Sparging method for BIAB !

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Doed

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The Bayou Classic 15 ½ gallon pot with basket...rock on! :rockin:
 

LTownLiquorPig

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Going to do my first all grain this week, with BIAB. My plan is to mash as near to full volume as I can with my pot using the consensus absorption rate. I'm going to have water at the ready to "sparge" if I have to, to make up volume after the mash/bag squeeze steps. Plan to "sparge in a bucket with 170* water, but if I can skip the step I will. Anyone see an obvious flaw in my plan? I'm pretty sure this is essentially what "sparge biab is", just want some positive reinforcement.

Thanks!!
 

djbradle

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I've sparged, done full volume, let it drain, pressed on it like the dickens, topped up with filtered water, added dme for to reach gravity, let it boil for 2 plus hours and guess what? 70-90% eff and that's cool with me.

I make great beer.

Really doesn't matter how its spun. All the myths aside ( as exposed) BIAB is my choice and preference and it tastes like the stuff I'd buy in the craft beer section.

Btw Wilserbrewer, your bag is still holding up and has done nothing less than 27 lb ten gallon batches; congrats sir!
 

acidrain

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The reason of my interest of the BIAB technic is not about simplicity but because I absolutely want to lautering (filter) in the kettle that I brew for less manipulation. The idea of a false bottom directly in my mash kettle is great but not for beggining because of his high cost compare to grain bag. I don't want to do less steps (Mashing, lautering, recirculation, boil, cooling, fermentation) only replace the lautering tun or the false bottom by the grain bag. Is putting my bag in another kettle with 172 degree water on it for 15 mins can be compare to batch sparging ? And is someone have a secret to fly sparge while using a bag ?

Thank you guys again !
If you want to do it, then do it.
Your efficiency will be the same, but with a lot more work.
 

Shabazz

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I brew in a keggle with a false bottom, valve, and dip tube.

The last time I brewed, I wanted 10 gallons of finished beer but couldn't fit everything in the pot...

1. I mashed with as much water as I was comfortable with
2. Drained most of the wort into my 2 fermenting buckets
3. Poured preheated sparge water (to reach calculated preboil volume) into the keggle with bag and grains still in.
4. Lifted the bag out with pulley overhead. Squeezed bag.
5. Dumped the 10 gallons of wort from the fermenting buckets back into keggle
6. Boiled away
7. I ended with 10 gallons of beer instead of 5 at at the same efficiency as always.

It worked well.... since I have kids and an impatient SWMBO it's better to brew more each time--but less often
 

wilserbrewer

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Btw Wilserbrewer, your bag is still holding up and has done nothing less than 27 lb ten gallon batches; congrats sir!
Excellent, thank you. With nothing less than 27 lb grain bills, I'm curious what your max. grain bill has been, BIAB of course?

Thanks
wilser
 

TEWNCfarms

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The idea of brew in a bag is to make it simpler to make beer. Sparging is for rinsing the sugars out of the mash but with brew in a bag you can squeeze the bag and get most of the sugars out that way so you can mash right in the same pot that you boil in and never have to use any other container until you transfer the wort to the fermenter. I have tried brew in a bag without sparging and got about 80% efficiency and then with sparging to find that I got about 80% efficiency. Why go to the extra work and time with the same results?
This is exactly what I was looking for! What if I did this for a 5 gallon batch in a 5 gallon pot? And just add clean water to fermenter?
 

TEWNCfarms

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I've done it with and without sparging and didn't find much difference in efficiency but I found that with the full volume of water plus the grain in my turkey fryer I was nearly to the top with a normal grain bill and there wasn't any way I could fit in a larger grain bill like I wanted so I mashed with as much water as I comfortably could and then used another pot for sparging to get the full volume of wort. It worked well for both batches I tried it with and I expect to use it again that way with a larger grain bill for a spiced winter warmer.
I think I’m starting to understand it...

