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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > biab sparge?
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:49 AM   #31
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I brew in a bag a-la-Deathbrewer mainly, except I mash in my oven. I also do 3 gallon batches only.

I mash, then I remove my bag and set my first runnings aside. Then, in the mash tun I replace the grains and add my 'mash out' water for 10 mins at 168F. Then, I remove the grains again. After, I sparge with 168F water in a new pot until I reach my pre boil volume. I get 75% efficiency every time.

I only missed it once because my STone Ruination clone recipe maxed out my mash tun and it was totally full. So, when I tried to mash out I could not add enough hot water to bring my temp up to the right temperature. I got my first 68% efficiency since going AG... oh well, it will still taste great.


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Old 02-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by jldc View Post
This is essentially what I do. I use the large Austin Homebrew bag and I've done as much as 14 lbs of grain without any problem (in a 10 gallon cooler). I usually end up at 80% efficiency (+/-2%) with a double sparge of the bagged grains. I've spent a few more dollars and have a second cooler that holds the sparge water so I can drain the Mash Tun into the brew kettle and start heating it during the sparging process. This knocks about 30 min off the brew day. Another plus about the bags is that I doubt a stuck sparge is possible.
I'm going to try this for my next brew. I'm doing a mini mash so I won't be able to double sparge until I get a larger BK. Looking forward to mashing more grains though.


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Old 02-20-2012, 07:25 PM   #33
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Btw: do you get much splash pouring from the cooler? Would I be better off using a self priming racking cane but otherwise following the same process?
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:58 AM   #34
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Can someone check through my all-grain BIAB thinking for a 5-gallon brew kettle?

I am thinking of using the BK as a mash tun, and my 6-gallon plastic primary fermenter bucket for sparging.

With a 10 lb grain bill, I'm going to need about 1.25 qt/lb of mash water, bringing my brew kettle up to a little more than 3 gallons of water... But after mashing, it's going to lose about a gallon to absorption by the grain. So now down to 2 gallons

If I sparge with about 2 gallons of 170-degree water into my plastic bucket, then pour that into my brew kettle, I'm boiling with 4 gallons of total wort. I could add back the water after the boil and get to my target 5.5 gallon batch ...

Does this all sound right and doable?
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Heflover View Post
Can someone check through my all-grain BIAB thinking for a 5-gallon brew kettle?

I am thinking of using the BK as a mash tun, and my 6-gallon plastic primary fermenter bucket for sparging.

With a 10 lb grain bill, I'm going to need about 1.25 qt/lb of mash water, bringing my brew kettle up to a little more than 3 gallons of water... But after mashing, it's going to lose about a gallon to absorption by the grain. So now down to 2 gallons

If I sparge with about 2 gallons of 170-degree water into my plastic bucket, then pour that into my brew kettle, I'm boiling with 4 gallons of total wort. I could add back the water after the boil and get to my target 5.5 gallon batch ...

Does this all sound right and doable?
One of the advantages of BIAB is the low grain absorption. In a traditional mash tun you lose this much because you rely on gravity to extract the wort but when your grain is in a fine mesh bag, you can squeeze the wort out, leaving very little liquid in the grain. Now to increase the sugar extraction you can also sparge the grain in the bag and squeeze it again, leaving the grain almost dry and with little residual sugars.

You are also planning to do what is known as a partial boil where you don't use the full volume of water in the boil kettle and add water afterwards. That should work fine although your efficiency may suffer a bit as you may not extract all the sugar possible from the bag of grains.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:22 PM   #36
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I mash (using about 1.3 qt/lb) in a 7.5 gallon pot then transfer the bag to a bottling bucket and batch sparge. I just lift the bag out then slide the bucket underneath so no wort spills. I usually end up ~80% efficiency doing this.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:26 PM   #37
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You can definitely get away with your 7.5 gallon. I have a 7.5 gallon pot that I mash in, and then another large pot (8 gallons? too wide for my turkey fryer) that holds hot sparge water. After the mash, I squeeze the first runnings into the mash tun/boil kettle, dunk sparge the bag into the second pot, and then combine the two. It's a standard all-grain setup but instead of a cooler, I use a pot with a bag, and I sparge in a separate vessel. I use the term hybrid BIAB.

I recently did a 5 gallon batch of 1.100 barleywine using this method. It was a very thick mash at 1 qt/lb and I probably wouldn't do it again just for all the hassle, but it definitely worked. 22lbs of grain in total. Awesome.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:15 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by daksin View Post
You can definitely get away with your 7.5 gallon. I have a 7.5 gallon pot that I mash in, and then another large pot (8 gallons? too wide for my turkey fryer) that holds hot sparge water. After the mash, I squeeze the first runnings into the mash tun/boil kettle, dunk sparge the bag into the second pot, and then combine the two. It's a standard all-grain setup but instead of a cooler, I use a pot with a bag, and I sparge in a separate vessel. I use the term hybrid BIAB.

I recently did a 5 gallon batch of 1.100 barleywine using this method. It was a very thick mash at 1 qt/lb and I probably wouldn't do it again just for all the hassle, but it definitely worked. 22lbs of grain in total. Awesome.
Sweet! Thanks for the advice. My grain bill would never get that high so I'm definitely going AG to try this, even with my 5 gallon pot. I plan to mash in the brew kettle, sparge in the secondary fermenter/plastic bucket and mix the two.

I was also reading some posts about decoction mashing, and this isn't too far off what I did on my second go-around with partial mashing. When I tasted some of the grain after my mash, they still tasted sweet so I sparged in a turkey pan, filtered with a normal strainer into a smaller pot. And because I didn't have all that much room left in the kettle, I boiled the liquid down in the pot, completely separate from the original mash, and then even cooled it separately.

I even boiled my hops separate from this second container holding sparge water. I only mixed the two things finally in the primary fermenter before pitching the yeast.

I sense that this is not a good idea, because perhaps I'm missing out on some of the enzymes released into the mash ... I have yet to taste this, so I'll give an update if it tastes terrible.
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Old 09-20-2013, 12:41 AM   #39
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I do a hybrid BIAB / sparge. I use a 5 gal cooler thats unmodified (no braid or spigot etc) and a 5 gal paint strainer bag from Lowes ($2). Bag goes in cooler, grain goes in bag, strike water goes over grain, then a mash. To sparge, I just lift the grain bag out, dump my "first runnings" from the cooler, put the grain bag (with grains still in it) back in the bag and add my sparge water over the grain again. Wait 10 min then pull out the bag and dump out the sparged wort from the cooler.

Works like a charm and means that I moved from extract to all grain for $22 TOTAL ($20 for cooler, $2 for bag). No recirculation needed, and the wort comes out without any husk material at all, just as if you had vourlaufed.

I like my technique and recommend it to anyone who's lazy and cheap like me.
Interesting!

But do you mean you use the first running as sparge water ? Sorry to resuscitate this old thread. But can someone confirm if I understand it the right way?
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:12 AM   #40
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Nope, that would accomplish nothing. He dumps the sparge water (presumably into his boil kettle) then puts new water in the cooler with the grain.

While we are at it though, I have been wondering something. If you were to squeeze the bag, then dunk sparge for 10 minutes as has been suggested, would you need to worry about the ph in the sparge being too high? I've heard this can happen from over-sparging. Could it be possible to over-sparge when BIABing? Or is 10 minutes not long enough to worry about it?


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