What BIAB Efficiency Do You Get?

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What is your pure (full-volume, no-sparge) BIAB mash efficiency?

  • >=95%

  • 90-94%

  • 85-89%

  • 80-84%

  • 75-79%

  • 70-74%

  • 65-69%

  • 60-64%

  • <60%


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smyrnaquince

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I keep reading knocks on BIAB efficiency, but I suspect these comments come from people who haven't tried BIAB.

What mash efficiency do you typically get with a pure BIAB (full volume of water used in the mash, NO additional sparge)? I am after mash efficiency/extraction efficiency, i.e., efficiency in getting the sugar out of the grains, as measured before the boil. NOT brewhouse efficiency measured after the boil.

(I am trying to post this as a poll, but have never done so before, so I may get it wrong. Just in case the poll doesn't work, let me say that I typically get 82-83% extraction efficiency.)

Remember:
  • Pure (full-volume) BIAB
  • NO sparge
  • Extraction/mash efficiency (before boil)
 

Seven

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I average 83% with beers ~ 1.080 OG or less. My efficiency drops a bit when making huge 1.090+ beers like barleywines.
 

NivekD

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Hi 70s to hi 80s for me. Depending on the grain bill. Just did a Honey Ale that should have been about 70% and came in at 86%...:mug:
 

tooblue02

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Can I ask what a typical pre boil gravity reading is for some of you folks? I always hit my OG's but not necessarily my pre boil, although it really hasn't affected anything so far. I have been doing grain bills around 12-15 lbs and see about a 1.05-1.06 gravity reading. Thanks!
 

divrguy

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I changed to a quick bag squeeze and it's 77-80% all the time.
 

wobdee

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My last batch was a 1.060 Pale Ale and I got 90% mash efficiency according to Promash. It seems I average 85% for beers under 1.065 and around 80% for higher gravities. I can squeeze out a few more points with a small sparge which lately I've been doing on larger beers.
 

lousbrews

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Last few brews I've been getting 85-90%. I also double crush my grains and have recirculation during my mash.

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wobdee

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I also found my efficiencies went up 10 points when I adjusted my mill down to about .030 the size of a credit card.
 

mdabbles

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Well I've only done two BIAB's, and my efficiency has been consistent at 65 pct. I'm sure it will improve over time.

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DurtyChemist

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Just did my first and saw 70%.

10 lbs Rahr 2 row
1 lb red wheat
1 lb aromatic

1.032 pre boil at 150 (1.051 @ 60 measured)

1.071 at 60.

I believe I'm correct at 69.69% efficency. No squeeze. 7.5 gallons starting water. Ended up with 4.25 gallons of wort.
 

moranjp019

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Just finished my first BIAB, calculated out 74% with a squeeze. I am sure I will improve when I dial in my equipment.
 

benco

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Why would you not sparge? Isn't it your goal to get as much sugar out of your grains as possible. I know you said no sparge. I squeeze the hell out of it, do some sparging to get to my pre boil. I've been ending up around 80 to 85.
 

RM-MN

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Why would you not sparge? Isn't it your goal to get as much sugar out of your grains as possible. I know you said no sparge. I squeeze the hell out of it, do some sparging to get to my pre boil. I've been ending up around 80 to 85.
Some people feel that no sparge gives a better tasting beer at the end. If they are happy with their beer, maybe they don't need to sparge.:ban:
 
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I'm not looking at my data sheet right now so in 'abouts', I have done about 50 batches total and about 25 AG BIAB. As I fiddle and 'speriment', and fine tune, my efficiency approaches 80%. But it cetrainly depends on mash temp, boil volume, amount of grist, etc. Last batch I added 8 cups of water to get down to the recipe target OG.
 

