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Old 10-03-2012, 09:59 PM   #11
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Aww don't be that way we squeeze the bag it's ok really



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Old 10-04-2012, 07:50 PM   #12
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I have only done one BIAB. I only have a 7.5 gal. kettle and I did no sparge. I was told to just mash with the maximum amount of water my kettle would allow and then boil the wort left after the mash and then to top off my fermenter with tap water to reach my desired amount of beer. I followed all of the steps and my resulting beer is very watered down tasting. I didn't measure for efficiency so I don't know what that number would have been. My OG was pretty spot on, but my FG was supposed to be 1.010 and ended up being 1.020.

I've since learned that I should have had the grains double milled and I was wondering if this, in and of itself would make a considerable difference in my next attempt at BIAB? I'm also considering doing a sparge since I don't have a kettle large enough to do a full BIAB mash. My question is, should I just try doing the double milling of the grains without the sparge or should I do a sparge because I don't have a large enough kettle to get a high enough efficiency? I have a 5 gal. kettle and I'm leaning towards doing a sparge...



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Old 10-05-2012, 10:47 AM   #13
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I have only done one BIAB. I only have a 7.5 gal. kettle and I did no sparge. I was told to just mash with the maximum amount of water my kettle would allow and then boil the wort left after the mash and then to top off my fermenter with tap water to reach my desired amount of beer. I followed all of the steps and my resulting beer is very watered down tasting. I didn't measure for efficiency so I don't know what that number would have been. My OG was pretty spot on, but my FG was supposed to be 1.010 and ended up being 1.020.

I've since learned that I should have had the grains double milled and I was wondering if this, in and of itself would make a considerable difference in my next attempt at BIAB? I'm also considering doing a sparge since I don't have a kettle large enough to do a full BIAB mash. My question is, should I just try doing the double milling of the grains without the sparge or should I do a sparge because I don't have a large enough kettle to get a high enough efficiency? I have a 5 gal. kettle and I'm leaning towards doing a sparge...
There are a whole lot of issues to deal with in your post but I'll try to answer some of them.

1. I just made two 5 gallon batches of BIAB and did them without topping off in the fermenter. I used a 7 1/2 gallon turkey fryer pot, put in about 6 gallons of water and brought it to the strike temperature (calculated to my conditions) and stirred in my grains (about 11 pounds total) leaving me with about an inch of freeboard in my pot. When I finished the boil I had about 5.25 gallons of wort to go into the fermenter, enough to get me 2 cases of bottles.

2. I used my Corona style mill to grind my grains and I set it as fine as I could so my grains come out looking like corn meal with husk pieces. This is what gives me my good efficiency as the smaller grain pieces let the water get to the center so the enzymes are activated and lets the sugars be washed back out. If you got grains that were rolled (milled) from one of the LHBS they were not fine enough and your efficiency suffered. The finely milled grains work in BIAB because you use the mesh of the bag to separate the grains from the wort while in the conventional tun you use the husks and coarser grains to form a filter bed to do the separation.

3. If your OG was good but the FG was that high you had either of two possibilities. One was that your beer wasn't done fermenting. The other was that your mash temperature was too high and left you with more dextrines that wouldn't ferment. What temperature did you mash at and how accurate is your thermometer. A difference of 4 degrees in the mash makes a huge difference in the finished beer (ask how I know this).

4. Your beer could be tasting watered down because it has not had sufficient time to mature. How soon did you sample it and what kind of beer was it. I've made a porter that tasted watery for weeks before it matured and tasted full like I expected. It also could be from lower efficiency and topping off. If you still feel that you need to top off your fermenter, at least pour the top off water through the bag of grains as this will rinse off more of the sugars and add them to your beer.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #14
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Thanks for your response.

I think I'm going to invest in one of those Corona mills. That should take care of one of my variables.

