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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First BIAB - Dissecting Results
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #1
OrangesOfCourse
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Default First BIAB - Dissecting Results

Hey guys,

I'm hoping you guys can give me some comment/critique my first BIAB. I can go ahead and list all the details and I would appreciate it if you guys could tell me where I went wrong.

I'm basing my recipe from BierMuncher's Blue Moon Clone.

Quote:
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.19 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.77 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.046 SG
Estimated Color: 3.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 16.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 82.9 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name
5 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
3.5 lbs Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)
1.5 Wheat, Torrified (1.7 SRM)
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 60.0
0.60 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 10.0 mins)
1.00 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 mins)
1.0 pkg Belgian Wit Ale (White Labs #WLP400)
Steps:

1) Started with 8 gallons strike water at 158°
2) Added grains to paint strainer bag (cover only half the kettle)
3) Mashed around 154° for 60 mins
4) Mashed-out around 168° for 10 mins.
5) Removed bag from kettle and squeezed everything we could from the bag.
6) Started boiling the wort
7) Added hops once we achieved a rolling boil and boiled for 60 mins.
8) Added coriander and orange peel at 10 and 5 mins prior to flame out.
9) Cooled the wort as low as we could in the sink (only got it down to 80°)
10) Transferred 5 gallons to a carboy and had ~1/2 gallon wort with trub.
11) Pitched yeast at 80° (Would not cool further as the house was hot)

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.029
Post-Boil (Original Gravity): 1.033

According to BeerSmith our OG should have been 1.046 but we only achieved 1.033. Where did we go wrong?

Should we have used 2 paint strainer bags and clipped each over half the kettle and split the grains between them?
Did we not have enough water in the kettle prior to adding the grains?
What adverse effects will we get from pitching the yeast at 80°?

Please let me know if you need any more information.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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Could be a lot of things. If the crush wasn't fine enough, that could be part of the problem. First step would be to check your thermometer though. If it's off several degrees, you'll have issues.

Pitching and fermenting at 80F will give you some crazy esters.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass07 View Post
Could be a lot of things. If the crush wasn't fine enough, that could be part of the problem. First step would be to check your thermometer though. If it's off several degrees, you'll have issues.
Hmm... never did check the thermometer. It came with a brewing kit and I figured it would be fine. I'll be sure to check on that before the next brew.

Quote:
Pitching and fermenting at 80F will give you some crazy esters.
Unfortunately I didn't have a way to cool the wort down further. We used an ice bath but it wouldn't drop below 80°. I'm thinking we will make an immersion chiller for next time but I'm not sure how I'll be able to consistently keep the temp around 65°-74° in this Texas weather. Any advice?
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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Even with an IC you will only be able to get it down to the temperature of your groundwater. As far as keeping fermentation temps cool, you could use a swamp cooler with frozen water bottles or wet tshirt with a fan blowing on it.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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You mashed too thin.

You have 10 pounds of grain, but the Flanked Wheat and Torrified Wheat have no enzymes (diastatic power), so you really have 5 pounds of grain in 32 quarts. Thats almost a ratio of 6.4 : 1

Next time try heating less water, or removing some of the heated water and storing it in a pot.

Keep your water : grain ratio below 2.5 : 1

You dont have to mash thick 1.25 : 1, but if its too thin the enzymes are diluted and wont be as effective, and according to one of John Palmer's quotes, the enzymes break down (though I don't see why).

Maybe you can get away with such a thin mash if you mash at a lower temperature, for a longer time.
One time I did a BIAB with a thin mash and came in below 70%, missing my OC by several points.

Having a tight crush will also help.




>>Unfortunately I didn't have a way to cool the wort down further. We used an ice bath but it wouldn't drop below 80°. I'm thinking we will make an immersion chiller for next time but I'm not sure how I'll be able to consistently keep the temp around 65°-74° in this Texas weather. Any advice?

