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Big Sarge

Step vs Single Infusion

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I'm going to attempt brevity, but I have a lot on my mind. First off, as you read, gather your thoughts on the topic. I've come across recipes that call for the step mash technique, but I'm trying for simplicity if the the juice isn't worth the squeeze. 

 

Given (my gear):

Picnic Cooler mash tun with bazooka screen. 

10 gal BK w/ball valve (nothing additional)

5 gal HLT (old BK)

Propane Burner

 

I know how to step mash. It would be easier with electric or if I mashed in a kettle. I'd like to translate the step mash instructions/temps into a single infusion temp. I'd rather do that than mess around with boiling water additions. Yes, BeerSmith has calculators to help. I worry about missing targets. I worry about making the mash too thin with extra water. Do I start at a lower liquor to grist ratio? Is this even a valid concern overall? 

My best guess is to pick a single infusion temp consummate to the style of beer I'm making, unless there's a magic number that can be derived from the step mash temps? 

Thanks for your time. Work can get a little slow and I wanted to solicit your thoughts. Stay safe everyone. 

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1 hour ago, Big Sarge said:

I'm going to attempt brevity, but I have a lot on my mind. First off, as you read, gather your thoughts on the topic. I've come across recipes that call for the step mash technique, but I'm trying for simplicity if the the juice isn't worth the squeeze. 

 

Given (my gear):

Picnic Cooler mash tun with bazooka screen. 

10 gal BK w/ball valve (nothing additional)

5 gal HLT (old BK)

Propane Burner

 

I know how to step mash. It would be easier with electric or if I mashed in a kettle. I'd like to translate the step mash instructions/temps into a single infusion temp. I'd rather do that than mess around with boiling water additions. Yes, BeerSmith has calculators to help. I worry about missing targets. I worry about making the mash too thin with extra water. Do I start at a lower liquor to grist ratio? Is this even a valid concern overall? 

My best guess is to pick a single infusion temp consummate to the style of beer I'm making, unless there's a magic number that can be derived from the step mash temps? 

Thanks for your time. Work can get a little slow and I wanted to solicit your thoughts. Stay safe everyone. 

I waited to offer my opinion, but I cant wait any longer. 
 

just stick to single infusion. Its more straight forward and easier with your setup. Beersmith should already figure in your volumes for boiling water additions but I still never liked it. The only reason I step mash is when Im doing traditional german lagers. It also raises my abv, which is nice.

 

scrap the setup, use the 10 gal bk as a 5 gallon biab setup. You can step mash all you want with that. 

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Thanks @Creeps McLane. I like the idea of going biab but might have to wait while to truly set up my garage for such fun. I'm slated to go to El Paso this summer, only for 10 months but then who knows where after that. For now, I'd need an inexpensive hoist contraption to help out. 

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2 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

I waited to offer my opinion, but I cant wait any longer. 
 

just stick to single infusion. Its more straight forward and easier with your setup. Beersmith should already figure in your volumes for boiling water additions but I still never liked it. The only reason I step mash is when Im doing traditional german lagers. It also raises my abv, which is nice.

 

scrap the setup, use the 10 gal bk as a 5 gallon biab setup. You can step mash all you want with that. 

I've only step mashed a few times when using a lot of wheat, otherwise everything else is single infusion. Others may know better but in my BIAB I'm not sure how much step mashing improves the final product.

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3 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Thanks @Creeps McLane. I like the idea of going biab but might have to wait while to truly set up my garage for such fun. I'm slated to go to El Paso this summer, only for 10 months but then who knows where after that. For now, I'd need an inexpensive hoist contraption to help out. 

Check it out Sarge!

I've gotten bags and their ratcheting pulley for my Garagewerks Brewery.

https://www.brewinabag.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw7LX0BRBiEiwA__gNw_yvOSTVzn_6H2VKm7hfyHSK187laVOOo0V3VrS53Cu92i6erOTVPRoC-4MQAvD_BwE

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46 minutes ago, Cato said:

Check it out Sarge!

I've gotten bags and their ratcheting pulley for my Garagewerks Brewery.

https://www.brewinabag.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw7LX0BRBiEiwA__gNw_yvOSTVzn_6H2VKm7hfyHSK187laVOOo0V3VrS53Cu92i6erOTVPRoC-4MQAvD_BwE

I've seen the brew in a bag, but never got as far we the ratcheting pulley. It looks minimally invasive for the wandering vagabond I've become lol. Thanks!

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12 hours ago, Cato said:

Check it out Sarge!

