Does BIAB Lead to Cloudy Beer?

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LoudounBrew

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Was watching a video from some lady at Austin Homebrew in which she made a 5.5 gallon batch using the BIAB method. When she went to try out the beer after fermentation and kegging, she noted that it hadn't cleared. Tasted great, just didn't clear. Then she mentioned that her fellow brewers at Austin Homebrew told her that BIAB beers didn't clear as well beer brewed in the traditional method.

Has anyone every heard this about BIAB?

I use DeathBrewer's stove top all-grain BIAB method and haven't noticed particularly cloudy beers, but, then again, maybe I've always made cloudy beers and just didn't notice.
 

paraordnance

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Most of my beers are cloudy and I BIAB. Not sure if its related since I never tried traditional method. I have Oktoberfest lager which is 4 months old and its cloudy. Clear but not brilliantly clear, hazy some sort. All my beers end up that way, and I'm not sure what to blame. I use whirfloc last 5 min of boil, I chill within 20 min and have really good cold break. My wort going from kettle to primary is so clear its hard to believe sometimes. I have 4 weeks primary on most beers and additional lagering time for lagers and kolsch alike. My beers never clear up, may be its BIAB related or have something to do with my tap water (I use 50:50 ratio with RO)
 

Seven

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My BIAB brews are cloudy only when I rush them to the keg. But even then they do clear up eventually.

With adequate conditioning time, careful racking, etc., etc., they are perfectly clear.
 

voltin

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From my personal experience and what I have read here, BIAB leaves a lot more material in the boil kettle. I do usually have a fair amount of trub in my primary. That being said, most of my beer comes out clear.

What typically causes a hazy beer in the glass is chill haze. This is caused by not chilling the wort fast enough to achieve a cold break.
 

Retrofit

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I think it's more complicated. There are various factors including what style you are brewing (grains used), the material the bag is made out of, whether or not you use clarifiers, and your overall brewing skill.

My initial bag was made out of cheesecloth purchased for wine making- folding in half (so it's doubled up) then sewn into a bag. My beers- without clarifier's instantly became more clear than my non-BIAB beers. I think all my beers are significantly more clear since I've started BIAB. Combined with with hops in a bag or hopspider, I have little trub in my fermentor, and no stuck sparge issues.

Are my wheat beers still cloudy? Sure But my Rye is very clear and I don't have any of the issues that normally come with using Rye.

I would reexamine the quality of bag you are using.
 

bschoenb

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Well; lets see.. I took a 40 and second place in the State Competition using BIAB w/ a Wheat and Rye Ale using BIAB. The Judges said; "Crystal Clear; almost Kolsch like" There latest Podcast of "Basic Brewing Radio" did an experiment with no trub vs all the trub in the fermenter. The results suprizingly showed that those with all the trub "cleared" better. I suspect an Article in BYO soon about this.....
 
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LoudounBrew

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I use a voile bag, which is pretty a tight weave. (Again, I don't think that my beers are particularly cloudy, but I'm new to the game.) It seems to me that a bag with a tight weave would be an effective filter, which made me wonder if the Austin Homebrew people were using paint strainers or some other material that allowed a lot more material to remain in the wort.

But even if their bags did, would that necessarily make the beer more cloudy. Wouldn't a good hot break, whirlfloc, a good cold break and cold crashing take care of that extra material?

Admittedly, I don't know the chemistry going on, but I'm not sure why using a bag would lead to more cloudy beer.
 

RM-MN

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I use a paint strainer bag and I squeeze out the wort until it becomes very cloudy, squeezing as hard as I can. I don't use any clarifiers, my chill is in a tub of ice water and takes 30 to 40 minutes. I don't cold crash and I dump all my trub into the fermenter and with all that, my beer still comes out clear. I do ferment cool for a week, let the beer warm to room temperature for another 2 to 3 weeks and then bottle without going to a secondary.
 

Retrofit

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But even if their bags did, would that necessarily make the beer more cloudy. Wouldn't a good hot break, whirlfloc, a good cold break and cold crashing take care of that extra material?

Admittedly, I don't know the chemistry going on, but I'm not sure why using a bag would lead to more cloudy beer.
This is a great point. I use a heat stick and propane to get my wort to boil and if I think my volume is to great I turn the heatstick back on and boil the f*** out of my wort. So I get a great hot break. And I also use a pre-chiller and an immersion chiller so I also get a great cold break. So I hadn't considered how those influence my beers. I'm sure it's for the positive.
 

usfmikeb

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I don't really worry about cloudiness, but most of my beers are pretty clear anyways.
 

geezerpk

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I sometimes hear comments about nearly crystal clear wort coming out of the boil to the fermenter. I just never come close to seeing anything like that with my beers. I've tried whirlfloc on occasion, but noticed little improvement, so gave up on that — didn't need the extra expense for minimum results. I use an immersion chiller and get the wort to 80º or below within 15-20 minutes in most cases.

I use a brew bag, but not in the classic fashion. I line a 6 gallon bucket with wrap around insulation in the same manner as a standard tun, the bag acting as a manifold or braid. I mash and sparge in the same way one would with a traditional tun. For clearing the finished beer I use gelatin finings, sometimes in the primary and sometimes in a secondary, and let the gelatin do its work for 3 or 4 days. I'd call most of my beers clear, but not gin-so. The wheat beers remain a bit cloudy even after fining. That's okay by me, doesn't effect the taste.

But clear wort out of the brewpot? Never happens for me.
 

jamorgan3777

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I have been interested in this as well. I have 4 all grain BIAB runs under my belt, and1 has been completely crystal clear (cream of three crops ale) two have been cloudy although one is only a few days in the keg but the other one (an IPA) never really cleared. The fourth was too dark for me to tell really well. All have tasted great, but my extract brews have been much clearer (although not 100% of them). I did switch from RO water with the extract brews to tap water with the all grain brews. I do also notice that my wort is pretty clear going into the fermenter. I have been using US05 for most of my yeast, so this latest beer will be interesting as I used Northwest Ale yeast.
 

paraordnance

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Most of my beers are cloudy and I BIAB. Not sure if its related since I never tried traditional method. I have Oktoberfest lager which is 4 months old and its cloudy. Clear but not brilliantly clear, hazy some sort. All my beers end up that way, and I'm not sure what to blame. I use whirfloc last 5 min of boil, I chill within 20 min and have really good cold break. My wort going from kettle to primary is so clear its hard to believe sometimes. I have 4 weeks primary on most beers and additional lagering time for lagers and kolsch alike. My beers never clear up, may be its BIAB related or have something to do with my tap water (I use 50:50 ratio with RO)
I have to take my words back :cross: washed my glass that I usually drink from (usually just rinse it) and beer is crystal clear. Sorry for confusion :D
 

solbes

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Agree with others that BIAB does not cause cloudy beer. That break will all drop out in primary if you have a good hot break, good cold break, and use kettle finings. I get pretty clear beer, some are crystal clear.

The problem I had was excessive trub in the primary. Whereas I used to be able to get 52 bottles from a batch with extract, I was getting maybe 42-44 with BIAB. One gallon of the fermenter was trub and yeast in the fermenter. This was using a double paint strainer bag approach. Since switching to a much tighter weave bag I'm back up to 48 beers per batch. Good enough in my book to keep doing BIAB for the foreseeable future.
 
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