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Author Topic: Brewing Frustrations  (Read 5570 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2014, 06:09:29 am »
So I went into the garage this morning and started cleaning my brewing equipment again. I've ordered a sure-fire kit (Heady Topper clone) to get me fired up about brewing again! Thanks again for all of the support, cheers!

Offline erockrph

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2014, 06:56:13 am »
Since there is no sparge on a BIAB set up you will be extracting a lot of beta-glucans which can affect head retention and cause clarity issues.
I've never heard of this before. I've never had head retention issues, and (with the exception of my hop bombs) my beers have no problem dropping brilliantly clear. Why would beta-glucans be an issue for no-sparge?

To the OP - use a heatproof glove to squeeze your bag. It makes life a lot easier. But if you do really want to go the BIAB route, you should really make or invest in a purpose-built bag.

Personally, I BIAB in a cooler so it's the best of both worlds between batch sparging and BIAB to me. It's like batch sparging but you don't need to heat up sparge water and don't need an extra pot. I'm very happy with my results and I enjoy my brew day quite a bit. But it's what I'm familiar with and I pretty much tweaked my process to what works for me. I don't proclaim that it's the best for everybody, but it is the best for me.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2014, 07:05:16 am »
Since there is no sparge on a BIAB set up you will be extracting a lot of beta-glucans which can affect head retention and cause clarity issues.
I've never heard of this before. I've never had head retention issues, and (with the exception of my hop bombs) my beers have no problem dropping brilliantly clear. Why would beta-glucans be an issue for no-sparge?

To the OP - use a heatproof glove to squeeze your bag. It makes life a lot easier. But if you do really want to go the BIAB route, you should really make or invest in a purpose-built bag.

Personally, I BIAB in a cooler so it's the best of both worlds between batch sparging and BIAB to me. It's like batch sparging but you don't need to heat up sparge water and don't need an extra pot. I'm very happy with my results and I enjoy my brew day quite a bit. But it's what I'm familiar with and I pretty much tweaked my process to what works for me. I don't proclaim that it's the best for everybody, but it is the best for me.

If it works for you then that's all that counts. But if someone else is having clarity issues and head retention issues then maybe they can fix it by changing the way they sparge. Plus, I know the same argument has been made about batch sparging and I don't have any problems with it - though I do vorlauf about a gallon or two before running off.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #33 on: October 20, 2014, 07:57:25 am »
Since there is no sparge on a BIAB set up you will be extracting a lot of beta-glucans which can affect head retention and cause clarity issues.
I've never heard of this before. I've never had head retention issues, and (with the exception of my hop bombs) my beers have no problem dropping brilliantly clear. Why would beta-glucans be an issue for no-sparge?

To the OP - use a heatproof glove to squeeze your bag. It makes life a lot easier. But if you do really want to go the BIAB route, you should really make or invest in a purpose-built bag.

Personally, I BIAB in a cooler so it's the best of both worlds between batch sparging and BIAB to me. It's like batch sparging but you don't need to heat up sparge water and don't need an extra pot. I'm very happy with my results and I enjoy my brew day quite a bit. But it's what I'm familiar with and I pretty much tweaked my process to what works for me. I don't proclaim that it's the best for everybody, but it is the best for me.

If it works for you then that's all that counts. But if someone else is having clarity issues and head retention issues then maybe they can fix it by changing the way they sparge. Plus, I know the same argument has been made about batch sparging and I don't have any problems with it - though I do vorlauf about a gallon or two before running off.

Another advantage of using a cooler to BIAB is that you can vorlauf if you'd like. I have on a few occasions, but I can't say that I saw a significant difference in clarity compared to baseline. Actually, my setup would probably be the ideal way to test vorlauf vs no vorlauf. You could run off half your wort, then vorlauf and run off the remainder.
Eric B.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #34 on: October 20, 2014, 12:38:34 pm »
5 hour all grain brew day is pretty good in my opinion. it's about how long it takes me to brew a 5 or 10 gallon batch.

as everyone else has already said, stick to it and it'll get better.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2014, 12:42:33 pm »
5 hour all grain brew day is pretty good in my opinion. it's about how long it takes me to brew a 5 or 10 gallon batch.


