Author Topic: BIAB spent grain  (Read 1788 times)

Offline deadpoetic0077

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BIAB spent grain
« on: July 27, 2016, 02:02:44 PM »
Good morning!

I have been reading up on doing the BIAB method of brewing, and I have a question about whether you should let the bag drip and drain most of the water into your kettle, squeeze it out (which some have said releases unwanted tannins into the water) or sparge the grains. What are the benefits/ drawbacks of these. Obviously sparging could increase efficiency. Would squeezing the water out of the grain bag release unwanted tannins? is it best to just not worry about efficiency and let the bag drain into the kettle for just a few minutes?

Thanks!

Offline EnkAMania

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2016, 02:05:20 PM »
Tannins aren't an issue, do whatever you prefer.  I put a refrigerator shelf over the kettle and push down with a pot lid to get every last drop.
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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2016, 02:15:24 PM »
I think the "tannins" thing is a bit of a crock.  However squeezing can indeed cause starch haze in the final beer if your mash hasn't fully converted.

Personally I incorporate a dunk sparge for improved efficiency.  And I always, always, always add every single drop from the draining of the bag.  Without any squeezing required.  Often times 30 or 45 minutes into the boil, I am still finding a cup or two of wort below the grain bag and I simply add it to the boil.  This will maximize efficiency.  Alternatively, sometimes I have saved the extra wort for making yeast starters, which is a great purpose for it as well but sacrifices 1 or 2 points of efficiency.

Caveat: Efficiency really isn't all THAT important anyway.  Consistency is way more important.  If you can skip a sparge or do a sloppy sparge and still get more than 70% efficiency on a consistent basis, then you've already won, keep on doing what you're doing.

I really am not a big advocate for squeezing the bag though.  It just isn't necessary.  Get yourself a colander and let gravity do all the work for you.  Then there's negligible chance for squeezing anything weird out of the grains, whether that's starch or tannins or anything else.

Great questions.  Cheers.
Dave

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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2016, 02:30:21 PM »
I think the "tannins" thing is a bit of a crock.  However squeezing can indeed cause starch haze in the final beer if your mash hasn't fully converted.

Personally I incorporate a dunk sparge for improved efficiency.  And I always, always, always add every single drop from the draining of the bag.  Without any squeezing required.  Often times 30 or 45 minutes into the boil, I am still finding a cup or two of wort below the grain bag and I simply add it to the boil.  This will maximize efficiency.  Alternatively, sometimes I have saved the extra wort for making yeast starters, which is a great purpose for it as well but sacrifices 1 or 2 points of efficiency.

Caveat: Efficiency really isn't all THAT important anyway.  Consistency is way more important.  If you can skip a sparge or do a sloppy sparge and still get more than 70% efficiency on a consistent basis, then you've already won, keep on doing what you're doing.

I really am not a big advocate for squeezing the bag though.  It just isn't necessary.  Get yourself a colander and let gravity do all the work for you.  Then there's negligible chance for squeezing anything weird out of the grains, whether that's starch or tannins or anything else.

Great questions.  Cheers.

Thanks! That helped a lot! That's a great idea using the drippings for a starter, however, how long can this be stored. I usually only brew three or four times a year with my current situation. Can the wort be stored for a few months in the fridge if its sealed well?

Secondly, if I am not worried about haze like with darker beers or wheat beers, should be OK to squeeze just based off of how you explained this right?

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2016, 03:01:44 PM »
Wort needs to be sterilized if stored for long periods (think longer than a few days).  Many people can starter wort using pressure cooker methods.  You can't do a water bath due the fact some of the worst bugs that get in your wort need very high temps to kill.

I wouldn't trust just sealing it up and putting it in the fridge to give me usable starter wort 3 or 4 times a year.

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Offline Visor

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2016, 03:16:02 PM »
   Bear in mind that if you sparge, the wort you collect from the bag after the sparge will be fairly low gravity, probably not high enough to make a decent starter.
   As for how long the starter wort is safe when refrigerated, I just brewed a batch yesterday and used a starter that was reserved from a brew on 3/27, that's 4 months. The starter took off well and the batch is bubbling nicely, we'll see in a week or so whether it is good or foul. When reserving wort for starters or kraeusen I always boil the wort and pour it at boiling temps into sterilized 1/2 gallon juice jugs, put the lids on, turn them upside down and chill as quickly as possible in a water bath. I'll watch here for others with more knowledge and experience to explain what I am doing wrong, and why it's not a good idea.
   From my limited experience BIAB is the only way to go, at least if you have a good quality bag.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 03:57:56 PM »
I freeze wort from the last runnings of the sparge.  Defrost, boil, pitch yeast, and there's your starter.

