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Old 06-13-2011, 01:57 PM   #1
Bradinator
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Default 90% efficiency with BIAB

I am not sure if I should celebrate or go back and re-evaluate my recipe, but according to Beersmith I somehow managed 90% efficiency with a BIAB session. Whats I find stranger yet is I botched my mash temperatures during the first 10-15 minutes of it.

My mash schedule was supposed to be a single step... I got the strike water (1.5G) up to 165F, added the grain, stirred and cooled it slightly to bring it to 150F. Walked away and decided I needed to start reading all my temperatures in Celcius, thought my mash temp was way to high so I lowered it to 120F, realized I was reading it in Celcius, raised it back to 160F, then stabilized it at 152F which I had for an additional 60 minutes. So for about 15 minutes I had a fluctuating mash temperature. I was certain it was going to hurt my efficiency...

I am confident on my volumes and have calibrated my hydrometer. Grains were crushed by the LHBS.

Here is the recipe anyway, its was supposed to be a light cascadian ale, 5 gallon batch, now its a Cascadian Ale (yay?). I sparged with 4 gallons of 175F water. I did not raise the mash temperature at the end of the batch. I squeezed the bag also.

Ingredients –
Grains

3.0 lbs Pale Malt 2-Row
1.0 lbs Munich
1.0 lbs Crystal 120L
1.0 lbs Biscuit Malt
0.5lbs Dextrose

Hops

0.5 oz Columbus @ 60min
0.5 oz Falconer’s Flight @ 50min
0.5 oz Cascade @ 40min
0.5 oz Columbus @ 30min
0.5 oz Falconer’s Flight @ 20min
0.5 oz Cascade @ 10 min

Misc

tsp Irish Moss
tsp Yeast Nutrient
1 package Nottingham Yeast, rehydrated in ˝ cup warm water

Predicted OG (75% eff): 1.038
Actual OF (~90% eff): 1.047

In hindsight I did not need the dextrose to raise the body. Has anyone else seen such high efficiencies with BIAB? Or is beersmith incorrect?


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Old 06-13-2011, 02:06 PM   #2
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My efficiency is usually 80 to 81 percent. You must have said an extra special prayer to the wort gods.


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Old 06-13-2011, 02:08 PM   #3
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After I messed up my mash temps, I went to the Beer God alter in my basement and sacrificed a goat.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:32 PM   #4
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I work on being consistent. Doing 90 then 70 & 80 makes for a tough chance of repeating your brews or designing recipes.

I frustrate myself by bouncing around between 70-80, so going to 90 would cause grief.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradinator View Post
After I messed up my mash temps, I went to the Beer God alter in my basement and sacrificed a goat.
LOL!

I did my first BIAB recently and got 65 % efficiency (no sparge though, only squeezing), so this post gives hope to me and my limited space & equipment! Sorry for not answering your question, but thanks for the hope! I'm off to build a Beer God altar and shop around for goats.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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Nice!
I just did my first AG no sparge BIAB, and ended up with a 78% efficiency...
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:23 PM   #7
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I wonder if the sparge technique I used helped. I used two pots, a 2gallon and a 6.5gallon. I did the mash in the smaller one and prepared my sparge water in the large one. Once the mash was done, I lifted the bag, drained and squeezed it for a minute, removed the bag, moved the collected wort into a sanitized fermenter, placed the grain bag back into the little kettle and began to slowly rinsing the grain with the sparge water from the big kettle eventually moving that collected wort to the fermenter. Rinse, lather, repeat. I should note I also stirred the grain during after the kettle was full of sparge water.

Sounds like a lot of work, but the whole process took under 20 minutes. I am going to try this method again next time around and see if it yields another +85% efficiency.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradinator View Post
I sparged with 4 gallons of 175F water
5 gal batch and you sparged with 4 gal of water? There is something wrong with your "BIAB" technique, you must be mashing with really low grain-to-water ratio. I usually start with 7-8 gal of water to begin with. I routinelly get between 65-75% depending on grain bill, more grains - less efficency.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
I usually start with 7-8 gal of water to begin with.
He only had 6 lbs of grain.
According my calculator you couldn't get 1.047 even at 100% efficiency. Are you sure you wrote the recipe down right for us? Either your hydro is messed up or you must be missing a couple lbs of grains.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:36 AM   #10
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Yeah, sorry. It was actually a 4.5 gallon batch. I just went and double checked the volume in the fermentor. The recipe is correct though and I calibrated my hydrometer (its reading 1.000 in water).

Quote:
Originally Posted by paraordnance View Post
5 gal batch and you sparged with 4 gal of water? There is something wrong with your "BIAB" technique, you must be mashing with really low grain-to-water ratio. I usually start with 7-8 gal of water to begin with. I routinelly get between 65-75% depending on grain bill, more grains - less efficency.
I thought it was better to mash with a lower water volumes vs. grain and sparge with the remaining boil volume. I know a 1:4 is a wide ration of water to grain, but it seems to have worked out at any rate. Whether or not it does the next time remains to be seen I guess.


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