Growing Out of BIAB: Reasons to Consider An MLT

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Moving from extract brewing to all-grain can be like earning a badge of honor in home brewing. Many who started extract brewing have never seen the need to expand into more complicated or exacting recipes, nor have needed that jump to be fair, as many award winning brews are extract-based (or at least partial mashed or include steeping grains). Many of those who have moved, however, have done so more simply through brew in a bag (BIAB). While this method solves most of the nagging issues of extract such as grain availability, fermentability of the wort, and lighter beer color, there is still much to be had by improving the mash in multiple vessel brewing.
The remaining benefits of moving to multiple vessel brewing is what this article is all about. Specifically, honing in on the finer aspects of the mash, since once the wort hits the boiler, everything else is the same as extract brewing (for the most part). What I have attempted to do over my years of continual equipment improvement and control is earn that badge of repeatability (to keep the metaphor going): the ability to take a recipe that I like and change it ever so slightly to suit my tastes, and remove all other variables in order to focus on that change. This is a large undertaking, since the variables include everything from grain/hops production and specs all the way through carbonating and serving. However, the bulk of the variable flavor impact occur with fermentation, and the first step of that is micro-controlling the mash with a dedicated mash/lauter tun (MLT). So let’s start there.

Hitting and Maintaining Mash Temp

Maintaining mash temp is important with a traditional mash tun, as well as BIAB
Heat the strike water, dip the bag of grains in, stir it around on low heat, and use a horse with a pulley and hoist the bag out. Pretty easy to make a good beer through BIAB, but there are a lot of knobs you can turn to make a good beer great. As I mentioned above, controlling the fermentability of the wort can have a huge impact on the flavor and mouthfeel of the beer. Fermentability can also be defined as controlling which, and to what extent, the enzymes in the grain works.
Let’s say you want to hit a mash temperature of 155°F for 60 minutes, and immediately stop enzyme activity for beer with a fairly heavy residual sweetness (or maltiness, or however the recipe and your taste buds define that impact). That means any slip into lower temps will drive more beta-amylase activity, producing a more fermentable and possibly drier beer. What that means for BIAB brewers is constant stirring and a close eye on the heat source. Stopping the enzymatic activity is as simple as increasing the heat (being careful not to scorch the grain or burn a hole in the bag) to 170°F, removing the bag, and starting the boil.
An improvement on this system in a dedicated MLT would actually be quite minimal. Using an MLT has the added benefits of possibly using a more insulating material and not worrying about scorched grains, but the actual process of mashing in, stirring, checking temperature and (with the right accessories) maintaining the temp and mashing out remain unchanged. The real benefits of a dedicated mash system are realized in ancillary steps.

The Sparge

On a commercial scale, the process of rinsing the grains is where much of the extract efficiency and lowering the cost of goods comes into play. While this is less of a factor for homebrewers, as the loss of extract in the grain through BIAB accounts maybe for a pound or two of grain, sparging the grain starts the march towards beer clarity and controlled pH, among others.
In BIAB, the sparge is typically as simple as moving the bag to another heated vessel of a small amount of water at an elevated temperature, sloshing it around and pulling it out. That rinse water is then added to the boil kettle. While many methods exist for achieving this process, it is essentially a batch sparge, or further dilution of extract in the grain.
Fly Sparging the mash
With a dedicated mash system, a number of sparges can easily be done in the same vessel using a false bottom, or one could fly sparge to squeeze a little more juice out of the grain. Either way, this separation of the grains and the boil kettle gives the brewer the ability to drain a very clear wort into the kettle through a vorlauf. Either by recirculating the mash with a pump or simply taking a quart at a time out and pouring it back on the top of the grain, the grain bed acts as a sand filter when it comes time to run it out and lauter, thus removing fine particles that would otherwise make it into the kettle during BIAB.
