Squeeze the bag

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hotbeer

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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.
Doesn't matter if I was or wasn't the person or persons you were talking about. It's a public forum. Just like life and conversation anywhere it's going to happen.

I try not to immediately rule out anyone that postures and and touts their method as the greatest and only way without listening and understanding what they are saying. If it interests me, I can research further their ideas or consider if I want to try what to them is the one and only right way to do something.

It's just conversation. If you want friends, don't be so judgmental and exclude people.
 

DBhomebrew

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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 ****.
My impression was you were saying that the squeezin's were sugar-heavy as compared to non-squeezed freely drained wort. Thank you for your clarification.

If your squeezin's were higher in gravity than the freely drained wort then mash quality would indeed be in question. Valuable info for other readers.

ETA: By the way, your second clause...

"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"

...is exactly the suspicion I'm interested in confirming.

So far, only one squeezer has shared their measured and predictable loss-to-grain absorption ratio.

Gravity:
~.085
.077

Squeeze:
~.08
 
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DBhomebrew

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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..
Dunk or batch sparge. Three dunk/batch sparges approach the efficiency of a well-performed fly sparge. One dunk/batch sparge achieves most of those gains, an 8% increase over a single infusion. The trick for best efficiency is to fully drain the grain bed before each subsequent sparge and fully mix the sparge water into the grain bed.
 

Dancy

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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.
Before I lift the bag and place it in the colander, I lift the M&B malt pipe, sit it on the M&B’s supports an use a pot lid to press down on the top of the grain bed. Then I pull out the malt pipe, remove the bag from it and place it in a colander on top of the Mash & Boil and squeeze it. The astringency some talk about from over squeezing isn’t something I’ve been able to detect.
 

doug293cz

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Are they?
No. Not unless your conversion was incomplete when you called the mash "done", and you got some additional conversion between when you raised the bag and when you squeezed. Or, you didn't stir before your initial draining. Best practice is to test your mash SG to insure complete conversion, and stir well before both the SG checks and draining.

Brew on :mug:
 

Dancy

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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.
Actually, I agree though the M&B doesn’t heat up that fast so using heated water saves a bit of time. Not really a big deal to me though. I concluded after the last batch to not heat the sparge water anymore as I don’t like unnecessary steps. I’ve brewed maybe only 6 times on the M&B so I’m still honing how I want to do things. Apparently, there’s been evidence heating sparge water isn’t necessary, at least based on my memory of HBT discussions a while ago.
 

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Do any of you accurately measure your volumes and can provide your squeezed loss to grain absorption?
I do measure but am still honing my accuracy, finally taking into account water expansion at temp and etc. I run a home-made spreadsheet for a bunch of my calculations, and I use 0.4 qts of water remaining in each pound of grain when I calculate how much wort to expect to come out of the mash itself. It's been working quite well in general - actually I think it's almost perfect for my propane brews where I let gravity do the job for the initial mash tun drain, which I stop when it goes from running to slowly dripping. The shape of the mash tun might affect things vs. typical Igloos with false bottoms in regards to how much I can drain out.

For my Anvil brews, the squeezing puts me slightly over my target boil start wort volume, but not too much. It's a 6.5 gallon unit and if I squeeze a typical 6-ish pounds of grain I'll get right around a 1/2 quart or 1/8 gallon. That'd be in the low 0.3 qts of water left in the grain I think. The little bit of extra wort I get, which I boil down, helps me hit my target OG. And by target, I mean what I'd get if I was doing a propane brew.

Not sure exactly what you are asking but maybe that answers?

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...
I'm kind of curious what you're referring to in the first part, but it's not important.

As for the latter, when I run my Anvil 6.5, I do sparge in a pot. I mash in the Anvil with a bag inside their "malt pipe". Afterwards I lift the pipe, squeeze the bag, and move the bag over to a pot with a gallon of sparge water. Stick a spoon in the bag opening and stir around a while. Then move the bag back over to the still-lifted pipe and squeeze it again. Once it's out of the way, I throw in everything that was in the pot. Hope that made sense.
 

DBhomebrew

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I do measure but am still honing my accuracy, finally taking into account water expansion at temp and etc. I run a home-made spreadsheet for a bunch of my calculations, and I use 0.4 qts of water remaining in each pound of grain when I calculate how much wort to expect to come out of the mash itself. It's been working quite well in general - actually I think it's almost perfect for my propane brews where I let gravity do the job for the initial mash tun drain, which I stop when it goes from running to slowly dripping. The shape of the mash tun might affect things vs. typical Igloos with false bottoms.

For my Anvil brews, the squeezing puts me slightly over my target boil start wort volume, but not too much. It's a 6.5 gallon unit and if I squeeze a typical 6-7 pounds of grain I'll get right around a 1/2 quart or 1/8 gallon. That'd be in the low 0.3 qts of water left in the grain I think. The little bit of extra wort I get, which I boil down, helps me hit my target OG. And by target, I mean what I'd get if I was doing a propane brew.

Not sure exactly what you are asking but maybe that answers?
Excellent answer!

