The Misinformation Thread

Post #1 made 5 years ago
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No one likes to say, "You got it wrong", however not identifying poor information or misinformation can have ongoing ramifications. This is one of the several major reasons why was created. This thread is a place where you can point out errors either here or on other forums.

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Last edited by BIABrewer on 03 Feb 2014, 19:26, edited 1 time in total.

Post #2 made 5 years ago
Good idea. This article confuses full-volume brewing with no-sparge brewing.

Here's the right info.

Do I get points for this?
MODNOTE: Edited the above a little Tom to make it a little clearer. Not sure about the points but keep posting :).
Last edited by tomm on 03 Feb 2014, 20:36, edited 1 time in total.

Post #3 made 5 years ago
It's Friday. I better post here before I start drinking :lol:. Furthermore, I think I better always stay out of this thread because I could never stop writing on this :roll:. Here's why...

I have a Google Alert set up for anything relating to BIAB. Each day I get an email with links to places around the web that have something BIAB-related. I hardly ever click on the links because it is so depressing. The last time I had a look I saw someone doing a ten minute mash plus the usual posts on people sparging with BIAB and no one understanding efficiency, recipes etc etc.

Here's hopefully my one and only contribution to this thread...

[center]A Brief Summary of Common Misinformation/Myths[/center]

Myth: BIAB is anything where mashing is done in a bag.
Fact: The original pioneers of BIAB always intended BIAB to be single vessel, full volume brewing method where all water required for the brew is added to the grain at the start of the mash.

Logic: As soon as you vary from this formula, you need additional vessels and heat sources which is exactly the thing that BIAB wants to avoid.

Links on This: To follow when I get time.

Myth: BIAB is no-sparge brewing.
Fact: BIAB does a 'passive' or 'hidden' sparge.

Logic: "No-sparge" brewing is a technique that is often bastardised as Tom pointed out in the post above. In proper "no-sparge" brewing, the water normally used in a sparge, never sees the grain. It is added as a pre-boil dilution directly to the kettle and this, 'not sucking the last drop out of the grain' or anywhere near it is said to produce the highest quality wort. This is why "no-sparge" brewing is very inefficient as not much water washes the grain. In BIAB though, all water (mash and sparge water) touches the grain and it touches it from the start of the mash.

Links on This: See Tomm's post above

Myth: The word efficiency means something.
Fact: To mean something, the word 'efficiency' must be qualified.

Logic: These days, the word 'efficiency', or terms like 'mash efficiency' and 'brewhouse efficiency' have come to be meaningless as it is impossible to tell whether the brewer or authority means a 'kettle efficiency' or a 'fermentor efficiency'. These are two very different things. A lot of software wants you to work on fermentor efficiency which is a very poor cousin to kettle efficiency.

Links on This: An advanced search of my posts that contain the phrase 'kettle efficiency' or 'cousin' should get you under way.

Myth: Sparging gives you a higher "efficiency".
Fact: Adding all the water to the mash at the start of the brew is as efficient (kettle and fermentor efficiency) as adding the same amount of water in stages.

Logic: You'll often read of people thinking that they get a higher "efficiency" if they sparge instead of adding all their water at the start of the mash. Very few people (I'm the only one I know of actually :think:) have done side by side tests on this let alone kept good records on lots of brews. There is no difference I have seen. The usual reason that people write that they notice a difference is that them mucking around with sparging results in the grain being exposed to water for longer. If they had just added all the water in the first place and left the mash for longer, they would get the same result.

Links on This: An advanced search of my posts that contain the word 'jeans' should get you under way.

Myth: I get the same "efficiency" on every brew.
Fact: You shouldn't.

Logic: Unless you brew exactly the same recipe, with exactly the same batch of malts, with exactly the same water at exactly the same temperatures, you shouldn't be consistently getting the same kettle (or fermentor) efficiency. For a start, a single brew is impossible to measure accurately. Secondly, the less water you wash your grain with during the mash, the less clean you can get your grain. In other words, a high gravity brew is much less efficient (kettle and fermentor efficient) than a low gravity brew. Also a very hoppy brew will be less kettle efficient than a less hoppy brew as you will get more kettle trub.

Links on This: An advanced search of my posts that contain the word 'jeans' should get you under way.

Myth: "Batch Size" = 5 gallons means something.
Fact: It can mean a lot of things.

Logic: A lot of brewers and software use the above term in different ways so it really can mean several things. Three quick examples are, the volume at the end of the boil before it is chilled, the volume at the end of the boil after it is chilled or the volume into fermentor. These are all different.

Links on This: An advanced search of my posts that contain the term 'batch size' should get you under way.

Myth: A 60 minute mash is fine.
Fact: A 90 minute mash is more kettle (and therefore fermentor) efficient.

Logic: A lot of posts in forums talk about getting full conversion within a very short time based on an iodine test. Our tests here by many brewers show that efficiency continues to rise over time. A 90 minute mash with a mash-out is a good place to aim for in your brews.

Links on This: Here for starters.

Myth: My measurements on a single brew can be trusted.
Fact: No they can't.

