BIAB and sparging

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kkuczma

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Well, let's chalk this up to inexperience and not doing the right research. I used BIAB for a 5 gallon Vienna Lager I'm brewing today. All the kits I've previously brewed were 1 gallon all-grain kits. I sparged with the grains in a colander; when I was introduced to BIAB on a couple 1-gallon kits, I was able to still use the colander.

I did not anticipate the grain bag being too big/my colander being too small to work together and it was obvious right away there was no way I'd be able to pour the sparge water over it evenly without it becoming blocked quickly and pouring off the sides.

A quick google search revealed that you're supposed to be able to bypass sparging, effectively, via the BIAB process, and that what I had been doing previously by pouring the hot water over the bag, was not standard practice.

In short, I'm batch sparging with the bag sitting in the mash tun. What kind of trouble am I going to run into here? I'm actively in the process of doing the batch sparging, so please join me in live, panicked updates. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

RM-MN

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Set the bag of grain into your bucket fermenter, pour the water over it in there, then after removing the grain, dump the bucket back into the boil pot.
 

hotbeer

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If you undersized everything, then just drop back an punt.

Anything is acceptable. Instead of 5 gallons, then take whatever you can get out of it.

Open the bag and split your grain into other smaller bags or wrap in a kitchen towel or a section of old clean bedsheet (maybe that can be your name for it).

Or just rinse the grain in a strainer and not worry about the bag at all.

Whatever gets you the wort volume you want. You are going to boil it anyway, so ultra sanitized isn't a big issue unless you aren't going to boil immediately.
 
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kkuczma

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Thanks everyone. So far, this has been something close to disastrous in terms of the process, so if I get anything decent out of this to drink, I'll be happy. Good stories for the future when I've got a better handle on things, right?
 

rburrelli

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You did not do anything overly wrong. You simply added a sparge. So unless your volumes and gravity were way off. No harm. You CAN BIAB and still sparge.
 

marc1

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I do 10 gallon batches and sparge by using a hoist to move the grain bag to a second pot with the sparge water in it. Stir it up good, let it sit a few minutes, and hoist it back out again.
 

InspectorJon

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I always sparge my BIAB grain. In my case I have a bit of a different motive. I do the standard full volume BIAB process. When I’m done with squeezing the bag I put it in a large bucket with a half gallon or so of hot water, get it mixed pretty well, cover and let it sit until I’m done boiling.

When the boil is done and the main wort is cooling I drain the bag that is sparging and collect some weaker wort, second runnings if you will want, to make my next starter. Sometimes I need to boil it down a bit to get to starter gravity. Sometimes it’s good to go. I freeze it in plastic water bottles. I boil to sanitize on the day I want to make starter. It’s a little bit of work but it’s free starter wort and boosts my overall grain use efficiency
 
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