I've gotten bags and their ratcheting pulley for my Garagewerks Brewery.

https://www.brewinabag.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw7LX0BRBiEiwA__gNw_yvOSTVzn_6H2VKm7hfyHSK187laVOOo0V3VrS53Cu92i6erOTVPRoC-4MQAvD_BwE

I have that exact pulley. I really like it. I was using a winch from harbor freight and that kinda sucked. I also have it on a closet rod so I can slide it right over to my sink to drip while I brew. Wanna see it in action? Skip to 2:30

 

 

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As I ponder the idea of biab, it brings up some new concerns. How trying is maintaining a single infusion mash temperature for the full term (60 or so minutes) with gas on a kettle? It would likely be a little easier maintaining step temps for a shorter period, or is it? Then comes grain absorption. I feel like I struggle to get that right when using the calculators, albeit I haven't figured out my mash tun (cooler) wort loss factor yet. Is there more accuracy in the calculators when your simply removing the grain?

I obviously have too much time to think...

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43 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

As I ponder the idea of biab, it brings up some new concerns. How trying is maintaining a single infusion mash temperature for the full term (60 or so minutes) with gas on a kettle? It would likely be a little easier maintaining step temps for a shorter period, or is it? Then comes grain absorption. I feel like I struggle to get that right when using the calculators, albeit I haven't figured out my mash tun (cooler) wort loss factor yet. Is there more accuracy in the calculators when your simply removing the grain?

I obviously have too much time to think...

Maintaining an exact temperature with a propane burner? Pretty much impossible. Well, unless you’re stirring and watching every second of the mash. Aint nobody got time for that. But its not all negative. Ive completely F-ed up mashing on the propane burner, ended my mash after 20 minutes and i was at 180, but guess what, that beer was just as good as any other ive brewed with my electric set up. 
 

grain absorption is the easy part. Beersmith has pretty much been exactly on after a lil bit of squeezing the bag in my experience. 
 

i have 4 kettles, i only use 2. Why? Cuz its easier. I hate cleaning. Awhile ago I had to remind myself that brewing is a hobby. Im supposed to enjoy it. Not curse the world while im cleaning that third kettle or laying awake worrying about my mash temps.

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On 4/9/2020 at 7:57 AM, Creeps McLane said:

I have that exact pulley. I really like it. I was using a winch from harbor freight and that kinda sucked. I also have it on a closet rod so I can slide it right over to my sink to drip while I brew. Wanna see it in action? Skip to 2:30

 

 

i like that shirt!

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@Big Sarge you and i have a similar set up. i'm rocking a 10 gal cooler MT and 10 gal BK. I like the simplicity of it. when i was pondering all grain, i watched many videos online from palmer and others using this method. I am telling you that after an hour mash, the temp drops maybe around 2 degrees +/-. how can you get any better than that for home brewing? on the downside, it can be a PITA and time consuming using vourlaf for batch sparge, but oh well. we're making beer.

 

as far as step mashing goes, i know you can add steps to your mash in beersmith, but i haven't done it. my beer tastes great to me and those around me. particularly when pulling off a pint out of my keezer. nothing better.

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23 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

As I ponder the idea of biab, it brings up some new concerns. How trying is maintaining a single infusion mash temperature for the full term (60 or so minutes) with gas on a kettle? It would likely be a little easier maintaining step temps for a shorter period, or is it? Then comes grain absorption. I feel like I struggle to get that right when using the calculators, albeit I haven't figured out my mash tun (cooler) wort loss factor yet. Is there more accuracy in the calculators when your simply removing the grain?

I obviously have too much time to think...

Brew Smith! 

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Sorry for the hiatus. I've been busy with doing a whole bunch of nothing this pst weekend and work thereafter. This is pretty much a layout of my thoughts:

 

To hell with step mashing, at least at this point. With an electric system, why not?

 

Given that I'm sticking with propane for the foreseeable future and not trying to chase a steady mash temp in the kettle, maybe I just outfit my cooler with one of the brew bags? I've thought of this previously, but didn't want the added expense right away. It should improve my efficiency to something more consistent. 

 

I know BeerSmith does a pretty awesome job calculating water additions to raise step mash temperatures, but I still feel like I'd be chasing them. I like the set it and forget it technique. I'll just figure out the optimum mash temp for the style and rock with that. 

 

I still think there's value added to the ratcheting pulley for the cooler brew bag, allowing to drain. In anyone's experience, is it better to go full blown no sparge, or drain, sparge, then raise the bag before draining the remainder?

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26 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

Sorry for the hiatus. I've been busy with doing a whole bunch of nothing this pst weekend and work thereafter. This is pretty much a layout of my thoughts:

 

To hell with step mashing, at least at this point. With an electric system, why not?

 

Given that I'm sticking with propane for the foreseeable future and not trying to chase a steady mash temp in the kettle, maybe I just outfit my cooler with one of the brew bags? I've thought of this previously, but didn't want the added expense right away. It should improve my efficiency to something more consistent. 

