BIAB in the boiler, no sparge

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by Twostage, May 21, 2015.

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  1. May 21, 2015 #1

    Twostage

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    A thought occurred reading a post about needing a vessel for a sparge and I thought 'why not sparge in the boiler' which led to thinking about mash and sparge in the boiler. Clibit had mentioned before about not doing a sparge so I did some googling. Doing a no-sparge BIAB seems to be common in the US and Australia. In fact there is a setting in brewmate for BIAB that assumes no sparge. So I gave it a go.

    Recipe was for a Czech pilsner adapted from the Greg Hughes book.

    5kg pilsner malt (actually British lager malt)
    100g of saaz 50, 30,20 at 0, 10, flame out
    20 litres (roughly) from 25 litres of morrisons shepley spring (almost no minerals, ideal for a lager).

    So heated water to 68 and started to put the grains in
    [​IMG]
    Discovered that 25 litres of water plus 5kg of malt was too much so had to drain off about a litre. Did a quick refractometer test and it was already 1032 and this was before I'd finished putting the grains in.
    Put the lid on and mashed, didn't insulate and it only lost a degree in the hour.
    [​IMG]
    After the hour raised the temp to 75 and left it there for about 5 mins and then lifted out the bag using a pulley. Gave it a squeeze.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I diluted the wort a bit to bring up the volume and then on with the boil.
    In terms of efficiency I used slightly more grains than the recipe 5kg instead of 4.66 but ended up with the same volume of wort. The recipe was for 1050 using normal AG and I got 1058 so I don't think I lost anything in terms of efficiency.
    Seems to work fine.
    One confession though, broke the unwritten law about drinking HB whilst making HB. Didn't get chance so had a quick one after to celebrate :p
     
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  2. May 21, 2015 #2

    GHW

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    Funnily enough I was going to ask about this myself, as I'm planning to do no sparge biab. Read about it on some is biab forum. They had some half arsed analogy that didn't really make sense, but the upshot was that if you mash with full volume then you don't need to sparge. Presumably the water has enough capacity to take the sugars in solution without getting saturated.

    Will def give this a go.
     
  3. May 21, 2015 #3

    Covrich

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    Yeah don't they call it a mash out, where you use the full volume then raise the temp to sparge temp for 10 or so minutes before removing the grain bag.

    When I get my boiler I will probably do that.

    I don't have a pulley so not sure how I am going to do the lift and squeeze.. might have to do that in a pot and dump in back in..
     
  4. May 21, 2015 #4

    clibit

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    Biab is not meant to have a sparge, but some BIBets do one, some don't. Raising the temp of the mash at the end is called mashing out and should be done whatever AG method you use. Either by adding very hot water or by applying heat. It stops the enzyme activity and loosens the mash, helping the sugars to be removed from the grain.
     
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  5. May 21, 2015 #5

    MyQul

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    I think the only reason for a BIABer to sparge is if your not getting great efficiency so you dont actually have to do one* But of course you can get around this by doing what two stage has done by adding a bit more grain. There are other things too that help you up your efficciency.

    - As clibit has mentioned, do a mash out
    -Stir the grains during the mash - I found this helps quite a bit
    - Squeeze the bag like it owes you money and/or do an extra long lauter - you'd be surprised how much extra wort come out of the bag if you leave it in a bucket on top of a colender for 30-40 mins


    * I really do have to do one as I'm making a contentrated wort and with out the sparge I wouldn't hit my numbers
     
  6. May 21, 2015 #6

    clibit

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    Chris Colby recommends stirring the mash every 8 minutes. I don't, I usually just stir well at the end. I want to keep the mash temp stable and not be faffing around trying to up the temperature during the mash . But stirring certainly helps, and a stir at half way is probably a good idea.
     
  7. May 21, 2015 #7

    Covrich

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    On my HBC kit I every 20 mins or so I stuck my spoon and and gave it a bit of a whisk but like you say I ended up having to lift the bag and put the gas back on.. bit of a faff..

    I must admit I never did a mash out before just removed the grains and sparged in my FV with hot water.. I would have to lift the bag while it heated up for 5 or so minutes:lol:
     
  8. May 21, 2015 #8

    Cwrw666

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    In the original post Twostage had to top up his boiler after draining his bag. I have to do the same as my boiler is just a bit too small for a 5 gallon brew. But if you have to top up why not do a sparge anyway, isn't it just sensible to get a bit more sugar from your grains than just top up with water? It's not as if it's a lot of work - I use my FV, two kettlefuls of boiling and one of cold water, dunk the bag in, give it a poke for a minute or two then hoist it over the boiler again (I have a screw eye in the beam above where I work, makes this a lot easier, a pulley would be even better) to drain and also tip in the sparge water.
     
  9. May 21, 2015 #9

    clibit

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    I agree, if you can't fit the full volume of water in the mash, use the extra to sparge.

