Author Topic: Is my BIAB approach faulty?  (Read 1759 times)

Offline Laminarman

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Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« on: March 01, 2017, 12:55:16 AM »
I'm doing BIAB in a SMALL batch, one gallon net.  Several reasons for this: recipe development, space, creativity, trying all grain without going all in.  My last batch has a strange odor, maybe cardboard but I might be reading too many articles.  I did not do too much oxygen exposure with the hot wort, i.e. didn't "aerate" and was careful. I have read some critical comments about BIAB and I'm not sure if that's with large batch limitations or what, but if I give my process in a nutshell please tell me if I'm either going about it wrong or limiting myself severely.

I mash on the stove in a 3 gallon stainless stock pot at specified temp.  It stays pretty damn close to temp when covered and wrapped, use a remote digital thermometer.

I pull the loosely tied bag out and gently sparge with the proper temp water.  I do this by placing the bag, which I open up atop a stainless colander, and pour S L O W L Y the sparge water over with a ladle to get the correct volume.

I do use corrected water acc'd to Brun'Water.

I DO squeeze the bag slightly to get more out of the grain but don't crush it down hard fearing tannins.

I follow the recipe through boil.

Cool with a copper chiller.

Ferment in a 2 gallon bucket then secondary in one gallon glass jug.

I find this easy and I believe they call it a single sparge or single infusion mash??  Is doing it this way rather than a small cooler and false bottom going to give worse results?  Again, I'm looking at recipe development hoping I can scale up with Beersmith later if I adopt full grain.  Also, it's single mash temp, not doing any step temps or processes I've yet to wrap my mind about.  Just not sure if I'm limiting myself with this approach.  Hope I'm clear and thank you.

Offline tonyccopeland

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 01:43:29 AM »
I don't see anything wrong with your process. I will say the proteins and trub in wort can give is a cloudy and darker color but after the yeast make the beer it clears up often in the bottle nicely.

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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 02:12:35 AM »
What Tony said.  I hope your process is good because it's what I do except at 6 gallons with propane.  And it will be a long time before that process is limiting you.
The "strange odor" might be something in that recipe.  Can you post the recipe and beer target?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Laminarman

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 11:37:13 AM »
Trying to figure out how the heck to get the recipe out of Beersmith before work without typing it all out : (  I can post it later the old fashioned way.

Offline Laminarman

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 02:07:36 AM »
OK, gonna just type it, remember this is only a 1 gallon BIAB batch

White Labs WLP550
1.1 oz caramel/crystal
1 oz caramunich
1lb munich malt light
1lb Belg. 2 row pilsner
1 oz biscuit malt
.15 oz glacier boil 30
.22 oz fuggle boil 30
.25 oz glacier flame out
.25 oz fuggle flame out

Plastic bucket primary for 5 days or so, glass carboy for secondary for 10 days or so, rack, bottle, condition. 

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 02:39:32 AM »
OK, gonna just type it, remember this is only a 1 gallon BIAB batch

White Labs WLP550
1.1 oz caramel/crystal
1 oz caramunich
1lb munich malt light
1lb Belg. 2 row pilsner
1 oz biscuit malt
.15 oz glacier boil 30
.22 oz fuggle boil 30
.25 oz glacier flame out
.25 oz fuggle flame out

Plastic bucket primary for 5 days or so, glass carboy for secondary for 10 days or so, rack, bottle, condition.
Boy, I dunno...while secondaries are deemed no longer necessary, I can't imagine that transferring from a 2 g. primary to a 1 g. secondary would introduce enough O2 to make the beer smell like cardboard.  Denny...Jon...Bryan...anybody ???
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Laminarman

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 11:57:01 AM »
That was a one bottle sample so I'm going to give the beer another try in about a week.  I may skip the secondary next time around.  FYI I sourced the original recipe from this link, and modified it slightly using Beersmith:

https://beerandbrewing.com/V5pJaiQAAIwBKMCC/article/make-your-best-belgian-pale-ale


Offline Laminarman

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2017, 12:07:24 PM »
Having described my process, now I'm confused as to what I choose as my mash profile in Beersmith.  I do sparge, so the BIAB profile with full mash volume may be wrong?  Cripes...

