BIAB in All-In-One Machine

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

jrsdws

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
9
Location
Central
Hey all. I've been reading all of the posts concerning BIAB and sparging, etc.. I am going to start BIAB in my Klarstein 30L all in one to improve efficiency.
My plan was to use the malt tube/pipe with the screen bottom to keep my bag off of the burner so I had a bag made to the malt tube dimensions. I also had it made for recirculation 400 micron so I can recirculate wort from under the screen back through the grain. I will use the top screen as a means to help disperse the water more evenly.
The machine volume isn't quite big enough to do full volume BIAB for a 5 gallon batch so I want to employ a sparge. I'm thinking I'll just slowly pour my PH corrected sparge water over the screen slowly while ramping up to boil temp.
The question is: Do I calculate full volume BIAB and just withhold like a gallon or two for the sparge? Or do I build a particular mash profile in Beersmith at a certain water to grain ratio and let it calculate for me. If so, what should that ratio be? It seems that regardless of ratio, Beersmith always calculates that I'll use and extra 1/2 gallon of water with a calculated sparge.
 

micraftbeer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
772
Reaction score
488
Location
Farmington Hills, MI
I always get notably better efficiency with a sparge rather than a full volume mash. So it seems you could come at this one of two ways:

1. Create a profile letting your brew software split your water into mash vs. sparge volume, depending on what water/malt ratio you want to target. There's a million articles, opinions, and personal preferences out there, I personally target 1.25 qt/lb. You'll have to brew a batch and see how close you get to predicted gravity and adjust your mash efficiency in your brew software profile accordingly. Maybe start at predicting 75%.

2. Let your software calculate things as a full volume mash, then just arbitrarily decide how much you want to split off into a sparge. Adjust your mash efficiency based on your results.

A couple things going for you with method one is you should have better consistency with your equipment profile as you move around to different recipes because you'll always be getting the same qt/lb mash thickness. Plus, if you're treating mash water pH with acid to get a good target mash pH (which helps efficiency and other stuff downstream in your finished beer), your brew software can help you out. I don't remember how Beersmith handled this, as I switched over to Brewfather a couple years ago. In Brewfather this is very straightforward to calculate acid additions to mash water to hit mash pH, vs. acid additions to strike water to avoid alkaline sparge.
 
OP
OP
J

jrsdws

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
9
Location
Central
Cool thank you. I haven't quite grasped acid additions using Beersmith so I use Palmers Brewing Water Adjustments spreadsheet and that has worked well for me.

At the 1.25qt/lb ratio, is it common that my sparge water volume is more than my mash water volume?
 

micraftbeer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
772
Reaction score
488
Location
Farmington Hills, MI
It depends on the recipe, of course for how much grain you have/what your OG is. For me, targeting 5.5 gallons into the fermentor, the volumes are close to the same. Making a 7% IPA, I have more water in the mash than in the sparge. Making a 5% beer, I have more water in the sparge.

Of course those ratios change depending on your mash efficiency as well. With a higher mash efficiency, you need less grain to hit your OG, this the water in your mash will be less since you're maintaining the same qt/lb mash.
 
OP
OP
J

jrsdws

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
9
Location
Central
Making 5.4% pale ale with a 10.5lb grain bill. Shooting for 1.053 starting gravity and 5.25 gallons into the fermentor.

With a 1.25qt/lb ratio, Beersmith is telling me to mash in with 4 gallons of water and sparge with 5.21 gallons.

Estimated mash efficiency set at 75.4% and BH efficiency at 72%.
 

jtratcliff

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,192
Reaction score
1,237
Location
Pasadena
I used to do stove stop BIAB but now have a 34L Klarstein Maishfest.

I generally use somewhere in the 2.5-3.5 qt/lb range with a small sparge (1-2 gallon).

Thinner mash has better extraction for the same grist... But a sparge does increase the overall lauter efficiency...

There's a plot floating around here somewhere that shows how efficiency scales with number of sparge steps.
 
OP
OP
J

jrsdws

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
9
Location
Central
So maybe I’ll start somewhere in the middle? LOL
I will be doing a continuous fly sparge.
 

micraftbeer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
772
Reaction score
488
Location
Farmington Hills, MI
I don't remember where I came upon the 1.25 qt/lb number. It was several years ago, after reading various people's experiences and studying various experiment results and explanation. Looking through my notes of the various experiments I've done, I've never done a mash conversion efficiency experiment while changing the mash thickness.

However, I have done several experiments looking at the sparge. Like most people, I'm interested in brew day duration "efficiency". I don't want to be spending a lot of time on a process that provides very little benefit. And I have found on multiple experiments that a sparge does provide notably better efficiency than no sparge. And even though a "no sparge" sounds faster, you do have limitations on how fast to drain the mash water to avoid compacting the grain bed which can lead to reduced mash efficiency or worse, a stuck mash.

