Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB mashing efficiency help?
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-24-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
nufad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 78
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default BIAB mashing efficiency help?

I've done two brews with BIAB, and ended up with low mash efficiencies for both (~50%). I ran an experiment today with a small amount of milled 2-row to see whether sparging the grains would increase my yield. It did not increase it by much. I was hoping for some help trouble-shooting my process from you fine folks. Here's my set-up:

3 gallon cooler (pre-heated before mashing in)
Voile grain bag (home made)
The temperature of this set-up drops by 1-2F over 60 mins
The mash pH was calculated to be 5.55 using ezcalculator (after adding CaSO4 to the mash/sparge water)

Here are the results:

Step 1: 5L water with 3.33 lbs 2-row (1.5:1); mashed at 150F for 60min
Step 2: drained and sparged with 3.5L at 150F for 10min
Step 3: drained and sparged with 3.5L at 150F for 10min

Mash efficiencies:
Step 1 = 35%
Step 2 = 15%
Step 3 = 10%
Total = 60%

Total volume recovered = 10.5L

So, even after three sparge rinses, I'm only getting 60% yield. I'm squeezing the bag between each rinse. The grains are milled using an electric coffee mill at my LHBS, so they are medium-finely ground. Any suggestions to improve my efficiency? Much appreciated!

*edit: recovered 10.5L, not 13.5L



nufad is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
jigidyjim
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 696
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Do you stir your mash at all? I stir mine 2-4x during the 60 min mash. I get 70-75% efficiency.

Other than that - I'd check the crush. I got higher efficiency when I used grains from a different store which crushed differently.

Also - how long are you storing the crushed grain before using?


jigidyjim is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
nufad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 78
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Hi jigidyjim - thanks for your reply. I did not stir the mash during the 60mins. The grains were stored for between 3-10 days after crushed before I used them. I have a grain mill coming in the mail this week, so I plan to test how milling impacts my efficiency (unfortunately, there's only one LHBS in Vancouver, so I can't move between shops). How long can crushed grains be stored before use?
nufad is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 11:26 PM   #4
Buna_Bere
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 258
Liked 22 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nufad View Post

Step 1: 5L water with 3.33 lbs 2-row (1.5:1); mashed at 150F for 60min
Step 2: drained and sparged with 3.5L at 150F for 10min
Step 3: drained and sparged with 3.5L at 150F for 10min


Total volume recovered = 13.5L
just doing the math here 5L + 3.5L + 3.5L = 12L
Buna_Bere is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 11:34 PM   #5
ArcLight
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Millburn, NJ
Posts: 1,282
Liked 103 Times on 82 Posts
Likes Given: 101

Default

Crush is hugely important.
When using BIAB you want a tighter crush, (or a double crush if they wont do that).
Its time consuming but you can do that yourself with a rolling pin.

(make sure you stir occasionally)
ArcLight is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2012, 11:39 PM   #6
gmcastil
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: denver, co
Posts: 212
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

You might try adding a mash out step as well as stirring.

I do full volume, no sparge BIAB. Once my saccharification rest is complete, I'll heat it up to about 168 and hold it there for about 6-8 minutes before removing the grains. The higher temperatures increase the solubility of the sugar and also makes the wort a bit more fluid and able to drain better.
gmcastil is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 01:14 AM   #7
nufad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 78
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Buna_Bere: yes, your math is correct. In an earlier version of this post, I had included a fourth step with 3L rinse (hence the 13.5L value), and forgot to change the final volume to reflect this. I decided to take that step out of this post for various reasons (it was done about 45mins after I had finished the third step, it was a low-temp rinse, and it only yielded about 3%).

gmcastil: thanks for the tip - for my next test-run, I will mash out at 170 after my first soak. I'm running my BIAB inside a cooler to maintain a constant temperature (it drops by 1-2F over 60min), so I won't be able to mash out with the same water with which I mash. How fine should the grain be milled? There is some powder in the grain, but also plenty of larger grain pieces (the coffee mill isn't consistent at my LHBS).
nufad is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 01:55 AM   #8
maltoftheearth
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Carthage, North Carolina
Posts: 506
Liked 11 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

I do BIAB and had some efficiency issues, I was able to trace these to:

1. Mashout. Having one at 170 for 10 minutes completely resolved my issues; and,

2. Grain crush. When I switched to Northern Brewer I had some issues until I began requesting a double crush. After that I was dead on 70% efficiency. Today I brewed using grains from my LHBS and my efficiency shot way up as they do a mean crush on the grains.

It does help to stir. It also helps to take your grain bag and do a sort of fly sparg with 175 F water and/or dunk your grain bag in a separate container with 175 (or thereabouts) water and use that water to top off your mash to compensate for boil off.

Hope that helps.
__________________
Brewed in 2014: Rye IPA, Honey Sage Ale, Belgian Golden Strong, California Common, Bavarian Style Lager, Weizen, Coffee Stout, Gruit, Gale Ale, Isle of Skye Golden clone, Oktoberfest, Rauchbier, Alpha Male IPA & Chocolate Pepper Stout.
maltoftheearth is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 05:14 AM   #9
befus
Mr. Infecto
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
befus's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
Posts: 593
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by maltoftheearth View Post
I do BIAB and had some efficiency issues, I was able to trace these to:

1. Mashout. Having one at 170 for 10 minutes completely resolved my issues; and,

2. Grain crush. When I switched to Northern Brewer I had some issues until I began requesting a double crush. After that I was dead on 70% efficiency. Today I brewed using grains from my LHBS and my efficiency shot way up as they do a mean crush on the grains.

It does help to stir. It also helps to take your grain bag and do a sort of fly sparg with 175 F water and/or dunk your grain bag in a separate container with 175 (or thereabouts) water and use that water to top off your mash to compensate for boil off.

Hope that helps.
Absolutely my experience as well. I crushed my already pre-crushed grains in a hand cranked Corona, made sure I stirred the mash at least three times, mashed out (dunk sparged) at 168F for 10 minutes (stirring constantly the last two minutes), and went from 60% to 89% brewhouse efficiency.
__________________
Award winning:
Northern Brown Ale


"Guess I'll watch some TV, cuz it's nice to see people more messed up than me."

Primary:
Bottled: Wee Ain't Heavy (Wee Heavy);
Kegged: Brown Rhyno Old Ale (Rye Knot+ clone); Second Amendment Vanilla/Bourbon Porter; Pale Ale (a'la EdWort's Haus Pale);
On Deck: Northern Brown; Kolsch; Apricot wheat,
befus is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2012, 05:40 AM   #10
nufad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 78
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Thanks for all the advice!


nufad is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do you rinse your grains when mashing with BIAB? bigjoe All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 34 07-17-2012 05:14 PM
BIAB mashing question cincydave All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 7 12-05-2011 12:06 PM
Much better BIAB efficiency! TacoBrew All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 03-18-2011 03:03 PM
Decoction Mashing on efficiency 99blackgt All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 30 02-23-2009 06:12 PM
Mashing Efficiency weberju All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 03-07-2006 04:47 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS