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Old 10-26-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
Kerensky18
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Hello:

I have a 32qt turkey fryer pot that I've been using for BIAB hybrid method of attempting 5 gallon batches, at the end of my mash I have been taking the bag and running hot water through to get to my boil volume but my efficiency was being hurt, now for my last two batches I've used cold water further hurting my efficiency.

I'm wondering if someone could help me figure out two things, 1) Should I try the full mash method and then what batch size would I have to reduce down too? 2) Should I attempt to move the mash to my fermentation bucket then heat sparge water in my pot and then dip the bag in the pot after mash?

So far all my beers have come out though the second to last one had a drop off 1% abv, also my final batch volumes have been lower then I expected.

Thank you.


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Old 10-26-2012, 08:15 PM   #2
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What has your efficiency been? Also, I think I've heard that there have been tests done with hot water vs. cold water and the temp of sparge water shouldn't affect your efficiency at all.

I take it you can't fit a full volume mash in your kettle? You could either stick it out and buy extra grain to account for lower efficiency. Try getting a better crush to increase efficiency. Do a full volume mash and a smaller batch size. Get another kettle to heat and sparge in. I guess you could go with option two you listed but I'd be worried about temp loss in a plastic bucket.


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Old 10-26-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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I have been seeing anywhere from 50-65%, my pre boil volume has been all over the board but I'm able to usually find the gravity that I'm looking for, I'm just trying to be more precise now. I wouldn't mind reducing the volume so I could do a full volume mash but I'm unsure how much I'd have to scale the recipe back?
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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You can go a few diff. ways with this. First, I'd recomment mashing with as much water as you can, then lift and squeeze the bag, then dunk it in sparge water in a separate pot. That seems to be the most efficient way I've found.

Or you could eschew the "sparge" altogether and just reduce the size of your recipes. Check out rackers.org's "can I mash it" page to find out how much total volume a grain bill takes up to mash. Based on absorption of about 0.11g/lb (with generous squeezing of the bag) that will tell you your preboil volume. Subtract boiloff and that's your final batch size. Now, divide by the original recipe's batch size (ie. 4/5) and scale grain accordingly. Hops would be similar, maybe slightly less. Less volume leads to less utilization, I'd reduce them by close to the same ratio.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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I would scale back using Beersmith (you have to purchase it in order to scale) and do full volumes. I get 78% pretty consistently using full volume 5.5 gallon batches (although I am considering going MLT/fly sparge).
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerensky18 View Post
Hello:

I have a 32qt turkey fryer pot that I've been using for BIAB hybrid method of attempting 5 gallon batches, at the end of my mash I have been taking the bag and running hot water through to get to my boil volume but my efficiency was being hurt, now for my last two batches I've used cold water further hurting my efficiency.

I'm wondering if someone could help me figure out two things, 1) Should I try the full mash method and then what batch size would I have to reduce down too? 2) Should I attempt to move the mash to my fermentation bucket then heat sparge water in my pot and then dip the bag in the pot after mash?

So far all my beers have come out though the second to last one had a drop off 1% abv, also my final batch volumes have been lower then I expected.

Thank you.
This is not what is hurting your efficiency. Getting 50 to 60% efficiency is caused by a poor crush. You simply cannot get the water to the center of the grain particles and get the sugars back out. If you do not own your own mill, ask your LHBS to double crush for you to get the particles smaller. I use a cold water mini-sparge and get up to 85% efficiency.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:41 AM   #7
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Thank you for the advice. I do own a copy of Beersmith and am working on trying to calibrate my equipment profiles. Currently I don't have another pot big enough to do the teabag method, I'm probably going to buy a 10-gallon pot here soon.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
This is not what is hurting your efficiency. Getting 50 to 60% efficiency is caused by a poor crush. You simply cannot get the water to the center of the grain particles and get the sugars back out. If you do not own your own mill, ask your LHBS to double crush for you to get the particles smaller. I use a cold water mini-sparge and get up to 85% efficiency.
This!

I order my grain pre-milled, then I run it through my Corona mill and grind the crap out of it. I started cold water mini sparging on my last few batches and I am really getting good 85 or better efficiency. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerensky18 View Post
Thank you for the advice. I do own a copy of Beersmith and am working on trying to calibrate my equipment profiles. Currently I don't have another pot big enough to do the teabag method, I'm probably going to buy a 10-gallon pot here soon.
Just use a food safe bucket. When I was using my turkey fryer for 5 Gallon recipes I just used as much mash water as I could fit in the pot with the grains. Then after the boil I would top up in the fermenter with water, only time I had low eff was when the grain had a poor crush.


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