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Old 02-04-2012, 02:41 PM   #961
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If you wanted to, you could make a concentrated wort, say enough sugar to be 10% ABV, and use that for the boil. Then, when you put it into the fermenter, you could add an equal amount of water to dilute the sugars down to be only 5% ABV. The complication would be in calculating the IBUs...

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:32 PM   #962
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Deathbrewer. Great tutorial! Thanks. I have a question about your fermentation box. Do you have instructions on how to construct it? I notice you have a fan installed so I'm assuming you have a temperature control. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks! Steve

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Old 04-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #963
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My girlfriend and I brewed our second batch on saturday, a six gallon version of this recipe . We did an all grain batch as you described using a 20 and a 9 quart pot. Things went pretty smoothly, but we only got 58% efficiency. I'm hoping the fine residents of this thread might help us correct this for our future beers. Here's how our brew went:

Our six gallon batch used 10 pounds of grain, subbed malted rye for the flaked, and we got six row instead of two thinking it would help break down the corn.

We mashed in with 14qts (1.4 qt/lb) @162 and hit our strike temp of 148. We monitored at 5, 20, and 45 min, adding a teapots worth on boiling water in the process. We stirred well at each temp check. Temp never went below 146.

We let the bag drain through a slotted collander for ~20 minuets before squeezing some fluid out of it. We didnt think about temp drop for the sparge water and raised two gallons to our sparge goal of 168 and poured the water over it before tea bagging and letting it sit for 15. It went back into the collander to drain before a bit more squeezing.

Combined we had about 4.6 gallons of wort but pre boil grav said 1.040. We didnt have and dme and didnt know the math to determine final grav from an un diluted partial boil volume. We added enough brown sugar to raise the final volume by 1.004.as a precaution.

We proceeded with a partial boil, and everything went fine. We never quite reached hot break but figured that was fine. Our stove apparently can't quite bring that volume to a vigorous roiling boil. We got churning and bubbles and that seemed good enough.

Ice batch cooling went well, hitting 70 after about 25 minutes. We tried pouring the wort through a folded nylon bag for filtering and it but out gunked up immediately. Next we just poured out into a bucket with a clean paint strainer bag and that gunked up too, lots of sediment in the wort. Final volume was 1.040. We areated and pitched.

Without the brown sugar our grav was only at 36, a full 10 points under our target. In the future I'll keep some extract on hand to fix gravity but I should never need to correct a ten point swing. What am I doing wrong here? Am I losing efficiency by doing partial boils? Did I use a recipe with too much grain for my pot and not have enough water to really saturate everything? And if I have a preboil out final grav from a recipe how to I determine the target grav for my partial volume?

Thanks!

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Old 05-21-2012, 03:47 PM   #964
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Thanks again for this thread, DB! I read through the whole thing twice before doing my first AG BIAB a few weeks ago. Just finished my second brew day using this method, and thought I'd post the method tweaks/results so that others who are doing the same research I did have another data point or two.

I used this general method with these particulars:

*Used double-crushed grain from LHBS

*Both batches had 9-10 pounds of grain. In each case, I went with 3.5 gallons of strike water and 3.5 gallons of sparge water. In each case, I ended up with 5 gallons almost on the dot post-boil (a little less in the carboy, once the trub is filtered out). While I mashed/sparged on the stove, I went outside for the full boil.

*Used the oven to maintain temperature during a 75 minute mash. The lowest heat setting is 170, so I set it to 170 and then turned it off 5-10 minutes before putting the mash in. The first time, the temperature raised four degrees (from 148 to 152). The second time, I opened the oven door for 45-60 seconds before putting in the pot. It kept the temperature dead on 149 for 75 minutes.

*After mashing, lift the bag, let everything drain, then ladle a little sparge water over it, let it drain again, then dunk it in the sparge water a few times, then let it sit for 10 minutes, then lift and let drain again. Once it drains, squeeze the hell out of it.

First batch efficiency: 84%
Second batch efficiency: 80%

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Old 05-21-2012, 05:59 PM   #965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarVolon View Post
*After mashing, lift the bag, let everything drain, then ladle a little sparge water over it, let it drain again, then dunk it in the sparge water a few times, then let it sit for 10 minutes, then lift and let drain again. Once it drains, squeeze the hell out of it.

