BIAB bag sparge

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LandofOZ

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I have started all grain 2.5 gallon BIB batches doing the same thing as below only with my water about split in half for both mash and BAG SPARGE (new term???) both done in the Gott cooler my question is :confused:how long do you let the bag sit in your sparge water before you pull it out and let drain:confused:, i have a large collander i can just put accros the cooler to put the bag in to let drain. this seems like a vary effective and cheap way to all grain

Yea I heat up the mash water in the Boil Kettle and then dump it into the MLT(Cooler) with a huge bag filled with my grains. After a 60-90 minute mash I lift the bag and let it drain back into the MLT, I guess this is my first runnings. Then in the BK I have 170F water waiting to Sparge/Mash out. Usually I mash in the 1.25-1.5 qt/lb range and then do a single sparge to get the rest of my volume.

ATM I'm getting 65% efficiency but I think I can get above 70% with a good crush and a little refinement. It was a super cheap setup that works reasonably well though I will probably be upgrading to a proper MLT cooler conversion in the future.

Mash


Sparge


Boil
 

rocketman768

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I have started all grain 2.5 gallon BIB batches doing the same thing as below only with my water about split in half for both mash and BAG SPARGE (new term???) both done in the Gott cooler my question is :confused:how long do you let the bag sit in your sparge water before you pull it out and let drain:confused:, i have a large collander i can just put accros the cooler to put the bag in to let drain. this seems like a vary effective and cheap way to all grain
I let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
 

weirdboy

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I put the bag in the sparge water, stir it, let it sit there for about 15 minutes, then lift the bag, twist it to squeeze out excess water, dump the grain into another container to save for later reuse, rinse out the bag, and reuse it to line my BK for hops and finings additions.
 

Fatgodzilla

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The mash converts the sugars in the grain, the sparge removes them. Be the grain. You've been crushed, mashed, your guts have been altered. The first running takes away a percentage of your sugar, but you still got a fair bit left in your guts. Along comes a nice little soak in a hot bath, you release a fair bit more of your sugar. 15minutes sounds good for a soak. Releases a heap of the sugar.

Experiment do it a second sparge and get a SG reading and see what it comes to. If high, your first sparge wasn't good enough. If low (like real low) then your first sparge was a success.

Good brewing
 

conpewter

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You probably don't need to let it soak long, you are rinsing sugar, not doing more conversion. I don't let my sparge water in my traditional setup sit for long.

I do think that the concept of BIAB is a bit misused here though. The idea of BIAB is to have one vessel brewing. You just have one large pot on a burner that allows you to go cheaply to all-grain and have a very portable and easily cleaned setup. Your method is more just using a bag instead of a spigot/braid (or false bottom, or manifold) in a MLT. Which will still require 3 vessels if you are doing a sparge.
 

hal2814

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Taking a concept and altering it for your needs is not a necessarily a misuse. I don't know the OP's reasoning, but I mash in a bag in my Igloo. Then I sparge into a bucket (that I later wash and reuse for fermentation). Then I pour it into my kettle (which was used to heat both the mash and sparge water) and brew. Yeah, it's 3 vessels but one is reused immediately and the mash tun is FAR easier to clean out afterwards without bits of grain hanging around in it. I went to a bag from a copper slotted manifold and haven't looked back. It's worth the 3-5% or so drop in efficiency. Maybe adding a sparge to BIAB makes it no longer a valid name the method, but as long as the poster is being clear about the actual process used, I don't think there's a better term out there.

EDIT: Oh, and I almost forgot to answer the question. I stir the heck out of it and then let it sit 10 minutes before draining the sparge.
 

Drbobcat

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I have been doing your exact method for my last 5 all grain batches (5 gallon batches). The key for me to get 75% efficiency was twofold. Number one have your sparge/mashout water hot enough so that when you add the grain bag the temperature equilibriates about 170* (never had a problem with tannins). Secondly I will stir the heck out of the grain for 20 minutes to help release any sugars from the grain. It works well for me and allows me to do 5 gallon batches on the stove top.
 

sc1584

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I routinely get 78% efficiency with a 60 minute mash at 154, 10 minute sparge at 170, doughing in with 1.25 quarts/lb of grain.

