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 10500 times)

Offline majorvices

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2014, 05:03:21 PM »
I don't know that I have too much to add to this convo but for years I fly sparged 5 gallon batches and when I wanted to go up to 10 gallon batches I tried Denny's batch sparge method because it was easier and cheaper to use a cooler with a braid and I didn't have to worry about a manifold or channeling. The method made great beer so I stuck with it.

I also remember the BYO article in which Denny introduced his batch sparging method. In fact, I had an article in BYO either the issue just before or after - can't remember. And that was back when I didn't know who the heck Denny was, or vice versa. :)

Offline denny

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2014, 05:16:30 PM »
I don't know that I have too much to add to this convo but for years I fly sparged 5 gallon batches and when I wanted to go up to 10 gallon batches I tried Denny's batch sparge method because it was easier and cheaper to use a cooler with a braid and I didn't have to worry about a manifold or channeling. The method made great beer so I stuck with it.

I also remember the BYO article in which Denny introduced his batch sparging method. In fact, I had an article in BYO either the issue just before or after - can't remember. And that was back when I didn't know who the heck Denny was, or vice versa. :)

You have no idea how I had to fight to get them to publish that article!  Ashton Lewis was technical editor at the time (maybe he still is).  He kept arguing that batch sparging wouldn't work, even though he'd never tried it and based his opinion on commercial brewing.
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S. cerevisiae

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #47 on: October 24, 2014, 05:24:47 PM »
See, there's part of your problem right there.  There is no reason to assume that what commercial brewers do has any bearing on what homebrewers do.  Commercial breweries have an incentive to design a perfect lautering system.  In the homebrew world, such systems are few and far between.

My comment was in response to Johnathan's claim that batch sparging can be more efficient than continuous sparging.  In inexperienced hands, batch sparging is more efficient than continuous sparging.  That's why batch sparging has grown in popularity.  It lowered the bar to obtaining acceptable results, which has allowed the all-grain ranks to grow to where they are today.  That's a good thing. 

I know several people who gave up on all-grain brewing out of frustration because they could not achieve acceptable extraction rates with continuous sparging and batch sparging as an accepted first-class sparging technique was still a few years off.  One of these guys ran over his mash tun with his Jeep Wrangler out of frustration.  We did not know back then what we know today.  My own early results with the technique were unimpressive to say the least.  I need to check my logs, but I believe that my first extraction rate in PPG was in the mid-teens.  Luckily, that snafu happened when I was still partial mashing about 5lbs of grain and making up the difference using DME.   
 
 

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #48 on: October 24, 2014, 06:26:42 PM »
when I wanted to go up to 10 gallon batches I tried Denny's batch sparge method because it was easier and cheaper to use a cooler with a braid and I didn't have to worry about a manifold or channeling.


False bottom design is an Achilles' heel when continuous sparging.  The use of slotted manifolds or braids and non-cylindrical tuns are the major reasons why home brewers obtain subpar results from continuous sparging. Continuous sparging is only better than batch sparging if a brewer pays attention to physics.  Continuous sparging is an exercise in applied fluid dynamics because it works by displacing the sugars in the mash with water.  Batch sparging works by diluting the sugars in the mash with water.  Equal dilution is much easier to obtain than equal displacement.  Unequal displacement (a.k.a. channeling) is a recipe for subpar results when continuous sparging.

False bottom design was the last thing that I groked about continuous sparging. The percentage of open space and the shape of the holes is critical to maximizing the technique.  The 3/32" on 5/32" domed stainless steel false bottoms that are available on the web have far too much open space to be good continuous sparging false bottoms, and the round holes can clog leading to channeling.  Examining the false bottoms that are used in commercial tuns revealed that they have been 15 and 20 percent open space.  They also have sloted holes, which help prevent clogging.  I decided to take a chance when I noticed that Adventures in Homebrewing was offering a 16% open space false bottom.   My average extraction rate shot from 30/31 PPG to 33/34 PPG with the occasional 35 PPG batch.   I did not make single change in my process other than switching to a different false bottom. 

