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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: jklinck on November 03, 2012, 09:30:56 AM

Title: BIAB efficiency
Post by: jklinck on November 03, 2012, 09:30:56 AM
I'm curious what type of efficiency people are getting with BIAB? I'm especially curious about anyone that is measuring mash pH.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: weithman5 on November 03, 2012, 02:27:22 PM
i don't boil in a bag but i mash in a bag, not quite the same thing.  however i run around 70 percent. i do check my ph with strips on occasion but i really don't make any adjustments.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: erockrph on November 03, 2012, 02:40:43 PM
I do my mash in a cooler instead of my kettle, but it's essentially BIAB since I do full-volume/no sparge. Plus, I squeeze my bag. I just mash in the cooler to help hold temp during the mash.

I hit 80-81% brewhouse efficiency with a fine crush. If my grains aren't crushed as fine as I'd like (I don't have a mill yet), then my BE is in the 72-74% range.

I don't have a pH meter yet, but I use Brunwater and shoot for 5.3 for most beers. So far, so good.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: beersk on November 03, 2012, 06:10:45 PM
I've only done 2 batches, but I got around 80% efficiency.  I mill pretty fine, gap is set at .030" on my barley crusher. As Jake Keeler says, I goose it to keep the mash temp in line.  I mash in my kettle, have a steamer rack on the bottom (so I don't scorch the bag or grain) with a chain going up to the handles so I can pull it out after the mash. I like it a lot.  Today will be my first time doing full volume mash.  The last 2 batches I did partial volume mashes, like I used to with a cooler setup.
Brew in a bag is a kick ass method. Oh, and I do 3 gallon batches, so it suits me pretty well.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: beerlord on November 08, 2012, 10:12:53 PM
I  don't get caught up on efficiency since I have my BIAB down but every now and again I check and am usually between 78 and 83%. I'm very pleased with my beers as are all my beer-snob friends.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: a10t2 on November 08, 2012, 11:35:08 PM
Unless you're squeezing wort out of the grains, it will be the same as a batch sparge with the same volumes.
Title: BIAB efficiency
Post by: mpietropaoli on November 09, 2012, 02:12:12 AM
75-80% squeezing the bag and a single batch sparge.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: ultravista on November 09, 2012, 02:19:38 AM
I mash in a bag too and get anywhere from 75% to 80%. Most of the time, I mash for 60 to 90 minutes as I'm doing things around the house. Post-mash, I "dunk" sparge and squeeze my bag too :)
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: beersk on November 09, 2012, 02:53:05 AM
I've only done 2 batches, but I got around 80% efficiency.  I mill pretty fine, gap is set at .030" on my barley crusher. As Jake Keeler says, I goose it to keep the mash temp in line.  I mash in my kettle, have a steamer rack on the bottom (so I don't scorch the bag or grain) with a chain going up to the handles so I can pull it out after the mash. I like it a lot.  Today will be my first time doing full volume mash.  The last 2 batches I did partial volume mashes, like I used to with a cooler setup.
Brew in a bag is a kick ass method. Oh, and I do 3 gallon batches, so it suits me pretty well.
So I did the full volume last Saturday evening.  I got right at 75% efficiency.  Solid. Crushing finer is the key to getting a good efficiency with brew in a bag. I also mash for 75 minutes or so, but I'm not entirely sure that's necessary.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: dmtaylor on December 18, 2012, 12:48:29 AM
I get 81% when I do "sparge" by rinsing the grains with some hot water.  I'm not going to sparge anymore in future and figure my efficiency will fall probably to low 70s.  BIAB is a very viable method, especially for small batches (I make 3 gallons or less) although I have a friend whose grandmother sewed him an enormous pillowcase and he makes 15-gallon batches with BIAB.  He has a pulley system to lift the grain bag out and to let it drip out.  He loves it and wouldn't have it any other way.  Awesome.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: amh0001 on December 18, 2012, 03:45:17 AM
I have have done BIAB for about 10-15 batches now. I have my own mill so my crush is always the same. I have seen anywhere from 64-81% efficiency. I think it is important to squeeze the bag. I have had no problems with tannin this way. I think the large swing in efficiency is some what do to adjuncts. For instance I had lower efficiency with a 50% wheat beer.

I also measure my PH with strips, but I can barely tell where its at. It seems like orange is from 4-6 PH lol. Maybe I need some different strips.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 18, 2012, 03:06:43 PM
I have a friend whose grandmother sewed him an enormous pillowcase and he makes 15-gallon batches with BIAB. 

You're friend has an awesome grandmother.  I hope he makes her a batch of whatever she wants whenever she wants it.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: weithman5 on December 18, 2012, 03:46:57 PM
  I mash in my kettle, have a steamer rack on the bottom (so I don't scorch the bag or grain) with a chain going up to the handles so I can pull it out after the mash. I like it a lot.  .

as mentioned i mash in a bag then everything else as normal. however i have my eye on a seafood steamer kettle at the store. it has about 6gallons and about two inches up is a circumferential indent for the steamer basket to rest on.  i have been meaning to see if there is room below this where i could drill through and place my electric element.  then i would have an electric steamer kettle and i could skip the mash in the cooler part and control my mash temps directly with the electric element
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: beersk on December 18, 2012, 04:55:39 PM
  I mash in my kettle, have a steamer rack on the bottom (so I don't scorch the bag or grain) with a chain going up to the handles so I can pull it out after the mash. I like it a lot.  .

as mentioned i mash in a bag then everything else as normal. however i have my eye on a seafood steamer kettle at the store. it has about 6gallons and about two inches up is a circumferential indent for the steamer basket to rest on.  i have been meaning to see if there is room below this where i could drill through and place my electric element.  then i would have an electric steamer kettle and i could skip the mash in the cooler part and control my mash temps directly with the electric element
That's cool, give it a go.