Occasionally Stir the wort in the ice bath. It will make a huge difference

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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Did you stir the mash?

In my early experiences with biab I found that I wasn't hitting my OG. My crush, pot volumes and temps were good but it wasn't until I started giving my mash a good 2-5min stir (prior to dough in, half way through mashing and prior to pulling the bag) did I see any significant change and now consistently hit my numbers.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Apologies to ArcLight but you did NOT mash too thin. BIAB uses the full volume of water to start with which usually results in a mash ratio of @ 3qts/lb grain or higher. (Yes, I'm saying Palmer was wrong but he is forgiven as he doesn't do BIAB)

Suggestions:

Crush a bit finer than you would for standard 3V brewing as there is no risk of a stuck sparge and the finer crush will expose more grain to the water.

Check your thermometer for accuracy (mashing too hot will effect OG)

Stir.....a lot!

Find a bag that will fit your pot. It's important that all the water be exposed to all of the grain and it's very difficult to accomplish this if the bag is too small. When sizing a bag, the rule of thumb is that the pot should be able to fit INSIDE the bag. This will insure that when the pot is lined with the bag all of the grain will be exposed to all of the water. (I'd be willing to bet this one change will get your efficiency numbers into the 80's).

Let us know how you make out next time around.

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:12 AM   #8
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I disagree.

Enzymes do get diluted. There is probably some theoretical curve showing efficiency as a ratio of water to grain. Kai mentions that you can get good results at 2.5 : 1. But if you start going thinner and thinner, it's probably going to have an effect. (I still don't know why Palmer says the enzymes are destroyed if the mash is too thin)

Assuming you have a decent crush, I think if you use less water (meaning below 3:1), you will get better results.
3:1 can work, but the ratio the OP used was much higher. There were 5 pounds of grains with enzymes in 32 quarts of water.
Its not like above 3:1 wont work, of course you will get some conversion. But probably it's not optimal.

With BIAB, you dont have to use the full volume. You can hold back some water, say 1.5 gallons to sparge with, and mash "less thin", since you dont mash thick with BIAB.

My anecdotal evidence (for what thats worth) is I got the worst conversion with BIAB at 3+:1, compared to 2:1
Not terrible, maybe 64%, and I gave it 1 hour at 150 and 15 minutes at 156.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thughes View Post
Apologies to ArcLight but you did NOT mash too thin. BIAB uses the full volume of water to start with which usually results in a mash ratio of @ 3qts/lb grain or higher. (Yes, I'm saying Palmer was wrong but he is forgiven as he doesn't do BIAB)

Suggestions:

Crush a bit finer than you would for standard 3V brewing as there is no risk of a stuck sparge and the finer crush will expose more grain to the water.

Check your thermometer for accuracy (mashing too hot will effect OG)

Stir.....a lot!

Find a bag that will fit your pot. It's important that all the water be exposed to all of the grain and it's very difficult to accomplish this if the bag is too small. When sizing a bag, the rule of thumb is that the pot should be able to fit INSIDE the bag. This will insure that when the pot is lined with the bag all of the grain will be exposed to all of the water. (I'd be willing to bet this one change will get your efficiency numbers into the 80's).

Let us know how you make out next time around.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcLight View Post
My anecdotal evidence (for what thats worth) is I got the worst conversion with BIAB at 3+:1, compared to 2:1
Not terrible, maybe 64%, and I gave it 1 hour at 150 and 15 minutes at 156.
Again, no offense, but spend the next 2 years doing nothing but experimenting with BIAB and recording your results and then get back to us.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thughes View Post
Again, no offense, but spend the next 2 years doing nothing but experimenting with BIAB and recording your results and then get back to us.
I agree, just anecdotal evidence.

Someone should conduct an experiment.
Take the OPs grain bill, crush it properly, and conduct 2 mashes.
One the way he did it, and one thicker, say 2-1, and sparge with the extra water.

The key here is half the grain bill had no diastatic power.
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