DurtyChemist

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Why would you not sparge? Isn't it your goal to get as much sugar out of your grains as possible. I know you said no sparge. I squeeze the hell out of it, do some sparging to get to my pre boil. I've been ending up around 80 to 85.
ever done the same batch without the squeeze? I'd be curious to see the numbers and then also a blind taste test on the two brews to see if the tannins belief is real.

to not need to squeeze the hell out of it and get in the 70's I'm happy. even as a first brew because a lot of what I've read is 65% is common for brew in a bag without crushing every grain twice, dunk sparging and squeezing every drop of moisture out of the bag.
 

knope

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I read that tannins get extracted past 170* F, when you remove the grain from the wort it will quickly lower its temperature. I can't see the friction and pressure caused by squeezing the grain bag would raise the temperature faster then its falling. I guess if you are worried (I'm wouldn't be) you could let the grain cool for a little and then squeeze.

I had around 65% without squeezing and not mashing out very well. I switched to filtered water, a decent mash-out and a squeeze and got 75%+ efficency on an OK crush. No sparge.
 

gozer

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I consistently get 78% using the default setting on my Barley Crusher.

For smaller beers (< 1.045), I'll do full volume, but over 50 I have to take some water out and (might as well...) sparge because my brew kettle isn't big enough to hold it all.

Either way, I end up with the same efficiency so I'm happy with the setup. I'll eventually upgrade to a larger kettle so I can do full volume even with big beers.
 

DurtyChemist

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I consistently get 78% using the default setting on my Barley Crusher.



For smaller beers (< 1.045), I'll do full volume, but over 50 I have to take some water out and (might as well...) sparge because my brew kettle isn't big enough to hold it all.



Either way, I end up with the same efficiency so I'm happy with the setup. I'll eventually upgrade to a larger kettle so I can do full volume even with big beers.

78% brew house or mash efficiency?
 

bradg89

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I did my first BIAB yesterday and got 70% with 19lbs of grain, grains weren't double milled though

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WorkBoots09

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I did a spiced ale Saturday with a single crush from the LHBS at .040, mashed for about 75 minutes at 155F, and it looks like I came out with about 84% conversion.
 

Fenduh

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Did a simple pale ale yesterday for my first BIAB and got 68%. I misinterpreted a simple instruction by Beersmith and I also didn't stir every 15 minutes which I've seen suggested here.
 

Nompton

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Did a simple pale ale yesterday for my first BIAB and got 68%. I misinterpreted a simple instruction by Beersmith and I also didn't stir every 15 minutes which I've seen suggested here.
I'm not sure you need to do it every 15 minutes. I have my grains double ground and stir once, halfway through the mash. I consistently get 80-85% eff.

If you're having some issues, I'd recommend boosting your base grain by about a pound.
 

RM-MN

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I'm not sure you need to do it every 15 minutes. I have my grains double ground and stir once, halfway through the mash. I consistently get 80-85% eff.

If you're having some issues, I'd recommend boosting your base grain by about a pound.
I have two batches in the fermenters now that I only mashed for 10 minutes. How am I supposed to stir every 15 minutes?:drunk:

My grains are milled really fine and I've found that with those fine particles of grain I have conversion in about 2 to 3 minutes. :rockin:
 

ArcLight

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My grains are milled really fine and I've found that with those fine particles of grain I have conversion in about 2 to 3 minutes. :rockin:
Can you define "really fine"?

If not, do you have some photos?
 

RM-MN

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Can you define "really fine"?

If not, do you have some photos?
Nearly as fine as cornmeal but not like flour. Sorry, no pictures yet. I have a Corona style mill and when there is no grain in it the plates are rubbing, that's how I get it that fine.
 

ArcLight

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Nearly as fine as cornmeal but not like flour. Sorry, no pictures yet. I have a Corona style mill and when there is no grain in it the plates are rubbing, that's how I get it that fine.
Wow, thats really fine. Doesn't some of the dust leak through the bag and end up in your wort? or does it settle in the trub?

I have a Monster Mill, and I may have to try tightening it up even more.
 

RM-MN

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Sure some ends up in the wort. I'll bet you have some that ends up in the wort too, just that I may have more. It settles out when the fermentation is over.

