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Old 10-07-2012, 07:58 AM   #11
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Good point. It's not so much a too thin mash as insufficient enzymes. Having a bit of amylase lying around is great for these situations. It's very possible that an extra 30 minutes of mashing would have helped.

But for this particular problem, there are too many unknown variables. It could be insufficient enzymes for the amount of grain and water, or a bad crush, or a mash temperature issue, etc...

I see no point in mashing so thin and not doing a sparge. When I was doing BIAB, I always held about 2 gallons back to rinse the grain with. Consistently got 75-80% efficiency.

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Old 10-07-2012, 01:29 PM   #12
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I use the full volume to mash. I do six gallon batches and mash in with about 8 gallons. I stir regularly and use a bag that lines the entire pot (made by wiserbrewer). I usually end up with around 80% efficiency and great beers.

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #13
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I'd say the mash was not long enough. With only 50% malt the mash may need to be a bit more intense than just 60 min. To what extent the high water to grain ratio matters, I don't know. It should work, though.

b-amylase is denatured faster in thin mashes, but that only affects fermerntability and not efficiency. A-amylase matters for efficiency and that one should be just fine at 154 F.

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaylor View Post
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.
I was going to use an ice bucket with a pond pump to recycle the water. Hmm... I'll have to look into swamp cooler. I have an old mini fridge that won't fit a carboy but I wonder if i can make an enclosure that will use the compressor to keep it cool.

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.
I'll have to get a finer grain then. I just used the standard crush that my LHBS does. I will check the thermometer for accuracy before the next brew. Might invest in a digital one too. I wasn't able to stir as well as I would've liked since the bag only fit over half the pot. I'm looking into getting a bigger bag. My pot is 15" in diameter and about 14.5" deep. This bag should work, right? http://www.defalcos.com/virtuemart.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage= flypage.tpl&product_id=1115&category_id=58

Thank you guys so much for the help
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:17 PM   #15
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>b-amylase is denatured faster in thin mashes, but that only affects fermerntability and not efficiency. A-amylase matters for efficiency and that one should be just fine at 154 F.

Kai, can you explain this in more detail?
Am I correct in that you are saying - the OPs OG will be high but so will his FG, because it's not as fermentable?

For me, I want a fermentable wort, so I would not be happy with an efficiency number, that gives more unfermentables.

As one of your articles says, I tend to mash at 150F.

For teh OP, I'm curious how your final gravity ends.

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Old 10-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #16
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b-amylase appears to be more heat liable at higher water to grain ratios. Here is some data from the Kunze book I have:



(Water to grist ratio)

This would mean that thinner mashes produce less fermentable wort if mashed at the same temperature as thicker mashes. But that has not been my experience. The literature is also divided on the effect of mash thickness on fermentability.

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:54 PM   #17
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Hey guys,

So I'll be brewing again this Friday and wanted to get your input on the changes I've made to the brewing process. I'll be brewing the Nut Brown Ale by Lil' Sparky.

Code:
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.90 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.77 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Bottling Volume: 4.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.054 SG
Estimated Color: 14.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 22.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 82.9 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt          Name                                     Type        %/IBU         
9 lbs        Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain        76.6 %        
1 lbs        Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)    Grain        8.5 %         
1 lbs        Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                   Grain        8.5 %         
8.0 oz       Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)                  Grain        4.3 %         
4.0 oz       Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)               Grain        2.1 %         
1.00 oz      Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop          14.4 IBUs     
1.00 Items   Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 20.0 mins)        Fining            
1.00 oz      Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 15.0 Hop          7.9 IBUs      
1.0 pkg      Nottingham (Danstar #-) [23.66 ml]       Yeast             


Mash Schedule: BIAB, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 11 lbs 12.0 oz
----------------------------
Name                   Description                             Step Temp     Step Time     
Saccharification       Add 9.76 gal of water at 158.6 F        152.1 F       75 min        
Mash Out               Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min              168.0 F       10 min
I will be doing the following things to ensure a better efficiency:

1) Check/calibrate thermometer.
2) Get a larger mash bag - one that is big enough for my pot to fit inside.
3) Have the grains crushed twice.
4) Do a longer mash.