Here is my data from an experiment with a 3-Roller Monster Mill MM-3. At the time, I was struggling with periodic stuck mashes using my 2-roller Cereal Killer, so I wanted to see if I could get good conversion efficiency with the 3-roller without as fine of a crush.

ProcessTimeEfficiency
No Sparge, 34 mil crush
20​
70.4​
1 Sparge, 34 mil crush
23​
75.3​
1 Sparge, 26 mil crush
23​
82.7​
20 min Fly Sparge, 26 mil crush
28​
83.9​

The time measurement here is from the end of the mash until I'd fully collected my pre-boil volume. I also ran an experiment on Anvil. I don't have a nice table on that, but here's the excerpt from my hands-on review posting:

I used a simple mash of 5 lbs of Viking Xtra Pale Malt and 0.3 lbs of Briess 2-row Brewers Malt, along with brewing salts + acid to hit a mash pH of 5.57. The grains were from the same 55 lb sack of each malt. I mashed for 1 hour at 149F, followed by a ramp up to 168F for a 10 min mash out. I mashed 3 different batches: 1) Full volume mash, no recirc, 2) Full volume mash with recirc, 3) Loose mash with 2.4 qt/lb with recirc followed by 1.5 gal sparge poured through the mash basket while up on its posts. The mash efficiency difference was striking. The full volume mash without recirc achieved 72%, with recirc it increased to 74%, and the recirc + sparge reached 87%. From this data, it would appear that the sparge made a significant effect. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough of the same batch of grain to do a 4th combination of no recirc + sparge.
 

micraftbeer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
772
Reaction score
488
Location
Farmington Hills, MI
I was too busy posting my data from sparge to tie it back to your question. But here was my thinking.

Sparge provides a notable increase in efficiency. Having a decent amount of water left for sparge helps facilitate that. At 1.25 qt/lb, I get a sparge water volume about the same as my mash water volume. Were I to go looser in my mash with a greater qt/lb ratio, I'd have less for sparge, and thus not see the full mash conversion benefit from the sparge. So I'm happy with the 1.25 qt/lb because it supports my sparge.
 
OP
OP
J

jrsdws

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
9
Location
Central
I believe that the 1.25qt/lb is kind of a standard rule of thumb.

I'm going to start with roughly an equal volume of water for mash and sparge and do all of my measurements and see where I land.

I really appreciate everyone's input and obviously there's more than one way to skin a cat.
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
13,414
Reaction score
10,287
Location
Renton
Making 5.4% pale ale with a 10.5lb grain bill. Shooting for 1.053 starting gravity and 5.25 gallons into the fermentor.

With a 1.25qt/lb ratio, Beersmith is telling me to mash in with 4 gallons of water and sparge with 5.21 gallons.

Estimated mash efficiency set at 75.4% and BH efficiency at 72%.
1.25 qt/lb with 10.5 lb of grain is 13.125 qt, or 3.28 gal. 4 gal gives you a nominal mash thickness of 16 / 10.5 = 1.52 qt/lb. If you are telling BS you want 1.25 qt/lb, then BS is apparently making some kind of correction for dead volume (volume not occupied by grain and liquid, such as under a false bottom.)

With the volume of water not in contact with the grain in most basket/malt pipe systems, you need to add the volume below the basket and between the basket and vessel wall to the strike water calculated from a specific qt/lb ratio. Otherwise, you will have a very thick, potentially un-stirrable, mash.

For example in the OP's system the vessel depth is 47.0 cm and diameter is 29.5 cm. The vessel volume is 32.1 L. The malt pipe is 41.0 cm in height, and 26.7 cm in diameter. From pics on the website, the top of the pipe appears to sit about 1 cm below the top of the vessel, meaning that the bottom of the pipe sits about 5 cm above the bottom of the vessel. The volume in the vessel below the pipe works out to 3.4 L ( 0.90 gal). The total volume of the mash (water + grain) works out to 18.3 L (4.84 gal), and the depth of the mash works out to 26.8 cm, which means the depth in the pipe, and annulus outside the pipe is 21.8 cm. The x-sectional area of the annulus is 123.6 cm^2, and the occupied volume of the annulus is 2.7 L (0.71 gal). So the volume of the strike water outside the pipe is 3.4 L + 2.7 L = 6.1 L, or 0.90 gal + 0.71 gal = 1.61 gal. That leaves the volume of water in the pipe with the grain at 15.14 L - 6.1 L = 9.0 L, or 4.0 gal - 1.61 gal = 2.39 gal. This works out to an effective mash thickness of 1.9 L./kg or 0.91 qt/lb.