While there is certainly a lot of controversy on whether this is completely necessary both in the commercial and homebrew communities, it is yet another knob you can turn to tune up the brewing process. Removal of fine particles and possibly unconverted complex starches may have the benefit of decreasing astringent tannin extraction in the wort as well as clarifying the final beer. Only you can tell if it makes a difference in your beers.
Another benefit of separating the lauter of the grains from the kettle is that you can fine tune the extract efficiency through a number of rinsing processes. Depending on the shape and size of the false bottom or screen in the mash tun in addition to the sparge method (batch or fly sparge), the rinse process can be carefully tweaked to move a typical 70% BIAB efficiency up to the high 80’s. Not a requirement by far, nor will it significantly impact the beer quality, but it’s still fun to push the limits of your gear isn’t it?
One major downside, however, to the fly sparge process in a dedicated system is that it takes a good while to do it right. A typical 5 gallon mash could take upwards of 45 minutes just to get the wort in the kettle. Of course the kettle can be heating all this time so that the boil is starting just as the final runnings are coming off, but it is still something to consider.

Mash pH

Possibly one of the most important advantages of moving to a dedicated mash/lauter system, and I felt it needed its own section, is control over the mash pH. It’s not a straight forward process, and there are various levels of commitment in controlling the contents of your brewing water. It would therefore be irresponsible to dive into the complex specifics in this article. There are various sources out there for calculating mineral additions, etc., such as Bru’n Water, Brewer’s Friend, EZ Water, as well as some brewing software that has built in calculators that can get you started. What should be stated, however, is what benefit a dedicated mash system would have in the water chemistry process.
There are 2 main aspects of controlling brewing water chemistry: through addition (or removal) of salts, and adjustment of the water pH. With a mash system, you can split the salt that you normally might add to the boil kettle into the mash tun and hot liquor tun. This is important because as the mash grains are rinsed, the pH and mineral contents also change. If sparging with a lower pH than typical 7.5, you can maintain a lower wort pH for lighter beers, for example, reducing tannin extraction and astringency. You can also add back salts and necessary minerals to the sparge water that the grains would absorb in the mash, thus maintaining a calculated mineral profile in the wort.
In my opinion, by far the greatest impact on the quality of the beer goes to a healthy fermentation, and the wort chemistry is a large chunk of that (with fermentation temperature taking up another chunk). Being able to tune certain aspects of the brewing process so that the yeast have the best chance to create the flavor profile you are looking for is how good beers are made into great ones.

The Dedicated Mash System Process

For those who are looking to build a little complexity and knobs to their brewing day, I thought it would be helpful to add a chart to help visualize the steps in creating wort by BIAB and through a dedicated mash system. Given the fact there are so many kinds of builds, I will make the comparison with one system, a HERMS, or heat exchange recirculating mash system (which can essentially be considered a RIMS system for this example).

A Final Word

A move to a larger and more complex system always results in the creation of new issues you never had with a simpler process. While not every brewer will ever need to leave BIAB due to budget, time, or space constraints (or needs, for that matter), those who do should enter this world with the caveat that you may indeed lower the quality of the beer before it gets better, or until you get your new system down. That being said, I’ve never been happier with the beers I make with my all-grain system. I can look at my control box and know exactly what temperature things are at, control flow rates, chemistry, etc., and never have a doubt of what’s going into the boil kettle. With all the things that can go wrong from milling to pouring, this little bit of insurance makes me feel good. Almost as good as pouring a fresh glass.
Good luck!
I enjoyed your article as you make some very valid points but as an advocate for BIAB I cannot agree with some of the assumptions which still remain about BIAB, mainly, "typical 70% BIAB efficiency." I would argue BIAB typically results in or around 80% efficiency.
My conversion efficiency is consistently 80% in a eBIAB setup. Based on the most recent BYO article it appears that my results are not uncommon and in fact BIAB inefficiency of conversion is a pernicious myth. I bring this up simply due to your "The Sparge" section which puts BIAB at 70% efficient. Of course results may vary but a simply change in the assumptions regarding BIAB efficiency makes most of the section as written untrue.