Logic: Home brewers are brewing on a ridiculously small scale with very poor measuring instruments.

Links on This: An advanced search of my posts that contain the phrase 'single measurement from a single brew' should get you under way.

Myth: BIAB is "inefficient".
Fact: Full-volume brewing (pure BIAB) is very efficient.

Logic: BIAB allows more water to be in contact with the grain over the same given period of time. THe BIAB bag creates the perfect 'mash tun' as it acts as a sphere which results in far less 'over-sparging' of pockets of grain than in traditional methods and no dead space.

Links on This: To follow when I get time.

Myth: BIAB is an inferior all-grain method you can use before going traditional.
Fact: There is every chance that BIAB is actually superior.

Logic: BIAB results in far less 'over-sparging' of pockets of grain than in traditional methods and so may well be a superior method of all-grain brewing. Competition results, podcasts, side by sides, trials show that the pure BIAB method (single vessel, full-volume) is at least equivalent to traditional methods. Many members are past traditional brewers who now only BIAB. Some of these have spent thousands on equipment and found a simple BIAB set-up to be far more convenirent and give them better beer.

Links on This: To follow when I get time.

I think that'll do for now. It's Friday. I want a beer.


P.S. If the above format is helpful, then feel free to copy it and, if I think of anything else, I'll add to it. If anyone finds good links to any of the above, please let me know. As a reward, you can sleep with any of the girls here or BobBrews* for a night. (Lylo said Bob wasn't very good. Not sure why Bob was lylo's first choice but each to his own :interesting:).

* Oh and remind me to post about kettle taps/ball-valves :peace: - see here for now.
Last edited by PistolPatch on 07 Feb 2014, 16:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #4 made 5 years ago
I received an email from Costanzo brewing consultants recently which is his way of promoting his business, and I subscribe to the newsletter so no problems there, but I noted with interest that he lists the Braumeister brewing rigs as a BIAB system. I understood that it has a pump that recirculates the wort throughout he grain so my question is whether he is right classifying it as a BIAB? anyone out there care to comment?

Post #5 made 5 years ago
That's a hard one to answer Dadoffrosty. If we regard the hallmark of pure BIAB being that it is a full-volume, single vessel method, then we could regard the Braumeister as a "BIAB" method. But, in their instructions, they have a sparge step which means another vessel and heat source is needed. I'm not sure why they include the sparge step as it is not necessary. The fact that it has a recirculation pump does not disqualify it though.
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Post #7 made 5 years ago
Thanks Lylo ;).

Before I have too many Friday drinks...

Can one of our UK members who is a member on The Home Brew site straighten this thread out?

I realise that many thousands of posts like that exist on other forums but it would be great to see if info like that could start getting corrected at this point in time.

Errors in that very short thread of less that two hundred words in five posts include...

1. Questioner could be using the old Calculator instead of BIABacus.

2. Questioner needs to be directed to a post such as this that explains why his grain bill jumped.

3. Questioner has been led to believe that BIAB gives low efficiency. Needs to be educated that it is of higher efficiency than batch-sparging. This myth stems from people using terminology incorrectly. BIAB is not a 'no sparge' method. It is a hidden/passive sparge method.

4. Like most brewers on other forums, the posters have been led to believe that efficiency (whether it be kettle or fermentor efficiency) is a constant whereas it is a variable. The lower gravity the brew, the higher the efficiency and vice versa. This brewer's original question could be answered probably with this quote...
It's a bit like cars driving up a never-ending hill. The steepness of the hill is gravity. The distance you want to climb up the hill is volume and the fuel you need to get there is your grain bill.

Obviously, the steeper the hill (higher the gravity) the lower your miles per gallon (kettle efficiency) is.

All we actually need to know from the other driver (brewer), is the steepness of the hill (original gravity) and the type of fuel he used (ratios of grains used in his grain bill). Nothing more is needed. In other words, we don't need to know how many miles per gallon (kettle efficiency) the other brewer used because, unless we are driving exactly the same car in exactly the same way as him, our fuel economy will be different.

We do need to know how many miles per gallon our own car uses but unfortunately, the BIABacus is the only software that can calculate this for you automatically by looking at the conditions in which you will be driving.
5. Finally, the BIABacus calculates your actual kettle and fermentor efficiencies for you. (So did the old Calculator btw.)

Feel free to copy and past any of the above anywhere you like but please credit the site generally (not me). The same goes for anything I write here. You are free to copy and paste it as long as you say it came from this site.

Whoever corrects the thread I mentioned here. I'll buy a beer at your Brew Swap or something.

I think I just lied :lol:,
Last edited by PistolPatch on 11 Apr 2014, 15:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #8 made 5 years ago
PP, while I wish we could get others to become more of a PARTNER in the homebrew process , most the OTHER sites are more of the "look at me, congratulate me" type of sites.
I have tried to steer some others our way ,but, sadly they ........ just want some recognition for a post whether it means something or is a number.
Sorry for my rant .......just ticks me off sometimes.
I just want to make better beer !!
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