 

I know BeerSmith does a pretty awesome job calculating water additions to raise step mash temperatures, but I still feel like I'd be chasing them. I like the set it and forget it technique. I'll just figure out the optimum mash temp for the style and rock with that. 

 

I still think there's value added to the ratcheting pulley for the cooler brew bag, allowing to drain. In anyone's experience, is it better to go full blown no sparge, or drain, sparge, then raise the bag before draining the remainder?

I tried sparging a couple of times but gave it up. I ratchet it up after the mash is done and let it hang for 20 minutes. No squeezing or any of that messy stuff. 20 minutes its down to just a light trickle and by then my kettle level is where BS says it should be for the boil. Can you get a little more wort if you have your gloves on and squeeze. Yes, but it can get sticky and messy and to me I like a clean easy brew day. Disclaimer if I'm running short cause I screwed up somewhere then yeah I'll tackle a little squeezing, but otherwise I don't. That's just me and my preferences.

Oh, I do full volume boil in a 10 gal kettle for my max 5-5.5 gal batches. If you're doing a big beer or working with trying to do a 4.5 gal batch in a 5.5 gal kettle and having to go with less water then yeah sparging or topping off would come into play. Shoulda made that clear before I started typing.

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

I tried sparging a couple of times but gave it up. I ratchet it up after the mash is done and let it hang for 20 minutes. No squeezing or any of that messy stuff. 20 minutes its down to just a light trickle and by then my kettle level is where BS says it should be for the boil. Can you get a little more wort if you have your gloves on and squeeze. Yes, but it can get sticky and messy and to me I like a clean easy brew day. Disclaimer if I'm running short cause I screwed up somewhere then yeah I'll tackle a little squeezing, but otherwise I don't. That's just me and my preferences.

Oh, I do full volume boil in a 10 gal kettle for my max 5-5.5 gal batches. If you're doing a big beer or working with trying to do a 4.5 gal batch in a 5.5 gal kettle and having to go with less water then yeah sparging or topping off would come into play. Shoulda made that clear before I started typing.

Makes sense. What do your mash efficiency numbers look like? I'm still working on improving mine, so my practice has been to add a half pound of base malt to make up for it. I don't like doing that. 

I was just wondering if you gain anything by sparging. Are the numbers just as good for no sparge vs batch sparging? My brain says no. There still has to be some sugary goodness in those grains. 

I am by no means trying to nickel and dime cutting costs, just trying to get the most out of the raw product. That and consistency. 

Thanks much!

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random thoughts while I have a minute 
 

F sparging

 

Take a recipe in beersmith, scale it to the  BIAB set up, done. 
 

i squeeze a bit cuz 20 minutes is very valuable to me. Pull basket, drain for a second, then I push with my metal plate until i reach my target volume. Takes 4-5 pushes. No mess. Drip dry in the sink, take it to the compost in the morning. 
 

little confused on the bag inside the cooler comment. I guess then it’ll drip instead of sparging? Or crushing the bazooka screen? What size is the cooler again. In my experience, when you go BIAB, whatever youre mashing in needs to be upgraded. 

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9 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

random thoughts while I have a minute 
 

F sparging

 

Take a recipe in beersmith, scale it to the  BIAB set up, done. 
 

i squeeze a bit cuz 20 minutes is very valuable to me. Pull basket, drain for a second, then I push with my metal plate until i reach my target volume. Takes 4-5 pushes. No mess. Drip dry in the sink, take it to the compost in the morning. 
 

little confused on the bag inside the cooler comment. I guess then it’ll drip instead of sparging? Or crushing the bazooka screen? What size is the cooler again. In my experience, when you go BIAB, whatever youre mashing in needs to be upgraded. 

So I'd take out the bazooka screen, just leaving the ball valve naked to drain from. I'm good with not sparging, just as long as I'm getting everything out of the grain and hitting targets efficiently and consistently. I'm not against pressing the last of it out. My initial thoughts we to treat it like a botch sparge with my usual equipment (minus the bazooka screen): mash in, drain, add sparge water, rest 10 minutes, drain to boil volume. If you say F sparging, I can go with that. 

As far as upgrades, if I'm not going with electric in the kettle, are you saying there are upgrades I should make to the cooler mash tun?

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7 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

So I'd take out the bazooka screen, just leaving the ball valve naked to drain from. I'm good with not sparging, just as long as I'm getting everything out of the grain and hitting targets efficiently and consistently. I'm not against pressing the last of it out. My initial thoughts we to treat it like a botch sparge with my usual equipment (minus the bazooka screen): mash in, drain, add sparge water, rest 10 minutes, drain to boil volume. If you say F sparging, I can go with that. 

