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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: tubercle on June 28, 2011, 12:34:34 AM

Title: BIB Question
Post by: tubercle on June 28, 2011, 12:34:34 AM
 I haven't tried the BIB method (or whatever it is called) but you know I have to...Why? Because it's there ;D ;D ;D

 Most of what I have read on here says there is lower efficency using this method due to the super thin mash.

  I know, I know, I can increase the efficency by boiling longer ::) ::) ::) using the same theory that there are no stars in the lunar landing pohographs.
 
 But that, and Elvis and Bigfoot sightings aside, would there be any benefit in mashing with the full boil volume longer, say overnight?

 It seems that the longer time would allow all the enzymes to get in contact with the starch and better conversion to take place even though the mash is super thin.

  Please avoid all the usual "insulate well, stirring, avoiding oxygen, IT'S GOING TO GET INFECTED!!!" type paranoid comments. I understand those risk well.

Just asking for thoughts on conversion.
 
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: EHall on June 28, 2011, 01:20:13 AM
I would think your best bet is an overnight mash... my only caution is, don't let it go over 12hrs... keep it around 8-10. I've found doing overnight mashes that going over 10hrs it starts to sour.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tubercle on June 28, 2011, 01:50:17 AM
Thanks for the advise.

 Done many, many over night conversions and well aware of the souring factor.

 I was wondering about the conversion factor.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: malzig on June 28, 2011, 10:37:54 AM
I'd think the thin mash would give you good efficiency.  For an average gravity beer, with near 100% conversion, I've seen 70-75% efficiency from a no-sparge beer, so I'd expect that.  You'll probably get your highest efficiency by starting the mash with half the water so that you can add the remaining half for a step in the 158-162°F range.

I think James Spencer has reported 80%+ efficiency from BIAB, but he uses a sparge step by mashing in "half" the water then moving the bag to a second pot with the other half, iirc.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: weithman5 on June 28, 2011, 12:35:12 PM
when i started doing smaller (1gal)batches i tried the bib idea/or a hybrid thereof.  the first time i was brewing a dopplebock.  the unexpected low efficiency (45%) made it barely a bock.  then next time  i mashed in the boil kettle, in the bag with normal mash thickness then after an hour (both mashes were only around an hour though) i lifted the bag clear and rinsed through the grain bag with the remaining water i needed. up to 60% efficiency.  i havent decided if i am happy with that or not. i hadn't thought about longer times.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: theDarkSide on June 28, 2011, 12:48:44 PM
I just listened to Brad Smith's podcast on this topic yesterday and Pat Hollingdale from BIABrewer.info said he is seeing an average of 78% efficiency.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: morticaixavier on June 28, 2011, 05:51:35 PM
My first AG batch was a belgian pale that I did in sort of a BIAB way. I suspended a grain bag in my bottling bucket, added my grain and mashed in with 1.25 or 1.5 qt/lb, mashed for 1 hours, drained and sparged with the rest of the water needed.

Not really the same but I got about 63% eff if I remember correctly
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: Tristan on June 28, 2011, 06:22:42 PM
I've always gotten 75-80% efficiency.  I infuse 2 qts/lb.  I typically stir the grain quite a bit and use direct heating to raise to mash out temp.  Then lift the bag out and pour my sparge water through the grains.  Works great.  I did a few beers this way last winter and all grain batches of starter wort.

Just a side note, if you mash for 60-90 minutes it should be enough for full conversion.  Extract conversion isn't likely to change much unless you find a good way to sparge.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tomsawyer on June 28, 2011, 07:00:06 PM
I'd think the thin mash would give you good efficiency.  For an average gravity beer, with near 100% conversion, I've seen 70-75% efficiency from a no-sparge beer, so I'd expect that.  You'll probably get your highest efficiency by starting the mash with half the water so that you can add the remaining half for a step in the 158-162°F range.

This is exactly what I've started doing, no-sparge step mash.  I average about 75%, which is just about what my efficiency was when I was batch sparging.  I do let the mash go a good 90min or so, I did a test with a single infusion at about 150F and saw things finish at about 90min.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: darkmorford on June 28, 2011, 07:45:37 PM
Okay, you're gonna have to help me out here. What's BI(A)B stand for in this context?

The only time I've ever seen that acronym was when I worked in foodservice, and it meant "Bag-In-Box," as in post-mix beverage syrups. Somehow I don't see that concept working for beer.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: gordonstrong on June 28, 2011, 07:47:29 PM
BIAB = Brew in a Bag.  Quite the rage in Australia.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tomsawyer on June 28, 2011, 08:22:14 PM
Based on the few times I've done BIAB I found it to be more messy and cumbersome than using a cooler MLT and doing a conventional mash.  Plus the cooler is easier to maintain temperature in, although I guess you could dip your bag in the cooler and have a decent temp that way.  Its not that BIAB is a lot harder or yields inferior products, I just don't really see a big advantage especially on a full 5gal batch.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: morticaixavier on June 28, 2011, 10:31:43 PM
The big convenience factor I see in the whole aussie homebrew pantheon that BIAB comes out of is the no-chill thing but I have not heard much about that lately. It was in the same article where I read about the BIAB, BYO I think. They boild the wort then transfer directly to a sanitized 5 gallon jerry can and seal it up and wait for it to cool. If you've got the patience that seems like it might be kind of convenient. No messing around with chillers. Don't know what it would mean for DMS though
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tubercle on June 29, 2011, 04:25:00 AM
 I didn't mean to start a whole thread on the entire BIAB system again :-\

 If I ever get around to doing this it probably will only be once because my cooler system is where I want it. And, like Denny, I don'y really care to be lifting a heavy bag of wet grain.

