Author Topic: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging  (Read 2314 times)

Offline sparkleberry

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
    • View Profile
clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« on: July 28, 2012, 01:21:28 PM »
so i just brewed my 4th all grain batch.  i am doing biab 3 gallon batches.  my efficiency today was 71% and this is up from the last three of about 68%.

anyway, i find that i'm having of trouble with lots of sediment in my final bottled beers.  I've tried several different ways of transferring to carboys but find i am still getting loads of sediment(while using whirfloc).  is this just inherent in biab?  i'm very close to just jumping to batch sparing because i realized the cooler i want is much smaller for apartment storage than i originally thought.  anyway, does sparging through the grain bed help cut down on lots of sediment?

longer post than i thought but i wanted to provide ample amounts of info.

thanks.

also, i love the 3 gallon batch because, so far, i have brewed 4 different beers.  i am loving variety.  second question: does batch sparging still work with smaller batches in a large cooler that i could still use to do 5 gallon batches?

sorry for the multiple question thread.  i just sort of realized i did this.  but all these things have been in my head at the same time.

thanks for any and all help!

ryan
cheers.

rpl
apertureales

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2165
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 01:32:45 PM »
The bits of grain and such are called "draff." Switching to a finer bag will help cut down the sediment. Letting the wort settle for 20-30min then decanting off the sediment before the boil will help too. In a "proper" MLT you can use the grain bed as a type of filter to clarify the wort.

I had a run of 7 or so astringent beers I traced back to getting too much draff into my boil kettle, so I'd say cutting down on the amount of draff is pretty important.

I used to do 12L BIAB batches exclusively when I lived in an apartment. I now have a 10 gallon round cooler MLT, but I'll still do BIAB if I'm doing a batch that's <12L or so. The thicker the grain bed, the better the filtration will be. So a round, tall cooler is better than a shallow, rectangular cooler, for a given volume. My 10 gallon cooler doesn't work so well for small batches.

When I moved into a bigger place I got all the goodies for 10 gallon batches: pump, propane burner, big pot, freezer, etc. The two things I couldn't live without now are my fermentation freezer and my MLT, so definitely get an MLT if you can. A 5 gallon beverage cooler would work fine for you.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11706
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 02:03:32 PM »
so i just brewed my 4th all grain batch.  i am doing biab 3 gallon batches.  my efficiency today was 71% and this is up from the last three of about 68%.

anyway, i find that i'm having of trouble with lots of sediment in my final bottled beers.  I've tried several different ways of transferring to carboys but find i am still getting loads of sediment(while using whirfloc).  is this just inherent in biab?  i'm very close to just jumping to batch sparing because i realized the cooler i want is much smaller for apartment storage than i originally thought.  anyway, does sparging through the grain bed help cut down on lots of sediment?

longer post than i thought but i wanted to provide ample amounts of info.

thanks.

also, i love the 3 gallon batch because, so far, i have brewed 4 different beers.  i am loving variety.  second question: does batch sparging still work with smaller batches in a large cooler that i could still use to do 5 gallon batches?

sorry for the multiple question thread.  i just sort of realized i did this.  but all these things have been in my head at the same time.

thanks for any and all help!

ryan

Using the grain bed as a filter will cut down on sediment in the kettle.  If that's the cause of too much sediment in the bottle, it will help that, too.  Batch sparging is just as effective in small batches as it is in larger ones.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline kgs

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 754
  • San Francisco, CA
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 02:26:14 PM »
I batch-sparge 3-gallon batches in a 5-gallon cooler.  I was actually pondering moving up to a 9-gallon rectangular cooler so I wouldn't have to sparge so much. But in any event you can definitely use a cooler. I would think batch sparging would be easier than hefting a big bag in and out of a kettle, but it depends on a lot of things (including your physique :) ).

