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Better Efficiency Why?

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Rowy

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I BIAB and normally get about 65% efficiency or less at times as far down as 58%. My usual method is to drain the bag over the kettle then a dunk sparge and then let the bag continue to drain in a two 20l bucket in a bucket setup. As things drain I just keep putting the runnings into the kettle. Anyway on Friday night for some reason the bag just didn't seem to be draining properly so after the dunk sparge I tipped the mash out of the bag and straight into the two bucket setup. I recirculated the resultant runnings through the mash slowly by hand, probably about 5 litres. I then boiled, hopped and did everything as normal. Well bugger me when I checked my OG and efficiency I got 77%. Any ideas on why the big improvement?
 

Midnight Brew

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What is the liquor to grain ratio?

Also what is the reason for draining the bag then dumping it back into the wort? The grain will reabsorb the wort you just drained out of the bag. If sparging (not really worth doing with BIAB IMO) I think it would be better to just sparge into your buckets without dunking the bag back into the wort.

But just some other variables to consider, have you milled your grain different or have you changed your water treatment?
 

Rowy

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The ratio is 10. I don't dump the bag back into the wort I dunk sparge in a seperate vessel with 5 litres of heatedc water I kept back from the original water amount. Milling and everything else is exactly the same.
 

felten

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Is this efficiency into the fermenter, with kettle losses. Or efficiency in the kettle?
 

Rowy

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stux

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BIAB with a Dunk Sparge should be getting between 75-85% efficiency into the fermenter.

(assuming regular gravities)

You're doing something wrong :-\

edit: and 80-90% into kettle.
 

Truman42

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BIAB with a Dunk Sparge should be getting between 75-85% efficiency into the fermenter.

(assuming regular gravities)

You're doing something wrong :-\

edit: and 80-90% into kettle.
+1 Thats what I always got doing biab with a dunk sparge.
 

Rowy

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Hang on boys I F$#ked up I meant into the fermenter after all loses!
 

SJW

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The asnswer is simple, even though I dont brew in a bag, by dumping out the grain and rinsing u get rinsed out more sugars. Keep it up
 

Rowy

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The asnswer is simple, even though I dont brew in a bag, by dumping out the grain and rinsing u get rinsed out more sugars. Keep it up
I can feel myself sliding down the slippery slope to 3V :rolleyes:
 

stux

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65% Into Fermenter is on the low side, but I would guestimate 65-75% eff into fermenter would be about normal for a Non Sparged BIAB.

If you're going to all the trouble of doing a sparge, might as well do it right ;)

Use about at least twice as much water in your dunk sparge as you have grain... so for 5KG, use 10L of hot water. Prepare boiling water and add it to a bucket. subtract the 10L of sparge from your BIAB full volume strike water.

Then conduct your BIAB mash, for say... 90 minutes... raise to mash out, then raise the bag and let drain (and perhaps squeeze), then lower it into your dunk sparge pot/bucket. Secure the bag open around the top and use a masher on the grain to rewet, and agitate for a good 10 minutes, while you bring your main pot to the boil.

Raise your bag again, drain, squeeze, add runnings to your BIAB pot, bring to a boil.

Doing that, should get you 75-85% efficiency into the fermenter... if you care, but since you're already messing around with lauter vessels etc maybe you do.

PS: Just finished a dunk sparged 1.045 brew. I had 93% Into Boil efficiency, and should get about 83% Into Fermenter.
 

Rowy

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Thanks Stux I might just try that next weekend. Really appreciate the help. This site rocks!
 

SJW

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I can feel myself sliding down the slippery slope to 3V :rolleyes:
Yes I know that feeling, but save yourself a lot of money and mental pain and buy a Braumeister. :)
If I knew back when I built my 3v what I know now I wouls of just bought a BM and just brewed beer.
 

iralosavic

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I get 90-93% into the kettle with no sparge BIAB. I go for a .9mm crush and use a Keg King bag. I just give the mash a 5 minute mash/stir (it's a potato style paint stirrer) to raise the temp back to target whenever it loses .5c and then squeeze the crap out of the bag after mash-out.

I'd be tempted to fiddle with sparging (I like to tinker and overcomplicate), but it's not worth fixing what ain't broke, so to speak. I'm currently tackling my comparatively poor brewhouse efficiency due to losses after the boil; hoping to get it back up from 75% to 85% with the addition of a hop spider (whirlpooling doesn't seem to work in my e-keggle) and a filtered pick up that collects from the lowest point, rather than the outermost/highest point (parts on order).

