Sparging - BIAB

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jonnyjarman

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Hi all, after a bit advice..

I have recently started AG BIAB brewing. I have my MM brew kettle which I do my mashing in and another vessel that I boil in on an induction hob. I have read online that some people do not sparge when using a teabag type method and just add all the required water to the mash and boil directly after... Is this OK to do? I am thinking of going down this route and circulating the wort by using my magnetic pump which will help keep temp and also sparge a little bit whilst mashing?
Last brew I did I sparged on top of the bag but it took quite a while and not sure it was as efficient as it could be...
My skills are pretty basic and still getting to grips with everything so any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

BlackRegent

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When I was BIABing with a Klarstein Fullhorn, after the mash I would run the wort off through the tap to a fermenting bucket. I would then do a few batch sparges until I had my pre boil volume in the bucket. I'd then tip it all back in for the boil. I had good efficiency doing it this way. The only downside is you can't bring the wort up to the boil while sparging but it didn't really add that much time to the brew day. Obviously you can't do this if your kettle doesn't have a tap
 

jonnyjarman

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When I was BIABing with a Klarstein Fullhorn, after the mash I would run the wort off through the tap to a fermenting bucket. I would then do a few batch sparges until I had my pre boil volume in the bucket. I'd then tip it all back in for the boil. I had good efficiency doing it this way. The only downside is you can't bring the wort up to the boil while sparging but it didn't really add that much time to the brew day. Obviously you can't do this if your kettle doesn't have a tap
Yes I have a tap to that is an option. Don't know why but I just thought it would save a bit time if I put the total amount of water in witht he grains, and just circulate the mash with the pump and keep the temp as consistant as I could... think that would work?
 

emerson909

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Yes it works perfectly. I don’t sparge and mash with full volume. I recirc during the mash and do a mash out for 20 mins with a good stir before removing the grains. I consistently get 70% mash efficiency, bit lower for higher gravity brews. Personally I don’t see the point in adding extra steps to increase efficiency for the sake of a few hundred grams of grain
 

jonnyjarman

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Yes it works perfectly. I don’t sparge and mash with full volume. I recirc during the mash and do a mash out for 20 mins with a good stir before removing the grains. I consistently get 70% mash efficiency, bit lower for higher gravity brews. Personally I don’t see the point in adding extra steps to increase efficiency for the sake of a few hundred grams of grain
Cool. I think I will give it a go like this and see where it gets me.
 

emerson909

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The only thing I have to watch for on my system is the recirculation rate, too low and I don’t get a good temperature control, too fast and I don’t get enough flow through the bag. Currently looking at solutions to this, think I’m going to split the recirc flow between the lid and the whirlpool port in the side
 

Brewnaldo

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I do BIAB and what I do is mash in 26 litres, near the end fire a few kettles into a fermenter bucket and top up with cold water to 10 litres, dunk sparge in that then make the boil volume up to 28-30 litres.
 

foxy

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Cool. I think I will give it a go like this and see where it gets me.
It will get you a better end product, I too can't see the point of an extended brewday, the time saved sparging can be better spent in other ways.
 

jonnyjarman

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Thanks guys, I will give a few things a try. Tough getting in brew days with a newborn these days but got one pencilled in for Sunday hopefully. Cheers
 

Covrich

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WIth no sparge it is so much easier and saves you time I even do it now i got an all in one. Brew days 4-5 hours done
 

BlackRegent

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WIth no sparge it is so much easier and saves you time I even do it now i got an all in one. Brew days 4-5 hours done
@Covrich
Can I ask what size all in one you have?

I've got the 35L Brewzilla. What kind of batch size will I be limited to if I do no sparge? Also, do you top up with water at the end so you can have a larger grain bill?

I'm interested in trying no sparge to see if it does lead to a real improvement in the beer, although I can't see it really saving me much time.
 

peebee

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"BIAB" was originally conceived as a "no-sparge" and "full-boil-volume-mash" technique (although there was earlier similar "bag" methods but they usually included the "sparge" step). People twist the BIAB idea for two main reasons: 1) Their boiler isn't big enough to hold all the grain in a bag along with all the water to make the brew, which is fair enough, or 2) They have the completely rubbish belief that no-sparging will make for lower efficiency (efficiency will drop a little bit but you have to wonder at the effort needed to save such a scrap of extract) or worse still some people think it makes inferior beer, and some people think Martians exist, that they are green and travel around in flying saucers.

I know one recipe builder at least (Beersmith) has a BIAB mode where it calculates water volumes for a "full-boil-volume-mash".
 

peebee

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@Covrich
Can I ask what size all in one you have?

I've got the 35L Brewzilla. What kind of batch size will I be limited to if I do no sparge? Also, do you top up with water at the end so you can have a larger grain bill?

I'm interested in trying no sparge to see if it does lead to a real improvement in the beer, although I can't see it really saving me much time.
If I might butt in ...

I wrote up a recent session of mine in a Grainfather. 35L capacity but only 30L mash capacity (before the malt-pipe overflows): PeeBee's Brewday - Session Beer (Crisis Beer!)

I do "top up" if the grain bill is big. There's about 0.6L top up in the linked example (a 22L, 1.042, brew). Obviously there is more top up in a stronger brew. 1.056 is currently the strongest I've made in a GF using this method. I guess over 1.060 will see unacceptable drops in efficiency? But you can make smaller batches or, go back to sparging!

I don't think there are "improvements" to the finished beer, but brewday is a lot less hassle even if you think it wont save time.
 

BlackRegent

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@peebee
Very helpful. Thanks for your input.

The only reason I don't think it will save me time is because I start getting it up to boil when I start the sparge, which I've invariably finished before the boil starts to roll. I guess adding 70 degree water will slow the boil a bit, but we're talking minutes here!
 

Brewnaldo

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I'm in the boiler not big enough bracket.

Example, I just mashed in 26 litres this morning and the grain hoovered up about 7 or 8 litres. To get full boil volume I would need a 45 litre boiler probably. My "sparge" is basically a wort recovery step I suppose.
 

Covrich

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my hopcat which is basically the same thing is 45L which has plenty of room full volume.. I used to use a 50l stock pot before which again had loads of space. But I think you are looking 40L north for a normal 23L without a sparge
 

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