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Old 09-15-2010, 05:08 PM   #1
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Default BIAB Question: Grain and Water Volume

I've read different things about BIAB and no sparge brewing. I've read that the grain bill should be increased for no sparge brewing which seems like that should also apply to BIAB. Do other BIABers increase the grain volume? Also what water to grain ratio do most use. I did this last year on 1 or 2 brews but can't find my notes. I thought I used 3qt per pound but I've seen references to 1.5qt/lb and 2qt/lb. My system is not a true BIAB. I have a RIMS but I want to get away from sparging.

I am also going to brew 3gal batches this season and need to work out the volumes for that. When downsizing a standard 5gal recipe to 3gal, I use the following formula:
malt x 3/5
For example Ed Worts Pale Ale calls for 8lbs 2 row
8x3/5 = 4.8lbs for a 3gal batch

I have never brewed batches smaller than 5gal and I now wonder if the water boils off quicker or will it boil off at the same rate/hr.

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Old 09-15-2010, 05:37 PM   #2
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ok.... I really suggest batch sparging its easy with BIAB... 1.5-2.5 qt/lbs depending on what i'm trying to put together... I havent mucked around with batch sized but as long as the surface of water to air stays the same i'm pretty sure boil off should be close with a bit more being burned off the less wart you start with.

With thas said... Increase the grain bill if not sparging... make sure to do 1 or 2 qualifying brews to find your efficiency... (SMASH or something easy)

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Old 09-15-2010, 05:47 PM   #3
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So you do batch sparge with BIAB?

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:23 PM   #4
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With no sparge BIAB, I doubt you can adhere to the 1.25qt/lb grain formula, else you'd end up with much less wort volume than you'd need for a 5 gallon batch.

e.g. 10lbs grain X 1.25 = 12.5qt = <3.1 gallons with grain absorption.

What I do is mash in with 2qt/lb grain for 60mins, and then do a mash out with the remaining volume I need to meet my pre-boil volume requirement. Thus no sparge.

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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I don't sparge or add extra grain, but I did make my own bag out of voile from a fabric store and it let's me crush the grain to near powder. Works great.

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Old 09-16-2010, 04:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input Lads,
I will consider the mash out addition of water to top off. I have a nice pump and two Coleman Bev Coolers along with my 40qt kettle and can do proper sparging. I'm just trying to speed up the process a little. I also buy my grains from Brewmasters Warehouse all packaged and ready to brew (I use their Brew Builder feature). I'll just ask them to grind a little finer

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Old 09-17-2010, 01:55 AM   #7
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I brew 5 gallon bathes 3 gallons to mash with and 3 gallons to rinse the grains in. I mash in my 5 gallon gott cooler in the bag and then lift the bag out and drain with a large collander and then rinse sprge in the bag for 20 minutes in the brew pot with my other 3 gallons of water ive always hit my original gravities or come in just a little over. I love meis brew in a bag and sparge in a bag

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Old 09-17-2010, 03:04 AM   #8
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I do "Aussie" style BIAB. I dough in with all the water I need for boil off, absorption, etc. I wind up with about 3:1 ratio. I average 75-83% depending on the exact grain bill. No sparge needed. I do a mash-out by raising temp with direct heat (well, I use a heating element). Not sure it helps, but its easy to do.

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Old 09-26-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakins View Post
I do "Aussie" style BIAB. I dough in with all the water I need for boil off, absorption, etc. I wind up with about 3:1 ratio. I average 75-83% depending on the exact grain bill. No sparge needed. I do a mash-out by raising temp with direct heat (well, I use a heating element). Not sure it helps, but its easy to do.
Is your 3:1 ratio = 3 quarts per 1 lb of grain? So to determine the amount of water a person needs for BIAB they can still do their calculations of
1.5q/lb of grain? Does that sound right?
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:48 PM   #10
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Basically, you can do the calculations yourself, it's very easy to do. I'm by no means an expert, having never brewed BIAB, but since I intend to brew using this technique in the very near future, this is what I came up with after browsing for info here.

You need three things:
a) Your final batch volume (account for trub loss and bump this higher depending on your system)
b) Your boil volume
c) The different variables and constants, namely qt/lb for mash, grain absorb. rate, grain bill and boil-off rate.

The first thing you need to figure out is the amount of boil volume you'll need to arrive to your final batch volume. Let's say we want 5gal final batch size and we boil-off at 1gal/hour. It comes to reason, if we want to do a full boil, that we'll need 6 gallons in the kettle after mashing.

Now we need to calculate the amount of strike water we need. This is where it gets more complicated, but not by much.

You basically take the figure you want as far as mash consistency (1,25qt/lb) and multiply that by the grain bill (let's say 12lb). This gives us the amount of strike water we need:

1,25 * 12 = 15 quarts, wich is = 3,75 gallons. Now, we lose some water to the grain. 0.125 gal/lb is the figure I see the most. 12lb * 0,125gal/lb = 1,5 gal lost. This means we have, after mashing, 2,25 gallons of wort left (3,75-1,5).

If we want to hit 6 gallons total volume, we thus need 6 gal -2,25 gal = 3,75 gallons of sparge water. You can then sparge in another pot, a bucket, a coooler or what have you by dunking and stirring for 10-15 minutes.

Doing partial boils is also feasible using this method (providing you are doing a somewhat small BIAB with low SG). You just top-off to hit your boil-volume OR you top off after the boil to hit SG or batch size if you don't care about SG. I'd say that for me, it looks easier (and more convenient) to be topping off after the boil since it would be easier to compensate for loss of efficiency, you are only concerned about hitting SG after everything is done and you can get around having to boil huge amounts on a feable stovetop (since this is why most people, I gather, want to BIAB instead of going the usual MLT setup or brewing outside).

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