As a single vessel brewer I disagee completely with the apparent main thrust of your article.
Mash pH, water profiles, wort fermentability, mash profiles etc are not difficult to control and adjust with a single vessel system. Quite the opposite in fact.
I manage these things on every brew. If anything, one could better argue the chemistry is simpler to manage with only a single vessel rather than a MLT and a HLT.
I see no greater difficulty to either approach.
Step mashing is also very doable with a single vessel approach to brewing. Something I do frequently.
These chemistry issues are really not advatages to moving from single to multi vessel brewing.
The advantages lie in the logistical problems of making bigger batches and or higher gravity beers.
I agree with Gavin, 3 vessel is nice for bigger batches of beer and high gravity stuff. Other than that they are the same thing. With 3 vessel systems you move the wort around the system, with BIAB you move the grain. Mash temps, pH, water profiles, step mashes are all very controllable with BIAB.
While I appreciate the effort put forth in this article (perhaps from a non-BIAB brewer), I challenge the article "Growing Out of BIAB: Reasons to Consider An MLT" as all the "faults" with BIAB are easily overcome using similar techniques as if you had a MLT, from PH, maintaining mash temps, and respectable efficiency. The argument to grow up and out of BIAB is not effectively made here and may give new extract-to-BIABers self doubt in their decision to go BIAB. Higher efficiency DOES NOT make a better beer. Lets say that the evaluation of wasting 1 or 2 pounds of grain in this article is true (It may be, I haven't calculated it as my BIAB is dialed in at 73% efficiency), grain is CHEAP compared to purchasing a new stainless MLT ($300 for a solid setup). With proper water additions and salt balancing (which you should be doing BIAB or not), proper ph adjustment is no problem. I think I need to make a video showing advance BIAB techniques...
An interesting article - should be fun to watch the replies! I don't know how well you've made the case that traditional MLT brewing is an improvement over BIAB. Recirculating wort during a BIAB mash is just as easily done as it is in a free-standing mash with a false bottom. A pump and a few gadgets and you've got it. The ability to apply direct heat to a kettle MT is a benefit over a plastic cooler, but that MT could have a bag in it or not - doesn't change the capability. You can do the same types of temp adjustments with cold/boiling water with BIAB, and you can mash full volume or use a classic lower ratio with sparging. The bag is just not a factor.
pH is a wash; for some beers the full volume of water makes it easier - for some perhaps less so. But you can play with the water/grain ratio to compensate, add some salts to the boil rather than the mash, and generally be just as flexible as with any other type of brewing. If you sparge, you can put salts in that water as well. I'm not seeing the distinction.
In short, I think you're fixating on BIAB when the real target of your treatise is about single vessel brewing. The bag is mostly irrelevant - it's just a filter. You can mash in a cooler with a bag if you like, and vorlauf like a champ if it matters to you. Your article attempts to make the case that single vessel brewing is inherently compromised, and I definitely don't agree. All the AG methods have their challenges, but they all offer plenty of control and produce excellent beer in the right hands.
Im not going to continue to beat a dead horse since most of my arguments are stated above. With articles like this I think its pretty important to clearly identify the level of sophistication of the equipment. It is one thing to BIAB with a just a kettle, propane burner, paint straining bag blanket and thats it. It is entirely different if you have a recirculating E-BIAB, a pH meter, Wilser Bag, etc. Either way you do it there are multiple ways to combat your issues and in the end both are relatively the same. In my case it depends on if i want to make super high gravity batches, whch i can do with my BIAB but my kettle capacity is limited and I prefer to sparge in a MLT. If i want a quicker brew day I use E-BIAB etc.
I agree with the comments above. I don't see how BIAB single vessel brewing is inferior in any way to using the MLT process. If anything I feel the advantages of BIAB outweigh using MLT. The only thing I can't do easily is vorlauf, and I really don't need to do that anyway. I would argue that for most beer on the homebrew scale, MLTs should and probably will go the same way as secondary fermentors. They're an unnecessary waste of time and money.