As far as upgrades, if I'm not going with electric in the kettle, are you saying there are upgrades I should make to the cooler mash tun?

Im just wondering what size cooler and what size batches you are doing. If its a 10 gallon cooler you should be ok right? With a 5 gallon batch? Maybe not. I cant remember. I brewed a 10 gallon batch last weekend at 6% and had to sub 5 lbs of two row for extract for comfort. 
 

sparging sounds like such a terrible word right now. I havent sparged in probably a year, maybe two. But your proposed method seems legit. 
 

i wanted to say too, step mashing sucks in a cooler. Youre adding volume to a tight squeeze as it is and have to heat a seperate thing and by the time you add the water and stir youve lost another 5 degrees and youre short of your target again. 
 

in short, all im leading to with all this is simplicity. Add water, add grain, pull grain boil. Why complicate it. Thats why I love BIAB. One kettle. One thing to clean. Bad enough I have to use a pump and a chiller and i curse them every time i have to use them

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45 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Im just wondering what size cooler and what size batches you are doing. If its a 10 gallon cooler you should be ok right? With a 5 gallon batch? Maybe not. I cant remember. I brewed a 10 gallon batch last weekend at 6% and had to sub 5 lbs of two row for extract for comfort. 
 

sparging sounds like such a terrible word right now. I havent sparged in probably a year, maybe two. But your proposed method seems legit. 
 

i wanted to say too, step mashing sucks in a cooler. Youre adding volume to a tight squeeze as it is and have to heat a seperate thing and by the time you add the water and stir youve lost another 5 degrees and youre short of your target again. 
 

in short, all im leading to with all this is simplicity. Add water, add grain, pull grain boil. Why complicate it. Thats why I love BIAB. One kettle. One thing to clean. Bad enough I have to use a pump and a chiller and i curse them every time i have to use them

Yeah, I left that part out. Without getting scientific, it's your standard size rectangular picnic cooler you'd put a case of beer in. Large, well over 10 gallons. I have no problems getting 7 gallon pre boil volume with sparging, but could probably pull that with no sparge easily (depending on the heft of the grain bill). 

I definitely agree on the gear loss while trying to step mash, chasing temps you can't achieve. I'm not interested in step mashing, more into translating a step mash recipe to single infusion temp. 

Are you saying you don't try to hold a particular  temp for x minutes with biab? 

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10 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

Are you saying you don't try to hold a particular  temp for x minutes with biab? 

You bet your ass i do! Its probably the most worrisome part of my brew day. My herms coil is great but I didn’t use it last batch and i recirculated the wort differently to accommodate. But with a cooler, shouldnt be a problem 

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2 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Makes sense. What do your mash efficiency numbers look like? I'm still working on improving mine, so my practice has been to add a half pound of base malt to make up for it. I don't like doing that. 

I was just wondering if you gain anything by sparging. Are the numbers just as good for no sparge vs batch sparging? My brain says no. There still has to be some sugary goodness in those grains. 

I am by no means trying to nickel and dime cutting costs, just trying to get the most out of the raw product. That and consistency. 

Thanks much!

I'm hitting my numbers very closely in BS with full volume BIAB. No extra grain added.

Single grain crush.

I'm at 72% that way, I've read that those that double crush can get 80%.

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36 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

You bet your ass i do! Its probably the most worrisome part of my brew day. My herms coil is great but I didn’t use it last batch and i recirculated the wort differently to accommodate. But with a cooler, shouldnt be a problem 

I was mostly speaking off your aforementioned 20 minute mash lol

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17 minutes ago, Cato said:

I'm hitting my numbers very closely in BS with full volume BIAB. No extra grain added.

Single grain crush.

I'm at 72% that way, I've read that those that double crush can get 80%.

Just so I'm clear, biab means absolutely no sparging?

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8 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Just so I'm clear, biab means absolutely no sparging?

No, it just stands for brew in a bag, period. What you do with the bag after you put the grains in, is up to you and how your system is set up.

 

You could use a mash tun or go single vessel. Sparge, dunk sparge, drain only, drain and squeeze, or do like I did and try all of those and see what works best for you. No mash out is needed because hoisting the bag out accomplishes the same thing.

 

The full volume single vessel method appealed to me as the simplest and least complicated brew day. I know some guys whether propane or electric that will hoist the bag to drain and then while it's draining start heating to boil and by the time they've reached boil, the bag has finished.

I'm retired and in no rush,  so I just let it drain for 20 min and take a break to get lunch or coffee.

 

I did used to add some extra grains to hit my numbers, but then I realized that I was doing that to make up for inaccurate info on my kettle and fermenters in BS. It took some time, but now my kettle loss, boil off rate, fermenter trub loss, are pretty well accounted for and I'm amazed how well they align with BS's predictions. 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

No, it just stands for brew in a bag, period. What you do with the bag after you put the grains in, is up to you and how your system is set up.

