Continuing efficiency 2 - long sorry

Post #1 made 3 years ago
Continuing efficiency 2

To day I'm brewing a Directors clone – a Malt Miller AG kit.

I set up to use Biabacus but it seemed to want 39 liters of water my calculations on paper and the calculations of both came out about 33 liters and that is in line with my past experience.

So in the end I mashed with 23 litres and sparged with 10 litres.

Water Report from United Utilities.
Alkalinity……211 tested Salafert test kit.

Water Additions.

23litre for mash
23.2 ml….. AMS

10litres for sparge
10.1 ml …..AMS no other treatment.

Mash………66DegC 90 mins
Boil………..90 mins
4160g……..Maris Otter
Target……..28g… O mins
Celeia……..10……90 mins – flame out.

Expected values.

OG………..1.048 FG……….1.008 Brew Lenght………..25 litres (who knows?)


Volume in kettle after bag raised and allowed to drain.

20.9 litres………..SG 1.050 Brewers Friend efficiency 75.4%

After a 10 litre sparge and sparge water added back to kettle. (pre-boil volume)

29.7 litres………..SG 1.040 Brewers Friend efficiency 85.6%
Post Boil. 23 litres……….SG/OG 1.050 Brewers Friend efficiency 83%

So a sparge seems to have moved the efficiency up by about 8%.

I'm not fully convinced I know how to interpret my measurements.

On temperature control.
I'm lead to believe that most of the mash conversion occurs in the first 20 mins of so, I've even seen claims that mashing was complete in 20 mins.

I have lots of insulation, 2 layers of camping mats, bubble wrap and a sleeping bag, I mashed in, stirred well put the lid on and arranged the insulation.

I still saw a 2 degree fall within the first 30 minutes, the beer will still be good but realistically I did not hit my mash profile. Is this typical of BIAB without re-circulation?

ATB. aamcle
Last edited by aamcle on 04 Oct 2016, 00:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #2 made 3 years ago
aamcle - Wow! Tons of information on water, but there's more. I usually record about 100 data points for a brew from start to finish, but it looks like you will surpass that. Your BIABacus file would help us see what it recommended compared to what you actually did. I suspect that the TWN difference is due to things I can't see - hopsock? mash time? OG/grain bill/kettle volume? Insulation of the mash is a good thing, but how long did you mash for? Full-volume mash BIAB does not involve sparge activity, so contact times and volumes will appear to vary.
Mash conversion completion is another big subject - time, temperature, grains - and there may be instances where it is essentially done in short order, but I mash for 90 minutes because I can, I am not in a hurry to make the next batch immediately and I have previously linked to graphs that show fermentable sugar extraction continues to go up through 90 min.
Please post your BIABacus file from the computer you found to use it (as you stated earlier in another post), someone here may be able to help. In the meantime, do not fixate on efficiency numbers acquired from multiple sources for a mixed technique such as yours, just enjoy the beer. :drink:
Last edited by ShorePoints on 04 Oct 2016, 01:48, edited 1 time in total.

Post #4 made 3 years ago
Sadly I've lost the batch, while I was worrying about the manual handling of 23 litres I forgot to drain the Starsan out of the FV.

I'm gutted beyond belief!! I have a hernia and have to be very careful about lifting and while I still have a hernia I now have no beer :(


So much for going simple I'm now going to have to set up to pump from the kettle to the FV and from there to the Bottling bucket or keg. If I'm going to use a pump then I may as well use my CFC and if I'm using that lot mucking about with Sleeping Bags, Bubble Wrap and Camping Mat insulation seems a waste so I may as well recirculate and be done with it.!

May be I'll just go and have a beer..
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Post #5 made 3 years ago
Aamcle - do you agitate the mash at all? That seems to be a big help with getting good efficiency, in addition to the 90 minute mash. (Stirring with big spoon or using a potato masher to plunge and agitate the mash). I do it at beginning and end, and probably 2-3 times during the mash.

Last weekend I had my first ever batch that had to be throw out. (Band aid flavor...something nasty somehow got in). Very frustrating! :blush: So I feel for you; definitely know how you feel...
Last edited by Scott on 05 Oct 2016, 11:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #6 made 3 years ago
Attached my Biabacus file.

Note I abandoned Biabacus when it told me 39 litres of water.
BIABacus Directors.ods
BIABacus PR1.3T - Blank Style - Blank Name - Batch A0.xls
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Last edited by aamcle on 05 Oct 2016, 22:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #7 made 3 years ago
Hey there aamcle, I'm under the pump atm and so am hardly posting on the board. Noticed though that you wrote above... "Note I abandoned Biabacus when it told me 39 litres of water."

I think that is going to be the root of your problem... hopefully someone will explain it better but, you can't "wash" a ton of grain with a quart of water.

25 L VIF (Volume into Fermnenter) is going to need (TWN - Total Water Needed) of around 40 L for sure. Things that will change that 40L slightly are only your OG, kettle diameter and any changes made in Section W of the Biabacus (on a very fast glance, at least one of those adjustments is unnecessary - probably both though).

Gotta race...
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Post #8 made 3 years ago
I'm no pro, but, I had a Biabacus file that cot corrupted somehow and showed my kettle as 125 liters. I redownloaded the original file and I'm much closer to dialing in my system.
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