Okay, I might get edited out for this, but with what is called Brew In A Bag, I supposed most of this article is correct. Moving beyond that to what it really is -- external filter bed brewing, you can do everything that an "All Grain" three vessel brewer can do. By system uses a bag, an element and PID loop and a chugger to recirculate which effectively is fly sparging/vorlauf. I can go thicker on the mash and then sparge at the end, and I can decoct. So except formaking some of the processes that I don't do a lot easier and spending three times as much on equipment, I don't get what "outgrowing my BIAB" system will actually buy me. I really think articles like this are often for people to justify buying the big systems. And that is fine if you are accurate on the fact you are doing it for convenience or because you simply want to.
I went 3 vessel because I hated dealing with the hot bag of grain on partial mashes. I would have hated it even more on a larger scale. I would have had to built a hoist. No thanks!
First off I'll say that I'm pursuing a single tier three vessel setup. Actually, what I'm pursuing is a kal clone but on a vast cheaper scale. But anyway, to a few people who point out that grain is way cheaper than another vessel I have throw out the question. If you plan on brewing for a decade or longer, is it really? For simplicity sake we'll say a BIAB brewer needs 2 pounds of grain at a dollar a pound. Hey, it makes my calculations simpler. That's 150 brew sessions before you break even. I don't know about everyone else but I plan to be brewing about once a month when I get set up and that means that I'd break even after 12 years.
I plan to be brewing longer than 12 years, so to me pursuing a MLT at the end of the day seems the better path. To each their own, but the simple well 2 pounds of grain is cheaper than a $300 pot is a strawman argument. Simply because an Xtreme Coleman 72 quart cooler with a homemade copper mainfold cost me $100..or 50 brewing sessions for that $2 extra in grain.
Totally have to pile on. This is a very well written article which was written with some biases and a lack of understanding of the true differences of BIAB versus multi-vessel brewing. The chief and really only difference is the use of a bag as your filter medium versus the grain bed. When I read the tired trope of "lower efficiency" you lost me completely. While this is true if I grind grain as if I am using a multi vessel system, the bag allows a much finer grind which allows much easier and faster extraction as the overall surface area of the starch is increased by decreasing the particle size. I honestly have a hard time keeping my OG down to hit the low efficiency numbers posted in the recipes. I do not need extra grain.
While I do applaud the effort, and your willingness to put your work out there, please be sure you have researched to be sure your information is accurate. Otherwise you will only serve to perpetuate bad processes which were based on he siad/she said anecdotes and don't lead to the goal of improved brewing you were aiming for.
I don't brew BIAB, but I do brew 'no sparge' on a HERMS and I have no issues with pH at all. In fact I find it easier to adjust my pH using one given volume of water instead of adding salts to my Mash water then trying to acidify my sparge water.
I usually like reading these articles. Some are very good. Others, like this one, aren't good at all. It seems like the writer didn't research biab at all. A recirculating e-biab system can keep mash temp exactly what you need for the entire mash length. You can do any kind of sparge you want but that really defeats the purpose of biab. Efficiency of biab is usually 80%, not 70%. Some even report a higher efficiency. Mash ph has nothing to do with vessels. This isn't even an "argument". I can pull a sample 15 minutes in and adjust as needed. How does a vessel make the ph process different? I can also check on my controller to see temp. This writer wrote about newer electric 3 vessel systems but wrote about old non electric non automated propane biab.
The problem with articles like this is newer brewers will read it and possibly skip over biab but might have gone biab if the article had better info.
I agree with undeadfred. This article is for someone that wants to justify buying 3 new vessels. Nothing wrong with that but that doesn't mean biab will produce a lower quality beer like this article seems to state. Biab and 3 vessel set ups can make the exact same quality beer. Only difference is 3 vessel can usually make stronger beers just because of the size limitation of 1 vessel with full volume in the mash.