 

You could use a mash tun or go single vessel. Sparge, dunk sparge, drain only, drain and squeeze, or do like I did and try all of those and see what works best for you. No mash out is needed because hoisting the bag out accomplishes the same thing.

 

The full volume single vessel method appealed to me as the simplest and least complicated brew day. I know some guys whether propane or electric that will hoist the bag to drain and then while it's draining start heating to boil and by the time they've reached boil, the bag has finished.

I'm retired and in no rush,  so I just let it drain for 20 min and take a break to get lunch or coffee.

 

I did used to add some extra grains to hit my numbers, but then I realized that I was doing that to make up for inaccurate info on my kettle and fermenters in BS. It took some time, but now my kettle loss, boil off rate, fermenter trub loss, are pretty well accounted for and I'm amazed how well they align with BS's predictions. 

 

 

 

 

I wasn't sure if biab processes eliminated the need to sparge. I can see how trying the various procedures to see what works best is viable. 

I like the idea of going single vessel, except for having to hold a mash temp on propane with little insulating power. I could totally see myself lifting the bag out and allowing it to drain over the cooler, with the valve open for draining into the BK, then beginning to heat the wort (once enough volume is in the BK) while the bag continues to drain. I'm not looking to hasten things, but why not take advantage of the wort temperature right after the mash to start heating? I like the idea of not having to vorlauf, assuming the bag produces some pretty clear wort from the start?

I've been trying to narrow down my equipment numbers and feel I'm pretty close to all of the various wort loss figures. 

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On 4/14/2020 at 7:33 PM, Creeps McLane said:


 

sparging sounds like such a terrible word right now.

it's really not that big of a deal. your #'s that BS calculates for your efficiency is all based on what you tell it your set up is and your technique. I do 1 round of sparging via vourlaf. not hard at all. My First Wort is always very sweet, and I'll telling you that my 2nd wort runnings still has quite a bit of sweetness in it. why leave that behind is what i would say. of course, i'm usually brewing beers at ~6-8% ABV, so I'll take all of the sugars I can extract. very simple brewing.

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1 hour ago, Jdub said:

it's really not that big of a deal. your #'s that BS calculates for your efficiency is all based on what you tell it your set up is and your technique. I do 1 round of sparging via vourlaf. not hard at all. My First Wort is always very sweet, and I'll telling you that my 2nd wort runnings still has quite a bit of sweetness in it. why leave that behind is what i would say. of course, i'm usually brewing beers at ~6-8% ABV, so I'll take all of the sugars I can extract. very simple brewing.

I've been tracking my gravity numbers in the brew session data to see how well I'm doing on efficiency from batch to batch. Then I can go with that number for my equipment and keep working on consistency. 

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2 hours ago, Jdub said:

it's really not that big of a deal. your #'s that BS calculates for your efficiency is all based on what you tell it your set up is and your technique. I do 1 round of sparging via vourlaf. not hard at all. My First Wort is always very sweet, and I'll telling you that my 2nd wort runnings still has quite a bit of sweetness in it. why leave that behind is what i would say. of course, i'm usually brewing beers at ~6-8% ABV, so I'll take all of the sugars I can extract. very simple brewing.

Well, dont quote me on this but I believe we’re achieving the same result in different ways. I think you have less water therefore less area for the sugars to go. They have no choice but to stay in the grain. With more water in BIAB im giving the sugars more places to go. Did I explain that right?

 

everything has a max saturation point, if thats the right word. Im trying to think of an analogy... 

 

sparging:

two bowls, one gallon each, one has two drops of food coloring and the other has one. Representing first runnings and then sparging. Combine, should be the same as:

 

biab:

one bowl, Two gallons of water, three drops food coloring. 


thats not really right. I guess youll say the efficiency wont be the same but I think its close enough to not care. Whats more important to me is getting things like my boil off rate dialed in. They both determine the gravity right?

 

plus i need to justify my 20 gallon kettle. 

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Nice, @Creeps McLane aka Bill Nye. I like the analogy. I guess the only thing missing in yours would be something to grab onto or absorb the food coloring in the water. I think you made a great point about saturation though. 

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Looked up a Brülosohpy article about an exbeeriment between no and batch sparge. The numbers all hit but the blind triangle test yielded notable taste differentiation (telling which one was different). 

My next question: is no sparge a good way to go with my cooler and bazooka screen? I feel like the efficiency will be significantly less without the bag. 

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57 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

Looked up a Brülosohpy article about an exbeeriment between no and batch sparge. The numbers all hit but the blind triangle test yielded notable taste differentiation (telling which one was different). 

My next question: is no sparge a good way to go with my cooler and bazooka screen? I feel like the efficiency will be significantly less without the bag. 