So fill as much as I can with water And my grains in the 7.5gl pot, mash it, Then lift the bag of grains and run hot water from the 5 gallon pot over the bag into the 7.5gl pot to make a full wort, Theb boil. Could I take the bag and place it in the sparge water for like 10 minutes then squeeze it out and pour that into the mash?

This all grain is racking my brain!
 

TEWNCfarms

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Raising this thread from the dead rather than starting my own, because it's essentially the same topic.

I've been doing BIAB partial mashes, I think I've done four of them now. For the first three, my process was:

Mash in my 5gal kettle, pull the bag and drain in a colander over the kettle for a while, then transfer the bag to a big bowl to sit. Pour the wort into a 2gal pot to store (with overflow in a second pot if needed). Heat sparge water in the 5 gal pot, then dunk sparge, and then pour everything back into the 5 gal pot and start the boil.

This had two huge problems. The first is that it's a lot of pouring hot wort back and forth, which is labor-intensive and dangerous. Second, it takes a long time to heat the water, and because of the wort-dance, I can't start heating the sparge water until the mash is over. This means the grain sits for a long time, cooling off, and makes it really hard to hit the sparge temp.

This time around, I decided to scratch the dunk sparge and just do a fake fly sparge / grain rinse. I heated my sparge water in a couple of smaller pots while the mash was wrapping up, and then moved the grain bag into my heavy colander and set it on top of the kettle. I used a pyrex measuring cup (because it was handy, anything would have worked) and sprinkled the sparge water over the grain. At the end, I had to have my wife to the last bit because the kettle filled up to the point that it was hitting the colander so I had to lift it out to keep things from overflowing.

It seems to have worked as a fine substitute for my previous process. My efficiency was at least as high as before (not great, 60% or so), and may have been 65 or 70% (depending on my as-yet-uncalculated trub losses). The big thing is it eliminates the above problems, and if I back off on the volumes a little bit, I wouldn't have to do the colander lift.

So I think I'll be doing it this way for a while.
This makes complete sense
 

BarleyStanding

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I moved from traditional all grain to BIAB about 3 years ago; maybe have 30-40 under my belt now. I'll typically run 1.75-2 qt/#grain on 10-15# grain bills in a 10 gal kettle. When the grains are removed, I'm usually a couple gallons shy of my pre-boil target, so now I have a few gallons of 170 degree water nearby to rinse the grain bag over the kettle when the mesh is complete. I usually get 70-75 efficiency. I figure I already have to add water, why not rinse the grains.
 

RM-MN

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I think I’m starting to understand it...

So fill as much as I can with water And my grains in the 7.5gl pot, mash it, Then lift the bag of grains and run hot water from the 5 gallon pot over the bag into the 7.5gl pot to make a full wort, Theb boil. Could I take the bag and place it in the sparge water for like 10 minutes then squeeze it out and pour that into the mash?

This all grain is racking my brain!
You have it! and you don't need to use the hot water for sparging nor do you need to pour the water over the bag. You could lift the bag out to let it drain, then while it is still draining the last bit, note how much more wort you need for your batch of beer. Add that much cold water to the 5 gallon kettle (or use a bucket) and set the bag of grain in there, dunking it a few times to get the grains really wet again, then pull the bag to drain again. When it is draining really slow, you can squeeze out the rest of the wort before discarding the grains to get the most wort out of it. Then you add this collected wort to the boil kettle. I'll often heat the original amount to boil while sparging in the second kettle as that initial boil has a lot of foam. When the boil gets started and the foam subsides you can add the remaining wort from the sparge. This will stop the boil but you can just keep heating until the boil starts again, then add your bittering hops and start the timer.
 

RM-MN

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I moved from traditional all grain to BIAB about 3 years ago; maybe have 30-40 under my belt now. I'll typically run 1.75-2 qt/#grain on 10-15# grain bills in a 10 gal kettle. When the grains are removed, I'm usually a couple gallons shy of my pre-boil target, so now I have a few gallons of 170 degree water nearby to rinse the grain bag over the kettle when the mesh is complete. I usually get 70-75 efficiency. I figure I already have to add water, why not rinse the grains.
You can use cool water for the sparge. Also, if you own the mill you can mill the grains finer to get a higher efficiency. I have come to expect 85% or more with my BIAB brews.
 