For your propane brew, you use a mash tun (MIAB?) and get .4 qt/lb or .1 gal/lb. But that's not a free-hanging bag.

For the Anvil brew, you squeeze and get ~.3 qt/lb or ~.075 gal/lb.

Now we've got...

Gravity only, in a tun or colander:
.1

Gravity-only, free-hanging:
.085
.077

Squeeze:
.08
.075

ETA: The data collected so far applied to my typical 4.6 gal pre-boil batch with a 5# grist: squeezing would gain an extra .4% of my pre-boil volume. An extra 2.25 ounces. Rough numbers, of course.
 
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BeerAndTele

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I lift the bag out, place an oven rack on top of the kettle, then rest the bag on the rack. It drips while I bring the kettle up to boil. I'll give it a little press with the kettle lid.

When the dripping slows, I dunk the bag in a second kettle with about a gallon of sparge water (I do small batches), give it a good stir, then repeat the oven rack routine over the second kettle. I'll add the sparge water back to the main kettle at some point during the boil.

My grain absorption runs around .08 gal/lb, give or take. My brewhouse efficiency isn't great (67 or 68), but I think that has more to do with the crush from my LHBS than anything else. It's consistent though, so I can plan for it and hit my numbers.
 
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DBhomebrew

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Now we've got...

Gravity only, in a tun or colander:
.1

Gravity only, free-hanging:
.085
.077

On a rack with a little press:
.08

Squeeze the bejeebus:
.08
.075
 

Fly_Guy

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Good ol math! Seems to be that a good average is .08 gallons of water retaine for every pound of grain.

How would one measure this? Just weight the grain wet, then divide by 8.33lbs?

For what it is worth, my best efficiency when starting with 3.75 gallons for apartment kitchen has come from using this method:
-Mash with 3.50 gallons
-Pull bag out, rest on cookie sheet that fits over pot, use .25 gallons of water that was heated and pour over grain bag.
-Let drain while heating, using hands and spoon press out as much as possible.
-Transfer to colander over bowl and let any remainder drain out.

Its a mega PITA, but the only way I've gotten decent efficiency and my mash pH has been good, have my grain double crushed, all my grain bills are pretty low with adjuncts...I've tried everything I can think of and it's still not as high as I would like it.

In summary, yes I squeeze!
 

odie

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I hang and drip it for the entire boil. I may or may not squeeze during the drain. but I'll squeeze around the end of the boil and get like an extra pint out depending on the size of the grain bill. Then it gets tossed to the chickens...they come running...
 

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It's interesting to see how everyone has a different method depending on their specific brew space.

I have 2, my garage in the good weather and basement in the winter. So I find myself doing extra tricks here and there so I don't have to readjust the recipes for my particular space that day. Doing that actually might be easier, but I'm stubborn that way!
 
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I use the MIAB system with my MT and use Denny's Batch Sparge Method. After the sparge, I let the bag sit in a colander with the MT lid on it, occasionally give it a press, but I don't sweat too much if the beer ends up a little off from the planned recipe. I take copious notes (Reevesie on Brewer's Friend if you want to look up recipe notes), and am always adjusting to get close to the planned recipe.

If I have to boil longer to raise gravity (or add DME), s'okay. If it comes out a little stronger than expected, s'okay. If I don't get as much as I wanted, s'okay. If I get too much fermented beer for the keg, then there's a sour-culture solera that gets the excess (no matter the beer).

Life is good, there's beer.
 

BrewinInPA

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I've only done BIAB once, and I squeezed. What I did was borrow a rack from the oven, put it on top of my kettle, pulled the bag and set it on top of the rack, let the bag drain a bit, put on some heatproof silicon gloves and gave it CPR. :oops:
 

doug293cz

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Good ol math! Seems to be that a good average is .08 gallons of water retaine for every pound of grain.

How would one measure this? Just weight the grain wet, then divide by 8.33lbs?

...
No, weighing the wet grain is not a good way to figure out grain absorption. This is because a large fraction of the initial grain weight ends up in the wort in the BK. You could do it this way, but the math is convoluted. Also, the grain absorption rate we use isn't the actual volume of retained wort divided by the grain weight (the "true grain absorption rate.") We use what is known as the "apparent grain absorption rate." We do this for two reasons:
  1. It is easier to calculate
  2. It is the value we need to do our volume calculations to hit target pre-boil volumes.
Apparent grain absorption rate, which is what we are referring to when we say "grain absorption rate", is defined as:

(Strike_Water_Volume - First_Runnings_Volume) / Grain_Bill_Weight​
or​
(Total_Brewing_Water_Volume - Pre-Boil_Volume) / Grain_Bill_Weight​
Total_Brewing_Water_Volume is the strike water volume plus the volume of all of the sparge water. If you think about the two formulas, you should be able to convince yourself that they give the same answer. To get accurate absorption rates, it is necessary that all volumes be corrected to room temperature. The ASBC standard room temp is 68°F (20°C), so that should be the reference temperature.