First batch efficiency: 84%
Second batch efficiency: 80%
I wouldn't squeeze the bag, you have the chance to extract tannins from the grain. A little less efficiency won't hurt and you'll be a little less prone to extract tannins. Just let it sit in a colander and drain naturally.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #966
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I wouldn't squeeze the bag, you have the chance to extract tannins from the grain. A little less efficiency won't hurt and you'll be a little less prone to extract tannins. Just let it sit in a colander and drain naturally.
I still don't totally understand what causes tannin extraction, but there have been a number of bag-squeezers in this thread, and all of them have said that they haven't noticed any issues. If I start noticing off-flavors or get a good understanding of how this will cause a tannin-problem, I'll stop, but until then, it doesn't seem like there's any harm in trying it out if it's working for others.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:39 PM   #967
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Originally Posted by TarVolon View Post
I still don't totally understand what causes tannin extraction, but there have been a number of bag-squeezers in this thread, and all of them have said that they haven't noticed any issues. If I start noticing off-flavors or get a good understanding of how this will cause a tannin-problem, I'll stop, but until then, it doesn't seem like there's any harm in trying it out if it's working for others.
I think the people that understand tannin extraction probably hold off on it. Whether it is perceived in the final result is up to variables with different taste thresholds. I know a lot of times I get a bad homebrew the person never let's me know there is a tannin problem, they don't notice it, or know how to explain it.

Tannins are produced at a certain pH and above a certain temperature threshold. They leach out of the grain husks first, so often time some can be produced but be trapped in the grains. Stirring your mash a lot, and squeezing the grain bag will help jostle them out. It's possible there isn't as much there in your brews as some others, but there's a reason people say not to. It only helps tannin extraction. This is the reason you pull the grains when you steep them (extract with steeped grains) before 170F and they tell you not to squeeze the bag. In that example there is no efficiency gain from squeezing them, but that's why they say not to.

Also, a lot of times tannin extraction and increased efficiency go hand in hand. I've had home brewers give me their beer and tout that they had a near 90% efficiency, but on a homebrew level that's not always the best thing. There is a reason professional breweries take much caution in getting to the 90% efficiency range on their expensive equipment.

Bottom line, if you enjoy your beer then don't change your method.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:41 PM   #968
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Originally Posted by TarVolon View Post
I still don't totally understand what causes tannin extraction, but there have been a number of bag-squeezers in this thread, and all of them have said that they haven't noticed any issues. If I start noticing off-flavors or get a good understanding of how this will cause a tannin-problem, I'll stop, but until then, it doesn't seem like there's any harm in trying it out if it's working for others.
Oh and also I use the oven too to keep a temp. Leaving it open for a few seconds helps, you don't want to put it next to a red-hot burner, that thing is at a few hundred degrees. And if your average mash temperature increases, just imagine what it's doing to the grain sitting on the bottom of your kettle.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:44 PM   #969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarVolon View Post
I still don't totally understand what causes tannin extraction, but there have been a number of bag-squeezers in this thread, and all of them have said that they haven't noticed any issues. If I start noticing off-flavors or get a good understanding of how this will cause a tannin-problem, I'll stop, but until then, it doesn't seem like there's any harm in trying it out if it's working for others.
oh and a quick tip to see if you're likely to extract tannins by squeezing is to take a gravity reading of what comes out when you squeeze the bag. If it's below 1.010, you're probably extracting some tannins. this is when people stop sparging in a classic setup.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:47 PM   #970
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Originally Posted by agenthucky View Post
Oh and also I use the oven too to keep a temp. Leaving it open for a few seconds helps, you don't want to put it next to a red-hot burner, that thing is at a few hundred degrees. And if your average mash temperature increases, just imagine what it's doing to the grain sitting on the bottom of your kettle.
Yeah, I'd definitely turn the heat off 5-10 minutes before putting the kettle in to get rid of that burner problem. But even that didn't work the first time when I only left the door open long enough to put the kettle inside. I assume that the 4 degree increase means the ambient temperature in the oven was still in the mid-150s or higher. The goal was to get a uniform temperature around 150 degrees for insulation, but it makes it tricky when there's no 150 degree setting on the oven.
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