And this is why the article doesn't help anything. Biab is not a lower efficiency system as the article states and as your comment points to. Just the opposite. Most biab brewers get 80% some even in the 90s. Just like going from extract to a 3 vessel system, you need to dial in on your new system. With biab that would be getting your grain milled correctly.
This article is stating 3 vessel is better than biab for X reasons. Those are not true. Each system has advantages and disadvantages but both make the same quality beer if you are dialed in to your system
I moved from extract to BIAB 3 years ago, I have a small but very efficient EBIAB system that makes great beer. Nevertheless I always felt I was not a "complete" brewer, I had to give the three vessel system a go, so I did, one time, made great beer, Just like my EBIAB system, Longest brew day EVER! Never again. Not worth it.
Except the 2 extra pounds argument from the writer is NOT correct and won't increase efficiency. It may increase yield, but not efficiency.
I agree with the point that BIAB does not necessarily equal low efficiency. As many have stated, and which is also true for my system, BIAB typically puts me at 80-85%. I will say, however, that just like non-BIAB AG setups, there are lots of different BIAB techniques. Personally, I don't mash with full volume. Most often I mash in an insulated cooler at typical grain/water percentages, then batch sparge with another volume of (typically 170 deg.) water to reach pre-boil volume. My batch sparge is typically a 10-minute process, with vigorous stirring half way through and at the end. I also use a finer crush, and squeeze the hell out of the bag after mash and sparge.
Not wanting to go into an essay on my personal technique, but I have learned from speaking with many other BIAB'ers, that efficiency and technique varies widely. Where I have heard low efficiency come into play the most is with full volume BIAB mashes, not getting a finer crush, not adding much extra grain, and without must vigorous stirring or squeezing. For me, I don't need to add extra grain, in fact, I usually use slightly less. There's so many factors. All this to say that BIAB is not one single technique, just like non-BIAB techniques. There's simply a lot of false assumptions and misperceptions out there when it comes to BIAB that many think it's limited to one specific BIAB process or another. In reality, its as flexible in most regards as any other AG techniques, as many others have expressed.
Otherwise, I thought this was a nicely put together article, just perhaps needed some more research. At any rate, it gets people talking and learning!
How about a comment going the other way...from a three tire to BiaB, single vessel, no-sparge.
"What that means for BIAB brewers is constant stirring and a close eye on the heat source." Not a problem on on my BiaB system as a tiny bit of insulation and the enormous thermal mass has me drop 1 degree in 45 minutes. On my three tier with the much lower thermal mass of a typically thick mash, with the same level of insulation, I lost an average 2 degrees over the same period so have to do at least one temperature bump minimum in an hour.
"sparging the grain starts the march towards beer clarity" Not a problem in BiaB once you adjust your process slightly. Sure, after good vorlauf and long fly sparge the wort going into my boil kettle was much clearer. My finished beer is no different in either system.
Now there are advantages the author did not mention to a three tier:
Back-to-back brew sessions only add as long as it takes to mash plus about 15 minutes to muck out the mash tun between brews. So I can do twice the beer in 1/3 more time (accounting for the longer clean up of my 3-tier but NOT accounting for the set-up time).
More beer for the size of the kettle...particularly when compare to full volume mash that I do.
Additional advantages to a single vessel system not mentioned:
Faster set up
Faster clean up
I move to BiaB out of frustration of brewing in the cold in Northwest Inidiana. I could have switch my all-manual, all-propane 3-tier that I had used for the first 19 years of my brewing life to electric to move indoors but then I would have to add a pump due to ceiling height issue. After experimenting with BiaB...I was smitten. I can brew indoors while only paying attention tot he process for a total of about 45 minutes. This means I can make dinner, mow the lawn, play with the dogs, whatever, during the boring parts of brewing like waiting until your mash is done. Clean up and breakdown is a total of 15 minutes and would be less if I could dump my grains in the compost pile (stupid dogs).
