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Old 03-09-2009, 07:13 AM   #1
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Default Tried Brew-In-A-Bag tonight, got bad efficiency: 1.034 instead of 1.054

I tried my first BiAB tonight and although the wort looked nice, I guess it didn't work that well because my OG came out real low. I took the Clone brews Paulaner Hef recipe and cut it in half for a 2.5G batch.

I'm thinking that perhaps I messed up the grain weighing/purchasing and that I should just try this again, to see if I get the same efficiency. Maybe this doesn't work well with wheat??

I used 14qts of water that was about 13qt after a 90min mash (in a giant bag that lined my pot), then boiled down to 10qt (2.5G) after 90m. The OG at that point was 1.034, which is a total let down!

According to BeerSmith this is about 52% efficiency, which sucks.

I'm a bit discouraged, but I'll try it again sometime after I do a few more extract batches.

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Old 03-09-2009, 07:15 AM   #2
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Recipe?.........

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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/dennys-quick-dirty-faq-153729/#post1766281

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Old 03-09-2009, 07:22 AM   #3
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42oz Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 51.27 %
38oz Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 46.30 %
2oz Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2.44 %
0.5 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [4.00 %] (90 min)Hops 11.4 IBU
1 Pkgs Wyeast 3068 Yeast-Wheat

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Old 03-09-2009, 11:33 AM   #4
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What was the temp for the mash?

Was this your first AG? If not, what is your normal efficiency?

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Old 03-09-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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It sounds to me like you just steeped the grain in 14qts of water for 90mins and then just removed the bag. What you should have done was use 6 quarts of water for the mash, then heat about 8 quarts in a separate pot up to 180F. After the mash is done, lift the bag out of the mash pot and put it into the 8 quarts of 180F water and dunk it or stir well for a while. THEN combine both worts into your larger pot for the boil.

You did a no sparge and efficiency is typically about 60% doing that.

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Old 03-09-2009, 03:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
It sounds to me like you just steeped the grain in 14qts of water for 90mins and then just removed the bag. What you should have done was use 6 quarts of water for the mash, then heat about 8 quarts in a separate pot up to 180F. After the mash is done, lift the bag out of the mash pot and put it into the 8 quarts of 180F water and dunk it or stir well for a while. THEN combine both worts into your larger pot for the boil.

You did a no sparge and efficiency is typically about 60% doing that.
No, he did it the right way for BiaB. The very thin mash and fine grind usually gets me around 75% or more without a sparge.

In my opinion, if you're doing a sparge with BiaB, you might as well just get a cooler and batch sparge.


One thing that you might want to look into (if your measurements were ok) is the grind. You can go with a much finer grind for BiaB. I run my grains through my mill twice.

Also, the wheat malt could be at fault too. I know I used to get poor efficiency using wheat malt and my LHBS's crush. I think the the wheat grains are a little smaller, and don't get crushed as well.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:54 PM   #7
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What temp did you mash at? If your temp was too low the you could have gotten bad efficiancy also.

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Old 03-09-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
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What temp did you mash at? If your temp was too low the you could have gotten bad efficiancy also.
I mashed at 150 and then kicked it up to 156 before removing the bag. Also dunked the bag a bit and squeezed it out. I ground the pale malt twice but not the wheat, which i should have done too. In reference to an earlier question, yes this was my first AG.
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Old 03-09-2009, 04:07 PM   #9
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I thought the same with my latest batch ( partial mash Belgian Wit) come to find out my thermometer was reading high. Better luck next time! I know I cant wait to brew more!

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Old 03-09-2009, 04:21 PM   #10
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Well, you're right that he might as well build a cooler MLT, but I'd still want to do a sparge no matter where the mash is being held.

If anyone can regularly get 75% without sparging, HLTs would be few and far between I think.

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