BIAB and Beersmith

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I am just getting started with BIAB and am using Beersmith. I can't seem to get the volumes correct using Beersmith - they seem high when compared to other calculators like simplebiabcalculator. I have the mash set to BIAB light body with 11lbs of grain for a 5 gal batch and it is suggesting 9.3 gallons of strike water. I'm sure it is something I am doing wrong, or a simple setting. Or, perhaps, it is correct? Thanks!
 

B2Barleywine

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This doesn't sound too far off from the volumes I get in beersmith, but I lose 2.5 gallons per hour to evaporation. Do you know your boil off rate? I suggest you do a test run with water and plug that in as a constant in beersmith, not a percentage.
 

squash1978

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This doesn't sound too far off from the volumes I get in beersmith, but I lose 2.5 gallons per hour to evaporation. Do you know your boil off rate? I suggest you do a test run with water and plug that in as a constant in beersmith, not a percentage.
Out of curiosity, how wide is your brew kettle?

I did my first BIAB yesterday and ended up under shooting my water. I started out with 7.5 gals for my mash (12 lbs of grain), ~6.5 gals pre-boil, and 4 gals in my fermenter. I totally underestimated my boil-off rate. I have a 15 gallon megapot, which seems to be on the wide side (19 in diameter) from what I gather.
 

aiptasia

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With beersmith, it's crucial that you understand your boil off rate. You will have to do a test boil on your equipment to figure out just how much water you're losing to boil off. For my setup, it's only about a gallon per hour. So, go and do a test boil for 60 minutes with five gallons of water and see how much boils off. Then, go to your equipment setup page in beersmith and enter in the correct boil off amount.

Also, figure on your grain absorption rate being about 0.125 gal/lb if you don't squeeze your grains, and around .075 gal/lb if you do squeeze out your grains. Whether I squeeze out my grains or not depends on how much roasted grains are in there. Lots of roast? Don't squeeze for risk of tanins. Lots of base malt? squeeze away.
 

B2Barleywine

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Out of curiosity, how wide is your brew kettle?

I did my first BIAB yesterday and ended up under shooting my water. I started out with 7.5 gals for my mash (12 lbs of grain), ~6.5 gals pre-boil, and 4 gals in my fermenter. I totally underestimated my boil-off rate. I have a 15 gallon megapot, which seems to be on the wide side (19 in diameter) from what I gather.
I have a 15 gallon pot that's 18" in diameter. I had the same problem you did on my first batch and came up way short. Sounds like you're also boiling off 2.5 gal.
 

MaxStout

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I just did a no-sparge BIAB last weekend in my 16" wide, 10 gallon kettle. Grain bill was 9.4 lbs. BeerSmith suggested a tad over 8 gallons, based on my parameters. After the 60 min. boil, chilling, and leaving the break material behind, I ended up with just under 5.5 gallons in my fermenter. I squeeze the grain bag. Those volumes are just about right for me.

So 9.3 gallons of strike water doesn't seem too far-fetched for your batch.
 
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Thanks. That is very helpful information. I was wondering about the bag loss and weather to sparge a little, squeeze, or just hold over pot for 5 minutes and discard. My first few batches I did the latter.
 

MaxStout

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I use a turkey fryer basket that fits inside of my kettle. After the mash, I use a pulley and rope in my garage to hoist it out. After squeezing I let it hang right over the kettle and let it drip while I turn up the heat to bring the kettle to a boil.

Relative humidity might affect boiloff, but I think that would be negligible. Grain absorption, kettle diameter and how vigorous of a boil will have more effect on your boiloff.
 

enkamania

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With beersmith, it's crucial that you understand your boil off rate. You will have to do a test boil on your equipment to figure out just how much water you're losing to boil off. For my setup, it's only about a gallon per hour. So, go and do a test boil for 60 minutes with five gallons of water and see how much boils off. Then, go to your equipment setup page in beersmith and enter in the correct boil off amount.

Also, figure on your grain absorption rate being about 0.125 gal/lb if you don't squeeze your grains, and around .075 gal/lb if you do squeeze out your grains. Whether I squeeze out my grains or not depends on how much roasted grains are in there. Lots of roast? Don't squeeze for risk of tanins. Lots of base malt? squeeze away.
I have my boil off rate of 1.25 gallons an hour and grain absorption rate at .075. I have a 16 gallon pot with 18"" diameter.
 

ggriffi

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With beersmith, it's crucial that you understand your boil off rate. You will have to do a test boil on your equipment to figure out just how much water you're losing to boil off. For my setup, it's only about a gallon per hour. So, go and do a test boil for 60 minutes with five gallons of water and see how much boils off. Then, go to your equipment setup page in beersmith and enter in the correct boil off amount.

Also, figure on your grain absorption rate being about 0.125 gal/lb if you don't squeeze your grains, and around .075 gal/lb if you do squeeze out your grains. Whether I squeeze out my grains or not depends on how much roasted grains are in there. Lots of roast? Don't squeeze for risk of tanins. Lots of base malt? squeeze away.

