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First BIAB: Expected OG 1.064/Actual 1.052 - What happened?

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Rush

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I was doing a porter (recipe at end of post) for my first BIAB. Strike water @161, mash temp 154 for 60 minutes. I was able to keep this pretty consistent after wrapping the kettle with a thick blanket. Mashed in full volume of 7 gallons. No clue of water PH, but it was straight from the tap through a Brita faucet charcoal filter.

I measured my pre-boil gravity @ 1.046 (which brewersfriend suggests is in line), but possibly my temperature conversion was incorrect here? I used an online calculator to figure that part out.

Also, my grain was pre-crushed from my LHBS, and was too coarse from other suggestions, so I ran 90% of it through a food processor to crush it up more. I did not create much flour here.

No Mash out occured. After 60 minutes of mash I simply raised the grains on a pulley and let them drain for 30 minutes. Squeezing a few extra ounces out towards the end of the drain.

Where should I look on my next batches for improvements? 60% efficiency kinda sucked.


Recipe:

Edmund Fitzgerald Clone
Method: BIAB
Style: American Porter
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 7.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.047 (recipe based estimate)
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.064 Final Gravity: 1.012 ABV (standard): 6.79% IBU (tinseth): 41.03 SRM (morey): 31.32
Fermentables
Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %
11 lb American - Pale 2-Row 37 1.8 84.6%
0.5 lb American - Caramel / Crystal 60L 34 60 3.8%
0.5 lb American - Chocolate 29 350 3.8%
0.5 lb Belgian - Special B 34 115 3.8%
0.25 lb United Kingdom - Black Patent 27 525 1.9%
0.25 lb United Kingdom - Pale Chocolate 33 207 1.9%
13 lb Total
Hops
Amount Variety Type AA Use Time IBU
1 oz Centennial Pellet 10 Boil 60 min 35.48
0.5 oz Willamette Pellet 4.5 Boil 15 min 3.96
0.5 oz Willamette Pellet 4.5 Boil 5 min 1.59
Hops Summary
Amount Variety Type AA
1 oz Centennial Pellet 10
1 oz Willamette Pellet 4.5
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
7.5 gal -- 154 F 60 min
Yeast
Fermentis / Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05
Attenuation (avg):
81%
Flocculation:
Medium
Optimum Temp:
54 - 77 °F
Starter:
No
 

dstockwell

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One thing I learned from brewersfriend is that the boil gravity has never been right at least since I have been using it for 1 1/2 years, it always shows a lower number than what I measure. I also have grain crushed but do not run them through anything else before use. Since this is your first BIAB the default 75% brew house efficiency may be set to high, and you will need to dial in your system, maybe try 70%. For me I set brew house efficiency at 65%, this seems to work fine for hitting OG, but measured BG is always higher than BF calculates.
 

RM-MN

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The top 3 reasons for poor efficiency are:
The crush
The crush
The crush.

All other reasons fall far below those 3. If you want control of your efficiency for improvement and consistency, get your own mill. Mills like these works very well and won't set you back very many dollars. You can recover the cost quickly if you buy grains in bulk instead of per recipe.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Premium-...61724&wl11=online&wl12=29688114&wl13=&veh=sem

Set the mill as closely as you can and still turn the crank. BIAB works quite well with that fine milled grain and conversion happens quickly. You can reduce your mash time from 60 minutes to 30 and still get better results than you got on this batch.
 

RM-MN

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One thing I learned from brewersfriend is that the boil gravity has never been right at least since I have been using it for 1 1/2 years, it always shows a lower number than what I measure. I also have grain crushed but do not run them through anything else before use. Since this is your first BIAB the default 75% brew house efficiency may be set to high, and you will need to dial in your system, maybe try 70%. For me I set brew house efficiency at 65%, this seems to work fine for hitting OG, but measured BG is always higher than BF calculates.
There is no reason for BIAB to be low efficiency except for the poor crush most LHBS will give you. My first batch was done full volume, no sparge and still hit 80%.
 

Aristotelian

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1. 60% isn't that bad. That is about what I would expect for pre-milled grains. The difference between 60% and 70% is 5 beers. To me quality is more important than quantity so the key is a consistent system that allows you to hit your numbers. If you are getting 60% every time, you can simply adjust and increase your grain bill by 10%.
2. Crush your own grains or ask your LHBS to double mill. That should give you a big bump.
3. Add a sparge step to get a few extra points.
 

thaefathan

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1. 60% isn't that bad. That is about what I would expect for pre-milled grains. The difference between 60% and 70% is 5 beers. To me quality is more important than quantity so the key is a consistent system that allows you to hit your numbers. If you are getting 60% every time, you can simply adjust and increase your grain bill by 10%.
2. Crush your own grains or ask your LHBS to double mill. That should give you a big bump.
3. Add a sparge step to get a few extra points.
Second.

There was a lot of sugar left on the un-rinsed grain.
 

brew703

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I suspect you got your grains from the only HBS in NOLA. I have gotten some there too before I got my mill. I can say their setting is not tight enough. They are great people but I asked one time for them to double crush my grains and they acted like I was asking for a million bucks.
I suggest investing in your own mill.
I BIAB as well and I normally get 73-76% efficiency crushing my own grains with the gap set using a credit card. I could probably go a bit tighter but would have trouble crushing wheat.
 

dstockwell

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Yea, I think I'm fine with not adding an extra step..
 
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Rush

Rush

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I suspect you got your grains from the only HBS in NOLA. I have gotten some there too before I got my mill. I can say their setting is not tight enough. They are great people but I asked one time for them to double crush my grains and they acted like I was asking for a million bucks.
I suggest investing in your own mill.
I BIAB as well and I normally get 73-76% efficiency crushing my own grains with the gap set using a credit card. I could probably go a bit tighter but would have trouble crushing wheat.
Yep!

Looks like I'll be adding a mill to my Christmas list. :ban:
 

RM-MN

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Yep!

Looks like I'll be adding a mill to my Christmas list. :ban:
The nice thing about the mill I mentioned earlier from Walmart is that it is low enough in cost that it doesn't preclude other Christmas presents.:ban:

The Walmart suggestion was just that, a representative suggestion. Those mills are available from other sources pretty cheap.
 

Johow

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The nice thing about the mill I mentioned earlier from Walmart is that it is low enough in cost that it doesn't preclude other Christmas presents.:ban:

The Walmart suggestion was just that, a representative suggestion. Those mills are available from other sources pretty cheap.
I have my lhbs mill my grains and then I mill them again before brewing with something very similar to this and get right at 80% brewhouse. Replace that handle with a handheld drill and add a larger hopper and make quick work of it...merry Christmas!
 
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