Squeeze the bag

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MaxStout

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Don't bother. Let gravity do the work. I measure my gravity and volumes very carefully and find a loss to grain absorption of .085 gal/lb. Gravity, no squeeze, no effort.
If you have a pulley you can hoist out the bag and let it drip into the kettle while you're bringing it up to a boil.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Don't bother. Let gravity do the work. I measure my volumes very carefully and find a loss to grain absorption of .085 gal/lb. Gravity, no squeeze, no effort.
I am not against squeezing, but I am on board with the simplicity method. I would rather not count on having to squeeze a wet, hot sticky grain bag. As I get closer to boiling temps I will usually take a quick volume and gravity measurement, and maybe squeeze a little if I need some more volume or gravity points.

With my 2.5 gallon batches I let the bag drain for a while in a colander. After a while I will usually press down on the bag with a spoon to squeeze out some liquid. The bag does not drain as well in a colander vs hanging.
 

doug293cz

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Squeeze or don't squeeze as you prefer. Most important thing is to get a consistent grain absorption rate so that you can accurately predict your pre-boil volumes. Squeezing will increase your lauter efficiency, all else being equal. If you care about achieving the highest possible lauter efficiency, then squeeze and sparge. Most brewers think good beer is the most important outcome.

Squeezing extracting tannins is a myth. Some commercial breweries (Alaskan is one I know of) use pneumatic/hydraulic filter presses to squeeze the bejeezes out of the spent grain. These presses squeeze harder than you could ever dream of squeezing. They wouldn't be doing this if squeezing extracted tannins.

Brew on :mug:
 

Dancy

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Sure, let gravity do the work if you like. Putting on the silicone gloves and squeezing it isn’t a big deal to me and I detect no harm done and obviously I’m getting more out of it.
 
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DBhomebrew

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abviously I’m getting more out of it.
I'm really interested in hearing from someone who takes accurate pre-boil volume measurements and figures accurate loss-to-grain absorption calcs. So far as I can tell, it's not obvious at all that a squeeze gives significant lautering improvement over an extended (let it hang until ~15m before flameout) gravity-only drain.

*I am not saying squeezing does any harm, I just wonder if it really adds anything worth the effort.

ETA: Speaking towards Doug's point...

Most important thing is to get a consistent grain absorption rate so that you can accurately predict your pre-boil volumes.
That .085 gal/lb is pretty accurate whether I'm brewing my typical ~1.043 batch or an occasional 1.095 for keeping. Give or take a few thousandths of a gallon per pound. Unless I'm trying something new, like that first dry stout with a bunch of flaked barley, my pre-boil volume is very close to my expectations.
 
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Dancy

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Have to say I can’t really “let it hang” as I brew in my kitchen and will not be installing an ugly hook in the ceiling to utilize a pulley. I let it sit on a colander over my Mash & Boil. This is simply an unfortunate limitation of living on a 3rd floor condo and no dedicated brew space.
 

DBhomebrew

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Have to say I can’t really “let it hang” as I brew in my kitchen and will not be installing an ugly hook in the ceiling to utilize a pulley.
I brew in the kitchen, too. Rented, I might add. May I suggest an eye bolt installed in the cabinet above?

At 10# or so, the range hood starts to complain. At my usual 5# such as below, it's no sweat.


20200811_220721.jpg
 

Dancy

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@ DBhomebrew —I’m glad that works for you. Currently I use my Mash & Boil sitting on a printer cart in front of my stove on which I heat up my sparge water. As you can see, I have a BIAB in the malt
pipe.
9476D0AF-7FE7-4E35-802C-396A319AA2A7.jpeg
 

DBhomebrew

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@ DBhomebrew —I’m glad that works for you. Currently I use my Mash & Boil sitting on a printer cart in front of my stove on which I heat up my sparge water. As you can see, I have a BIAB in the malt
pipe.
View attachment 735093
A recent big batch's sparge. Draining in front of the kettle. We all do we what we gotta do! :mug:

20210615_125853.jpg


Barring accurate data showing a medium person's manual squeeze giving significantly better lauter efficiency than a free-hanging bag's lengthy gravity drain, I would agree with the following:

"Squeezing a bag gives no advantage over a lengthy gravity drain out of a free-hanging grain bag. If one can not easily let a grain bag free hang over their kettle, by all means squeeze it. No harm will be done. Also, if you're squeezing the life out it for efficiency's sake, do a dunk sparge."
 
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RM-MN

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@ DBhomebrew —I’m glad that works for you. Currently I use my Mash & Boil sitting on a printer cart in front of my stove on which I heat up my sparge water. As you can see, I have a BIAB in the malt
pipe.
View attachment 735093
There is no need to heat the sparge water. When you add cool water for sparge to the bag of hot, wet grains the sparge water heats plenty for extracting the sugars. It only adds a few minutes to bring the collected sparge water plus your first runnings up the the boil.
 
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Dancy - if you are draining through a colander you can just add some weight to press more wort from the bag. I use a panini press, but you could use a stack of plates.
 

balrog

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Yes or no?
I obey gravity, it's the law. I also only let 'er drip for about 10-12m while heating to boil.
I'd tried withholding some volume from BIAB total and doing dunk sparge but the time/effort was not worth the added couple efficiency%/gravity points to me.

And BTW I consistently get absorption of 0.077875 gal/#
 

Immocles

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I squeeze but am generally annoyed by it. When/if I get an honest dedicated brew space to manipulate as I please, I will set up a pulley and let it drain itself.
 

tracer bullet

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For my propane / garage brews I don't squeeze, I already have good efficiency and don't mind letting it gravity drain a little while when the wort comes to a boil. Often I don't even need what comes out. I do have one of the SS Brewtech "Infussion" mash tuns where there's a hole in the bottom for everything that comes out, and I think that helps.

