Poll

Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?

Yes
9 (22.5%)
No
31 (77.5%)

Total Members Voted: 39

Author Topic: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?  (Read 10475 times)

Offline majorvices

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #60 on: October 25, 2014, 01:21:39 PM »
I am waiting for someone like John Blichmann to come out with a home brew mash press. That way we can all argue over the 100+ efficiency, amount of work involved, and quality of the beer. It will be good training for working at the few breweries with mash presses (Alaskan and Griffin Claw to name a couple).
I have a small cider press I might try out with my bag of grain at the end of mashing just to see how much efficiency improvement and any effect on taste. I don't want to add something to clean, that would be against the point of biab for my purposes anyway, so any improvement would have to be big to make me use one.

At Griffin Claw the grain get hammer milled, the husks are removed, and the fine flour goes into the mash press. That is how they don't get astringency. Homebrew hammer mill needed too.

We considered going with a mash filter ( never heard it called mash press) on our next system but decided against it. The increase in efficiency is great, but damn - it's expensive. Plus I had some concerns about tannin extraction.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #61 on: October 25, 2014, 02:56:15 PM »
If your pH is good and your mesh is fine enough to keep husks from passing through to the boil, then squeeze away. No hammer mill necessary, no astringency.
My bag is fine and I have a feeling there is some highly concentrated fermentables still in there after squeezing by hand.
You'd think that, but I have measured the gravity on my "bag drippin's" on several occasions, and it has always been the same as the rest of the mash. In other words, I squeeze my bag into another vessel after I pull it. The squeezed wort is the same gravity as the wort in the kettle from when I first pulled the grain bag.

Even though it seems that the remaining grain is rather sticky, by the time the mash is done all the sugar is dissolved in the mash. The grain material is just like a sponge holding wort. This is a big reason why doing a sparge with BIAB isn't really going to net you much extra extract over using the full volume of liquor and doing the mash/sparge in one step. You're not "rinsing sugar" off the grain, you're diluting the remaining wort and then collecting the excess. Since a full-volume mash is already thin, there isn't as much sugar left in the grain. And if you squeeze your bag, then you're collecting a lot of that anyways.

Full volume BIAB is like doing a batch sparge in a mash tun with zero dead space and less than half the grain absorption.
Eric B.

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Offline pete b

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #62 on: October 25, 2014, 03:24:52 PM »
If your pH is good and your mesh is fine enough to keep husks from passing through to the boil, then squeeze away. No hammer mill necessary, no astringency.
My bag is fine and I have a feeling there is some highly concentrated fermentables still in there after squeezing by hand.
You'd think that, but I have measured the gravity on my "bag drippin's" on several occasions, and it has always been the same as the rest of the mash. In other words, I squeeze my bag into another vessel after I pull it. The squeezed wort is the same gravity as the wort in the kettle from when I first pulled the grain bag.

Even though it seems that the remaining grain is rather sticky, by the time the mash is done all the sugar is dissolved in the mash. The grain material is just like a sponge holding wort. This is a big reason why doing a sparge with BIAB isn't really going to net you much extra extract over using the full volume of liquor and doing the mash/sparge in one step. You're not "rinsing sugar" off the grain, you're diluting the remaining wort and then collecting the excess. Since a full-volume mash is already thin, there isn't as much sugar left in the grain. And if you squeeze your bag, then you're collecting a lot of that anyways.

Full volume BIAB is like doing a batch sparge in a mash tun with zero dead space and less than half the grain absorption.
That's good to know. Makes me less likely to want to add a press as something to clean.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #63 on: October 25, 2014, 03:36:11 PM »
Answer to tangential question: Cut tiny corner from dry yeast packet.  Pitch about 1/4 packet.  Fold corner over a couple of times.  Tape shut.  Place back into refrigerator.  Open and repeat up to ~3 years later.

I do the same thing although I am extremely careful about sanitizing the packet, including the interior of the hole, before pouring out more yeast. So far no problems.

I also portion out liquid yeast by pouring about half of the packet in the one gallon batch and pouring the rest into a well-sanitized mason jar with boiled water. Not ideal but I also have not had problems with this approach.
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Offline shuckit

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2014, 10:18:34 PM »
Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?

I see it happening with about half of new all grain brewers in my area. People are choosing it for the simplicity of a single vessel system when they are just starting out.

Offline stpug

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #65 on: October 31, 2014, 02:33:55 PM »
I interpret these as different questions, so I'll answer them separately:

Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?

No, not batch sparging specifically. <--that's my simple answer

Yes, it has already re-proportioned the forms of all grain brewing that rely on additional, cost-incurred equipment, which includes both batch and continuous sparging methods.

