BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

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BigArms2015

BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by BigArms2015 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:34 pm

Hi all

Just wondering can a person tell a difference between BIAB and all grain beer in finished product in terms of clarity and taste etc. I am extract brewer for couple of years ciders and beers but I wanna get this all grain beer going as I heard great things about it..

Cheers

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Goulders
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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by Goulders » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:12 pm

BIAB is all grain. It's just a different method to traditional 3 vessels etc.

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bigchris
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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by bigchris » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:45 am

I don't think anyone would tell the difference between beers produced using the more traditional 3 vessel method and a BIAB beer. The boiling and fermenting are still identical, the main difference is in how the grain and the wort are separated. BIAB the grain is lifted from the wort, 3v the wort is drained from the grain.

AnthonyUK

Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by AnthonyUK » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:58 am

Brulosophy did an exbeeriment where two indentical brews were fermented except one had all the trub transferred which you could expect more of in BIAB.
The trubbier beer ended up being clearer as I think more particulates means more nucleation points for clumping.

There are also reasons why you wouldn't want to do this for certain beers such as ones for longer storage but generally there is no issue.

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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by Meatymc » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:07 pm

Can't comment on the full blown 3 vessel route but BIAB has proved great for me. Only have a 33l 'kettle' but am experimenting on the sparge and managed to get 21l bottled at the last attempt. Very young but first tasting is promising.

Just go for it - haven't heard of anyone whose regretted the move.

danb3434

Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by danb3434 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:32 pm

With BIAB you don't sparge the grain, so your efficiency will be a little lower than in all grain! This doesn't really have an effect on clarity. It's definetely something that is worth doing though if want to transition into all-grain brewing.
Dan

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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by Meatymc » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:43 pm

ERM.........ready to be shot down in flames but sparged on my last biab to get a higher initial volume - only have a 33l pan. Latest brew (marstons pedigree clone) came out at 5.25% with 20 litres bottled.

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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by vacant » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:24 am

@danb3434 @Meatymc - need to clarify what people think BIAB means.

I started AG using BIAB in 2007, learning from an Aussie forum. At that time BIAB was a no-sparge method. These days it means your mash tun is also your boiler and sparging may or may not be involved. Rinsing the grains once they've been lifted clear of the wort will obviously improve the extraction. Mixing in more water after the mash before the grain is lifted will also improve the extraction.

Anyway, I worked out this example to show why a two stage batch sparge must extract more than a no-sparge, all other factors being equal:

Initial assumptions:

1) 35 ltr total liquor
2) 5 Kg of grain in the mash tun
3) when drained the grain retains 5 ltr of wort
4) result is 30 ltr into the boiler

BIAB

Add 35 ltr full volume and do the mash
Once fully saturated 30 of the 35 ltr can be drained i.e 30/35 = 86% of sugars get to the boiler
The wort in the grain retains 14% of the sugars

Two Stage Batch Sparge

Target is to sparge two lots of 15 ltr
Add 12.5 ltr, mash then add a further 7.5 ltr (total 20 ltr) for the first sparge
Once fully saturated, 15 ltr sparged, 5 ltr retained in the grain so 75% of the sugars got to the boiler
25% of the sugar remains in the grain because 5 ltr of wort remains in the grain
Add the remaining 15 ltr to the mash tun, back to 20 ltr liquor
Once fully saturated we can drain 15 out of 20 ltr (15/20) but that wort contains a quarter (5/20) of the sugar so 15/20 * 5/20 can be drained = 19%
The boiler now has 30 ltr with 75% sugar from the first sparge and 19% from the second sparge = 94%
The wort in the grain now retains 6% of the sugars
I brew therefore I ... I .... forget

AnthonyUK

Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by AnthonyUK » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:30 am

I don't dispute your figures at all vacant but I do have to ask why aim so high?
65-75% efficiency is a perfectly acceptable efficiency figure to aim for and where you want to be for the best balance of optimum quality without too much cost.

For someone starting out like the OP I would imagine your post would scare them off :mrgreen:

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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:07 pm

For BIAB/single vessel, your base zero-effort efficiency will be higher than a three vessel system. There are sparge tricks to be mastered and problems overcome to get 3V efficiency into good numbers.

In addition BIAB can apply efficiency tricks that are peculiar to the bag. Squeezing the grain bag is popular, as is dunk sparging and very fine crush.

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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by vacant » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:38 pm

TheSumOfAllBeers wrote:For BIAB/single vessel, your base zero-effort efficiency will be higher than a three vessel system. There are sparge tricks to be mastered and problems overcome to get 3V efficiency into good numbers.

In addition BIAB can apply efficiency tricks that are peculiar to the bag. Squeezing the grain bag is popular, as is dunk sparging and very fine crush.
Nope, after a dozen or so BIAB my efficiency went up by 5 to 10 points as a novice batch sparger. I didn't deploy any tricks as far as I am aware and maybe I encountered no problems as I just picked up hints and tips from Jims, Horden Hillbilly etc.

