Boil Time for MaxiBIAB Sparge?

Any method that is not a 'full-volume' mash. Usually, but not always, requires more than a single vessel or heat source. Includes traditional, three-vessel brewing.
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Boil Time for MaxiBIAB Sparge?

Post by ZenGeek » 5 years ago

So I've been thinking that the easiest (cheapest) way to jump into BIAB would be by doing MaxiBIAB (5kg in 19-20L pot once I find one), with dunk sparge in buckets.

I just have a question about adding the sparge water to the boil. Most of the AG material that I've read reccommends boiling for at least 60 mins for various reasons. With the MaxiBIAB method, sparge is added over the course of the boil to replace evap, and some of it won't be in there for the full 60 mins.

Is this a problem, or is it one of those things that should be a problem (like liqour/grist ratios, no-chilling etc) but simply isn't?


I guess the other option would be doing double (two single) minis. This would mean full wort boil for correct time, remove need for sparge and buckets - but double the cost of pots, bags, electricity etc.

Thoughts?
Last edited by ZenGeek on 01 Jun 2012, 12:00, edited 3 times in total.


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Post by joshua » 5 years ago

Good Day ZenGeek, when I have done Maxi-Biab, the total water used for the mash and sprage is the amount needed for a 60 minute boil, but, as you have found, it doesn't allow the entire amount to boil 60 minutes.

You may want to thing about finding a pot around 28L/30L, that way you can boil the entire 27L from the mash and sparge volume, all at one time, to end with 23L of wort.

I use my 20L pot for sparge, and a 31L for brewing.
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Post by thylacine » 5 years ago

I brew 15litre batches. I have two 20litre pots sourced from Big W. I mash in with 14litres with a usual grain bill of 3.5kg.
I lose 4L through grain absorption. The second pot has 9L for dunk sparging. I boil for 90minutes. The first 30min has each pot boiling side by side each other. I lose 1L every thirty minutes of boil. I now combine the pots. ie 9L + 8L. My first hop addition occurs after combining pots. Another hour of boiling, two more litres boiled off. 15L at flame-off.

cheers


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Post by PistolPatch » 5 years ago

Hi there ZenGeek,

Another thing you can do in this situation is create a high gravity wort, boil all the wort for at least 60 minutes but add plain water during the boil or in the fermentor.

It's a matter of juggling the numbers. The higher gravity wort you brew, the less efficiency you get. eg, If you want a 1.050 beer, you might need say 5 kgs if you are able to do a full-volume mash of say 35 L. If you could only manage for say, 20 L to 'see' the grain in a mash and a sparge, and 15 L diluted, you may need 8kgs of grain to get the same end result. So. it's a juggling act of what you wish to compromise with - less beer or the added cost of the grain.

The above is not a real example although the new calculator being beta tested here now will allow you to do this juggling and see the effects.

Sometimes, the best way to go is with smaller batches or, if your stovetop will fit it, two pots, side by side and two bags. If you end up liking the process, then you might decide to go for a larger kettle.

:peace:
PP
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Post by nu_brew » 5 years ago

PistolPatch wrote: Another thing you can do in this situation is create a high gravity wort, boil all the wort for at least 60 minutes but add plain water during the boil or in the fermentor.
PP
A question re the calculator and making higher gravity wort?

At the moment I'm no chilling into 17L cubes - if I want 20L into the fermenter can I just set the brew length so I get "20L into fermenter" on the spreadsheet hold back three litres of water and just add this and the cube into the fermenter? Also how do I then work out what my gravities should be?

Josh
Last edited by nu_brew on 01 Jun 2012, 20:15, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by PistolPatch » 5 years ago

The new calculator (BIABacus 1.0) has Maxi_BIAB options which work out gravities etc, etc for you.

With the current calculator, you can do exactly as you say. You will, of course, need to brew a higher gravity beer to allow for the dilution. The maths is pretty simple....

For example, say of you want to end up with 20 litres (17 litres wort plus 3 litres water) at 1.050, this means you need 20 litres x 50 gravity points per litre = 1000 gravity points.

1000 divided by 17 litres = 58.82

Therefore you should set the calculator to 1.059.

Another way to do this is 50 * 20 / 17 = 58.82.

Remember gravity points is just (the specific gravity - 1)*1000. i.e it's basically the back end of specific gravity :).

One more example...

If you wanted to end up with 30 litres at 1.065 OG but 10 of these litres were made up of dilution water then...

65*30/20=97.5 or rounding up = 98

So you'd need to brew enough wort to get 20 litres of wort at a specific gravity of 1.098. Adding the ten litres of water will dilute this back down to 1.065.

:peace:
PP
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Post by PistolPatch » 5 years ago

One other thing I should have mentioned is that when you dilute like this, you also need to increase your hop bill.

The maths is the same as the above.
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Post by stux » 5 years ago

Do a 90 minute boil. Try to add as much sparge as soon as you can, topping up when you can. Don't add any more with 15 minutes to go.

You'll be fine ;)
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Post by ZenGeek » 5 years ago

thylacine wrote:I brew 15litre batches. I have two 20litre pots sourced from Big W. I mash in with 14litres with a usual grain bill of 3.5kg.
I lose 4L through grain absorption. The second pot has 9L for dunk sparging. I boil for 90minutes. The first 30min has each pot boiling side by side each other. I lose 1L every thirty minutes of boil. I now combine the pots. ie 9L + 8L. My first hop addition occurs after combining pots. Another hour of boiling, two more litres boiled off. 15L at flame-off.

cheers
This sounds like a pretty good solution for my particular situation, thanks for all your help guys...

Pistol was strangely accurate when he predicted I was chasing 23L of 1050, so unless I want to do two batches of mini, I'll probably just do the 'standard' MiaxiBIAB but I'll be boiling the sparge while I wait to put it into the main pot.