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 04:10:57 PM »
If you really are tasting paper or cardboard that signals oxidation. try a batch without the transfer to secondary and see if you notice a difference.

Nothing wrong with your mash procedure that I can see. I'm not even all that careful to avoid splashing hot wort and don't get paper like oxidation effects.

I assume you are using fresh grain.
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Offline Pricelessbrewing

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 04:53:47 PM »
Having described my process, now I'm confused as to what I choose as my mash profile in Beersmith.  I do sparge, so the BIAB profile with full mash volume may be wrong?  Cripes...

I've long since given up on beersmiths mash profiles, since the sparge volume will need to be adjusted for every single brew I just don't see how it makes sense to have standardized "profiles". Make the initial step temperature a variable on the recipe page, and calculate the sparge volume based on a mash thickness input on the recipe page. Then you would only need like 5 "profiles" and not 50... /endrant

I use my own mash calculator for volumes, temps and efficiency calculations. Google priceless biabcalc if you're interested in it.


Offline SilverZero

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 05:51:45 PM »
Nothing out of the ordinary with your procedure. Sounds like you are being careful about your squeezing and sparging. I'm not! I squeezed the CRAP out of my first 2 BIAB 1-gallon batches. I got almost all of the water I put into the mash back out (I did a full-volume mash, something else you might consider if you have a 3-gallon pot).  The first batch tasted great at bottling.

Do you ferment in a dark place? Light can affect the flavor if it's in clear glass out in the open. How long are you doing your primary? Give the yeast 2 weeks on your next batch before bottling, skip the secondary. Are you using an airlock? People do open fermentations, but if you think oxygen might be getting in, do whatever you can to keep air out during fermentation.

You might also just have some stale ingredients or a recipe that doesn't balance well.

Offline Laminarman

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2017, 06:07:50 PM »
I appreciate all the help.  To answer a few questions. Yes I'm using fresh grain (well, maybe crushed a few days before but kept sealed in ziplock bags.  Fermented in a plastic bucket in my office which even in full daylight has very little window light.  It is not dark 24-7 in there but it stays pretty consistently at 70 degrees in there. I did use an airlock.  I will skip the secondary next time around, ferment in a darker location too (although it might be a little bit cooler.) I am altering the recipe next time around. 

Offline SilverZero

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2017, 06:35:30 PM »
I appreciate all the help.  To answer a few questions. Yes I'm using fresh grain (well, maybe crushed a few days before but kept sealed in ziplock bags.  Fermented in a plastic bucket in my office which even in full daylight has very little window light.  It is not dark 24-7 in there but it stays pretty consistently at 70 degrees in there. I did use an airlock.  I will skip the secondary next time around, ferment in a darker location too (although it might be a little bit cooler.) I am altering the recipe next time around.

Just a couple of thoughts: If it's an opaque bucket, you're probably blocking enough light, so that might be out. However, if the temp in the room is 70F, the temperature in the wort while the yeast are at their height of activity could be significantly higher (I've heard up to 10F above ambient). That could be lending some off-flavors and/or higher alcohols, depending on the yeast strain. Temperature control might be in order if you can't find any other contributing factors.

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2017, 03:59:12 PM »
Regarding not squeezing the bag too hard for fear of tannins, I squeeze mine as hard as I can to extract the most wort possible.  No-one has mentioned tasting tannins in my brews.

Squeeze away and cheers!
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Is my BIAB approach faulty?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2017, 04:31:07 PM »
I also do not see anything wrong with what you are explaining you do for your BIAB. Sounds like pretty much what so many others do. Only questions I have are 1) What is your sparge water temp? If you are pouring water over the grains, you don't want to use to hot of water. You say you use Bru'n Water, are you checking mash ph to make sure you are in the proper range? And last how much yeast are you using for a 1 gal batch? Are the flavors/aromas kind of rubbery, or like raw meat by chance?

I would skip the 2ndary, no need for it and it's an added step. Keep it in the plastic bucket for fermentation (it's a food grade bucket right)? And also keep temps more in the mid 60's than the mid 70's.