I usually put 8 gallons through the process for a 10 lb grain bill to yield 5 gallons of wort in the fermenter. I lose about 3 gallons to grain absorption and boil evaporation.
 
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LandofOZ

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yes i have been doing small 2.5 gallon bathes and can just put the lid onthe water jug with the bag over the threads to sparge and just slosh it around to stir and remove and drain bag after 20 minutes. This BAG SPARGING is almost as easy as no sparging with smaller bathes I have been dividing my water in half, half for mash half for sparge usually about 3.5 total to boil down to 2.5 :ban:
 

conpewter

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Taking a concept and altering it for your needs is not a necessarily a misuse. I don't know the OP's reasoning, but I mash in a bag in my Igloo. Then I sparge into a bucket (that I later wash and reuse for fermentation). Then I pour it into my kettle (which was used to heat both the mash and sparge water) and brew. Yeah, it's 3 vessels but one is reused immediately and the mash tun is FAR easier to clean out afterwards without bits of grain hanging around in it. I went to a bag from a copper slotted manifold and haven't looked back. It's worth the 3-5% or so drop in efficiency. Maybe adding a sparge to BIAB makes it no longer a valid name the method, but as long as the poster is being clear about the actual process used, I don't think there's a better term out there.

EDIT: Oh, and I almost forgot to answer the question. I stir the heck out of it and then let it sit 10 minutes before draining the sparge.

I completely agree that you should take whatever ideas are around and merge them all together, add your own and build your process to suit you. I should not have said the concept is misused, just the terminology. I think of BIAB as a way to simplify all-grain, you all are using a bag as a way to separate wort from grain, just as I do with a braid, and others do with a false bottom etc. Not that either one is better, just different.
 

sc1584

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I agree Conpewter, the bag is a great simplification for all-grain brewers regardless of the terminology or how many vessels are used.

If I can hit 78% consistently using the bag sparge in the unmodified cooler, then I can't really justify the time and money (albeit small amounts of both) to buy parts for and assemble a manifold/ball valve in the cooler. The bag keeps it simple from an equipment standpoint and my finished product has me very satisfied, no need to complicate things.
 
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LandofOZ

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I agree Conpewter, the bag is a great simplification for all-grain brewers regardless of the terminology or how many vessels are used.
I agree also:mug: I was going to do just the brew in a bag with my 2.5 gallon batch. and had the 5 gallon gott coler sitting in the closet awaing time and money to make a MLT. is easy to heat up water for small batches on stove top. As i started to heat up my water for the BIAB i was comptemplating how to keep my pot warm for the mash .:D i have the cooler why not use it then when i was pouring the wter in for the mash it acured to me it would be equally easy to sparge the bag also so kept some of the water out and heated it up in one of the WIFES' pots. For my aplication with small batches and stove top brewwing this was the quickest way to jump to all grain, as i said before my intention was to just do the brew in a bag no sparge. I do not see this working well for large grain bills ECT. ECT. but is a nother way to introduce people to all grain with limited means and resources. The thought of BAG SPARGING would not of even occured to me if were not for all the good , solid input of this forum and its members. This simple method of all grain will allow me to concentrate on improving the other aspects of my brewing, once again thanks to all on this forum.
 

tpeterseufl

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I am planning on trying the BIAB method with a sparge this weekend. My problem is that I only have one big brew kettle, so I'll be moving the wort around to set up the sparge. I think I have it figured out, but my question is: is it bad if the grains that have been mashed cool down a little while the sparge water is heating up? I know I should just get another big pot, but I'd like to avoid forking it over.
 
