people say. That doesn't mean there isn't a lot of sugar still stuck to the grains. You're then batch sparging, is what you're saying, to get what's left. Its a smart, easy process. Traditional BIAB is full volume, no sparge... low efficiency but nice, first running wort. I use a bag, double crush, but use more conventional brewing methods myself.

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Old 01-26-2014, 02:56 PM   #14
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Good to know. Ignore my previous post than, logical fallacy by analogy.
No such thing as over extraction of the grains.
Only issue with food processor is too much dust might not be caught in the bag.

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Old 02-02-2014, 06:05 PM   #15
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Default try rinsing the grains

I usually do 5-6 gallon batches and mash with about 6-7 gallons of water. I have a 4 gallon bucket that I drilled holes into the bottom that sits inside one of my 6 gallon bucket fermentors. Before I squeeze the grain bag I rinse the grains with a couple gallons of hot water (either from a cooler or straight from the HW tap) and add it to my kettle. The runoff usually has an OG around 1.020-1.030. It would save a step just to add a 1lb of grain or two but I can't see throwing it away.

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Old 02-04-2014, 08:35 PM   #16
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I usually do 5-6 gallon batches and mash with about 6-7 gallons of water. I have a 4 gallon bucket that I drilled holes into the bottom that sits inside one of my 6 gallon bucket fermentors. Before I squeeze the grain bag I rinse the grains with a couple gallons of hot water (either from a cooler or straight from the HW tap) and add it to my kettle. The runoff usually has an OG around 1.020-1.030. It would save a step just to add a 1lb of grain or two but I can't see throwing it away.
I do the above... it works great.

To add to this thought -
The keys to efficiency are repeatability...

You must do the same thing every time -
Get a grain mill so you can grind your own grain the same every time
Get 2 buckets - Drill holes in the bottom of one and put some bolts in it so it sits on top of the other one... you can use this to squeeze the bag and/or sparge a couple of extra gallons of watter with if you pot is not big enough
I use tastybrew calculator... it is SPOT on and will till you what your effeciency is/was so you use it next time

Also - make sure you hit your water volumes you expect... it will make a much bigger impact on your efficiency than mashing will.

good luck
Kevin
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:53 PM   #17
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Traditional BIAB is full volume, no sparge... low efficiency but nice, first running wort. .
But traditional BIAB (full volume, no sparge) doesn't result in low efficiency.
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