Try tightening your Monster Mill, it may work, it may not feed if it is too tight. You might be able to mill it as is, then tighten the mill and run it through again (double milling).
 

Fenduh

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I'm not sure you need to do it every 15 minutes. I have my grains double ground and stir once, halfway through the mash. I consistently get 80-85% eff.

If you're having some issues, I'd recommend boosting your base grain by about a pound.
I have two batches in the fermenters now that I only mashed for 10 minutes. How am I supposed to stir every 15 minutes?:drunk:

My grains are milled really fine and I've found that with those fine particles of grain I have conversion in about 2 to 3 minutes. :rockin:
RM-MN...I have read your posts (I believe they were yours) which said you only mashed for 10 minutes...found that interesting. BeerSmith told me to mash for 75 minutes. I did stir halfway through.

The mistake I made (and I knew better) was Mash Out. Beersmith's verbage said something like raise temperature to 168 over 10 minutes. The way it was phrased it sounded like I was to adjust my heat so that it took 10 minutes to get to 168. Now I had read Seven's thread on BIAB and knew she raised the temp to 170 and let it sit for 10 minutes...I just brain farted.

My LHBS actually has what appears to me to be a nice gap setting on their crusher. I saw no whole husks and there was flour sprinkled throughout.

I will say the wort tasted pretty good from my OG sample...like a sweet tea. The sweat taste made me think there was indeed sugars in it.

I have a Fullers London Porter clone coming from Austins. I'm interested to see what the grains look like as I asked them to double mill them.

Looking forward to my next attempt at all grain and have made notes of the miscues I made.
 

RM-MN

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RM-MN...I have read your posts (I believe they were yours) which said you only mashed for 10 minutes...found that interesting. BeerSmith told me to mash for 75 minutes. I did stir halfway through.

The mistake I made (and I knew better) was Mash Out. Beersmith's verbage said something like raise temperature to 168 over 10 minutes. The way it was phrased it sounded like I was to adjust my heat so that it took 10 minutes to get to 168. Now I had read Seven's thread on BIAB and knew she raised the temp to 170 and let it sit for 10 minutes...I just brain farted.

My LHBS actually has what appears to me to be a nice gap setting on their crusher. I saw no whole husks and there was flour sprinkled throughout.

I will say the wort tasted pretty good from my OG sample...like a sweet tea. The sweat taste made me think there was indeed sugars in it.

I have a Fullers London Porter clone coming from Austins. I'm interested to see what the grains look like as I asked them to double mill them.

Looking forward to my next attempt at all grain and have made notes of the miscues I made.
Beersmith has some things in it that don't apply to BIAB brewing. One that you mentioned was the 75 minute mash period. Using iodine for a test, I found that conversion doesn't take an hour or hour and a half, with my finely milled grains I got conversion in less than 3 minutes. Now I wondered if I had wort that was fermentable enough since I only mashed 10 minutes and while I showed conversion in less than 3 minutes, maybe it was only the alpha amylase that worked which would leave me with lots of unfermentable sugars and a very high FG. That doesn't seem to be the case because I did a hydrometer test yesterday on the first batch I did with the 10 minute mash and found that my gravity had gone down from an OG of 1.060 to 1.010 yesterday. This batch was mashed at 154 which also should have given me a higher FG that what I measured.

With BIAB, as soon as the mash is over you can pull the bag out. You'll be turning on the heat then and about the time you get the wort squeezed out of the bag your wort temp will be above mash out temp anyway. Waiting for your wort with the grains still in it for a mash out will likely take longer and won't accomplish anything that pulling the bag won't.

Your LHBS may have a nice gap setting for a conventional mash tun but it's way to coarse for BIAB. My particles are about 1/32 inch or less and the husks are ripped to shreds. That lets the particles get wet to the center very quickly and lets the sugars back out. The 60 to 90 minute mashes are to compensate for particles that are much larger and take more time to wet through and to leach the sugars back out.
 

Fenduh

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Ok RM-MN... I've done some research on iodine testing and I'm going to give it a try.

