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Old 11-30-2011, 02:19 AM   #1
cotillion
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Default BIAB Water Displacement by Grain

Hello again, all

As I continue to pore over numerous threads regarding BIAB process, more and more questions pop up. One to which I can't seem to find an answer is in regard to water displacement volumes.

Here is my situation: I have an 8.75 gallon kettle and want to do 5-5.5 gallon batches using BIAB. Do I have room for a typical AG full boil here? I have tried using the rackers calculator, but I can't tell exactly how to interpret it. Does it assume that I will top off the wort once I am finished mashing? How much strike water should I have initially and how do I know how much volume will be displaced by, say, 14 lbs of grain? If I do need to mash and then add more water later, when do I do that and how does it affect my gravity? What wort thickness should I am for with BIAB? I just have no idea how much water to start with and what to expect as the process continues.

Also, in order to increase final alcohol levels, could one simply at beet candy sugar or dextrose or something like that? I know it may be frowned upon as not fully AG, but does it make a major practical difference?

Sorry for that barrage but man, I feel like this stuff can be pretty dense, especially after a couple hours of reading multiple tabs on my screen lol.

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Old 11-30-2011, 03:16 AM   #2
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Use this for BIAB - http://www.gregstiffler.com/biabcalc/

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Old 11-30-2011, 04:39 AM   #3
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I like to dunk sparge into two gallons of water for 10 minutes. I've got a 7.5 gallon kettle, and have done a 12 pound mash using this technique. My efficiencies have been in the 75-80% range.
This isn't the true BIAB technique, but I've found it works well for me.

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Old 11-30-2011, 06:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
This calculator is not that useful. If I already know all of the values how does it help? Trub loss? I thought the point of these was to tell you what you need. This just seems like I enter the info and it says what happened if everything hit.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:22 AM   #5
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Looked fairly good to me.

Try using 10% of your fermenter volume for trub loss

Make a guess for you evaporation, and next time you will have a better value to use.

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Old 11-30-2011, 02:17 PM   #6
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You can do a full mash with all your water, but 14 lbs is pushing it.

Based on some experience and using ez_water_2.0 I find my mash thickness. Generally, I start with 7.5 gallons of water for 11 - 14 lb of grain. I plug in 7.5 gal for mash water and 0.0 gal for sparge water and total grain weight to get my mash thickness.

7.5 gal plus your 14 lbs comes to 2.14 qt/lb which is fine. Now using the GB packers 'can i mash it' I find it will take up 8.61 gallons of volume. That's too close for comfort for me, but do you get the idea?

You can try an 11.5 lb grain bill at a 2.14 qt/lb to see how you like it. I wouldn't go with a mash below a 2.00 qt/lb, personally. Rules are made to be broken though, my last batch was 18 lb and I didn't consider the mash thickness, it was thick and I pulled off a 1.077 OG, but my efficiency suffered.

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Old 11-30-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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Interesting stuff - thanks for the replies.

I'm not so worried about fitting in with the definition of BIAB, as long as I can find the least complicated way to make a wide range of good 5 gallon batches.

1MadScientist, what is your kettle size? I think I am starting to understand it a little...maybe not, though. So at the given 14 lbs of grain, if I started with 7 gallons of strike water, that would be at 2qts/lb thickness and 8.12 gallons of volume taken up. I'd be left with about .5 gallons of space left, which could be dangerous for boilovers. Is it doable? Am I grasping the concept at all?

What happens to the beer if I start a little thicker for mash and then topped up a bit with some lightly sparged runnings after dunking in a side pot?

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Old 11-30-2011, 10:49 PM   #8
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It's a 15.5 gal converted keg you see in my link at the bottom.

Yep, I think you got it there. It looks like you ran those new numbers. You also have grain absorption when you pull the bag so it will be lower.

Full volume BIAB means you can squeeze the bag for all its worth to get all the juice. If you end up doing a sparge than probably not.

If you what to push the envelope than I highly recommend the product called foam control (FermCapS). You will NOT have boil overs!

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Old 11-30-2011, 11:10 PM   #9
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I use an 8.5 gallon kettle and have done about 10 BIAB batches with it. Grain bills have been from 10-13 lbs. There has always been room for at least another couple of lbs in the pot.

I start with approx 6 gallons of water. I measure inaccurately with a britta charcoal filter pitcher. 6 pitchers to start.

After the mash I pull the bag, place it in a plastic 5 gallon bucket and pour 2 gallons of 195 degree water over it.

That liquid added to the boil pot nets about 6.5 gallons of wort preboil. Its tight and you have to watch the boil. I generally bottle between 52-57 12 oz bottles with this process.

My last batch was a SMaSh with 12 lb of Marris Otter. I got a post boil gravity of 1.062

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Old 11-30-2011, 11:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotillion View Post
Interesting stuff - thanks for the replies.

I'm not so worried about fitting in with the definition of BIAB, as long as I can find the least complicated way to make a wide range of good 5 gallon batches.

1MadScientist, what is your kettle size? I think I am starting to understand it a little...maybe not, though. So at the given 14 lbs of grain, if I started with 7 gallons of strike water, that would be at 2qts/lb thickness and 8.12 gallons of volume taken up. I'd be left with about .5 gallons of space left, which could be dangerous for boilovers. Is it doable? Am I grasping the concept at all?

What happens to the beer if I start a little thicker for mash and then topped up a bit with some lightly sparged runnings after dunking in a side pot?
Looks like you are on the right track. 8.12 gallons will be the volume with all your grain in there though. Once you take it out and start the boil you will probably have around 7 gallons or wort. If you have a 8.75 gallon kettle you shouldn't have to worry to much about boil overs. I have an 8 gallon kettle and start my boils with a volume of 6.8 gallons based on my boil off rate.
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