The brews in a bag batches I did were disappointing to me. But I think there may have been something else causing the issue, not to do with brewing in a bag. I replaced my siphon hose and it seems to be fine. I might try brewing in a bag again sometime, but for now I'm back to 4 gallon batches in a 5 gallon cooler.
More to clean, but whatevs. Brew day, for me, is typically around 4 hours with a 60 minute mash and 60 minute boil. So no big deal.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: weithman5 on December 18, 2012, 05:14:46 PM
the cooler is pretty easy and i still put all the grains in a bag. just lift them out of the cooler in the bag, clean up is a snap. 

this is similar to the kettle i found

http://img1.targetimg1.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS//img/p/10/82/10827023.jpg
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: beersk on December 18, 2012, 07:15:57 PM
the cooler is pretty easy and i still put all the grains in a bag. just lift them out of the cooler in the bag, clean up is a snap. 

this is similar to the kettle i found

http://img1.targetimg1.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS//img/p/10/82/10827023.jpg
Oh, nice! So that steamer rack goes on the bottom of the kettle? If so, that'd be just about perfect for brewing/mashing in a bag. No scorching the bottom of the bag.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: ultravista on December 18, 2012, 08:26:32 PM
I mash in a bag, compress the bag to get "leftover" runnings after the first sparge. During a typical brew, I collect from 5 to 7 quarts after the bag drains. Those leftovers are condensed on the stove and dumped into the kettle when the volume is about a quart or so.

This is super condensed and typically over 1.220 (where my refractometer stops).

It's a super-shot of highly condensed wort.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: weithman5 on December 18, 2012, 08:33:47 PM
the cooler is pretty easy and i still put all the grains in a bag. just lift them out of the cooler in the bag, clean up is a snap. 

this is similar to the kettle i found

http://img1.targetimg1.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS//img/p/10/82/10827023.jpg
Oh, nice! So that steamer rack goes on the bottom of the kettle? If so, that'd be just about perfect for brewing/mashing in a bag. No scorching the bottom of the bag.

right.  if there is enough room below that ring, i can put my electric element in it and then also have an electric steamer.  at first glance it is a very close fit, but i haven't actually measured it. 
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: weithman5 on December 18, 2012, 11:01:38 PM
so now i am more interested in making an electric steamer/brewer with shelf.  found this from bayou classic
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bayou-Classic-Stainless-Spigot-Pot/21721738?findingMethod=Recommendation:wm:RecentlyViewedItems
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: beersk on December 19, 2012, 02:40:09 PM
That's cool, it's too bad it's from Walmart. But I really like the Bayou Classic kettles. For small batches though, it's not really necessary to have the spigot. I'm fine with no spigot with 4 gallon batches. But if I did anything bigger than 5 gallons, I'd want one probably.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: Jimmy K on December 19, 2012, 03:53:12 PM
i don't boil in a bag but i mash in a bag, not quite the same thing.  however i run around 70 percent. i do check my ph with strips on occasion but i really don't make any adjustments.
Isn't that exactly what BIAB is?
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: beersk on December 19, 2012, 07:45:29 PM
i don't boil in a bag but i mash in a bag, not quite the same thing.  however i run around 70 percent. i do check my ph with strips on occasion but i really don't make any adjustments.
Isn't that exactly what BIAB is?
Yes, but for some reason, people seem to think you boil the bag and grains too.  I don't know why people fight this so much. Brew in a bag, mash in a bag, SAME THING. Don't confuse the subject...no one is boiling in the bag, rather, no one that knows what they're doing is boiling in the bag.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: Jimmy K on December 19, 2012, 08:03:09 PM
so now i am more interested in making an electric steamer/brewer with shelf.  found this from bayou classic
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bayou-Classic-Stainless-Spigot-Pot/21721738?findingMethod=Recommendation:wm:RecentlyViewedItems (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bayou-Classic-Stainless-Spigot-Pot/21721738?findingMethod=Recommendation:wm:RecentlyViewedItems)
I have a 62qt bayou classic kettle and it's very nice. I added my own valve. This walmart one has a ring around the bottom in the picture, but mine and every one for sale on Amazon has the ring around the top. No worries about fitting a valve or heating element there.
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: weithman5 on December 19, 2012, 08:41:42 PM
yeah, basically miab, biab, same thing.  i just do the mash in a cooler with the bag.  feel obligated. but also helps me maintain temp.  the reason i like the ring around the bottom from the imusa kettles and the one bayou is specifically for the ability to put the screen in. this would allow the bag to lay in the kettle on the screen.  i use electric kettle. but the ring would need to be high enough still to allow the element to go in. 

i only use a 4g kettle and is easy enough without the spigot. 

plus i could have a seafood steamer basket woooooohoooo
Title: Re: BIAB efficiency
Post by: woodlandbrew on December 22, 2012, 12:09:53 PM
Normally I get about 80% efficiency but it depends on how much grain is in the mash.  Every system has it's limits.  For details see this: http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/12/when-more-grain-doesnt-add-more-sugar.html

My pH normally comes in about 5.2-5.8 and I adjust to 5.2-5.4 with lactic acid.
This is a simple equation for lactic acid:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/10/mash-ph.html

The vessel I use is a 16 qt pressure caner and it holds heat very well.  A strainer or oven rack on top makes sparging very simple. 

BIAB is the easiest way to make all grain beer that I have tried.  Especially for batches under 10 lbs of grain.
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/09/biab.html