As for my FG, I took a reading 2 weeks after brewing and then took another a week later and it hadn't changed. I took another one 5 days late and it's still the same so I think it's safe to say it's done fermenting? As for my thermometer, I haven't ever tried callibrating it. I will give that a shot as well, but, according to my thermometer, I was able to stay at my mash temp for the full 60 minutes with insulating the kettle. I have a smaller thermometer I use for making lattes and espressos so I will use that to see if my brew thermometer is accurate or not.

And my beer is a belgian wit (Great Lakes Holy Moses clone). I know that my samples always taste watered down a bit before I bottle them and they have time to condition and carbonate, but this one just seemed more than my extract brews I've done in the past.

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Old 10-05-2012, 01:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by beaksnbeer
I sparge started with 65% worked on crush and got up to 72-75% consistently for 43 batches, then worked on mash temperature (better thermometer) and have held 80-85% depending on beer style bigger grain bills drop down a little going to try more stirring of the grain to see if that helps. Work only one item til you can hold you technique/efficiency before moving on. This also helps with consistency, also noticed a beer that clears quicker (yes I control fermenting temperature to beer style as well as cold crashing) I believe anything you tweak to help bring you better technique will improve your beer.
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Originally Posted by treehousebrewing
As of right now I'm doing a no-sparge method that gets me 80-85% efficiency. My bag is kind of coarse and I have my crush pretty dialed in, and I usually run a 75 minute mash. I guess that's why my efficiency is high. But it is really about consistency so we'll see whether or not it holds out.
+1 I have done many batches and can easily hit 75-80% without sparging but I don't check any more since its pretty consistent and I put 78% in Beersmith. That gives me a little more room in either direction. I hang the bag from a pulley in my awning that I brew under and purchased a BIAB bag from Wilserbrewer. It's awesome and he can customize it for your pot. Morebeer is my LHBS and I don't double mill, it seems to come out just fine with their standard setup.

Once it became easy and I had my rhythm down, my efficiency seemed to go up as well.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:31 PM   #16
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The grain mill I use is like this one from Amazon. Under $30, probably can pay for itself in the lower amount of grain you will need to use and the convenience of making beer when you want without storing crushed grains or going to the LHBS when you want to brew.

http://www.amazon.com/Large-Hopper-Wheat-Grain-Grinder/dp/B004BUVPAE/ref=sr_1_10?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1349447320&sr=1-10&keywords=corona+grain+mill

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:35 PM   #17
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No sparge, full-volume gets me 75%. Two gallon sparge will get me 80%-85%.

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ragtop232
I've done over 75 BIAB batches so far and high efficiency isn't that important, in my opinion. What is important to me is REPEATABLE efficiency. Whether you get 55%, 60%, 70% or higher really isn't what it's all about, but if you can hit that 65% efficiency every time, or +/- 2%, now you have achieved the goal. Now you can formulate your recipes and really hone in on your process and go after the taste/character you're trying to craft.

Jim
+1 on the consistency! My consistency sky rocketed when I wasn't drunk before the end of brew day! :-)
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:11 PM   #19
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The grain mill I use is like this one from Amazon. Under $30, probably can pay for itself in the lower amount of grain you will need to use and the convenience of making beer when you want without storing crushed grains or going to the LHBS when you want to brew.

http://www.amazon.com/Large-Hopper-Wheat-Grain-Grinder/dp/B004BUVPAE/ref=sr_1_10?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1349447320&sr=1-10&keywords=corona+grain+mill
I took the plunge and ordered one like this today! It was only $3.95 on Amazon!!! Of course, shipping was $22.50 but that's still cheaper than ones I was finding on ebay with free shipping...
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:43 AM   #20
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I have only done one BIAB. I only have a 7.5 I followed all of the steps and my resulting beer is very watered down tasting. My OG was pretty spot on, but my FG was supposed to be 1.010 and ended up being 1.020.
Looks more like you had a yeast failure/or racked beer to soon, only in some really big beers have I not gotten within .003 of my targeted F.G. but I always use starters 1500ml kicks a 5 gallon batch right off.


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