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LandofOZ

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I am planning on trying the BIAB method with a sparge this weekend. My problem is that I only have one big brew kettle, so I'll be moving the wort around to set up the sparge. I think I have it figured out, but my question is: is it bad if the grains that have been mashed cool down a little while the sparge water is heating up? I know I should just get another big pot, but I'd like to avoid forking it over.
I am no expert by any means with BAG SPARGE. It is I Process that seemed to fit well with my experiance and equipment, ie Samll 2.5 gallon bathes so far to ge my feet wet.
Having said that How much water are you mashing with and how much water are you sparging with, what made this work for me was i was able to heat up the sparge water in smaller (regular kitchen pots).

if you dont have this option I would think that adjusting the stike temperature of your sparge water to acheive the sparge temperature needed
and Im sure someone will please chime in with proper sparge temperatures to rince the sugers from the grains
 

hal2814

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I am planning on trying the BIAB method with a sparge this weekend. My problem is that I only have one big brew kettle, so I'll be moving the wort around to set up the sparge. I think I have it figured out, but my question is: is it bad if the grains that have been mashed cool down a little while the sparge water is heating up? I know I should just get another big pot, but I'd like to avoid forking it over.
No, it won't matter. Conversion is over enough by that point that any cooling won't significantly affect your mash. The only thing to worry about is your mash going sour but heating sparge water won't take nearly that long.

If I may make a suggestion, if you're using a plastic bucket for fermentation and that bucket has gallon marks on it, it would make a great place to put your first runnings while sparging. Not only can it hold the runnings and allow you to hang a grain bag above it, but you'll know exactly how much first runnings was collected so you can easily measure out the sparge water and hit your target volume on the nose since your grain isn't really going to soak up enough water to worry about at that point.
 

magnj

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Hey that's me in the first post! I have gotten 65-67% on my last three batches using this method. I gained a point from a second sparge last weekend, but that could be anything. I'm thinking the crush from Midwest is a little questionable. Those of you who are getting 70+%, what exactly is your process, where do you get your grains, etc?
 

MMW

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Brewmaster's warehouse gets my grain business...80% running the grain through his mill twice and using my bag.
 

WIP

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Ok, I am toying with the BIAB idea. Here is my plan, how does it sound?

I only have a 5 gallon kettle. If I get a bag (paint strainer) and attempt the BIAB method, I can only get a few gallons of water in my pot. I am thinking about doing the 3 gallons in the pot on the stove and running it as usual (increase hop numbers to account) and then transfering my bag to the primary bucket with another 3 gallons of water to soak for about 15 minutes. The water in the bucket would be my "top off". Missing anything?
 

northernlad

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I routinely get 78% efficiency with a 60 minute mash at 154, 10 minute sparge at 170, doughing in with 1.25 quarts/lb of grain.

I usually put 8 gallons through the process for a 10 lb grain bill to yield 5 gallons of wort in the fermenter. I lose about 3 gallons to grain absorption and boil evaporation.
This is how I do it. Easy and has been getting me 70-75% efficiency.
 

torbanac

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I did a 2.5 Gallon BIAB over the weekend with a 5 gallon pot. With 5.75 lbs of grain I was only able to get 3.5 gallons of water in the pot and still get the lid on for the mash step.
Pot wrapped in towels kept the temp right in range for 70 min I opened it every 20 min. to check temp and give it a stir. Beersmith was calcualting 4.1 gallons of water total- that would have never fit. After mash out and draining I was short about a quart in the brew kettle before the boil. Calculated pre-boil volume was 2.86 gallons , I was at 2.5.
I should have done a sparge to get the volume back, as it was I just added water and
OG went from proposed 1.062 to actual 1.055. Next time I'm doing a sparge.
 

BuzzCraft

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Ok, I am toying with the BIAB idea. Here is my plan, how does it sound?

