Author Topic: Grain Crush versus BIAB  (Read 324 times)

Offline Mr_Beer

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Grain Crush versus BIAB
« on: March 23, 2019, 02:32:57 PM »
Because of space and time issues I have settled on BIAB methods.

At a recent local brew club meeting one seemingly knowledgeable member suggested that if the grain crush is finer then the chance for stuck sparges increases and problems abound.  He said that he adjusted his equipment and crushed his grain much finer and the effect was to increase his efficiency. 

Since I am focused on BIAB my thought is that a finer grain crush would increase my efficiency which currently is in the low 60s. 

What is the consensus of the experts here regarding that approach? 

Offline Bob357

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 363
  • Consensus means nothing to me. I am who I am.
Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2019, 04:21:11 PM »
A finer crush is the norm for BIAB. I have my mill set to .025" and get about 82% mash efficiency. The bag reduces the chance of a stuck mash to almost zero. Crush finer, extend your mash time by a few minutes and squeeze the bag. You'll get efficiency that rivals batch sparging.
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline Mr_Beer

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2019, 04:47:39 PM »
Thank you Bob357.

You provided actual quantifiable data -- very useful.  I found out that my local HB shop is crushing at .40+.  Probably explains why my efficiency is so low.

Offline Richard

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2019, 10:09:00 PM »
My results are very close to Bob's. My gap is set to 0.026" and I get 80% efficiency with BIAB.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3251
Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2019, 11:22:03 AM »
.030” and BIAB.  Mash press for me (using a lid from a different pot that fits on the inside of the mash tun and squeeze down and push wort through the bag.). Pretty solid efficiencies 75-80%.  A little extra grain at most - trial and error will dial it in for you.

Your LHBS crush is not unusual, though, really.  After all, they are selling grain....
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Online Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3933
Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2019, 11:37:15 AM »



Your LHBS crush is not unusual, though, really.  After all, they are selling grain....

Yep, they are selling grain, so (cynically speaking) it benefits them to crush it for lower efficiency to sell you more.  Only slightly less cynically, they also want to ensure beginners don't get a set mash, so they won't get discouraged and the shop will gain a repeat customer.   Practically speaking,  they are probably also selling mills, so if you want a different crush and they won't adjust it for you, that's the next sale that will benefit both parties.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Mr_Beer

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2019, 11:54:32 AM »
Thanks again to everyone who provided some great views and quantifiable answers.

My 'local home brew shop' is 120 miles away and will not do custom crushing so I purchased a grain mill.  Lots to choose from and it cost about 35% less than the HBS and no tax.  Their consumables are also higher priced but everyone tries to deal with local providers if possible. 

They probably lost future sales since I now have the freedom to go anywhere for grain and other consumables.  Bad bargain for them if my experience is mirrored by others and they go elsewhere

Offline Richard

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 297
Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2019, 05:16:41 PM »
You can now also purchase larger quantities and store them uncrushed for months, further lowering your costs.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's