BarleyStanding

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You can use cool water for the sparge. Also, if you own the mill you can mill the grains finer to get a higher efficiency. I have come to expect 85% or more with my BIAB brews.
. I don't own a mill, but its on my list of things to add. I'm also looking at these eBIAB/Basket RIMS systems that are out there to give efficiency a few points.
 

balrog

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I never worried too much about "a few points efficiency" because it wasn't worth chasing to me -- I much preferred doing a process that came out about 72-75% overall brewhouse efficiency, and knowing if I made that recipe again, it would be the same. If I wanted higher OG, I put another $1 of grain in the bill. NOTE: I seem to always make 4-5% ABV style beers and if I ever tried something outside that I would expect changes based on what I read here. But essentially, I go for repeatability rather than highest efficiency. It's not worth the time or effort to me for a couple dollars of grain.
 

wepeeler

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I never worried too much about "a few points efficiency" because it wasn't worth chasing to me -- I much preferred doing a process that came out about 72-75% overall brewhouse efficiency, and knowing if I made that recipe again, it would be the same. If I wanted higher OG, I put another $1 of grain in the bill. NOTE: I seem to always make 4-5% ABV style beers and if I ever tried something outside that I would expect changes based on what I read here. But essentially, I go for repeatability rather than highest efficiency. It's not worth the time or effort to me for a couple dollars of grain.
I agree. I was obsessed with chasing numbers when I first started brewing, but now I'd much rather brew consistently and be able to reproduce a beer I enjoy.
 

TEWNCfarms

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I never worried too much about "a few points efficiency" because it wasn't worth chasing to me -- I much preferred doing a process that came out about 72-75% overall brewhouse efficiency, and knowing if I made that recipe again, it would be the same. If I wanted higher OG, I put another $1 of grain in the bill. NOTE: I seem to always make 4-5% ABV style beers and if I ever tried something outside that I would expect changes based on what I read here. But essentially, I go for repeatability rather than highest efficiency. It's not worth the time or effort to me for a couple dollars of grain.
I hear what you’re saying, but the BIAB dunk sparge in room temp water doesn’t really seem like that much extra work. A little extra time for it to come to boil. But me and you are complete opposites, at least for now in my brewing career, I want to try Lots of different things. One day when I find stuff I really like I’m sure I’ll just stick with it, like only a couple brews for sours and then change my bacteria, yeast, and fruit in them.
 

TEWNCfarms

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I agree. I was obsessed with chasing numbers when I first started brewing, but now I'd much rather brew consistently and be able to reproduce a beer I enjoy.
Haha number chasing over the past week has kept me up all night trying to get the right numbers for my setup.
 

wepeeler

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Haha number chasing over the past week has kept me up all night trying to get the right numbers for my setup.
Drove me mental for 6 months! Then I finally nailed my equipment profile. Volume was my biggest culprit. Now if I'm off a little bit, it's 99% down to efficiency. And even then, the beer comes out great, so why worry over numbers!
 

TEWNCfarms

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Drove me mental for 6 months! Then I finally nailed my equipment profile. Volume was my biggest culprit. Now if I'm off a little bit, it's 99% down to efficiency. And even then, the beer comes out great, so why worry over numbers!
Haha I hear that. My volume is my biggest problem, but I think I got it figured out, gonna try my first AG BIAB in a week or two. But Yeah the guy who just bought his first hydrometer gave me some hope on not worrying too much about the nitty gritty.
 

wepeeler

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Haha I hear that. My volume is my biggest problem, but I think I got it figured out, gonna try my first AG BIAB in a week or two. But Yeah the guy who just bought his first hydrometer gave me some hope on not worrying too much about the nitty gritty.
Yeah man, the closer you can get to starting volume, boil off and ending volume, the tighter your numbers will get. Might take a few brews to dial in, but once you get it accurate, everything falls into place. AG BIAB will change your game. Just be sure to mash with the largest volume you can, as that will increase your efficiency. For a 5.5 gallon batch, I start with 8 gallons. I get about a gallon lost to the mash, then boil off around 1.5 gallons, so it put me at about 6 gallons into the fermenter. Then I lose quite a bit to sediment and dry hopping. 5-5.5 gallons goes into my keg.
 