To put things into context, Briess claims that their average DBFG percentage is 80.5% (http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/Assets/PDFs/Briess_PISB_2RowBrewersMalt.pdf), which translates to 46 x 0.805 = 37 PPG.  An extraction rate of 35 PPG translates to an extraction efficiency of 35 / 37 = 95%.  Now, that is a non-weighted efficiency because there are usually other lower yielding malts in the tun.

With that said, I am not trying to convert anyone to continuous sparging.  Brewers that are happy with their results should stick with what they are doing.  There is nothing more frustrating than switching to another technique and achieving less than desired results.  However, for those who may be curious about trying continuous sparging, mash design is a huge part of the equation.  One cannot throw just anything together and expect good results.  That's the major strength of batch sparging as I see it.  Crush is also important.  However, what constitutes a good crush when continuous sparging is different than what constitutes a good crush when batch sparging.  Double milling or setting the rollers on a 2-roller mill much closer than 1mm usually results in lower extraction rates when continuous sparging because husk integrity is critical to the technique.  A continuously sparged mash bed needs to be stratified with the largest particles on the bottom in order to promote equal flow through the bed.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #49 on: October 24, 2014, 06:27:46 PM »
I don't know that I have too much to add to this convo but for years I fly sparged 5 gallon batches and when I wanted to go up to 10 gallon batches I tried Denny's batch sparge method because it was easier and cheaper to use a cooler with a braid and I didn't have to worry about a manifold or channeling. The method made great beer so I stuck with it.

I also remember the BYO article in which Denny introduced his batch sparging method. In fact, I had an article in BYO either the issue just before or after - can't remember. And that was back when I didn't know who the heck Denny was, or vice versa. :)

You have no idea how I had to fight to get them to publish that article!  Ashton Lewis was technical editor at the time (maybe he still is).  He kept arguing that batch sparging wouldn't work, even though he'd never tried it and based his opinion on commercial brewing.

Really, cause my article was total crap and they published it with no questions asked (paid me a couple hundred bucks, too.)

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #50 on: October 24, 2014, 06:55:02 PM »
Really, cause my article was total crap and they published it with no questions asked (paid me a couple hundred bucks, too.)

I did not know that BYO paid that much for an article.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2014, 06:55:36 PM »
Tangent --- With the rise in popularity of 1 gallon batches, why are we not seeing smaller packs of yeast? I tend to do a series of 1 gallon batches and will create one starter that a divide across multiple batches, but where are the 3 gram dry yeasts?

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2014, 07:03:16 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.
Dave

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #53 on: October 24, 2014, 07:10:24 PM »
I don't know if I like that solution. While my sanitation practices aren't strict, I do sanitize my scissors and the smackpack or vile. I imagine the yeast makers would want to capitalize on the new market. Look at the popularity of those 8oz soda/pop cans. I see those things everywhere.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #54 on: October 24, 2014, 07:19:26 PM »
Yeah, but if a 1-gallon recipe gets contaminated due to poor sanitation... well heck, just make more!  :)
Dave

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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 #55 on: October 24, 2014, 07:23:24 PM »
When I make 2.5 gallons of APA (1.050ish) to experiment with hops, I just pitch a Wyeast pack, no starter. It works out numbers-wise in a ....gulp....yeast calculator. Not as cheap as dry obviously.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #56 on: October 24, 2014, 08:39:15 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.

Tried that twice and both batched ended up contaminated.  Coincidence?  Maybe....
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #57 on: October 24, 2014, 10:13:25 PM »
So THAT'S my problem!  No... I still blame it on the plastic buckets.  Still no problems after switching to glass, even with half packets of old dry yeast.
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Will BIAB displace batch sparging as the method of choice for new brewers?
« Reply #58 on: October 25, 2014, 02:30:13 AM »
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.
Good to know, that's a game changer. Although if you didn't press too much I wonder if astringency would be an issue.
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.
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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 #59 on: October 25, 2014, 01:16:09 PM »
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.
Good to know, that's a game changer. Although if you didn't press too much I wonder if astringency would be an issue.
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.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.