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Using the BIAB method and rinsing the grains as a final step I obtained an efficiency of 86%. Is this possible? I was very careful with measurements throughout the process. You can check my work at http://lotusneuron.blogspot.com.
BIAB can produce some great efficiency results. I've seen brewers squeeze the crap out of the grain bag to get everything out of it. I've also heard this is not good practice because you'll extract tannins. The one BIAB I've done produced an efficiency of around 83%, if my memory serves me right. I didn't squeeze the bag of grains, but did rinse it with 168 degree water before I started boiling. I pulled the bag and sat it on top of a very large slotted pizza pan over my brew kettle. I then poured the water through the grains and it drained directly into my kettle. I let it set a while, then removed the grain bag and pizza pan and was ready for the boil.
I liked this method well enough I'm going to try again soon for a dunkelweizen.
That's the same thing I do while brewing in a bag. It works great! I've always planned on stepping up to what I thought was the next brewing level witch to me is using a mash tun. But, is it another level?
What do you guys think? The brew in a bag method is easy, fast and just as effective, so I read.
Does the beer taste better when done the traditional way? Is it just still done that way because it is tradition? I won't be able to decide if I should get the additional equipment without a few opinions.
It's still pretty cold here in Reno so I'm working hard on my wort warmer. I have a son of a fermentation chiller wired with a cheap thermostat, a Goodwill ceramic heater($5) and a salvaged computer fan. I run the heater through a 10amp SSR(solid state relay) so my heater doesn't melt the thermostat. I can keep my wort warm enough to ferment in my garage (wife hates the smell of beer) I hope. As soon as that is up and working I'm going to do my first BIAB.
It appears that the best way is to BIAB in an 8.5gal boil pot is to mash in a bag with about 3 gal of water and then sparge with about 3.5gal of water at 170degf. I have two bottling buckets so I think I'll sparge my bag in a bottling bucket for about 20 minutes then slowly drain through the bottling spigot. The grain back should filter just fine.
BTW: I tried just puting the heater in my box but the heat control just didn't work well enough. It was slow to turn on and slow to turn off. ugh.