So with 4 gal of strike water, you will have an almost un-stirrable mash thickness. You will need more strike water, and consequently less sparge water.

Brew on :mug:
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
13,414
Reaction score
10,287
Location
Renton
There's a plot floating around here somewhere that shows how efficiency scales with number of sparge steps.

And, here it is again:

Efficiency vs Grain to Pre-Boil Ratio for Various Sparge Counts.png


I don't remember where I came upon the 1.25 qt/lb number. It was several years ago, after reading various people's experiences and studying various experiment results and explanation. Looking through my notes of the various experiments I've done, I've never done a mash conversion efficiency experiment while changing the mash thickness.

However, I have done several experiments looking at the sparge. Like most people, I'm interested in brew day duration "efficiency". I don't want to be spending a lot of time on a process that provides very little benefit. And I have found on multiple experiments that a sparge does provide notably better efficiency than no sparge. And even though a "no sparge" sounds faster, you do have limitations on how fast to drain the mash water to avoid compacting the grain bed which can lead to reduced mash efficiency or worse, a stuck mash.

Here is my data from an experiment with a 3-Roller Monster Mill MM-3. At the time, I was struggling with periodic stuck mashes using my 2-roller Cereal Killer, so I wanted to see if I could get good conversion efficiency with the 3-roller without as fine of a crush.

ProcessTimeEfficiency
No Sparge, 34 mil crush
20​
70.4​
1 Sparge, 34 mil crush
23​
75.3​
1 Sparge, 26 mil crush
23​
82.7​
20 min Fly Sparge, 26 mil crush
28​
83.9​

The time measurement here is from the end of the mash until I'd fully collected my pre-boil volume. I also ran an experiment on Anvil. I don't have a nice table on that, but here's the excerpt from my hands-on review posting:

I used a simple mash of 5 lbs of Viking Xtra Pale Malt and 0.3 lbs of Briess 2-row Brewers Malt, along with brewing salts + acid to hit a mash pH of 5.57. The grains were from the same 55 lb sack of each malt. I mashed for 1 hour at 149F, followed by a ramp up to 168F for a 10 min mash out. I mashed 3 different batches: 1) Full volume mash, no recirc, 2) Full volume mash with recirc, 3) Loose mash with 2.4 qt/lb with recirc followed by 1.5 gal sparge poured through the mash basket while up on its posts. The mash efficiency difference was striking. The full volume mash without recirc achieved 72%, with recirc it increased to 74%, and the recirc + sparge reached 87%. From this data, it would appear that the sparge made a significant effect. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough of the same batch of grain to do a 4th combination of no recirc + sparge.

The results in the quoted table are roughly in line with my chart above. Keep in mind that any one efficiency measurement is only accurate to about +/- 3-4%, so single measurements shouldn't be taken as gospel.

The chart is only for lauter efficiency, and mash efficiency is equal to conversion efficiency times lauter efficiency. The difference in the 1 sparge 34 mil vs. 1 sparge 26 mil in the quoted table are most likely attributable to an increase in conversion efficiency with the finer crush. Smaller grits gelatinize faster, so get converted to sugar faster. If the mash time is insufficient for complete gelatinization and conversion, then a coarser crush can lead to a lower conversion efficiency than a finer crush.

Brew on :mug:
 
OP
OP
J

jrsdws

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
104
Reaction score
9
Location
Central
1.25 qt/lb with 10.5 lb of grain is 13.125 qt, or 3.28 gal. 4 gal gives you a nominal mash thickness of 16 / 10.5 = 1.52 qt/lb. If you are telling BS you want 1.25 qt/lb, then BS is apparently making some kind of correction for dead volume (volume not occupied by grain and liquid, such as under a false bottom.)
BS is only adding 0.20gal for volume under the false bottom I am, however, recirculating from bottom to top. BS won't allow me to edit this volume.

I never thought about accounting for the water between the vessel and the malt pipe.

The Klarstein you linked to is not what I have. The Klarstein Mundschenk I have has a vessel depth of 17" and diameter of 13.75". The malt pipe with false bottom installed is 13" depth and 12.625" diameter.
 

doug293cz

BIABer, Beer Math Nerd, ePanel Designer, Pilot
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
13,414
Reaction score
10,287
Location
Renton
BS is only adding 0.20gal for volume under the false bottom I am, however, recirculating from bottom to top. BS won't allow me to edit this volume.

I never thought about accounting for the water between the vessel and the malt pipe.

The Klarstein you linked to is not what I have. The Klarstein Mundschenk I have has a vessel depth of 17" and diameter of 13.75". The malt pipe with false bottom installed is 13" depth and 12.625" diameter.
Ok, the example was just illustrative, same analysis needs to be done for your specific system.

Brew on :mug:
 
Top