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Old 01-22-2013, 07:16 PM   #1
richfei
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Default Amount of mash water for BIAB

I'm going to brew a 5 gallon Belgian wit as my first BIAB
Ingredients as follows
4.75 lb Belgian Pilsner (2 Row)
3.00 lb White Wheat Malt
2.5 lb Flaked Wheat
0.50 oz Cascade (7.5%) (30min)
0.50 oz Cascade (7.5%) (5 min)
0.50 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 15.0 min)
0.50 oz Coriander Seed, Crushed (Boil 15.0 min)
1 Pkg Belgian Wit Ale (White Labs #WLP400)

The grain comes to 10.25 LB
A few questions

1) Should I go with 1.25 quarts per pound as my mash water i.e 12.81 quarts water i.e 3.2 pounds or do I need more ?

2) After a 60 min boil, do I not need to sparge and can just press down on the bag. i.e shouldn't be a need to top off to get to 5 LB wort ?

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
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5 gal your goal?

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:26 PM   #3
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If your not going to sparge you will need more water to start. Enough to account for what the grains soak up plus your boil off.

I did a BIAB this weekend with a 12lb grain bill.
I used 1.5qt/lb (4.5G) and then sparged with 3.5G to get my preboil volume to 6.5G.
After my 60 min boil I had 5.5G to go into the fermenter.

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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I'm looking for 5.5 to go into the fermenter. I thought the point of BIAB was to keep it simple and there wasn't really a need for sparging i.e everything in one pot. I'm not averse to it, but just haven't read up enough on what it entails beyond slowly dropping hot water (170 degrees ?) into the grains.

If I sparge should I be doing this at roughly the same rate that the wort is dripping down i.e pretty slowly

If it's not going to lead to a significant increase in efficiency, I'd rather just put in more mash water to begin with and keep it simple. But I don't know enough

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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I just moved from BIAB, but I would use full volume from the beginning. Add the amount you want to go into the fermenter, plus your estimated boil-off volume plus grain absorption amount and start with that. I didn't sparge when I did it - just heated the strike, stirred in the grains (and stirred like crazy,) let it mash, then heated up to a mash-out temp with one more prolonged stirring session. Then I drained and started my boil.

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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You definitely dont have to sparge, thats up to you. If you dont you need to put all the water in at the begining. Enough to account for your grain absorption and boil off. Your absorption is going to be about .05g/lb and Im guessing your boil off rate to be about 1g/hr. By my calculations your going to want to start with about 6.5 gallons if you want to put 5 gallons in your fermenter. Ive not done this a lot though so I might wait for a few more seasoned vets to chime in.

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbaumannerb View Post
I just moved from BIAB, but I would use full volume from the beginning. Add the amount you want to go into the fermenter, plus your estimated boil-off volume plus grain absorption amount and start with that. I didn't sparge when I did it - just heated the strike, stirred in the grains (and stirred like crazy,) let it mash, then heated up to a mash-out temp with one more prolonged stirring session. Then I drained and started my boil.
THIS is the correct answer. If you don't know your boil off rate, you may want to boil plain water in your brew pot for an hour and measure how much you lost to determine your boil off amount.

As the_trout said, your absorption rate is about .05. I personally use .08, no big deal. Just multiply that number by the pounds of grain you are using to get the amount of extra water. So

.05 * 10.25 = .51. That's half a gallon.

Don't worry about sparging for now, until you get your BIAB process down. But, if you want to do it, just pull your bag up and heat the water up to 168 and let the grains soak at 168 for ten minutes.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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I need 10.5 gal of water for a 6gal batch (23L/5 imperial gal)
That includes space for trub and everything. I do a 70 min mash and 70 min boil. My fav beers are usually mashed at 158.
I use Irish Moss in the last 10 min. I am not sure how people get away with less water. Even at a 60 min boil it was hard to hit 23L. I am thinking its because a lot of recipes use U.S 5 gal (19L).

I do not sparge. I have done about 30 AG BIAB Brews. I wanted to use this method to get used to everything before switching to a 3v system. I like the beer I make (and so do my friends) so I dont see the point in investing more. Bottom line, you can make very decent beer with BIAB (as you probably know already). Another trick I use is to use a stainless oven rack, put it over the pot and rest the bag on that. I gentry push the lid on it over the course of 5 min and get as much of the goodness out as I can. I suppose you could sparge this. I may try it for S&G's... I just see people rigging things up with their step ladders and fastening things to garage roofs etc and it's not required, as long as you can lift that bag out...

I have never done a mash out... Hmmmm. I just mash in, remove grain bag, heat to 212 and let er rip. Is this bad?

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Old 01-22-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopHeadGrady View Post
II have never done a mash out... Hmmmm. I just mash in, remove grain bag, heat to 212 and let er rip. Is this bad?
It's not bad. I never do a mash out and I do BIAB all the time. I did try it one time, and didn't see much of a difference to bother with it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #10
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I think I'll experiment a bit as someone suggested
I need to get used to my new burner and 40 quart pot anyway
I know some people use calculators and I saw this one referenced online
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php
But I think it assumes there is a sparge and it's not necessarily specific for BIAB at full volume

But I plugged in numbers anyway

Variables
Batch size 5.5
Grain bill 10.25
Boil time 1
Trub loss 0.5 gallon
Equipment loss 1 gallon (default)
Mash thickness 1.33 quarts (default)
Grain temp 70 (default)
Target mash temp 152

Constants
Wort shrinkage 4% (default)
Grain absorption 0.08 (default was 0.13)
Percent boiloff per hour 10

Results
Total water needed 8.76 gallon
Mash water needed 3.41 galloon
Sparge water needed 5.36 gallon
Strike temperature 164.3
Pre boil wort produced 6.94 gallon

So if I'm aiming for 5.5 gallons of wort at the end, I'm assuming if I don't sparge, I just go with around 8.76 gallons for full volume boils

I know this isn't an exact science and there's a fair amount of experimentation, but this looks like a good ballpark figure to start with, unless you guys think that some of the variables are too high

If there is a better BIAB full volume calculator, that seems to be more accurate in your experience, can you point me to a link

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