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First two BIAB batches low efficency (55-60%). Top reasons for low?

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sparkleberry:
i never squeezed. i still had good results.

breweite:
I have only done BIAB in my short brewing career (maybe 20+ BIAB batches) I don't sparge and I am a dead 70% efficiency every time..(It's not great, but not bad either)

I agree with above..

1. Ask your LHBS to run it twice through the mill.  Usually it doesn't do much, but if their machine hasn't been calibrated lately, it can make a difference.

2. I always squeeze the bag!  And to be honest I've noticed an increase in efficiency from this alone.

3. For what its worth I have a buddy doing all grain (not BIAB) he had gotten horrible efficiency on his last few batches, I brought over some pH strips and sure enough he was way high... Maybe someone else can go into further detail about this.

4. What are you doing with your water?

That's my .02!

dmtaylor:
Efficiency problems usually involve the crush or the volume measurements.  Did you get the volume you expected?  If not this could have a huge impact on your efficiency calculations.  If it is not those two things, then consider a squeeze of the bag or a slight rinse of the grain bag next time.

udubdawg:
when the weather is stupid hot or cold I move inside and do a sort of BIAB in the kitchen.  Didn't like the heat I lost from the brewpot, so used a 5g plain (blue) cooler, and a bag that fit perfectly over the rim.  After however long I am mashing I pull the bag out of the cooler (yeah it's heavy but it helps that I make smaller batches) and move to a second smaller brewpot filled with water hot enough to bring to the upper 160's for mash-out.  So, sort of a BIAB single batch sparge.  Then I add in a strainer and it drains (usually pour the last gallon of water over it) while I'm heating up the first "runnings" from the cooler.  My efficiency is lower but nowhere near 55-60%.  Generally above 75%. 
Just did this yesterday with a Dusseldorf Alt rather than go outside in 14F weather, and was at 78%.

*shrug* - whatever works.  Mash temps stabilized, frostbite/heatstroke averted, medals rolling in.   ;D
cheers--
--Michael

mtnrockhopper:
I think your top problem is the 2 qt grain rinse. The grain absorbs water, for example - 10 lbs of grain will absorb 2 gallons of water. At the end of the mash, all of the water in the pot should be evenly saturated with sugars - including the water inside the grains. So when you pull out that grain (and the water) you could be pulling out 20% of the sugars too - or more - depending on how much water is in the pot.
 
How much water are you mashing with?

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