Let me step in here, because it seems that I unintentionally touched a few sensitive parts on some folks, and not the fun parts. This article was born out of a discussion with a friend of mine who was trying to get out of bag hoisting, and we had a long talk of what might be gained/lost in multivessel brewing. I regretfully have only done a few BIAB batches in my time; it's not rocket science, however the finer aspects of real achievable results from normal and hybrid BIAB you guys mention above can only be realized through comments and discussions on the forum. No one person knows all, I didn't mean for the article to come off that way. Just like you don't know how spot the recipes from my system are time after time, I have no idea how equally easy and controllable your BIAB method is. Thank you for participating in the discussion! Hopefully this article doesn't discourage new brewers from attempting BIAB, I mean it's dead simple, everyone should at least try it if interested in all-grain. That was not my intention, nor to discount the effectiveness of the method, or incite some superiority of any method. The editors drifted the subject of the article at some point, and I went with it to the point where it seems like single vessel is inferior, that was my mistake, and thank you for pointing out my negligence.
That being said, everyone needs to accept the fact that pretty much every one of these articles are written by amateurs, for amateurs (yes, like all non-pro homebrewers), and feathers need not get too ruffled. Every article that even mentions a pros/cons analysis of any technique basically draws the same personal attacks (from many of the usual profiles). Calm down, drink a homebrew, then type, and love thy homebrewing neighbor.
This may be a good time to rethink article submission?
1. Maybe there should be a peer review of articles.... Many of the ones over the past year leave a lot to be desired.
2. Maybe there should be a group of freelance authors hired to write great content.... I know that I get an email from Craft Beer and Brewing and their articles are extremely well written and informative... I actually look forward to reading them...
that's my 2¢
We actually do have peer review (for the past 8 or 9 months I believe).
In fact, we're even looking for more volunteer editors if you're interested
In my opinion, not every reader will agree with every article written, nor should they. We welcome open discussion, and encourage members to submit articles for the front page. And not all of them make it through.
(in a narrative voice) "Next week on 'As The Mash Paddle Stirs'. We'll show you how you can make better beer by fly sparging vs batch sparging. Tune in next week for episode 2: 'Too Fly for a Batch Sparge Guy.' Check your local listings..............."
Just out of curiosity, if you are using a cooler to mash, then sparging and then taking that full volume to a boil kettle, wouldn't that be a typical 2 vessel (kettle/cooler) set up? Or are you saying you mash in the cooler but instead of transferring using a valve you pull the grains out using a bag?
No feathers ruffled. No sensitive parts touched. I could care less what method folks use.
This article unfortunately is littered with factual errors and is seemingly based on a position of not understanding a single vessel process and the non-logistical benefits it can offer the brewer.
There are clear and present benefits to using multiple vessels. You simply have not discussed them.
A useful tip is to place a link or citation to points you raise. Not only does it benefit the reader, it helps the author tweak and distill out fact from opinion in preparing pieces like this. Even as amateurs there is a wealth of excellent information at our fingertips if we choose to look and learn how to filter the garbage.
I place great importance on mash chemistry, pH management and water profiles in my brewing. Utilizing a single vessel is not, as you depict, an obstacle to doing this. That is my sole beef with the piece. It's main premise is entirely incorrect. More bad information for future brewers to filter out.
Efficiency arguments are always ill-advised; recipes are different, crushes are different, sparging vs no sparge has a big impact, recirc has an impact, ph has an impact, and the efficiency just doesn't matter that much for a home brewer. Pick BIAB, fly sparging, batch sparging, HERMs, RIMS or extract and make good beer.
I have no doubts that commercial brewing with a separate mash and sparge gets better efficiency than BIAB. But it's also better than all the above fore-mentioned techniques. After all, has anyone seen a HERMS system in a production brewery? So BIAB advocates, don't get your hackles up about efficiency. Seems every time someone implies BIAB is not perfect, advocates cry foul. Of course, this article is not without problems. It happens.