I have attached calculators for grain absorption in both Excel and LibreOffice formats.

Brew on :mug:
 

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(Strike_Water_Volume - First_Runnings_Volume) / Grain_Bill_Weight
Agreed. When I gave my .4 qts / lb earlier, it's basically this.

(I say basically, because I flip the formula to figure out how much first runnings I'll get given my strike water volume and grain weight for that particular brew, but it's these variables that are used. Just in case that matters for the discussion.)
 

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Does the water volume have to be exact? I kind of played it fast and loose and got pretty darn close....ran off about 5.2 gallons and no kettle trub with around 7.5 gallons of mash water.
 

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So, without kettle markings, and dumping collected wart into another marked vessel, trying to measure the first volume running is impossible?

I might just use the .08/lb to see if that helps me with my numbers. Lately I've been able to start/use a total of 3.75 gallons and end up with about 2.25 gallons of easily siphonable wort. With higher hopped/adjunct grain bills it's little a little closer to 2 gallons
 

DBhomebrew

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So, without kettle markings, and dumping collected wart into another marked vessel, trying to measure the first volume running is impossible?
Knowing the inside diameter of your kettle and measuring the height of the wort will allow you to use the formula for the volume of a cylinder.
 

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Does the water volume have to be exact? I kind of played it fast and loose and got pretty darn close....ran off about 5.2 gallons and no kettle trub with around 7.5 gallons of mash water.
Water volumes don't have to be exact to make beer - even good beer. But if you are interested in tracking efficiency, hitting target volumes closely, repeating recipes cosistently, etc., then yes, volume measurements need to be as accurate as possible. If you throw inaccurate data into a calculator, you get inaccurate answers.

Brew on :mug:
 
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Fly_Guy

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So I'm pretty handy and have a tape measure, however I don't know how I feel about sticking a metal tape measure in something im going to boil and drink.
Is there an easy way to mark my stainless steel brewing spoon? I know there's the thread on etching but im not sure if I want to buy the wire to give that a go or not
 

DBhomebrew

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So I'm pretty handy and have a tape measure, however I don't know how I feel about sticking a metal tape measure in something im going to boil and drink.
Is there an easy way to mark my stainless steel brewing spoon? I know there's the thread on etching but im not sure if I want to buy the wire to give that a go or not
Got a Dremel?

I picked up a pretty cheap SS ruler off Amazon for just this purpose. I measure to the nearest mm which in my kettle works out to the nearest 1.something ounce.
 

Nagorg

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FWIW when I toured the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO, I was surprised to see that they use big bags that line their MLT's. They call them "Filters". After the mash, these are hoisted and "pressed" to extract as much as they can prior to moving on to the boil.

So Coors is a squeezer! :p

1626135624913.png
 
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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 ****.
My bad. I'm probably the person who led us off the trail. In my reply I noted that sugars outside the bag should equal sugars inside the bag. Or sugar equal. I took sugar heavy to mean that if you took sugar heavy wort from inside the bag you would gain gravity points...it would increase the sugars outside the bag. Sorry if I misunderstood.
 

Fly_Guy

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Nice. I really like the SS ruler idea. Did you put in a gallon of water and use that to figure out where the mm's measured up, or did you use the formula for volume of a cylinder?
 

DBhomebrew

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Nice. I really like the SS ruler idea. Did you put in a gallon of water and use that to figure out where the mm's measured up, or did you use the formula for volume of a cylinder?
I did put a gallon in to confirm my kettle's ID. It's nominally 12", but 11.97" made the formula work better. The gallon measured by weight.

ETA: Above was how I 'calibrated' my calculator (homemade brewday spreadsheet). When I collect water for a batch I measure it out by weight to the gram. Checked by ruler, it's always within 1/2mm from what I expect it to be in height. From there on out through the day the ruler measures the height, I put that in my spreadsheet and the sheet spits out actual volume and also volume corrected to 68°F. The corrected volumes provide grain absorption, etc.
 
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BrewZer

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Water volumes don't have to be exact to make beer - even good beer. But if you are interested in tracking efficiency, hitting target volumes closely, repeating recipes cosistently, etc., then yes, volume measurements need to be as accurate as possible. If you throw inaccurate data into a calculator, you get inaccurate answers.

Brew on :mug:
That sounds a lot like work.

I brew to keep me from working.

OBTW, I squeeze because the hot grain feels good soothing my aging and creaking hands.
 

BrewZer

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FWIW when I toured the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO, I was surprised to see that they use big bags that line their MLT's. They call them "Filters". After the mash, these are hoisted and "pressed" to extract as much as they can prior to moving on to the boil.

So Coors is a squeezer! :p

View attachment 735328
They must use a very small-pored bag then, and apparently it catches all the flavor.
 

doug293cz

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That sounds a lot like work.

I brew to keep me from working.

OBTW, I squeeze because the hot grain feels good soothing my aging and creaking hands.
It's a hobby, do it any way you want. I just try to provide accurate information for people to do with what they wish - ignoring it is one option. :cool:

Brew on :mug:
 

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