Anyway, I've noticed no difference in clarity over the years. About 1 in 7 of my brew days are BIAB.
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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by rpt » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:27 pm

I think vacant's argument for increased efficiency from sparging isn't quite right. It doesn't take into account the fact that efficiency is lower at higher gravities. The initial mash will be a higher gravity and so will extract less sugar, so it isn't a like for like comparison.

I've never sparged because, provided your pot is big enough for your brew length, it gives good efficiency and is so easy. The Australians at biabrewer.info insist that sparging does not increase efficiency but I've never tested it myself. I get great efficiency and a shorter brew day.

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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by PhilB » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:45 pm

Hi rpt
rpt wrote:I think vacant's argument for increased efficiency from sparging isn't quite right. It doesn't take into account the fact that efficiency is lower at higher gravities. The initial mash will be a higher gravity and so will extract less sugar, so it isn't a like for like comparison.
... I'm not sure that's right either, I think you'd have to go to extremes (way outside the volumes we would ever consider mashing in) before "mash efficiency" (that's the total sugars in the mash liquor (the gravity multiplied by the volume of liquor mashed in) expressed as a proportion of the total potential sugars that could be extracted from the grain) would vary significantly over a range of mash liquor/grain proportions ... and what vacant is talking about is "efficiency into kettle" (that's the total sugars in the wort in the kettle (the gravity multiplied by the volume of wort in the kettle) expressed as a proportion of the total potential sugars that could be extracted from the grain) and the difference, as he shows, is in the sugars left in the grain :? ... the difference (sometimes) however, is that the amount of wort left in the grain can vary quite a bit depending on how you BIAB vs how you 2-3V ... a well drained, well squeezed grain bag may hold onto only 0.5 ltr/kg of grain, and have no deadspace ... whereas a gravity drained, mash-lauter tun with a (poorly designed) manifold (leaving a large deadspace) might hold onto 1 ltr/kg and lose an extra 1.5 lts to deadspace ... those are the conditions that might mean that vacant's comparison isn't comparing like for like (I haven't done the sums, but that may well leave the BIAB option looking more efficient (overall)) :? ... but clearly that's not what he found :?

I think, however, that the point that the BIABrewer.info crowd would make here, is that in order to get that (slight) improvement in efficiency ... you need to "invest" in more equipment ... and on our scale there's a question over whether, in the long run the savings will cover the costs of the "investment" ... we know that if you're really worried about this (i.e. a commercial brewer) then the economies of scale have shown for hundreds of years that you need to go LARGE, and you should fly-sparge ... but we're a long way away from that situation ... so I think they'd suggest, and I think I'd agree with them, that efficiency/economics probably isn't really a factor whether you single vessel or multi-vessel, the deciding factors should all be about ease of managing the process and convenience, which is probably more about personal preference :?

Cheers, PhilB

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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by vacant » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:07 pm

rpt wrote:I think vacant's argument for increased efficiency from sparging isn't quite right. It doesn't take into account the fact that efficiency is lower at higher gravities. The initial mash will be a higher gravity and so will extract less sugar, so it isn't a like for like comparison.

I've never sparged because, provided your pot is big enough for your brew length, it gives good efficiency and is so easy. The Australians at biabrewer.info insist that sparging does not increase efficiency but I've never tested it myself. I get great efficiency and a shorter brew day.
The maths surrounding solution concentrations is sound. The mathematics explaining conversion efficiency is explored on the braukaiser wiki which are linear relationships AFAICT (@anthonyUK - sorry more maths referred to!).

For information on lower efficiency for bigger beers try Declining Extract Efficiency at Higher Original Gravities.

As an old-fashioned* BIABer I've never dunk sparged as I'm not too concerned about efficiency, but theoretically I would think that would increase extraction. Why would people dunk sparge if it didn't? I'd like to read the Aussie theories if you could provide a link. As for shorter brew-day, My BIAB days are no shorter than my batch sparge days. The reason for this is I don't have a timer to switch on my water. I've never used a HLT. Guess what? Heating 12.5 litres to strike temperature is much quicker than heating 35 litres to strike temperature. While the mash during a "batch sparge day" in on I heat for the sparge. The time saved is pretty much equal to the time it takes to batch sparge. That's one reason I still do both.

* my original point - BIAB started off no-sparge but these days it just means shared mash tun and boiler with or without some sort of sparge
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Re: BIAB vs All Grain Beer quality and clarity

Post by aamcle » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:35 pm

I've discussed extraction on Biabrewer.info some very very experienced brewers tell me that sparging is not needed and doesn't improve efficiency.

Personally I've found dunk sparging gets an increase in extraction, but it's easier to just use a bit more grain.


Aamcle

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