I only have a 5 gallon kettle. If I get a bag (paint strainer) and attempt the BIAB method, I can only get a few gallons of water in my pot. I am thinking about doing the 3 gallons in the pot on the stove and running it as usual (increase hop numbers to account) and then transfering my bag to the primary bucket with another 3 gallons of water to soak for about 15 minutes. The water in the bucket would be my "top off". Missing anything?
ideally, the water in your bucket would be hot for the sparge, but what you are proposing would indeed work, with the following caveat: i'm assuming you are going to boil this "top off" at some point after rinsing your grains in it....if you're just planning to rinse your grains in it and then add your wort later, there'll be trouble.

fyi, i can mash 8-9# of grain in a 4gallon pot at 1.25 qts/lb...i would think you could do nearly 11# (give or take) in your 5 gallon pot.
 

WIP

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I wasn't planning on boiling after the sparge, what would be the problem? The water will already be at 160+ degrees right?
 

BuzzCraft

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I wasn't planning on boiling after the sparge, what would be the problem? The water will already be at 160+ degrees right?
there will be, at the least, a lot of lactobacillus in that wort from the grain (plus whatever's on the bag, etc....it needs to be boiled. that'd be my recommendation.
 
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LandofOZ

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ok so now we call it "BIABSPIAB" BREW IN A BAG SPARGE IN A BAG another acronim to add to the list
ok so i have been using a modified brew in bag. i brew 5 gallon batches. i came across a 6.5 gallon aluminium fryer pot and a 5 gallon gott coller (round) at sales for $5 each and got a 5 gallon paint strainer bag, the bag fits into the cooler and am able to pull it over the threads. preheat the the cooler and then add 3 gallons mash water to the grains in the bag in the cooler at about 162 stir and i get 150 mash temp droping 2 degrees in 90 minute mash. because the bag is streched over the coller threads the top holds the bag in place and am able to shake the cooler to stir the grains without removing the lid. while masing i heat my 3.5 gallons of sparge water to 180 degrees in the boil pot, when the mash is done i pull the bag and sit it in the a callander over the cooler and squeze the bag and then the bag goes into the sparge water in the pot for 15 minutes. 180 gets me 170 sparge temp. I have my stove down to where to know where to set the dial to maintain 170. after the 15 minute dip sparge i once again put the bag in a coolander over the pot. turn the heat up. squeeze the bag then remove to go in the garden. I add the mash from the cooler. usually do a 60 minute boil. i am usually several ponts over the origianl gravity called out in the recipee and have gotten final gravities 1.010 or lower for recipees that call for brewhouse efficiencies of 75 percent. this is working well for me and have done 7 to 12 pounds of grain, i think 12 would be about max for my 5 gallon cooler.
 

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there will be, at the least, a lot of lactobacillus in that wort from the grain (plus whatever's on the bag, etc....it needs to be boiled. that'd be my recommendation.
That stuff doesnt die at 160?
 

WIP

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No.

You need to boil your wort. (Wort constituting of your sparge, first wort runnings... etc)

Not just for killing bacteria, its pretty much all grain brewing 101 from what I understand
I was curious about this, so I read an article about lactobacillus heat resistance. They werent trying to kill all of the cultures off, they where trying to see how far they could take them. the largest number they gave was 160*f and they killed 50 out of the 60 cultures in 16 minutes. Or at 165*f they killed 25 out of 60 cultures in 15 SECONDS. I would venture to guess, if I got the temp up to 170 and gave the grains a 20 mihute soak, the lactobacillus would be dead.

I probably won't risk it on a full beer, but it would be an interesting experiment for all of my 1 gallon containers.
 

jjones17

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I was curious about this, so I read an article about lactobacillus heat resistance. They werent trying to kill all of the cultures off, they where trying to see how far they could take them. the largest number they gave was 160*f and they killed 50 out of the 60 cultures in 16 minutes. Or at 165*f they killed 25 out of 60 cultures in 15 SECONDS. I would venture to guess, if I got the temp up to 170 and gave the grains a 20 mihute soak, the lactobacillus would be dead.

I probably won't risk it on a full beer, but it would be an interesting experiment for all of my 1 gallon containers.
Well, for the interest of science I wish you luck. However, in the interest of beer I personally do not see how it would benefit. Boiling the wort serves many other purposes, like the 'hot break'. Forgive me if I missed something (happens), though.
 