When I do this test boil, should I let my water cool down after the 60 minutes or measure when the 60 minutes are up?
 

fuzzy2133

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When I do this test boil, should I let my water cool down after the 60 minutes or measure when the 60 minutes are up?
I think it would be worth cooling it down to around 80. When I do full boil extract it looks like the volume in my pot changes between 1-3/4 gallon as I cool the wort.
 

ggriffi

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Here's what I ended up with. I started with 5G which had a depth of 8" in my kettle. After a 60 minute boil and not a "Chernobyl" boil but a rolling boil and I had 5" left in my kettle when done. So by my calculations I lost about 1.6 gallons. Does that sound right or is my math wrong?
 

chrishanson

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Here's what I ended up with. I started with 5G which had a depth of 8" in my kettle. After a 60 minute boil and not a "Chernobyl" boil but a rolling boil and I had 5" left in my kettle when done. So by my calculations I lost about 1.6 gallons. Does that sound right or is my math wrong?
I'm going to ask the obvious question... why didn't you just measure the volume?
 

ggriffi

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I'm going to ask the obvious question... why didn't you just measure the volume?

Because math is not my strong suit. So is there a formula that will tell me the amount left? If I use one for volume I just get a number cubed and that doesn't help. Remember math is not my strong suit :)
 

themox

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another thing you can do to check your pot's volume is pour x amount in (here in australia i pour in a litre) and measure where it comes to in your pot. so i place a ruler in flush straight on the bottom middle of my pot with the water in and record the measurement; it shows for example 2cm. then add another litre and i measure again - it might show 4.5cm. then add another from 2 litres to 3 litres and this increment should give you the amount you can then use for each litre right up until the top, as it's not factoring in the curvature of the base of the pot.

then boil off, and after cooled, pop in your ruler and record it. there's your volume.
 

palmtrees

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Slightly off topic, but has anyone had trouble with IBU calculations in BeerSmith? Since moving to a BIAB equipment profile, my recipes have had ridiculously high IBU estimations. I can sometimes reduce the numbers by manipulating the "Top Up Water for kettle" field in the profile, but the IBU is still fairly high. Any ideas on how to fix that?
 

illomenbrewery

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Great post... On my first BIAB brew on my new equipment I also ended up with about 4 gallons in the fermenter, and my beer ended up with almost no alcohol (around 1% alcohol). I will def be running a boil off test before the next batch. I have a pretty wide kettle as well.
 

RM-MN

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Great post... On my first BIAB brew on my new equipment I also ended up with about 4 gallons in the fermenter, and my beer ended up with almost no alcohol (around 1% alcohol). I will def be running a boil off test before the next batch. I have a pretty wide kettle as well.
How did you determine that your beer ended up with almost no alcohol? To get that result with BIAB would necessitate nearly uncrushed grains.
 

illomenbrewery

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I did my first BIAB but missed my OG by a good margin. My recipe said I should have an OG of 1.052 but I hit closer to 1.02. I already pitched the yeast and my FG should be 1.010.

SMASH Saison

10.5 lbs 2 row pale malt
6.8 AAU Saaz (60 mins)
Wyeast 3724 Belgian Saision


mash temp 150 degrees for 60 mins
75 min boil with 1 addition of hops at 60 mins
wort chilled to 72 degrees and yeast was pitched



After I went over my process I realized I should have Mashed with total water volume, I did it the same process as all-grain (13 Quarts), then sparged. But I realized that the whole grain bed was not fully submerged. My mash tun is a 15 gallon rectangular cooler so the grain bed was spread out.
 

illomenbrewery

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Here is the process I pretty much used. But, I followed my recipe which called for 13 quarts to mash with, then sparging to get a pre-boil volume of 6.5 gal. So, I am going to try with no sparge by using full water volume to mash with.




(here is a video I found of the same process I would use)

 
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mr_rogers

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If you already have a
Cooler for mashing in is there really a reason to do BIAB? I thought the perk was single vessel the whole way.
 

illomenbrewery

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Yea I just like the easier clean-up, with no stuck sparges. Plus my kettle is 8 gallons so I would have to get a bigger kettle with BIAB for 5 gallon batches. Also with the "BIAB" mashing in the cooler I do not have to monitor the mashing as much as when you BIAB in a kettle to re-adjust your temps.
 

TexasWine

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Also with the "BIAB" mashing in the cooler I do not have to monitor the mashing as much as when you BIAB in a kettle to re-adjust your temps.
Not sure how you've been using your kettle, but I mash in my kettle and at most have lost 2 or 3 degrees, and that was because I took too long to dough in. Sometimes I loose nothing. And I don't have to re-adjust temps.

Just dough in, insulate it and walk away. Or, lately I've been using my oven set on the "warm" setting. Just throw it in there, uninsulated, and don't think about it until the timer goes off.
 

illomenbrewery

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I haven't done any BIAB mashing in my kettle. I do not have a big enough kettle for the batch size to BIAB mash. Thats why I mash in a cooler, pretty much a no sparge mash in a bag. Mr Rogers was asking why I do it that way, it is just easiest method for me with the equipment I have.
 
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