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Old 10-12-2010, 11:57 PM   #1
Naked_Eskimo
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Default Suggestions wanted to help improve efficiency on my BIAB method!

Wondering if any folks experienced with BIAB could critique my method and see if there are ways I can up my efficiency.

Here's my method...it's not a strict "pure" BIAB method, but slightly modified. Note: I do 3 gallon batches, hence the small grain bill.

Steps 1. mash 8lbs grain in an 12gallon Igloo cube cooler for 60 mins (grain:water ratio is 1.5qt/lb hence mash volume = 3 gallons). Temp holds pretty steady with maybe ~2 degree falloff over the hour mash.

Step 2. mash out for 15mins by adding 1.5 gallons boiling water (with this limited volume, mash out temp is typically ~163-165 depending on mash temp, so not quite at 168-170 where I would like)

Step 3. Empty entire mash contents (wort+grain) into bottling bucket lined by 5 gallon paint strainer. Lift paint strainer (grain bag) up let wort flow out of grain into bottling bucket. After giving slight squeeze on grain bag, usually collect the desired ~4gallons pre-boil volume (4.5 total - 0.5 grain absorbtion = 4 gallons).

Step 4. Take pre-boil hydro reading to calculate mash efficiency.

Step 5. Wort to pot and boil away.

With this method I am reproducibly hitting 70-72% efficiency, but feel I could do much better. Any suggestions? My thoughts were maybe mashing in the entire 4.5gallon volume and foregoing any mash out. Would this help with efficiency?

Any other suggestions welcome!



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Old 10-13-2010, 01:05 AM   #2
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My sugestions would be change the 1.5G mash out to a 1.5G sparge.
Swap steps 2 & 3 round, then put grain bag back into the cooler, sparge with 1.5 gallons water & mix, lift grain bag out, transfer wort from cooler to pot.



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Old 10-13-2010, 01:10 AM   #3
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My sugestions would be change the 1.5G mash out to a 1.5G sparge.
Swap steps 2 & 3 round, then put grain bag back into the cooler, sparge with 1.5 gallons water & mix, lift grain bag out, transfer wort from cooler to pot.
+1 I use a "dunk/steep sparge" for BIAB and it seems to work pretty well
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:44 AM   #4
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+1 I use a "dunk/steep sparge" for BIAB and it seems to work pretty well
Yeah I use a drain/rinse sparge and got 80% from 4.4 lbs in a 2.6 gallon batch, basically lift the grain bag and let drain, then pour over the sparge water. Don't know if I would want to do that on a 5 gallon batch though
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:57 AM   #5
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+1, i mash the same way you do but dunk/steep sparge for 10min instead of doing a mashout

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Old 10-13-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Seems everyone is suggesting I skip the mashout and replace it with a sparge or dunk/steep. I'm not sure though if I could do a steep with that amount of grains in just 1.5gal water...the water wouldn't even come up to halfway up the grainbag.

I have tried the sparge before. My method was mash in cooler, dump grain into bottling bucket lined with paint strainer. Pulled strainer out thus separating wort from grain. I then dumped the grain out of the bag back into the mash cooler and sparged with the 1.5gal water. Repeatedthe process of dumping grain and wort into bucket lined with strainer. Collected wort from sparge, added to wort from the mash and all into the pot.

Pretty much hit exact same efficiency.

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Old 10-13-2010, 05:21 PM   #7
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i tend to mash at 1.5 qt/lb and do a steep-sparge in about the same amount of water. it'll boil down to about the appropriate volume of liquid.

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Old 10-13-2010, 05:27 PM   #8
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i tend to mash at 1.5 qt/lb and do a steep-sparge in about the same amount of water. it'll boil down to about the appropriate volume of liquid.
Mashing and sparging with same volume of water would give me 6 gallons water....waaaay over my desired pre-boil volume of 4 gallons.

Perhaps I should try a full-volume mash as I've read on other sites (i.e mash with the full 4.5 gallons). Anyone tried this method? Obviously there's no sparge or mash out...but that should be okay due to the extreme water:grain ratio.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:58 PM   #9
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Well 70-72 is not that bad effeciency. The grain crush effects it somewhat to so you could try a different supplier (that is if you are getting precrushed grain )

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Old 10-13-2010, 06:41 PM   #10
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Well 70-72 is not that bad effeciency. The grain crush effects it somewhat to so you could try a different supplier (that is if you are getting precrushed grain )
I've heard a lot of folks talk about a "double crush" to increase efficiency. Are they literally talking about running the grain through the mill twice?

I get my grains from my LHBS, so I'm using the mill provided by the LHBS and doing the crushing myself. He has a pretty simple mill setup, but I dont think he (the owner) would appreciated me tinkering with it to get a finer crush. If running the grain through the mill twice will up my efficiency, I may give it a bash this weekend!


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