Full batch all grain formula to BIAB.

Post #1 made 4 months ago
Hello. This is my second post, so please bear with me. I've done 5 BIAB batches, but not for a couple of years so I'm relearning. Plus I am trying to delve into everything more deeply to get a fuller understanding rather than just following steps.

I have a formula from Brewing Classic Styles that I made a couple of years ago and want to repeat. My notes from that batch are not good... My main questions are:

1) Is there an increase in grain bill when moving from sparge formulas to BIAB formulas? I see differing opinions on this. In Palmer's main book he has different amounts for 2 sparge methods and for no sparge (BIAB), but in BCS which he co wrote there isn't a clear mention of this. Also, a different calculator that I tried out (nbsparge) factored in a 1.27% increase in the grain bill when I entered the original formula from the BCS book. Yet I see other people not recommend an increase when going from a sparge intended formula to BIAB. The Biababacus seemed to actually DECREASE the size of the grain bill a bit, and the hops addition as well, once I entered everything including kettle dimensions and boil time...

The calculator that I looked at seems to be based on equations by a Ken Schwartz, but I can't find a way to copy it to this post, and any attempt to find it again on the internets does not work. I have it as an Excel file but I can't find a web address to copy here. Here's a screen shot of the excel work up:
nbsparge copy.xls
Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 10.27.17 AM.pdf
Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 10.27.17 AM.png
(I don't know if any of the attached files will translate...)



I have to tell you that when I last brewed this beer I squeezed the heck out of the bag after mashing. It was pretty hot and heavy, and I had done a mash out. My values were all pretty good , but I had not increased the grain bill from the original formula, so, in the interest of doing things right and being able to repeat or, dare I say it, SHARE formulas and procedures I would like to get this nailed down.

2)I have thought of doing a partial mash, reserving a gallon or two of water in another container and dunking the bag into that container for a couple of minutes to rinse the grain after mashing. I though of doing this because my neighbor does slow sparging and produces excellent beer, and I want to be able to move in the local homebrew circles with pride. ACTUALLY I just thought I might gain a couple of gravity points by doing this instead of squeezing the bag. Any thoughts on this?

I use pellet hops and liquid yeast packs, so I tend to have a lot of break and trub. I use a racking cane with a little hole about an inch up and rack before fermenting. Everything is sanitized well.

Thanks for any help. OH. Do I get an email on my home email from BIABrewer or just check back here directly for replies? Thanks again.
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Re: Full batch all grain formula to BIAB.

Post #2 made 4 months ago
Another Brian -
You have started with a recipe from a good source, Brewing Classic Styles. Now you are correct in realizing that you must make some changes to suit both your current equipment and process. The preferred tool here in this forum is the BIABacus which you can find @ http://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1869

Answer to question 1 - Probably, but it depends on the scale of the batch and your equipment and methods.

As for question 2 -You do have to choose whether you will use a dunk sparge or to withhold water from the mash for sparging after you have pulled the bag, or if you will do a pure BIAB with a full volume mash. That’s up to you. There will be differences in the grain bill and the BIABacus can help you find them. Squeezing the bag is OK, as long as you do it safely, but it adds about one 12 oz (350 mL) bottle to a 5 gallon (19 L) VIP batch. I do squeeze the bag sometimes. The simplest is a full-volume mash. The alternatives require using more fields in the BIABacus, but it can be done.

There is a lot of room for different ways of doing the pre-boil steps. The size and shape of your kettle play a role, too. If you use a hopsack for the pellets, you will get less trub and probably greater volume transferred to the fermenter along with a different ingoing grain weight.. The BIABacus makes the calculation based on your Y or N answer in one field.

Give the BIABacus a try and post your file here for the next level of advice. Always save your file with the extension .xls to avoid later problems.

Re: Full batch all grain formula to BIAB.

Post #3 made 4 months ago
Thank you for replying. I did run this through the Biababacus, and was surprised that it suggested reducing the size of the grain bill, and increasing the hops addition (when I entered desired IBU as 40), but admittedly it was my first use of the Biababacus. I'll go over it again and post the results. There is an excellent chance that I missed something, or things, in my data entry. Or maybe it's all good and the batch will work out just fine!

I don't know if my shop has a hop sock, but I will enter Yes into the cell and try to get one. I'd assumed that the pellets were too fine to be filtered out by the sock but it is worth trying out.
OK. That reduced the grain bill even more!

I think I will copy the BIABacus (I corrected my spelling!) worksheet now and send it on, and see what people can tell me. Thank you in advance.
BIABacus Programmer's Elbow.xls
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Re: Full batch all grain formula to BIAB.

Post #4 made 4 months ago
Another Brian,
Want a hopsock? As long as you are not doing First Wort Hopping (FWH), you can empty and rinse the grain bag by the time your hops are added to the 90 minute boil. The ~35 thread count will contain lots more of the ‘fines’ from hops pellets than a paint strainer or muslin bag.
I’ll take a look at your file when I can ger to my computer.. thanks for posting it.

Re: Full batch all grain formula to BIAB.

Post #5 made 4 months ago
Good job on the BIABacus file, Another Brian :salute:
I did not see any problems with what you have entered.

As for the lighter grain bill - it could be that your proposed 90 minute mash will get more out of the grain than you'd expect. Trust the numbers given. I hit the BIABacus predicted Specific Gravity going into the boil (GIB in Section M) every time but once (my bad on that one brew). The evaporation calculated will then result in the desired GAW (same Section M). Things like air temperature, humidity and wind (breezy in the kitchen?) add to how vigorous your boil is to determine the real evaporation amount.

The hops bill has gome up, and not by just a tad. I do not have a great explanation for why, but the new numbers on the right side under What You Will Use... look good and are consistent with my experience in hops utilization. My taste buds are somewhat dulled to hops but others like the IBUs achieved. Check to see (if you can) that the AA% in the Kent Golding that you purchase are indeed the same 5,0 you entered on the left side of Section D. the hop bill.

At the bottom of Section E it says mashout for 0 min @ 78 ºC (172.4 ºF) That would indicate that you pull the grain bag when the rising temperature hits that mark, hence the 0 minutes. That will work. There are other ways to do a mashout, but yours will be fine.

Do keep good records throughout. After FlameOut, take some periodic temperature readings so that you have a record of the temperature decline while cooling is underway. You may find those data of use in the future.

It will be a good one. :luck:

Re: Full batch all grain formula to BIAB.

Post #6 made 3 weeks ago
Well this has certainly taken me a long time to reply! I have attached final BIABacus report of the beer that I made in July. Overall more chaotic than I had planned on due to the paper bag of malt ripping and the very hot day, but we got a decent beer out of it. Following the BIABacus recommendations mostly, yielded an ESB that seems close to the model. Perhaps a little more bitter/dry but very clean tasting. No esters noticed.

I don't know if file is attaching. Please let me know. Thank you.
Last edited by Another Brian on 26 Oct 2018, 01:11, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Full batch all grain formula to BIAB.

Post #7 made 3 weeks ago
Congratulations Another Brian! :thumbs: It worked despite surprises in the process.

No file attached, so far.
Following the BIABacus recommendations mostly, yielded an ESB that seems close to the model. Perhaps a little more bitter/dry but very clean tasting. No esters noticed.

Trust the BIABacus. It is amazing how well it works for me. I hope you have added your tasting notes to the batch record. It will help in the future. I try to add tasting impressions along the timeline for consumption for the best brews but it mostly comes to whether I'd make it again or not. Only a little better than the piles of cassette tapes I have from 40 years ago that have indecipherable labels.
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