So youre telling me truly batch sparging vs biab yielded the same gravity worts?

 

as for your question, I think the cooler is your bag then. You know? Theyre doing the same thing right? Only thing would be if the density of the wort is stronger at the bottom below the bazooka screen. Unless you tip it?

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1.050 vs 1.052? Shoot, i could sneeze into my mashtun and get that much sugar out of my schnoz. 

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20 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

So youre telling me truly batch sparging vs biab yielded the same gravity worts?

 

as for your question, I think the cooler is your bag then. You know? Theyre doing the same thing right? Only thing would be if the density of the wort is stronger at the bottom below the bazooka screen. Unless you tip it?

Yeah, unless I missed additional grain additions for the no sparge in the exbeeriment? I also found John Palmer's BYO article, which said you'd need more grain for no sparge to hit your SG. 

I feel the main difference between my setup and using a bag is extracting the last little bit of wort from the grains (through gravity during draining or squeezing the bag). I could squeeze the grain in my cooler, not with my hands of course. 

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4 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Yeah, unless I missed additional grain additions for the no sparge in the exbeeriment? I also found John Palmer's BYO article, which said you'd need more grain for no sparge to hit your SG. 

I feel the main difference between my setup and using a bag is extracting the last little bit of wort from the grains (through gravity during draining or squeezing the bag). I could squeeze the grain in my cooler, not with my hands of course. 

I agree with @Creeps McLane in that your cooler is same as the bag. Just holds grain and holds the temp as well. The difference is do your sparge or not. I do feel like I’m getting more out of my grains when I’m rinsing them. Not sure. I could always try doing a 1 step mash and bs would just suggest more water in the cooler. I just like to brew once a month and have some beer on tap!

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My take.

 

Some guy down under decided that true BIAB implied no sparging.  Fine, but I like either rinsing the bag with hot water or "dunking" the bag in a volume of 170 F, pH-adjusted water for 10 minutes -- basically an extended "mash-out" of sorts.  Yes, I now have an extra vessel to clean but on the small scale of my brewing, this is not a big deal.  Interestingly, my OGs have improved a couple points since going to the dunk method and I usually overshoot Qbrew's estimate.  I should also note that I have never brewed with a mash tun, Vorlaufed, or been to Munich so I'm still working on getting that clearer pre-boil wort that Palmer has us all striving for.

 

And then there are aspects of thick-mashing vs full volume BIAB thin-mashing, and hop utilization calculations that come into play.  I put these considerations in my "needs review when I have the time" category.

 

As for step-mashing, I agree that it does produce a highly fermentable wort and I do like the idea of breaking down long-chain proteins to help mitigate haze.  It is nice to be able to step-mash with BIAB.

 

Some day maybe you will find me out in the garage boiling a 5-gallon batch after mashing in my Igloo cooler, but for now -- or until my wife kicks me out the kitchen -- I'll stick with mash-in-sack!🍻

 

 

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A lot of different ways to skin the cat. 

 

Whatever floats your boat to make your brew day enjoyable AND still reasonably hit your targets.

 

You guys all know I like to golf.

 

The saying there is that the score card only shows how many strokes it took to get in the hole, not how!

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All of these analogies and philosophical golf comments are freaking great! 

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5 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

My take.

 

Some guy down under decided that true BIAB implied no sparging.  Fine, but I like either rinsing the bag with hot water or "dunking" the bag in a volume of 170 F, pH-adjusted water for 10 minutes -- basically an extended "mash-out" of sorts.  Yes, I now have an extra vessel to clean but on the small scale of my brewing, this is not a big deal.  Interestingly, my OGs have improved a couple points since going to the dunk method and I usually overshoot Qbrew's estimate.  I should also note that I have never brewed with a mash tun, Vorlaufed, or been to Munich so I'm still working on getting that clearer pre-boil wort that Palmer has us all striving for.

 

And then there are aspects of thick-mashing vs full volume BIAB thin-mashing, and hop utilization calculations that come into play.  I put these considerations in my "needs review when I have the time" category.

 

As for step-mashing, I agree that it does produce a highly fermentable wort and I do like the idea of breaking down long-chain proteins to help mitigate haze.  It is nice to be able to step-mash with BIAB.

 

Some day maybe you will find me out in the garage boiling a 5-gallon batch after mashing in my Igloo cooler, but for now -- or until my wife kicks me out the kitchen -- I'll stick with mash-in-sack!🍻

 

 

Like you, I feel like there's value added in rinsing the grains somehow. I understand Creeps' point about saturation, but also worried about the effects such a thin mash. I hadn't looked into it much, put your mention about it affecting hop utilization does deserve a second look. 