I'm also going to try crushing my own grains. My neighbor has a grain mill that attaches to his high end mixer...hoping that does the trick. Will eventually pick up a Corona style mill.

The crush from the LHBS did have completely shredded husks and flour. In seeing pics of BIAB crushes I would say they were pretty much spot on but I still want to start grinding my own as I want to buy 2 row in a 50lb sack.

I only want to do half batches so a Corona mill will suit my needs fine.I don't really need 2 cases of beer around so the ability to brew more often appeals to me. I really don't drink that much beer (couple on Sundays watching football...oh ****...I'm done until October).

Thanks for the advice.
 

Larzean

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I ended up with 65% on my first BIAB, tho I sampled before I brought it to 170. Also, do you bring it to 170 & stop and wait, or just rip it to boiling?

I pulled the grain out after the mash time and squeezed and added what I got back to the pot, which was on its way to boiling.

Just asking so I know better for next batch
 

RM-MN

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I ended up with 65% on my first BIAB, tho I sampled before I brought it to 170. Also, do you bring it to 170 & stop and wait, or just rip it to boiling?

I pulled the grain out after the mash time and squeezed and added what I got back to the pot, which was on its way to boiling.

Just asking so I know better for next batch
I don't wait at all, in fact I usually don't have a thermometer in there when I've just pulled the bag. I do put the thermometer back in as it approaches boil so I can be ready to turn it down because I don't have a lot of space above the wort and prefer not to boil the hot break all over the wife's stove.
 

Token

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I use my grain mill at the same setting for BIAB as when I use the mash tun. I mash at whatever temp recipe calls for in both instances. After mash time is done, I have 2nd kettle with sparge water. I let bag sit in there for 10 minutes. After that, I let it drain, combine the two, and boil. I hit my OG numbers quite nicely. Pretty straight forward. Same process as when using a mash tun but without the tun. I do BIAB a lot recently 'cuz I have decided to do half batches. Works great right on my stove.

No muss, no fuss.
 

ClemTiger0408

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Today I hit about 67% which was pretty disappointing. The process went perfectly for me, so I have no idea why I didn't do better. My efficiency has been all over the map in the 4 BIABs I've done. I've been as high as 78% and 67% is the low.

The problem is today's brew, as I mentioned above, went perfectly. I have no idea what to do or change to be more consistent or better.

My LHBS grinds for me. When I've asked for a double grind, they tell me that their grinder is set for really fine and a double grind would make it a powder. So I do the single.

152* mash. 60 mins.
170* for 10 minutes.

I missed target OG by about .008 :(
 

RM-MN

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Today I hit about 67% which was pretty disappointing. The process went perfectly for me, so I have no idea why I didn't do better. My efficiency has been all over the map in the 4 BIABs I've done. I've been as high as 78% and 67% is the low.

The problem is today's brew, as I mentioned above, went perfectly. I have no idea what to do or change to be more consistent or better.

My LHBS grinds for me. When I've asked for a double grind, they tell me that their grinder is set for really fine and a double grind would make it a powder. So I do the single.

152* mash. 60 mins.
170* for 10 minutes.

I missed target OG by about .008 :(
I think that you've identified why your efficiency varies so much right here. If you are serious about making beer for years into the future and the efficiency changes that you are getting bother you, you need your own mill. :rockin:

I doubt that even double milled the grain you get from the LHBS would be near as fine as what I get with my cheap Corona mill and my efficiency is pretty steady and always exceeds your best. I've even managed 80% efficiency with 65% of the grain bill being unmalted rye (don't try it, rye is hard to mill and make a stick mess).
 

mb82

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Brewhouse efficiency with my new full volume EBIAB system was 81% yesterday on a 1.060 beer. I grind my grain in my Corona mill but I don't grind it to powder the way some people do.
 

jjw5015

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I used to get around 70%, but ever since I started mashing with 1 less gallon and using that to rinse the grains, I've gone up to over 80% consistently.
 
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