I don't believe that a lower gravity starter is a problem.
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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 04:02:41 PM »
Thanks! That helped a lot! That's a great idea using the drippings for a starter, however, how long can this be stored. I usually only brew three or four times a year with my current situation. Can the wort be stored for a few months in the fridge if its sealed well?

Secondly, if I am not worried about haze like with darker beers or wheat beers, should be OK to squeeze just based off of how you explained this right?

Great questions again.  Wort will only keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks before it begins to go sour all by itself.  Plus it's prone to botulism bacteria if not fermented for a few months -- potentially dangerous.  Freezing it might be a perfect option though.

Sure, if you don't care about haze, then squeeze away.  Would work well for wheat beers.
Dave

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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 07:03:21 PM »
   Bear in mind that if you sparge, the wort you collect from the bag after the sparge will be fairly low gravity, probably not high enough to make a decent starter.
   As for how long the starter wort is safe when refrigerated, I just brewed a batch yesterday and used a starter that was reserved from a brew on 3/27, that's 4 months. The starter took off well and the batch is bubbling nicely, we'll see in a week or so whether it is good or foul. When reserving wort for starters or kraeusen I always boil the wort and pour it at boiling temps into sterilized 1/2 gallon juice jugs, put the lids on, turn them upside down and chill as quickly as possible in a water bath. I'll watch here for others with more knowledge and experience to explain what I am doing wrong, and why it's not a good idea.
   From my limited experience BIAB is the only way to go, at least if you have a good quality bag.

excellent! Thanks!

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2016, 07:05:02 PM »
Thanks! That helped a lot! That's a great idea using the drippings for a starter, however, how long can this be stored. I usually only brew three or four times a year with my current situation. Can the wort be stored for a few months in the fridge if its sealed well?

Secondly, if I am not worried about haze like with darker beers or wheat beers, should be OK to squeeze just based off of how you explained this right?

Great questions again.  Wort will only keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks before it begins to go sour all by itself.  Plus it's prone to botulism bacteria if not fermented for a few months -- potentially dangerous.  Freezing it might be a perfect option though.

Sure, if you don't care about haze, then squeeze away.  Would work well for wheat beers.

Freezing it may be a great option then, looks pretty easy from what /u Joe Sr. says! For starters, how long should I let it sit before pitching the starter? until I see some activity?

Thanks again for all the help!

Online dmtaylor

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2016, 07:25:42 PM »
how long should I let it sit before pitching the starter? until I see some activity?

Yeast starters are most effective if you can let them ferment for a good 12-24 hours before using them.  Definitely wait until you see some good high foam on top before using.  Otherwise the yeast could be dead and you wouldn't know it.
Dave

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Offline Visor

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2016, 02:46:28 AM »
   I'd be the last to claim any significant level of expertise, but if it aint putting a bubble through the airlock of blowoff tube every few seconds I won't pitch it. In fact I won't start the brew until my starter is chugging along like I think it should. Sorry, still some of that 80's Neolithic brewing thing tainting my thinking.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 02:32:13 PM »
how long should I let it sit before pitching the starter? until I see some activity?

Yeast starters are most effective if you can let them ferment for a good 12-24 hours before using them.  Definitely wait until you see some good high foam on top before using.  Otherwise the yeast could be dead and you wouldn't know it.
   I'd be the last to claim any significant level of expertise, but if it aint putting a bubble through the airlock of blowoff tube every few seconds I won't pitch it. In fact I won't start the brew until my starter is chugging along like I think it should. Sorry, still some of that 80's Neolithic brewing thing tainting my thinking.


Thanks to the both of you! I'm doing a bit more reading about yeast starters now.

Any reason you couldn't do it with dry yeast? seems like everyone keeps talking about doing this with vials of yeast. Any significant difference between dry packs, or vials? or is it just convenience?

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 02:36:55 PM »
Dry yeast doesn't need a starter and it can be detrimental to them.  They're processed is such a way that they should have all the reserves they need to get right to work.

For stronger batches, maybe pitch two packs of dry yeast, but they don't need a starter.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: BIAB spent grain
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2016, 02:40:31 PM »
Dry yeast doesn't need a starter and it can be detrimental to them.  They're processed is such a way that they should have all the reserves they need to get right to work.

For stronger batches, maybe pitch two packs of dry yeast, but they don't need a starter.

I just read that right after I posted that last post. But is there any difference between the two? Do some yeasts only come in liquid and others only in dry?