BIAB is quite a bit more sophisticated than it used to be, so perhaps the comments are not applicable to "your" system. Perhaps this article should have specifically compared with traditional BIAB over a single burner.
I agree. These articles are on the home page. To me, an article on the home page has more weight than posts. A newer brewer looking to go AG BIAB may see the article as having more validation than the posts in the forum. He even said he has only brewed using BIAB a few times and to use my own words, doesn't know much about BIAB. To me, you can't write an article about why 3 vessel is better than BIAB if you don't know much about BIAB.
I'm not trying to bash the author. That isn't what this is about. It is more about trying to get the best info on this site for newer brewers to use.
I actually find this approach fine. I am one of the ones that does disagree with the article but like most things in a free society, I FIRMLY believe that author has every right, and we ans community have a need, for people to express their opinions and for reasonable rebuttal in the comments.
So folks might get a bit too passionate at times but I FIRMLY embrace the existing process. It is a hobby...people's approaches will vary as will their opinions.
I agree that we all have opinions and should express them. One of the great things about this hobby is we have so many ways to complete the same thing and each person has their own way of doing things.
The problem is the author isn't writing an opinion article. This article is factual. The article is about what the 3 vessel system does better than a biab. He states BIABers need to constantly stir the mash and watch the heat. He states BIAB gets lower efficiency. He states the mash process with a 3 vessel system has an advantage over BIAB when it comes to adjusting mash pH and mineral additions. All of which are 100% false.
This is only a hobby and no one should be mad about this article. Really, anyone has the right to publish anything they want. Why we have comment on this article like we have is because the information in it is not right and we all want the best information for new brewers (and old brewers looking to get into BIAB).
I just want to say this article is complete hog wash. none of the myths this guy write's about BIAB are true and I agree with all my fellow BIAB'ers. If I ever want to up my game it will be to a larger BIAB system.
+1 on what Gavin said. The actual limitations I see with BIAB-
-Fitting/lifting large grain bills due to bigger batch sizes or higher gravity brews.
-Handling of hot grains, including squeezing grains if not dunk sparging.
-For some set-ups, pre-Boil wort clarity and potential for increased fine sediment in fermenter due to no vorlauf. Note that this does not equate to an inability to have excellent clarity in your final beer, so does it matter?
None of the above are issues when I BIAB (5-ish gallon batches of medium gravity brews).
The number one reason I see for moving to multiple vessel brewing: You really , REALLY like cleaning stuff!
This article reminds me of articles I read 6,8 or 10 years ago. I moved up and into BIAB. We don't need the same old, same old stuff.
It doesn't matter what system you use to brew on. If your recipes and processes are spot on you will have the same beer whether it comes from a BIAB, a BIAB with a HLT or a 3 vessel system. This article seems to insinuate that beer made with a BIAB can't be as good.
I moved from a 3 vessel system to BIAB. I had a lot of reasons for this but a big one was cost. I wanted to move from a 10 gal system to a 1bbl one. No way was I affording a 3 vessel 1bbl system or have the room. A few percentage points in efficiency was the least of my concerns.
I have a number of quibbles with the article but the main one is the title. It comes across as if BIAB is a stepping stone to a supposed superior method. There was also one bit that says you can make good beer with BIAB but to make great beer you need old school 3v. Codswallop.
Efficiency is wrong.
BIAB can do water chemistry as well.
You state to 3v resu
Whoops. 3v results in clearer beer. No it results in clearer wort into the kettle.
Mash temperature. Number of ways BIAB can maintain temp.
Seriously, was he just trying to write the most misleading article in HBT history? The table comparing BIAB with RIMS, as if they are somehow mutually exclusive, is the chief indicator of the complete and utter ineptitude of the author. Total garbage.
The maintain mash temp section makes me laugh. "Heat mash on low or insulated the crap out of the boil kettle" lol It is like all BIAB systems are archaic. Most systems being sold have a pump that recirculates the mash water to keep the mash right on temp without any kind of insulation.