+1.  If I mash 60 and boil 60, I can do it in 4.5 hrs if I clean as I go.  A long mash or boil puts me easily over 5.
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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2014, 01:26:35 pm »
After fly sparging for years, I can't imagine anything easier than batch sparging.

Continuous sparging (a.k.a. fly sparging) is also pretty simple once one has one's system dialed in.  It also takes less physical effort than batch sparging or BIAB.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 01:39:04 pm by S. cerevisiae »

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2014, 01:36:03 pm »
After fly sparging for years, I can't imagine anything easier than batch sparging.

Continuous sparging (a.k.a.) is also pretty simple once one has one's system dialed in.  It also takes less physical effort than batch sparging or BIAB.

Honestly, my difficulty was more of a pH issue. I also started back when Charlie P's book was a chunk of what we had to go on, and pH info was spotty at best. Beers/grists that luckily fit my water came out good, others not so much. So not long after I started getting pH dialed in, I switched to batch sparging after watching a friend and the consistency came in. I agree that fly sparging isn't hard - I just find batch sparging a little simpler and more enjoyable.
Jon H.

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2014, 01:36:58 pm »
I realize this sounds like not an enormous day, but I set out for a quick day with minimal cleanup and ended up working on this for 5 or so hours.

Five hours is a relatively short all-grain brew day.  While all-grain brewing gets easier with practice, there are going to be days where nothing seems to go right.  I have had brew days that spanned the better part of nine hours between the time that I started to heat my strike water and the time that clean up was complete.

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2014, 01:54:36 pm »
Continuous sparging (a.k.a. fly sparging) is also pretty simple once one has one's system dialed in.  It also takes less physical effort than batch sparging or BIAB.

I'm not trying to disagree with everything you say, but my experience is that batch sparging takes far less effort than when I fly sparged.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2014, 02:48:34 pm »
Simplicity aside, it's the 60-90 minutes savings that makes me stick with batch sparging.

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2014, 03:06:05 pm »
I'm not trying to disagree with everything you say, but my experience is that batch sparging takes far less effort than when I fly sparged.

The amount of effort required to continuous sparge depends on how much one has to play with one's system while sparging.  Sparging is one of the least labor intensive parts of my brew day.  I have my system and process to the set it and forget it stage.  The only effort that I have to exert other than performing the vorlauf is setting the outflows from my hot liquor back and my mash tun.  Now, if I had to constantly monitor the process and tweak outputs,  I would probably consider switching to batch sparging.  However, I usually write in my log or perform another brewing-related task while the sparge is running.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2014, 03:26:19 pm »
Simplicity aside, it's the 60-90 minutes savings that makes me stick with batch sparging.

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Offline duboman

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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2014, 03:44:21 pm »
5 hour all grain brew day is pretty good in my opinion. it's about how long it takes me to brew a 5 or 10 gallon batch.

as everyone else has already said, stick to it and it'll get better.

+1

Stick with it and don't get frustrated. The one thing I learned early on in AG brewing is plan ahead. If you plan ahead then you have set the time aside to focus on what you're doing and not just rushing through things at the last minute. I once early on thought I would just "squeeze" a brew day in, bad idea, nothing went right and the beer sucked, never did it again......

I too prefer the traditional mash/batch sparge process vs BIAB, I actually find it easier and really no time savings in the end. I've also started doing some split batches with different yeasts and it's pretty cool to see how things turn out!
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Re: Brewing Frustrations
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2014, 03:48:39 pm »
Simplicity aside, it's the 60-90 minutes savings that makes me stick with batch sparging.

You must brew 10+ gallon batches.  The time savings with a 5-gallon batch is around thirty minutes.

If I had to pick an area where batch sparging kicks the snot out of continuous sparging, it would be the simplicity of constructing a mash/lauter tun (MLT).  Unlike continuous sparging, batch is sparging is MLT geometry agnostic.  For example, Denny's cheap and easy MLT design is about as far from optimum as an MLT can get when it comes to continuous sparging; however, few can argue with the results that are  achievable with the design when batch sparging.  Not only is tun geometry critical to achieving good results with continuous sparging, so are false bottom open space, mash bed thickness, crush, and hot liquor flow rate.