WIP

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Well, for the sake of being lazy. I am going to do a BIAB PM.
 

magnj

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Just a follow up, I did my first BIAM + 2 Sparges with grains I crushed myself (Barley Crusher on stock gap). I managed 75% efficiency with nothing more than a bag and a 5 gallon cooler (3 gallon batch).
 

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I am having second thoughts on the SIAB for only 20 minutes. Most brewing lit I have read states the sparge should be about 60 minutes. Perhaps if us BIABSIAB increased the sparge time to 60 minutes & 168ish the efficiency would go up? Has anyone tried this?
 

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You need to boil to:

utilise the Hops.
Reduce the Volume to increase the SG.
Drive of unwanted volatile substance.
Help remove haze inducing proteins.

I am having second thoughts on the SIAB for only 20 minutes. Most brewing lit I have read states the sparge should be about 60 minutes. Perhaps if us BIABSIAB increased the sparge time to 60 minutes & 168ish the efficiency would go up? Has anyone tried this?
You are probably reading about fly sparging.
BIAB uses batch sparging.
 

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I am having second thoughts on the SIAB for only 20 minutes. Most brewing lit I have read states the sparge should be about 60 minutes. Perhaps if us BIABSIAB increased the sparge time to 60 minutes & 168ish the efficiency would go up? Has anyone tried this?
Brewing literature talking about 60 minutes sparges HAVE to be referring to fly or continuous sparging.
 
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LandofOZ

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The mash converts the sugars in the grain, the sparge removes them. Be the grain. You've been crushed, mashed, your guts have been altered. The first running takes away a percentage of your sugar, but you still got a fair bit left in your guts. Along comes a nice little soak in a hot bath, you release a fair bit more of your sugar. 15minutes sounds good for a soak. Releases a heap of the sugar.

Experiment do it a second sparge and get a SG reading and see what it comes to. If high, your first sparge wasn't good enough. If low (like real low) then your first sparge was a success[/QUOT
there what he said:ban:
 

jjones17

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Brewing literature talking about 60 minutes sparges HAVE to be referring to fly or continuous sparging.
Thats what I thought also... but, nevertheless I have to ask. Does it simply take 60 minutes while fly sparging, or is the 60 minutes important for sugar extraction. Anyone?
 

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You're sure you're not talking about the mash right? If so, it does take about 60 minutes for conversion. When BIAB brewing, you're batch sparging so after the mash, you're basically teabagging the sack in some fresh water to let the residual sugar diffuse out. No more than 10 minutes there.
 

jjones17

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You're sure you're not talking about the mash right? If so, it does take about 60 minutes for conversion. When BIAB brewing, you're batch sparging so after the mash, you're basically teabagging the sack in some fresh water to let the residual sugar diffuse out. No more than 10 minutes there.
No, not the mash. I am talking about the sparge. I would take the time to get 3 or 4 sources of the 60 minute sparge, but I am lazy. A google search for "60 minute sparge" finds several bits of info suggesting 60 minutes is optimal. This may be referring to the flow of your sparge, and how it should take 60 minutes to drain from the MLT so your sparge does not get stuck. Could be wrong, sounds like I am the only one who is concerned about it
 

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Allright, I need opinions on this 5 gal batch. Basically, I'm concerned about volume.

My Recipe: 12 lbs grain done BIAB
My Largest pot: 24 qts (6 gallons)
If I mash 12 lbs grain with 1.5 qts/lb, that makes 4.5 gallons + 0.7 gallons for grain (according to this calculator Green Bay Rackers) so my total volume will be 5.2 gallons. This seems low considering 12 lbs is ALOT of grain.
I'll mash at 165F for 1 hour, then sparge at 170F for 10 min in a cooler.

Concern: Why do I hear talk about needing a 10gal pots to make a 5 gal batch. Is my math wrong or did I miss something??
 

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