    I have started using the heat to raise the mash to mashout temperature (I used to add boiling water), and this seems to work well - i have the heat on it's lowest setting and stir the whole time. I the lift the bag and do a sparge - either pouring hot water through the grains in a colander, or by placing the grain bag in another pot of sparge temperature water for ten minutes and stirring. Depends on the batch size, the recipe and possibly what mood I'm in, I think!

    I have a mashtun, which I'm not using much as I only use it for brews around 5 gallons, which is not often these days. I occasionally make a large batch of wort and then split it to make different beers with, and then I use the mashtun. I'm planning my next brew along these lines, to make 26 litres and split it into 6 x 4.5 litre batches using demijohns!

    I wouldn't do 5 gallon BIAB myself, it's much easier and less messy with a mashtun I reckon, though I'm sure a lot of BIABers would wonder what I'm on about. A mashtun can be very cheap and simple. I don't have an outhouse, or a horse, and I don't want screw-eyes, pulleys, horses or tug-o-war teams in my kitchen, ta! :hat:
     
  10. May 21, 2015 #10

    MyQul

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    @clibit every 8 minutes! I think that would be way too much. Like you say doing that much and your going to lose heat in your mash. I mash for 40mins and stir at the half way stage once and lose 0C. Most people do a longer mash than me, a stir every 30 mins for 60/90 min mashes is a good amount I think.

    @covrich I you ever find you need to heat your mash up, just make sure you continually stir the mash while applying heat, you don't need to lif the bag out. As long as you continually stir you wont burn/melt your bag - done this loads of times

    @cwrw666 I have found that this 'poking' the mash is super effective at washing the suger off the grains. I have tried repeatedly lifting the bag, letting the wort drain into a bucket then dunking and liftng again. As you can imagine quite knackering and more like weight lifting than brewing :lol:. Since i've started just vigourously jabbing my mash paddle about in the grains and sparge water for about 5 mins. I've had quite a decent increase in effeciency
     
  11. May 21, 2015 #11

    clibit

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  12. May 21, 2015 #12

    MyQul

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    Ah! I see.
     
  13. May 21, 2015 #13

    Twostage

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    Yes, you do that or put the bag in a big colander and put it back over the boiler. I actually lifted the bag out by hand and used the pulley system to hold it in place. I found the squeezing really effective with it dangling - squeeze the top, squeeze the middle, squeeze the bottom and a load of wort came out. Repeat.
     
  14. May 21, 2015 #14

    clibit

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    After all that Squeeze action make sure your bottles are Labelled With Love. :thumb:
     
  15. May 21, 2015 #15

    Twostage

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    Yes, I could imagine the Missus getting jealous :mrgreen:

    Serious point though re: labeling. I currently just cut up address labels with some cryptic letters denoting what it is and the ABV% and stick it on the shoulder of the bottle. I should really start making decent labels, I should also get some decent bottles.:oops:
     
  16. May 21, 2015 #16

    Twostage

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    Maybe you would but I don't know what efficiency you are getting.

    I put the extra grains in because I didn't want to have 400gms kicking about, not to compensate for any loss of efficiency. I went back in to Brewmate and put 5kg into the recipe and it calculated 1054 whereas I actually got 1058. I had to up the efficiency setting to 75% to get 1058. Like I said, depends on what you are getting now.

    You're right about the extra wort coming out of the bag, when I checked the bucket I'd put the grain bag in after I'd finished there was a good half litre in there, even after all my squeezing. Maybe I should start doing nano-brews :smile:
     
  17. May 21, 2015 #17

    Twostage

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    You could but I don't have a kettle in my 'brewery'. And I must admit part of doing it this way was see what it was like to use a single vessel - just the boiler.
     
  18. May 21, 2015 #18

    Twostage

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    I made a new grain bag for this brew, my existing tablecloth/doiley thing would have been too small. Realised it made more sense to make a tube by stitching (sounds more manly than sewing) two sides of a voile (spoiled it) together. It already had a folded over bit at the top to thread a cord through then I tied another piece of cord around the bottom in a bow. So when I'd finished I dumped the bag in a 10 litre food container, reached under and pulled the cord which undid the bow then lifted the bag and all the grain was left in the container.:razz: Rinsing a grain bag that is open top and bottom is a lot easier too.

    [​IMG]

    As I'm a refractometer user I took readings at various points in the process (so easy, just need a few drops). Wish I'd taken more but there are other things to do. I was stirring about every 15 mins or so. Anyway :-

    Before I'd finished doughing in - 8 (1032)
    after 45 mins 9.4 (1038)
    after 1 hour 12.2 (1049)
    After the mashout 12.8 (1052)
    After the squeeze and dilute 12.5 (1050), wish I'd taken one before the dilute :doh:
     
  19. May 21, 2015 #19

    clibit

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    Just lacking a nice motif now, your bag. :wink:
     
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  20. May 21, 2015 #20

    Twostage

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    Don't tempt me.:-D
     

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