In your situation, where you already sparge, I'd take Stux's advice, but I'd also take a closer look at why your efficiency sans sparge is rather poor. Like I said, I don't do anything special and most grists get over 90% for me.
 

Phoney

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Sparging in a bucket post mash-out does nothing for efficiency for me. The only time I bother is with grain bills of over 7kg, where 7kg+ of grain + 33L of water wont fit in my 40L vessel.
 

RdeVjun

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If you're going to all the trouble of doing a sparge, might as well do it right ;)

Use about at least twice as much water in your dunk sparge as you have grain... so for 5KG, use 10L of hot water. Prepare boiling water and add it to a bucket. subtract the 10L of sparge from your BIAB full volume strike water.

Then conduct your BIAB mash, for say... 90 minutes... raise to mash out, then raise the bag and let drain (and perhaps squeeze), then lower it into your dunk sparge pot/bucket. Secure the bag open around the top and use a masher on the grain to rewet, and agitate for a good 10 minutes, while you bring your main pot to the boil.

Raise your bag again, drain, squeeze, add runnings to your BIAB pot, bring to a boil.

Doing that, should get you 75-85% efficiency into the fermenter... if you care, but since you're already messing around with lauter vessels etc maybe you do.
+1 That's one of the most helpful posts on BIAB sparging I have ever seen. If you decide to sparge a BIAB, be sure to give it the best chance of succeeding, so certainly reduce the mash volume (see below), use near- boiling slightly acidified sparge water and stir it thoroughly, while I'd also ensure there's adequate calcium in the mash to begin with Rowy.
The reason I say slightly acidified sparge is that the sparge should be acidic, most town water isn't and has some residual alkalinity, so neutralize that with a small amount of citric or lactic acid, rainwater should be OK as is though.
As per phoneyhuh though, if you have adequate space in your kettle then full volume BIAB usually works just fine, however if you're increasing the grainbill you should get some benefit though sparging (or at least maintain the same efficiency as you would get with a smaller grainbill), but again only if you do it right- I wouldn't bother if not following Stux's method above.
I would also emphasize that sparge as a mashout step is also quite helpful, so the sparge water must be near to boiling, but if you've already done the mashout then it may not be that beneficial. Mashout should permit better drainage of the sticky liquor, so reduces the later sparge benefit.
 

felten

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I get 90-93% into the kettle with no sparge BIAB. I go for a .9mm crush and use a Keg King bag. I just give the mash a 5 minute mash/stir (it's a potato style paint stirrer) to raise the temp back to target whenever it loses .5c and then squeeze the crap out of the bag after mash-out.

I'd be tempted to fiddle with sparging (I like to tinker and overcomplicate), but it's not worth fixing what ain't broke, so to speak. I'm currently tackling my comparatively poor brewhouse efficiency due to losses after the boil; hoping to get it back up from 75% to 85% with the addition of a hop spider (whirlpooling doesn't seem to work in my e-keggle) and a filtered pick up that collects from the lowest point, rather than the outermost/highest point (parts on order).

In your situation, where you already sparge, I'd take Stux's advice, but I'd also take a closer look at why your efficiency sans sparge is rather poor. Like I said, I don't do anything special and most grists get over 90% for me.
Similar here, but mine has always been around >80%. 45L kettle, no sparge, and stir constantly while ramping to mashout.

It leaves me with a few litres of kettle losses though, so the efficiency into FV is probably 60-70% but I haven't measured that for ages.

I would have thought that recirculating would give you less kettle losses, hence a boost in FV efficiency.
 

Rowy

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I'm thinking that by ditching the bag after mashout and using the bucket inside a bucket sparge it is allowing things to run a lot more free and I am getting more sugars through. By recirculating some of the runnings am I just making the wort clearer or am I actually getting more sugars as well?
 

iralosavic

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I'm thinking that by ditching the bag after mashout and using the bucket inside a bucket sparge it is allowing things to run a lot more free and I am getting more sugars through. By recirculating some of the runnings am I just making the wort clearer or am I actually getting more sugars as well?
This being the case, maybe you should take a look at how your grain is milled. People report (I'm a people) better efficiency for mashing in a bag with a very fine mill setting. If you buy grain without specifying how you want it milled, it will generally be milled to suit typical false bottom setups. Don't know about the latter half of your paragraph.
 

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