BarleyStanding

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Yeah man, the closer you can get to starting volume, boil off and ending volume, the tighter your numbers will get. Might take a few brews to dial in, but once you get it accurate, everything falls into place. AG BIAB will change your game. Just be sure to mash with the largest volume you can, as that will increase your efficiency. For a 5.5 gallon batch, I start with 8 gallons. I get about a gallon lost to the mash, then boil off around 1.5 gallons, so it put me at about 6 gallons into the fermenter. Then I lose quite a bit to sediment and dry hopping. 5-5.5 gallons goes into my keg.
That's about right. I've been starting my boil at around 7-7.5 gallons and I get just shy of a full 5 gal. keg at the other side.
 

BarleyStanding

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You can use cool water for the sparge. Also, if you own the mill you can mill the grains finer to get a higher efficiency. I have come to expect 85% or more with my BIAB brews.
Just curious, what grain/water ratio are you using for you BIAB? Also, are you recirculating the wort during the mash?
 

RM-MN

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Just curious, what grain/water ratio are you using for you BIAB? Also, are you recirculating the wort during the mash?
I don't know what grain/water ratio, I just put in the amount of water that I think will allow me to add the grain without running the pot over, then sparge to get my volume after I remove the grains. No re-circulation, non needed. In my opinion re-circulation is a step backward when using BIAB as the grain needs to be milled coarser or the fine particles will clog up the bag which then slows the gelatinization of the starches and leads to poorer efficiency.
 

balrog

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Yeah man, the closer you can get to starting volume, boil off and ending volume, the tighter your numbers will get.
Amen. Same for me. Once you get the volumes right you're well on the way. Then I'd say milling consistency is the next careful watch with things like high wheat % grists throwing things (smaller kernal). But volumes were the first big thing.

I don't know what grain/water ratio, I just put in the amount of water that I think will allow me to add the grain without running the pot over, then sparge to get my volume after I remove the grains.
+1. For me, it's whatever total water I need = strike volume.
 

BarleyStanding

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I don't know what grain/water ratio, I just put in the amount of water that I think will allow me to add the grain without running the pot over, then sparge to get my volume after I remove the grains. No re-circulation, non needed. In my opinion re-circulation is a step backward when using BIAB as the grain needs to be milled coarser or the fine particles will clog up the bag which then slows the gelatinization of the starches and leads to poorer efficiency.
How do you maintain your mash temperature?
 

RM-MN

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I don't do anything to maintain the mash temperature. With the fine milling that I do the conversion is over before the temperature drops. How long is your mash period? That is, how long does it take to get full conversion with your setup?
 

BarleyStanding

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I don't do anything to maintain the mash temperature. With the fine milling that I do the conversion is over before the temperature drops. How long is your mash period? That is, how long does it take to get full conversion with your setup?
I've been doing the same. I've mashed both 60 and 90 minutes, temp drop usually occurs around 45 minutes. I've never tested when I get full conversion. Most brew days the extra 30 minutes is just more time to myself, so I don't mind. I'll have to go back through my records and see if there is a noticeable difference between the 60 and 90 minute mashes based on my pre-boil gravity measurements. I'm brewing in a week or two, I'll get some iodine and find out! Regardless of all this, I'm going to get one of those 240v single vessel systems out there, just trying to decide which bells and whistles to include on the system.
 

BarleyStanding

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Brewing today and measured conversion at 20 minutes for a 148 degree mash. Looks like full conversion. I also found out that my LHBS will adjust the mill a little tighter if requested, so I had this grist milled finer. A friend gave me a bag of pomegranates, so I guess this will be a pomegranate saison.
 
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