BIAB is a logical step in the strive to brew all grain beer, assuming the brewer isn't already set to attain a goal using a different method. Once a brewer tries a partial mash brew, the next logical step is to simply leave out the extract and up the base grains next time and viola! you have BIAB. Since the equipment difference between partial mash and BIAB is minimally different, it's easy to move to this as your next step with potentially NO additional costs.

(Very) Generally speaking, brewers start off simple and move progressively more complex, and I see where BIAB fits perfectly in that scenario, AND if the goal is simply "all grain beer" then brewers may choose to stop at that method once they get there. Generally, the steps to all grain go something like this (with the brewer skipping a step or three along the way):
-Beer kit
-Extract
-Extract plus character grains
-Partial Mash
{All grain methods}
---BIAB
---Batch
---Continuous

BIAB comes before batch and continuous so it can be a logical stopping point for some.

..., does anyone other than me see BIAB overtaking batch sparging as the preferred method to make all-grain beer on a small scale?

I can't say for everyone else, but I don't. Do I see it as a step in the process to brew all grain beer? Absolutely! A step that some may stop with since it achieves their goal and simplifies their (brewing) lives. And I would venture a guess that nearly everyone here on this forum is considered "small scale" ;)

BTW, your questions are specifically aimed at BIAB overtaking/displacing BATCH sparging when in fact the choice to brew all grain beer using the BIAB method "overtakes" or "displaces" both batch and continuous sparging. Of course, when a new option is introduced the masses, it's going to displace or re-proportion the "competitors" percentage of the entire share - that's just how it works.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #66 on: October 31, 2014, 03:36:35 PM »
(Very) Generally speaking, brewers start off simple and move progressively more complex, and I see where BIAB fits perfectly in that scenario, AND if the goal is simply "all grain beer" then brewers may choose to stop at that method once they get there. Generally, the steps to all grain go something like this (with the brewer skipping a step or three along the way):
-Beer kit
-Extract
-Extract plus character grains
-Partial Mash
{All grain methods}
---BIAB
---Batch
---Continuous

BIAB comes before batch and continuous so it can be a logical stopping point for some.
I have to disagree on a few points here. I think most beginner kits are extract + specialty grains nowadays, with the exception of Mr Beer. So the first three steps can be lumped together. I also think that many brewers are skipping the partial mash step nowadays, since partial mash is basically all-grain with an added step of adding extract.

My biggest disagreement is that there is a hierarchy for all-grain methods. While there are varying degrees of complexity between each method, they are really on equal footing as far as the quality of beer they produce. BIAB isn't necessarily a step towards batch sparging any more than batch sparging is a step towards fly sparging.

..., does anyone other than me see BIAB overtaking batch sparging as the preferred method to make all-grain beer on a small scale?

I can't say for everyone else, but I don't. Do I see it as a step in the process to brew all grain beer? Absolutely! A step that some may stop with since it achieves their goal and simplifies their (brewing) lives. And I would venture a guess that nearly everyone here on this forum is considered "small scale" ;)
In the realm of homebrewing, I would define "small-scale" as anything less than 5 gallons, which is still considered by many to be the standard batch size for homebrew. I do see advantages for BIAB at that scale, as the weight of the grain bag is much more manageable, and you can easily brew in the kitchen with the same gear used for partial-boil extract batches. In fact, that is why I brew BIAB - I moved from extract to 3-gallon all-grain using BIAB. I was able to keep using most of the same gear.

If I were going to brew 5 gallon batches, I would probably change to a 3-vessel batch or fly sparge system outdoors. For me, my choice of all-grain method is based solely on scale.
Eric B.

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Offline pete b

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #67 on: October 31, 2014, 04:14:27 PM »
I agree with the points that Eric makes. BIAB makes sense for <5 gal batches and is not necessarily a "step" towards something else. In fact I have moved from batch sparge to biab, but only for smaller than 5 gallon batches. And I definitely don't see batch sparge as a step to fly sparge, its where most end up because they are happy with the results and effort I think.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #68 on: October 31, 2014, 04:33:09 PM »
And I definitely don't see batch sparge as a step to fly sparge


^^^^^^^^^^.  Having made beer using all three methods, I don't see any inherent difference in beer quality. I wouldn't BIAB again over 3 gallons but agree it is a good option for batches that small and under. And I moved from fly sparging to batch sparging, finding it quicker and easier. The best method for any brewer is the one they like best that also meets their needs best.
Jon H.