Before I managed to get to Big W, I saw a huge stock pot at the op shop and bought that for $15 turns out it was only about 12L. I'll use that for dunk sparge, and I'll be sure to grind my grains to hell in a coffee grinder. (FYI coffee grinder goes for about $50 on gumtree, a grain mill goes for about $250 anywhere. Big W pot was 19L for $20)
Last edited by ZenGeek on 04 Jun 2012, 11:01, edited 3 times in total.


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Post by ZenGeek » 5 years ago

PistolPatch wrote:Hi there ZenGeek,

Sometimes, the best way to go is with smaller batches or, if your stovetop will fit it, two pots, side by side and two bags. If you end up liking the process, then you might decide to go for a larger kettle.

:peace:
PP
I'm tempted to use two pots and two bags to do two minis and then combine them in the fermenter, but I'm just going to try the sparge method first. I'll try to document everything. I know how you guys love your stats.

I' love to get into regular BIAB but the cost of pots is insane. Also, I'm not even convinced that the ancient electric stovetop in the place I'm renting will handle mini/maxis. One of the primary criteria for my next place is going to be a kick ass stovetop and brew room, otherwise I'll just upgrade a bit at a time, and I think the full size pot might have to be last...
Last edited by ZenGeek on 04 Jun 2012, 11:11, edited 3 times in total.


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Post by stux » 5 years ago

You don't actually want barley flour. BIAB bags do actually get clogged and the flour forms a clay like trub
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12


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Post by ZenGeek » 5 years ago

stux wrote:You don't actually want barley flour. BIAB bags do actually get clogged and the flour forms a clay like trub

Thanx for the tip stux,

What I had read so far indicated that finer grinds meant increased efficiency, and the BIABags could handle it. I guess what people are getting at is that you want a finer than usual crush. Maybe I'll try maximum coarse on the grinder. It's the sort of thing that I won't really be concerned about buying if it doesn't work, because I'll still have a coffee grinder and it's a quarter the cost of a mill.

I know there are some people who swear by the grinder, but do you think there will be problems even with a 'coarse' grind?
Last edited by ZenGeek on 05 Jun 2012, 08:05, edited 3 times in total.


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Post by stux » 5 years ago

I don't know how course/fine the grind is :)

There won't be any insurmountable problems, so you can go for it, and yes finer will mean more efficiency, but the bags do clog becoming hard to drain and you end up losing efficiency due to increased trub
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12


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Post by joshua » 5 years ago

Good Day ZenGeek, I use a Cusinart burr grinder, It does have a coarse setting and creates a "meal" grind.

A very fine bag will take hours to drain, A coarse bag will give a lot of trub from the flour made from the husks.

The effiency is very good, and may be worth trying with couple of batches.

Have Fun!
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Post by ZenGeek » 5 years ago

Bummer.
It sounds like there's always a tradeoff in this game. I'm much more comfortable with a 'right way'. So if someone can figure out how to make award winning beer with minimal time, cost, and equipment - I'll be a happy man.

Otherwise, I guess make slightly better than extract beer, with slightly cheaper ingredients, for a slightly higher outlay - using a slightly finer grind, and getting slightly more efficiency, but taking slightly more time.... :-)


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Post by thylacine » 5 years ago

Re: "I'm much more comfortable with a 'right way'." & "...how to make award winning beer"

I tweak my recipes until I make brews in which MY taste buds rejoice. I don't care about 'awards' and someone else's buds. (unless the latters is Mrs Rumpoles!)


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Re: Re:

Post by mixtok » 5 years ago

PistolPatch wrote:The higher gravity wort you brew, the less efficiency you get.
Is was wondering is this because is grain mass, water/grain ratio or mashig utilization?
Can you suggest any farther reading in high gravity worts and boil?
Tia
Last edited by mixtok on 05 Jun 2012, 20:03, edited 3 times in total.


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Post by PistolPatch » 5 years ago

Hi there Tia,

The opposite of my quote above is also true... "The lower gravity wort you brew, the higher efficiency you will get."

The easiest analogy I can think of is washing dirty clothes. A high gravity wort you could think of as being a washing machine full of dirty clothes. A low gravity wort could be thought of as a washing machine with one dirty T-shirt. The one-dirty T-shirt is bound to come out clean. The other load will still retain some dirt.

So, it's basically a water to grain ratio thing. However, in BIAB (full-volume brewing) we put all the water in at the beginning. In other words, we fill the washing machine up. In traditional brewing, the same amount of water is used but it is added in stages, say 50%, then 30% then 20% with a drain after each stage.

BIAB's efficiency is a bit better than say traditional batch-sparging as our 'spin cycle' is better - we can suck more of the dirty water out.

Just remember in the analogy above dirt is good! So think sugary clothes instead ;).

Existing software (including the current calculator here) assumes your efficiency is the same for every gravity brew you do which is incorrect. For this reason, most posts on the net ignore the affect of gravity on efficiency. The next calculator we'll see here, the BIABacus 1.0, will have some modifications of the great work stux has done in this area so as your efficiency will auto-adjust depending on the gravity of your brew and a few other things which is a truly excellent feature*.

I can't think of any articles on this that I'd recommend. There are almost none and the only good one I have found is based on a very small sample size from which broad conclusions are made and these relate mainly to traditional brewing.

:peace:
PP

*I think BIABrewer.info, once BIABacus 1.0 is released, intends to set up a system where we can all submit our numbers so as they can continually improve the auto-efficiency formula. Bear in mind though that any estimate in home-brewing will always just be an estimate. Well thought-out estimates are excellent tools though and an auto-efficiency estimate is a big bonus.
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