Edit: I've been wondering about how to sparge with a pump without disturbing the grain bed. The first time I used my pump (last week) I refilled the mash tun from the bottom... I thought "well, this feels wrong" but it certainly was easy. Yet I wondered if that was right. I let it settle and then drained. (To add a fifth angle to this post ;-) )
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 02:37:43 PM by kgs »
K.G. Schneider
AHA Member

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7245
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 04:15:57 PM »
I have a hard time seeing how any sediment from the brew kettle is making it into your bottles, regardless of BIAB method. Should stay in the fermenter so I would look elsewhere to your "sediment" issue. My instinct tells me it is yeast and that perhaps you are bottling too soon.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline sparkleberry

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 04:52:52 PM »
thanks all. 

i only started having extra amounts of sediment at the bottles after doing these four batches.  my extract batches never had this much.  i'm giving all batches plenty of time to ferment and settle.  i do know that i am taking too much sediment when i transfer.  this week i syphoned instead of using the ball valve on the kettle.  am i not letting everything settle enough in the kettle? 

I've tried doing a whirlpool but it doesn't really seem to work very well.  i chill as fast as i can bt the ground water in la is still pretty warm in summer.  today i tried using a pre chiller in a big bucket of ice water and still had trouble getting down under 80. 

i'll give this batch an extra bit of time and see what happens.  this batch i syphoned to a bucket and let that settle and then syphoned to a 3 gallon better bottle. left a good amount of material behind but still took some to the carboy. 

anyway, after cooling can i just let it sit a while longer to settle?

thank you guys!
cheers.

rpl
apertureales

Offline malzig

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 466
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 06:11:55 AM »
anyway, after cooling can i just let it sit a while longer to settle?
Sure, you can and a lot of people do.  However, sediment in the bottle is going to be mostly a function of how much material you transfer from your fermenter not your kettle.  You may simply need to siphon from higher in the carboy, so you don't draw in a lot of trub.

Also, I know it isn't fashionable, but using a secondary makes it easier to get a clean transfer into the bottling bucket, since you can usually siphon right off the bottom of a secondary and still leave most everything behind.

Offline kgs

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 754
  • San Francisco, CA
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2012, 07:00:42 AM »
anyway, after cooling can i just let it sit a while longer to settle?
Sure, you can and a lot of people do.  However, sediment in the bottle is going to be mostly a function of how much material you transfer from your fermenter not your kettle.  You may simply need to siphon from higher in the carboy, so you don't draw in a lot of trub.

Also, I know it isn't fashionable, but using a secondary makes it easier to get a clean transfer into the bottling bucket, since you can usually siphon right off the bottom of a secondary and still leave most everything behind.

If you don't have one already, consider getting an autosiphon clamp, and use your clamp to ensure the end of your autosiphon is suspended above the stuff at the bottom of your fermenter. Here's a 1/2" clamp, but they come in 3/8" as well:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/auto-siphon-clamp-1-2.html
K.G. Schneider
AHA Member

Offline bigchicken

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
  • Lincoln, NE
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2012, 02:08:08 PM »
I had similar issues with cloudiness and fine particles making into the kettle when doing a BIAB. I found that unless I used a secondary, it was unavoidable that it would end up in the bottle as well. I moved to batch sparging and the problem is gone. No need to use a secondary and the beers turn out very clear in the bottle.
TJ Cook
Proud paying member of the AHA since 2013.

Fermenting: NOTHING!
In bottles: One Fruit Fly Saison, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale, Snow Eater Winter Warmer

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1672
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 03:47:12 PM »
i have been mashing in a bag and i have boiled in a bag.  i don't feel like i truly have any clarity issues if i let the bottles sit cold for at least 30-60 days.  but i lager.  there is of course, yeast in the bottles.
Don AHA member

Offline erockrph

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2445
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • Critical Tastings
Re: clarity/sediment/biab/batch sparging
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 05:58:19 PM »
Maybe try lining your fermenter with a fine-mesh bag (i.e., your BIAB bag, maybe?) before you drain your wort into it. That may catch at least a portion of the trub as you transfer from the kettle.

My first two BIAB batches are still in primary, so I can't really comment on the amount of sediment at bottling yet. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer