Best BIAB Method for 33L Pot

Post #1 made 6 years ago
Hi Everyone,

I'm completely new to this other than doing a few beer kits and reading up alot on BIAB & all grain.
I have ordered myself a 33L stock pot. I would have gone bigger but my kitchen and hob wouldnt be able to take any more so i will have to make due.

Basically i would like to know how i should go about it? As i understand there are a few different methods.
Ideally i would like to be able to make 23L of beer. But from what i understand realistically i would only be able to make around 20L due to the size of my pot?

Any advice will be greatly apreciated :thumbs:

Regards,
Pinchy

Post #2 made 6 years ago
Hi mate, thanks for the reply!

So basically i sparge (rinse) the grain bag with warm water (at mash temp?). Then add this to the boil to counter evaporation loss?
Do you think you could look at my BIABacus sheet to make sure my figures are OK for sparge etc.?

Cheers,
Pinchy
BIABacus PR1.3 - Old Golden Hen.xls
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Last edited by Pinchy on 09 Sep 2013, 21:01, edited 2 times in total.

Post #3 made 6 years ago
Cheers Joshua,

I decided to use the search function (should have in the first place!) and I have discovered you've answered this question a few times now! :argh: .

I think I'm going to be pretty set when it comes to my first brew now. It will be a bit of trial and error but I'm sure i will get there. Can't be any worse than two can malt extract kits hey? :thumbs:

Post #4 made 6 years ago
You know I was considering no chill!
My dad is a plumber so wort chillers etc. will be no problem but I just simply don't agree with the waste of water and its incontinent for me as I have no outside drainage.

I read somewhere that the speed that the wort is chilled isn't the important factor but how cold you can get it is. Im English and there are a lot of mixed opinions about this over here haha.

Post #5 made 6 years ago
There is a lot above that is not correct sorry. One of the beauties of the thousands of hours that have been spent on the BIABacus is that it is the only software that can handle this sort of scenario. Unfortunately PR1.3 is missing some warnings. For example, in your file your VIK exceeeds your kettle size but no warning appears.

The other beauty of the BIABacus is that it shows you how unnecessary sparging is. I've personally written thousands of words over many, many hours explaining why sparging is unnecessary in almost every single brewing situation. I'm off to work now but I'll do it again when I get home and maybe I'll be able to write it in a format that we can sticky although I don't think the site wants to start doing that until a final version is written.

Meantiume, if any one get's a chance to put Pinchy's file into PR1.3I, that would save a bit of time.

Pinchy, if you get a chance, read paragraph 4 and the links contained in this post.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 10 Sep 2013, 06:53, edited 2 times in total.
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Post #7 made 6 years ago
Thanks for all the help guys! We seem to be getting there. Hoping to have my brew day either next weekend or the weekend after so I still have plenty of time to get this right :thumbs:

I think I'm slowly getting my head around the BIABacus. Sorry if these are silly questions; But what does the AA% stand for on the Hop Bill? Also what is the VIK that exceeds my kettle size?


Regards,
Pinchy

Post #8 made 6 years ago
Pinchy - have a quick look here.

VIK = Volume into kettle (now volume into Boil). AA% is alpha acid percentage, basically how strong the hops will be in terms of bitterness.
Last edited by mally on 10 Sep 2013, 20:26, edited 2 times in total.
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Post #9 made 6 years ago
Mad_Scientist wrote:Here it is PP. I moved the 10 L sparge over to "Water Added Before the Boil", as I am just guessing that is where you want to see it.
Thanks a heap Richard. I have taken half today off and am trying to take the rest of the week off to try and structure and write all this Maxi-BIAB stuff out clearly. Not much fun losing, again, so much money and another weekend but I'm a bit over writing the same stuff in slightly different ways each and every week and the poor new guys having no way of finding it easily. Thanks for making things easier. Hopefully Pinchy will be the last brewer here who has to struggle to find the right information in this area.
Pinchy wrote:Thanks for all the help guys! Sorry if these are silly questions; But what does the AA% stand for on the Hop Bill? Also what is the VIK that exceeds my kettle size?
[center]For anyone reading this, the following is not stuff you can absorb in two seconds. It will require your concentrated attention.[/center]

Pinchy, this is going to be the last one on one help post I do here for a little while as they take several hours to write and I've been doing this for many years now. What I want to do is try and take some time out to write an structure some things so that guys like you won't have to struggle so hard to find the right info.

Here's what I want you to do...

1. Let me know that you read my last post here and that you also read the 'paragraph 4' I refereed to and the three links given there. It's important for me to know where you are up to. I'm going to assume you have read those. If you haven't not much of the below will make sense.

2. Start a new topic called "What does AA% stand for?" Say that I asked you to start the topic. It is a very good question and one that isn't answered well. When you start that topic, I will reply there and talk about garlic.

3. As for VIK exceeding kettle size....

If you go back to the BIABacus file you originally posted here, you will see that your VIK in Section K was higher than your kettle capacity - 34.09 L is greater than 33.7.

In Mad-Scientists file, you will see a few changes to your file. He has got the 34.09 down to 32.73. He did this by typing a 'Y' into the first field of Section G. If you delete that 'Y', which I'd like you to do, you'll see that we are back to 34.09 L. You'll also see that the red warning at the bottom of Section W changes from "VIB approaches Kettle Limits" to "VIB exceeds Kettle Limits."

You'll also see that the red warning at the bottom of Section K that said, "Advanced trub management has been used - See G and/or H" will disappear.

[center]You are asking too much from your kettle.[/center]

As soon as you step into a situation where you want more from your kettle than it can handle, you can be stepping into a total mess or you can become informed and make some intelligent decisions on how you should handle the fact that you cannot full volume brew in a single vessel.

[center]There are only two way of increasing how much you can get from a kettle. Only one method is effective.[/center]

Dilutions - Can be effective or even advantageous if done intelligently.

Diluting a wort has only one major cost. It will always cost you more grain (and, somewhat debatable, more hops). Dilutions at some stages can actually add quality to the wort. Dilutions with shit quality water will not add quality and could severely affect the integrity of the brew.

Sparging - Almost always a waste of time, effort and equipment.

The basic premise and known fact of BIAB is that you can mash and sparge simultaneously in a single vessel with no penalty. We know that adding all the water required for a brew to the grain right at the beginning of the mash instead of at stages has no downside, in fact it has advantages as a higher amount of water is exposed to the grain for a longer period giving greater solvency (efficiency) of the mash/sparge.

Pure BIAB, (full volume, simultaneous active mashing / passive sparging, single vessel, single infusion brewing), FVSAMPSSVSIB :), is a truly sensible, beautiful and extraordinarily efficient way to brew.

If anyone advise you to sparge when doing BIAB, ask them why? What will you gain/save? And what will it cost you?

[center]How a Sparge Can Save You - (It won't.)[/center]

If we work from the truth that the more water you can expose to your grain
(preferably all of it) at the start of the brew day (mash in), the higher efficiency you will get, then the obvious premise is to throw in as much water as you can to the 'mash in'.

Let's do that.

Now at the end of your mash, pull the bag. How much space have you gained by pulling the bag? On a normal gravity brew, the answer is bugger all - maybe there is enough room left for you to sparge your spent grain bag with 2-3 litres of water. But, there is no advantage in doing this if your kettle was big enough at the start to handle that 2-3 litres.

Get it?

....

Thanks to the experiments done here at BIABrewer.info, we know that it is how much water we expose to the grain that makes the most difference (maximising time is good too as we get in pure BIAB but let's ignore that) in efficiency - search his site for 'washing machine'.

So, sparging can be one of the silliest thing to do. It will cost you the following...

1. A second heat source - maybe just your kitchen kettle or gas burner on your kitchen stove. That's not too bad.
2. A second (usually third) vessel. That will be a kitchen kettle and/or a large saucepan.
3. Two bag pullings and squeezings.
4. More time. That time they muck around with sparging would have given the exact same result, if not better, if they had just done a full-volume mash and let it sit for 90 minutes or whatever.

There is only one scenario where sparging might be of benefit and that is so rare I'm not going to talk about it here so...

DO NOT SPARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want to, then feel free to post to this thread and tell me why you are doing it. Send me a PM so I don't miss it.

(On a mini-BIAB/stovetop BIAB, a sparge can be easy/practical and won't do any harm but even then it is really taking things to extreme.)

...

Apologies, the above is not written very well. But, as I mentioned above, I took half a day off work today and am trying to take the rest of the week off to get this whole maxi-BIAB debacle settled. Maxi-BIAB is a totally stupid term floated here that I for one never wanted. Still struggling to think of a more appropriate one.

Sorry for the crap post above but that has taken four hours to write, seriously. and it is silly for me to write any more on a single thread.

:roll:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 10 Sep 2013, 20:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Post #10 made 6 years ago
Thanks a lot for the time and effort you put into the reply PP I really appreciate it. I have read though all the posts and now I think I have taken it all in!
I'm glad that I took the time to ask on here instead of rush into it like a bull in a china shop!


My last question! (a BIABacus related one):

I now understand in order to acheive the VIB (volume into boil) I will need to make a stronger wort by adding more grain then dilute this with plain water.
So in BIABacus; In section C I have 4.8kg of Pale Ale Malt as the original bill. Is the section "What you will use..." (5.698kg of malt) accounting for the extra grain needed to make the stronger wort?

P.S. Now i'm off to ask about AA% :salute:

Edit: I have posted the new topic about AA%

Post #11 made 6 years ago
:lol: I'm glad some of that scramble I wrote above made sense. I was originally hoping to be able to write a nice, easy to read thread but got a little frustrated when I realised that is actually going to take a lot of work. Good on you for wading through the above :salute:.

Re the 4.8 kg and 5.698 kgs of grain. I believe you are are designing your own recipe Pinchy, not copying it from somewhere. Think of the left hand side of Sections C as being the design side. For example, in your recipe you are using 100% Pale Ale Malt. Change your 4.8 to 100 and see what happens on the right hand side...

Nothing happens. The main job of the left hand side of Section C is to simply determine the ratios of the malts you are using. The right hand side then translates those into the proper quantities you need to use for your equipment.

When copying a recipe from somewhere, the left hand side can do a few other things but it's main job is to still just to convert the grain bill into percentages.

Play around with putting dilution numbers into Section W. See how the grain required changes? (As a matter of interest, 4.8 kgs of grain would only ever give you 23 L of 1.050 Volume into Fermentor if you had about zero kettle trub.)

Btw, I would probably add 6 L before the boil and 4 l during the boil. You will still have to keep a good eye on the kettle to avoid boil-overs.

Good on you for posting the AA question ;),
PP
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Post #12 made 6 years ago
The 5.698kg of grain allows for the lower efficiency of adding the 10 litres of water after the mash. If your pot was bigger and all of the water was added in the mash you would only need 5.148kg of grain. I hope this helps.
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Post #15 made 5 years ago
While doing a bit of research on this I came across this on Another forum. Thoughts or comments would be appreciated...
BIAB...Is a mini sparge worthwhile?
I thought I should do an experiment with today's brew to answer the above question. I brewed 20l using 4.2kg of grain. Something similar to my last 4 brews which would therefore allow me to compare my results. To achieve tha desired 20l volume I reduced my mash water volume by 4 litres, which I would then use to batch sparge the drained grain bag.
So I mashed at 67C for 90 minutes then reheated to 75C with plenty of stirring. I then drained the grain bag and gave it a slight squeeze. No point in trying to squeeze it dry when I was going to add another 4l of water.
The only vessel I had which was big enough for my mini sparge was my FV. So I opened the bag and added 4l of water at about 80C. It wasn't enough to cover the grains so I had to try to turn them over to extract as much sugar as I could. I then redrained the bag whilst I was heating the bulk of the wort to a boil, adding it when I had got as much out as I reasonably could.
I was rather suprised to find that the sparged wort was at a temperature corrected 1036. A much higher figure than I had expected. I squeezed out just over 4l which, as I said, I added to the bulk.
My recent brews have had efficiencies of between 81.8 and 76.27%.
Today I got a higher than expected OG of 1054. The efficiency was 87.17%. The highest I've ever achieved.
I accept that I did make a bit more effort to get as high a figure as I could but still reckon that a mini sparge will give me a 5% improvement in efficiency.
You do it whilst the wort is being heated to a boil so it doesn't add any time to your brew day. :drink:
Last edited by sdsratm on 09 Oct 2013, 17:54, edited 2 times in total.

Post #16 made 5 years ago
Hi again sdstratm,

Please read the answer below in conjunction with the answer I just wrote here. Some of the concepts here are inter-related.

In the other answer, you'll have seen we "set some things right" as it were on efficiencies. I also mentioned I was short on time so here's the main things I think we need to set right here...

Firstly, your question here and in the other thread are very good questions. Unfortunately, this site is currently the only site where you will get solid answers. Hopefully you and others will pass these answers on.

Your Question Answered in Brief...

A mini-sparge, or any type of sparge is not worthwhile if you could have put all the water you need for a brew into your mash from the start.

But I keep reading on forums about BIAB brewers sparging and their efficiency increasing???

There are about a billion experimental errors that can go wrong with "efficiency" and passive versus active sparging experiments. I'm going to put a few of them below. Some of these things below took me many years to work out. Now, in hindsight, they are obvious but I hope jotting a few of these points will help a few brewers because you won't find them emphasised anywhere else.

Three quick ones...

1. In the other answer I just wrote, we looked at efficiency. The brewer does not specify what sort of efficiency he is talking about. When discussing the difference between an active or passive sparge, we need to look at kettle efficiency. The other writing in the quoted stuff shows the brewer does not have a good handle on what efficiency really means. Most brewers don't so that is not a criticism.

2. The brewer mentions a temperature-corrected gravity. This always sends warning bells to me. I have taken about a billion brewing measurements and one thing I know is how unreliable they are. Temperature corrections in software (at least the BIABacus gives a warning) are dodgy. Taking a gravity reading at 50C and correcting it to 15C is way off base. Don't do it!!!!

3. Brewers lurking or participating on this site for a while will know the saying, "You can't trust a single reading from a single brew." On other sites, and even in podcasts by well-respected brewers, we are given simplistic, wrong or useless answers. I don't want to write on that apart from to say that during any brew, you can take a series of readings that double-check prior readings. The brewer you have quoted, like all brewers, has never been given quality, basic education because it just isn't there atm (this site is the exception). Basic, quality education would tell you that to give any reading or number on a single brew any weight, you must do a reading later on down the line to confirm it.

Do you believe those brewer's readings?

I do.

Well, what are you on about then?

There's a lot I am on about and have dealt with above but here's a few more big ones...

1. Any brewing test like this must be done on side by side brews done on the same day with the same equipment, water and ingredients. Water alone can change from hour to hour in many cities. Even if you can do this, you still need to repeat the experiment 3 or 4 times before you can be confident of an answer. (I can do side by sides and have done several passive and active sparge tests such as those done here. So far, there has been no difference in kettle efficiency.)

2. The author may have been doing different gravity brews. In other words, the one where he experienced a 5% increase in what I am presuming is kettle efficiency, could have been because he was brewing a lower gravity beer. Who knows? It is not stated.

But, let's pretend that the original author knew all the above, had the right equipment and replicated it over three or four brews, there is still one more factor.

Time

What happens a lot when new brewers try a mini-sparge is that with all the mucking round, they are actually just increasing the time of their "mash". It's an easy mistake to make.

Let's say, as a beginner, I have read that I only need to do a 60 minute mash (don't do that!!!!!!). I do a few brews and then think my "efficiency" is low. I then read that doing a mini-sparge makes a world of difference! So, next brew, I decide to do a mini-sparge and, miraculously, my "efficiency" increases!!! I will be sold on mini-sparges forever!!!

All you have really done though is a 60 minute mash and then exposed your grain to more water for, let's say 15 minutes. What I say is that if you had just left your bag of grain in the full volume of water for another 15 minutes, you will have achieved the same results as mucking around with a mini-sparge.

Make yourself a cup of coffee with two sugars. Put all the hot water in first and then make another cup and add your water in two or three stages. Which cup tastes sweeter?

If you stirred for long enough, both will taste the same.

Finally

I think that is enough for now. As I said above, very good questions and hopefully BIABrewer.info will get some wins soon on the difficult task of working out how to lay things out so you can faster find answers to these great questions.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 10 Oct 2013, 21:05, edited 2 times in total.
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Post #17 made 5 years ago
PistolPatch wrote:
Mad_Scientist wrote:Here it is PP. I moved the 10 L sparge over to "Water Added Before the Boil", as I am just guessing that is where you want to see it.
Thanks a heap Richard. I have taken half today off and am trying to take the rest of the week off to try and structure and write all this Maxi-BIAB stuff out clearly. Not much fun losing, again, so much money and another weekend but I'm a bit over writing the same stuff in slightly different ways each and every week and the poor new guys having no way of finding it easily. Thanks for making things easier. Hopefully Pinchy will be the last brewer here who has to struggle to find the right information in this area.
Pinchy wrote:Thanks for all the help guys! Sorry if these are silly questions; But what does the AA% stand for on the Hop Bill? Also what is the VIK that exceeds my kettle size?
[center]For anyone reading this, the following is not stuff you can absorb in two seconds. It will require your concentrated attention.[/center]

PP
PP and Mad - Thankyou for this great post. For me, this really help explain how to compensate for a smaller kettle in setting up the Biabacus.
Last edited by Interceptor2k on 09 Dec 2013, 00:49, edited 2 times in total.
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