 I was just wondering about the claims of lower effenciency in the thinner mash and how to improve on that for the benifit of those that use this method regularly. My original thinking was that the enzymes are wandering around aimlessly and don't have the opportunity to come in contact with the starch as in a "normal" mash ratio.

 It just seems that longer mash times would be more favorable to conversion by giving the enzymes more time to saturate the entire enviroment better.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tomsawyer on June 29, 2011, 03:32:03 PM
I was just wondering about the claims of lower effenciency in the thinner mash and how to improve on that for the benifit of those that use this method regularly. My original thinking was that the enzymes are wandering around aimlessly and don't have the opportunity to come in contact with the starch as in a "normal" mash ratio.

 It just seems that longer mash times would be more favorable to conversion by giving the enzymes more time to saturate the entire enviroment better.

I think the dogma that a dilute mash results in lower efficiency has been disproven in recent years.  Maybe its because our modern malts are so enzyme rich that we may have the same enzyme concentration at 3+qt/lb that used to exist only at 1.5qt/lb.  Plus you have less product inhibition in a more dilute wort, meaning lower sugar conecentrations don't cause the enzymes to slow.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: EHall on June 29, 2011, 04:21:18 PM
... Then lift the bag out and pour my sparge water through the grains.  ...

Doesn't this negate the whole point of BIAB? its a no sparge method.... you're basically doing a batch sparge but now have a bag to lift...
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tomsawyer on June 29, 2011, 04:27:13 PM
... Then lift the bag out and pour my sparge water through the grains.  ...

Doesn't this negate the whole point of BIAB? its a no sparge method.... you're basically doing a batch sparge but now have a bag to lift...

First and foremost its a simple method of mashing without a mashtun.  I don't think it is necessarily no-sparge but it does lend itself to that as well, just in terms of keeping things simple.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: EHall on June 29, 2011, 10:08:05 PM
isn't any vessel you mash in automattically become a 'mashtun'?!  ;)
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: ccarlson on June 29, 2011, 10:18:39 PM
isn't any vessel you mash in automattically become a 'mashtun'?!  ;)

You're right, but your mash tun doubles as your boil kettle or the other way around.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: Will's Swill on June 30, 2011, 12:50:38 AM
My first AG batch was a belgian pale that I did in sort of a BIAB way. I suspended a grain bag in my bottling bucket, added my grain and mashed in with 1.25 or 1.5 qt/lb, mashed for 1 hours, drained and sparged with the rest of the water needed.

Not really the same but I got about 63% eff if I remember correctly

I mash this way routinely with much higher efficiencies, and I like the easy clean up of just removing the bag from the mash tun instead of shovelling the grain out.  As to the BIAB witha thin mash, I saw one of James Spencer's Basic Brewing videos where he used a full batch volume BIAB mash with no sparge and he got over 80% efficiency (I calculated that from the recipe and OG numbers he talked about on the show).  He did squeeze the heck out of the mash bag after removing from the kettle to get all the goodness out.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: denny on June 30, 2011, 03:22:28 PM
Shoveling the grain out?  I just carry my cooler over to the compost pile and dump it out.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tomsawyer on June 30, 2011, 04:47:38 PM
I get around 75% efficiency on no-sparge with a 1.050 beer.  Thats counting a 60-90 boil with 1-1.5gal loss.  One thing about BIAB, theres no dead space in the system.  As for squeezing/wringing the bag, it might speed up the draining but it doesn't change the amount of bound water.  I'm cheap enough that I'll continue to drain my tun while the bulk of my wort is coming to a boil.  At that point I don't think I could wring anything more out of the grain even if I put it in a bag, and if I did it'd contain a lot of fines.

Thats one thing about BIAB, you really don't get the effect of filtration through the grain bed.  I don't know that it matters, but I'd sure want to pay attention to my crush and avoid shredded husks.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: malzig on June 30, 2011, 11:44:40 PM
Shoveling the grain out?  I just carry my cooler over to the compost pile and dump it out.
You and me both, man.  Can't imagine anything easier.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tubercle on July 01, 2011, 03:12:31 AM
Shoveling the grain out?  I just carry my cooler over to the compost pile and dump it out.
You and me both, man.  Can't imagine anything easier.

 Ditto. Done deal.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: Will's Swill on July 01, 2011, 03:26:55 PM
Alas, no compost pile.  Just saying that pulling the bag out is easier for me than not using a bag.  I do both routinely (i.e. use a bag, or not use a bag) depending on which mash tun I'm using.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: ccarlson on July 01, 2011, 03:42:06 PM
I could see that being easier. Everything all together and lighter to carry to the compost pile without dragging the cooler along.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: richt on July 04, 2011, 02:26:35 PM
In the 15 or so BIAB batches I've done, I have ranged between 78 and 85% efficiency, much better than my batch sparge setup.  I don't bother with a sparge or any of that, pull the bag, loop the drawstring on the hook I installed above my kettle and fire up the burner.  While I'm measuring my hops the wort is coming to a boil. 

To the OP, if you're concerned about lower efficiency, you should try brewing a batch you're familiar with but do it BIAB style an compare your numbers.  I think you'll be surprised.
Title: Re: BIB Question
Post by: tomsawyer on July 05, 2011, 01:36:15 PM
In the 15 or so BIAB batches I've done, I have ranged between 78 and 85% efficiency, much better than my batch sparge setup.

If 78-85% efficiency is much better than your batch sparge results, you must have a lot of dead space in your MLT.  Theres nothing else about BIAB that would change efficiency.  Its pretty standard to get 75-85% efficiency with a single batch sparge.  I'm doing a no-sparge with an MLT and getting 75%, I've done a pseudo-no-sparge where I only sparge with 0.5gal and that gets me to 80%+.  I do have very little dead volume and I drain the mash thoroughly.  The wife makes fun of me catching every last drop.