I think my best bet is to simply add the bag to what I'm doing already. There isn't much to batch sparging. Using the bag will reduce the need to vorlauf and help me get the last bit of sugars resulting in a respectable mash efficiency. 

Best of all, I've really enjoyed debating all of this with you guys and sharing thoughts, ideas, and hypotheses. The only thing missing is a back yard, some decent weather, and beer. 

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Question, what does hop utilization have to do with mashing? Unless your mash hopping but still your not hot enough to get utilization are you? Youre just stealing the oils and flavor. 
 

now, hop utilization vs gravity would be a discussion on partial volume boils vs full volume and wed be back to talking about max saturation points again. Cant get away from the topic 

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8 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Question, what does hop utilization have to do with mashing? Unless your mash hopping but still your not hot enough to get utilization are you? Youre just stealing the oils and flavor. 
 

now, hop utilization vs gravity would be a discussion on partial volume boils vs full volume and wed be back to talking about max saturation points again. Cant get away from the topic 

In theory, it doesn't seem like it should make a difference. I haven't done any research on it yet, but @Bonsai & Brew said it, so it must hold some water (or wort?) lol. 

Going back to the exbeeriment I read yesterday, there was something different about the no sparge beer, something with body or haze or proteins. Maybe whatever that was plays a part in the hop utilization? Maybe it's just a minor difference though? 

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2 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

Question, what does hop utilization have to do with mashing? Unless your mash hopping but still your not hot enough to get utilization are you? Youre just stealing the oils and flavor. 
 

now, hop utilization vs gravity would be a discussion on partial volume boils vs full volume and wed be back to talking about max saturation points again. Cant get away from the topic 

That's what I was trying to suggest, rather lazily I must say.     

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5 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

All of these analogies and philosophical golf comments are freaking great! 

This turned into a very nice discussion if you ask me. Top notch

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We have turned this into a variety of discussions, for sure. 

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So I figure this to be the best place to ask an off the wall question, instead of starting a new thread. I'm looking to squeeze in one more batch before setting my sights on preparing to move. I have a 3 gallon corny and quarter barrel (7.75 gal) sanke available. I think the 3 gal would go too quick, so I want to make a bigger batch. My problem is not having a fermenter larger than 7 gal. I thought about making ~8 gallons and splitting the wort between two 5 gallon carboys. I could then combine them at kegging. Temperature control would fall to the wayside, unless I just put one in the fermenting fridge. I figure I could do a saison, letting the higher temps produce some nice, estery goodness. If I go that route, what is the best way to add yeast? Do I do one yeast pack per carboy? Make a two liter starter with two (or one) packs of yeast, then split the starter? 

Your thoughts, por favor...

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1 hour ago, Big Sarge said:

So I figure this to be the best place to ask an off the wall question, instead of starting a new thread. I'm looking to squeeze in one more batch before setting my sights on preparing to move. I have a 3 gallon corny and quarter barrel (7.75 gal) sanke available. I think the 3 gal would go too quick, so I want to make a bigger batch. My problem is not having a fermenter larger than 7 gal. I thought about making ~8 gallons and splitting the wort between two 5 gallon carboys. I could then combine them at kegging. Temperature control would fall to the wayside, unless I just put one in the fermenting fridge. I figure I could do a saison, letting the higher temps produce some nice, estery goodness. If I go that route, what is the best way to add yeast? Do I do one yeast pack per carboy? Make a two liter starter with two (or one) packs of yeast, then split the starter? 

Your thoughts, por favor...

1 pack each. Stress the yeast and get more esters. Screw temp control

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13 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

1 pack each. Stress the yeast and get more esters. Screw temp control

I like it. Do you have a go to saison yeast?

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2 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

I like it. Do you have a go to saison yeast?

If you can find some saisonsteins monster. Otherwise I have no problem with belle saison. Wyeast american Farmhouse is quite good too. 

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44 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

If you can find some saisonsteins monster. Otherwise I have no problem with belle saison. Wyeast american Farmhouse is quite good too. 

How's conditioning time on the lot of these? I'm obviously looking for one that doesn't require much. 

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24 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

How's conditioning time on the lot of these? I'm obviously looking for one that doesn't require much. 

Then go with the liquids, or blend one with the belle saison. I think that one is really estery. A little saisonsteins monster would balance it out nicely if you blended the two. Probably shorten the wait time

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28 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Then go with the liquids, or blend one with the belle saison. I think that one is really estery. A little saisonsteins monster would balance it out nicely if you blended the two. Probably shorten the wait time

The monster seems unavailable at my new go-to online retailer. I like my liquid yeast to only be on the road no more than 24 hours on an ice pack. Probably go with the Wyeast Farmhouse. 

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Here we go, really want to see this through and quick, regardless of how many times the wife rolls her eyes. Rough draft...