We thought about sparing in a different pot but we want to give this method another try. Still don't have a wort chiller but have built ourselves a Son of Fermentation Chiller. I should be able to keep it fermenting at 65 without issues.

My main issue is the amount of water need to start. According to Beersmith I will need 9.76 gallons and that seems a bit high to me. I have a 10 gal kettle and my fear is that it'll overflow if I add that much water before the grains. Am I doing something wrong in Beersmith?

Any help is appreciated. Please let me know if you need anymore information.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:56 AM   #18
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1, What is your evaporation rate?
2. What does BeerSmith show as loss to Hops and Grain?
When I BIAB, I lose less than a gallon for 12 pounds. And I have some $6 heat /chemical resistant gloves from Home Depot that let be squeeze the hops bags I use, so I lose little wort, other than to the boil.

3.>>Post Boil Volume: 6.77 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal

You lose 1.25 gallons in dead space?


I think you need a gallon less water, based on less grain/hops wort loss, and you wont lose the 1.27 gallons between flame out and ferementor.

I suggest you try and calculate to the best of your ability how much wort you lose from the grain absorption.
Remember to drain and squeeze the bag. SCOOB = 0.6 gallons loss per pound of grain.

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Old 10-18-2012, 01:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangesOfCourse View Post
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.



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.

First thought. Did you adjust your OG measurements for temperature?


Here is how I calculate volumes using paint strainer bags.

5.5 Gal Batch: #10 Grain

5.5 Gallons+
1 Gallon (Evaporation 60 min boil)+
.73 Gallon (Grain Absorption)

Total: 7.23 Gallons

I seem to hit my volumes and my OG within a point.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcLight View Post
1, What is your evaporation rate?
2. What does BeerSmith show as loss to Hops and Grain?
When I BIAB, I lose less than a gallon for 12 pounds. And I have some $6 heat /chemical resistant gloves from Home Depot that let be squeeze the hops bags I use, so I lose little wort, other than to the boil.

3.>>Post Boil Volume: 6.77 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal

You lose 1.25 gallons in dead space?


I think you need a gallon less water, based on less grain/hops wort loss, and you wont lose the 1.27 gallons between flame out and ferementor.

I suggest you try and calculate to the best of your ability how much wort you lose from the grain absorption.
Remember to drain and squeeze the bag. SCOOB = 0.6 gallons loss per pound of grain.
Ok... so I have adjusted my equipment settings to better match my brewing setup and it seems to be a bit closer to what I could expect. I think my numbers were just way off before. Here are the new numbers:

1) Evaporation rate: 13.8/hr (I will measure this again after this brew)
2) Loss to hops and grains: Is this the same as grain absorption? If so it's at 0.86 gallons
3) After the changes my post boil volume is 6.24. That should be a loss of .74 gal. Sound right?

Here is the new recipe card:
Code:
Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 7.24 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.24 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 15.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 22.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 78.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
9 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        76.6 %        
1 lbs                 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)    Grain         2        8.5 %         
1 lbs                 Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                   Grain         3        8.5 %         
8.0 oz                Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)                  Grain         4        4.3 %         
4.0 oz                Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)               Grain         5        2.1 %         
1.00 oz               Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           6        14.8 IBUs     
1.00 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 20.0 mins)        Fining        7        -             
1.00 oz               Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 15.0 Hop           8        8.1 IBUs      
1.0 pkg               Nottingham (Danstar #-) [23.66 ml]       Yeast         9        -             


Mash Schedule: BIAB, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 11 lbs 12.0 oz
----------------------------
Name                   Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Saccharification       Add 8.35 gal of water at 157.2 F        152.1 F       75 min        
Mash Out               Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min              168.0 F       10 min
Attached is my Beersmith equipment profile.

Thanks for the help ArcLight!
beersmith-2-tiff.jpg  
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