For my Anvil / basement brews, I squeeze the daylights out of it. I have the 6.5 gallon and do half size brews, and I do what I can to keep the efficiency up near my propane brews so that I can just cut recipes precisely in half. For a variety of small additive reasons it's just not quite as effecient. And I'm using a steam condenser and would rather not open it up a couple times while I throw in a little extra wort. I like to get it done, check my gravity, and put the lid on.
 

Ruderalis

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I squeeze, mainly to up the OG slightly. The squeezin's are sugar-heavy, but there's not actually that much that comes out once you've already hung and drained the bag with gravity though. Generally it's not worth the mess


Pro tip: you can put two cutting boards together with hinges and use them to squeeze your bag, that's what I used to do
 

DBhomebrew

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Squeeze it like it owes you money. The tannin extraction fear is an urban myth.
I'm a squeezer
I squeeze, gotta burn those calories from beer some how!
I squeeze with BBQ gloves. I get most of it out.
Sure, let gravity do the work if you like. Putting on the silicone gloves and squeezing it isn’t a big deal to me and I detect no harm done and obviously I’m getting more out of it.
I squeeze but am generally annoyed by it. When/if I get an honest dedicated brew space to manipulate as I please, I will set up a pulley and let it drain itself.
For my propane / garage brews I don't squeeze, I already have good efficiency and don't mind letting it gravity drain a little while when the wort comes to a boil. Often I don't even need what comes out. I do have one of the SS Brewtech "Infussion" mash tuns where there's a hole in the bottom for everything that comes out, and I think that helps.

For my Anvil / basement brews, I squeeze the daylights out of it. I have the 6.5 gallon and do half size brews, and I do what I can to keep the efficiency up near my propane brews so that I can just cut recipes precisely in half. For a variety of small additive reasons it's just not quite as effecient. And I'm using a steam condenser and would rather not open it up a couple times while I throw in a little extra wort. I like to get it done, check my gravity, and put the lid on.
I always squeeze. Why leave wort in the grain when you can squeeze it out easily?
Do any of you accurately measure your volumes and can provide your squeezed loss to grain absorption?
 

cubalz

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I use an electric hoist and let it drip while the wort is coming to a boil. Works like a charm, no need to squeeze.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Are they?
There is a valid critique to be made here. If the gravity inside the bag differs from the gravity outside the bag, it is possible that you have not mashed long enough. The mash should allow the little sugars and starches to swim freely and they should not be impeded by the bag. IMO
 

MaxStout

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There is a valid critique to be made here. If the gravity inside the bag differs from the gravity outside the bag, it is possible that you have not mashed long enough. The mash should allow the little sugars and starches to swim freely and they should not be impeded by the bag. IMO
Or the mash wasn't stirred well.
 

hotbeer

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You mean the amount you expect, based on accurate measurement of previous batches and consistent process?
Nothing too overly accurate. It's more whether I feel like squeezing it or not.

I have all my water measured out before hand into several pots. After the mash is over I will transfer the grain bag from pot to pot to rinse it. If the last pot seems to still have a lot of stuff coming from the grain bag, I tend to squeeze it more thinking that I'm leaving too much potential good stuff in the grain bag. Though I can always add make up water for the boil.

Maybe the cloudy stuff coming out is all proteins or other stuff at that point. Perhaps all the sugars were rinsed out prior to that. But I have not done enough of either to really say if one is bad and the other good. Right now I don't see anything overly bad or good from either way of doing it.

I only do one gallon batches so moving the grain bag between pots isn't a big deal.
 

Ruderalis

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Do you guys always run with false inferences and implications? lol

What is inferred from "sugar-heavy" is that the spent grain is still surrounded by wort after extraction, and that wort is dense with sugars. Whatever else you've decided for yourselves after reading that is entirely and solely self-revealing. If you're desperate for a win though, feel free to ignore me and high five each other and ****.
 

hotbeer

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Do you guys always run with false inferences and implications? lol

What is inferred from "sugar-heavy" is that the spent grain is still surrounded by wort after extraction, and that wort is dense with sugars. Whatever else you've decided for yourselves after reading that is entirely and solely self-revealing. If you're desperate for a win though, feel free to ignore me and high five each other and ****.
I thought we were all just participating in a discussion about what we do ourselves. Then the OP and others can decide what ever they want from the comments.

Certainly you shared some very enlightening information about your ways.
 

Ruderalis

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I thought we were all just participating in a discussion about what we do ourselves. Then the OP and others can decide what ever they want from the comments.

Certainly you shared some very enlightening information about your ways.
Obviously you weren't the one making assumptions, congratulating the previous person on their assumptions, building on that assumption further, and adding to that initial assumption in a novel way afterwards; I just found the whole thing annoying. Brewing forums can be so judgmental and cliquish, not addressing those things just tacitly encourages them in my experience.

Personally, I'm intrigued by your pot-sparge-BIAB method, it's like the old English first and second runnings being added to the final boil method. Never considered it before...
 

DrWill

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I have probably the goofiest answer. I use an electric all-in-one. I use a brew bag inside my mash basket. When I'm done with the mash, I drain most of it then transfer the whole thing to a pot that is wider than the mash basket. I then put a heavy duty plastic bag on top of the brew bag and fill it with water. The weight of the water does a good job of squeezing the bag whilst I get the wort up to a boil. When it's almost boiling, I drain the water off (to be used in a recirculating chiller) and pour the squeezed wort into the boil kettle.

#lazy #overengineered #probablypointless
 
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