 

Oklahoma's Last Stand Saison (8 gal)

11# Pilsner

4# White Wheat

1# Clear Candi Sugar

.5 Simcoe FWH

.5 Simcoe 60min

1.0 Amarillo (WP)

1.0 Amarillo (DH)

2x Wyeast Farmhouse Ale

 

Pretty straightforward, keeping it medium gravity. 

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32 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

Here we go, really want to see this through and quick, regardless of how many times the wife rolls her eyes. Rough draft...

 

Oklahoma's Last Stand Saison (8 gal)

11# Pilsner

4# White Wheat

1# Clear Candi Sugar

.5 Simcoe FWH

.5 Simcoe 60min

1.0 Amarillo (WP)

1.0 Amarillo (DH)

2x Wyeast Farmhouse Ale

 

Pretty straightforward, keeping it medium gravity. 

One question. What size kegs and fermenters? Why not 10 gallons?

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My current keg collection is a 3 gal corny, a sixth barrel (5 gal) sanke, and quarter barrel (7.75 gal) sanke. Fermenters include multiple buckets, 5 galling carboys, and a 7 gal fermonster. 

My kettle is 10 gallons. 

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So, if I get the green light to order supplies tonight, I'm hit with another problem. My malt mill still hasn't shipped, because of the virus and all. I could easily see having the ingredients here before Saturday, but no promises on the mill. I could easily order the grains crushed, but I really wanted to try my hand at doing my own. Maybe I shouldn't, given the time constraints? I'm sure not brewing it this weekend wouldn't be a complete show stopper, but I also don't want to rush later. The mill would likely only take a day or two to get here (shipping from San Antonio). Maybe I could add a pound of unmilled 2 row to the order, for practice and research and all?

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1 hour ago, Big Sarge said:

So, if I get the green light to order supplies tonight, I'm hit with another problem. My malt mill still hasn't shipped, because of the virus and all. I could easily see having the ingredients here before Saturday, but no promises on the mill. I could easily order the grains crushed, but I really wanted to try my hand at doing my own. Maybe I shouldn't, given the time constraints? I'm sure not brewing it this weekend wouldn't be a complete show stopper, but I also don't want to rush later. The mill would likely only take a day or two to get here (shipping from San Antonio). Maybe I could add a pound of unmilled 2 row to the order, for practice and research and all?

Order them crushed. Trust me. Nothing worse than having everything ready and then your drill goes missing. Or the mill is uneven. Leave large bags unmilled, but if youre ordering for one brew day, get them milled

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1 minute ago, Creeps McLane said:

Order them crushed. Trust me. Nothing worse than having everything ready and then your drill goes missing. Or the mill is uneven. Leave large bags unmilled, but if youre ordering for one brew day, get them milled

Makes sense. I just wanted to play with my new toy! If it gets here, of course...

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4 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Here we go, really want to see this through and quick, regardless of how many times the wife rolls her eyes. Rough draft...

 

Oklahoma's Last Stand Saison (8 gal)

11# Pilsner

4# White Wheat

1# Clear Candi Sugar

.5 Simcoe FWH

.5 Simcoe 60min

1.0 Amarillo (WP)

1.0 Amarillo (DH)

2x Wyeast Farmhouse Ale

 

Pretty straightforward, keeping it medium gravity. 

Update: they only had 1 Wyeast Farmhouse available online, so it'll be a 50/50 blend with Wyeast 3712 French Saison. 

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On Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 6:10 PM, Cato said:

I tried sparging a couple of times but gave it up. I ratchet it up after the mash is done and let it hang for 20 minutes. No squeezing or any of that messy stuff. 20 minutes its down to just a light trickle and by then my kettle level is where BS says it should be for the boil. Can you get a little more wort if you have your gloves on and squeeze. Yes, but it can get sticky and messy and to me I like a clean easy brew day. Disclaimer if I'm running short cause I screwed up somewhere then yeah I'll tackle a little squeezing, but otherwise I don't. That's just me and my preferences.

Oh, I do full volume boil in a 10 gal kettle for my max 5-5.5 gal batches. If you're doing a big beer or working with trying to do a 4.5 gal batch in a 5.5 gal kettle and having to go with less water then yeah sparging or topping off would come into play. Shoulda made that clear before I started typing.

I use a 10 gallon cooler mash tun and have never attempted BIAB. Are you able to twist your bag rather than trying to squeeze it? Asking because I don't know.

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10 minutes ago, D Kristof said:

I use a 10 gallon cooler mash tun and have never attempted BIAB. Are you able to twist your bag rather than trying to squeeze it? Asking because I don't know.

Yes you can twist the bag some but to do so that gets sticky too and you also start twisting the pulley rope, so its not really too productive.

 

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