Offline stpug

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #69 on: October 31, 2014, 04:39:33 PM »
Good points. Speaking (very) generally doesn't work so well for me :P

...and I should have diagrammed my order like this
Code: [Select]
             All Grain
                 |
                 |
    ┌--------------------------┐
    |            |             |
    |            |             |
    |            |             |
   BIAB        Batch      Continuous

Oh well, next time :D

Offline erockrph

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #70 on: October 31, 2014, 04:50:21 PM »
Good points. Speaking (very) generally doesn't work so well for me :P

...and I should have diagrammed my order like this
Code: [Select]
             All Grain
                 |
                 |
    ┌--------------------------┐
    |            |             |
    |            |             |
    |            |             |
   BIAB        Batch      Continuous

Oh well, next time :D
S'alright. This diagram I can get behind. I guess my point was that there are pros and cons to each of these all-grain methods, and it's not really a step forward or step back to go from one to the other. But I do get your point on how BIAB can be a stepping-stone for some as it is probably the simplest introduction to all-grain, but may not be the best long-term solution for everyone.
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Offline blackislandbrewer

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #71 on: October 31, 2014, 10:09:03 PM »
I can't speak to whether or not BIAB will supplant Batch Sparging, but I don't see why not. There are guys who look at me sideways when I say I continuous sparge and have never batch sparged. But like many have said, I stuck with what first worked for me, and since I switched from extract to all grain in 1997, batch sparging wasn't even on my radar.

However, you might find it interesting that I do brew some batches BIAB. It came about when I was asked to teach a homebrewing class at one of our local community colleges. They let me write the class curriculum, and since we have tons of homebrew shops within a 30 mile radius that teach extract brewing, I wanted to do something different. Michael "Mufasa" Ferguson of BJ's fame has been known to suggest that potential brewers should skip extract all together and go right into all grain. I saw BIAB as a possible way to teach all grain brewing right off the bat while keeping equipment to a minimum. I brewed (on my own) in my first BIAB session a 5 gallon modified version of Mike McDole's "Janet's Brown", found it to be very similar to the 3-vessel continuous sparge version I like to keep on hand. The first class of seven students went through a 6 week class, where we were able to brew on week one and pop the caps on week 6. Some had never brewed before, some had brewed a few extract batches but was not happy with the results, one even had built a 3-vessel system but wanted to learn more about the process. But by starting with BIAB, I was able to skip sparging all together, and do everything in a single vessel, which made the instruction easier, and made it easy to see the scalability and simplicity of BIAB. In the end, the guy with the brew stand said he wished he'd taken the class first, one of the students planned to start with BIAB but expects he'll move to 3-vessel, one found BIAB perfect for her apartment, doing small batches on the stove, one plans to start with extract and specialty grains but doing full-volume boil (with a BIAB bag for the specialty grains) and one is not sure he'll ever brew, but said the class was one of the best he's ever had. The rest were planning to start with the method I demonstrated, a 10 gallon aluminum pot with a bag, a propane burner, and an immersion chiller.

What I tried to do in the class, however, was to not tout any method as being superior over the others, but to weigh the pros and cons in an open discussion and let them decide for themselves which way to go. I also tried to make sure they had plenty of other resources to consult, and to not just take my word for it.

And I guess the only other thing I would add to the conversation is my own observation: I don't know what it was like when the batch spargers were debating with the continuous spargers over whether it was a comparable technique - I wasn't on rec.craft.brewing or the Home Brew Digest much when that was going on - but if it was anything like the way some of the "BIAB/No-Chill/No-Mashout/20-minute-mash" advocates currently engage in the conversation - adversarial, argumentative, condescending - it's no wonder that even today there seems to be a divide where none need be.

Of course, I may be completely wrong.
David
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #72 on: October 31, 2014, 10:25:05 PM »
I don't know what it was like when the batch spargers were debating with the continuous spargers over whether it was a comparable technique - I wasn't on rec.craft.brewing or the Home Brew Digest much when that was going on - but if it was anything like the way some of the "BIAB/No-Chill/No-Mashout/20-minute-mash" advocates currently engage in the conversation - adversarial, argumentative, condescending - it's no wonder that even today there seems to be a divide where none need be.

I think the earlier "generation" hadn't yet figured out that as long as you don't use your real name, there are no consequences to being a dick online.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #73 on: October 31, 2014, 10:30:54 PM »
I don't know what it was like when the batch spargers were debating with the continuous spargers over whether it was a comparable technique - I wasn't on rec.craft.brewing or the Home Brew Digest much when that was going on - but if it was anything like the way some of the "BIAB/No-Chill/No-Mashout/20-minute-mash" advocates currently engage in the conversation - adversarial, argumentative, condescending - it's no wonder that even today there seems to be a divide where none need be.

I think the earlier "generation" hadn't yet figured out that as long as you don't use your real name, there are no consequences to being a dick online.

Absolutely. It was ahole-ish trolling at its finest.
Jon H.

Offline biertourist

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #74 on: November 03, 2014, 04:33:01 PM »
Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?

I don't think it's displacing batch sparging, I think it's displacing brewing with extract and steeped grains.  It just makes all grain brewing more accessible and gives it a higher "wife acceptance factor".

Adam