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Typical BIAB efficiency

RickS

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I am just wondering what the typical efficiency of BIAB is forr most Brews?
 

ChrisS

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I use a turkey fryer basket to hold my grain bag. I do a double crush on the grain. I also reserve usually about 2 gallons from the mash water and do a "trickle sparge" through the raised basket after the mash to get to my full boil volume. This gets me about 80% efficiency every time. When I first started doing BIAB, I did a full volume mash with a single crush and no sparge and got around 65%. I know of some people that do a super fine crush and 85-90%. Since you don't have to worry about a stuck sparge with BIAB, you can crush REALLY fine.
 

Foothiller

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In the context that I do 2.5 gallon batches, I mash my grain in a nylon bag in a 2 gallon beverage cooler, then empty the wort into a 3 gallon pot and move the grain bag to 2 gallon pots.  I pour a quart of water at 170 F over the grain and let that sparge while I heat another quart in the microwave, then move the grain bag to another 2 gallon pot and repeat the sparging, moving between pots until I have my full volume (or until the sparge water's gravity drops to 1.010, which actually hasn't happened yet).  I regularly get 70-80% efficiency.
 

RickS

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Thanks, Foothiller.  I can say that on average so far that efficiency is around 70%.
 

petergarner

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Late on this, but I consistently get 73% brewhouse efficiency with my 10-litre (2.5 gal) BIAB setup. I do a full volume mash (i.e., no sparge at all) and double crush my grain. I also do a "mash out" (i.e., raise the wort temp to 76C before removing the bag). The purpose of the mash out is not to denature the enzymes but rather to increase sugar solubility.

If I only did BIAB, I would set my mill to give a finer crush, which would probably increase my efficiency, but since I also have a more traditional setup, I am content to simply double crush and take the efficiency hit.

Peter
 

durrettd

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The only effect I've seen from BIAB vs other methods is that I can crush a little finer with a bag and get higher efficiency.

There are lots of other factors - totally independent from BIAB vs other methods - that will affect efficiency more.

It's also worth noting that more efficient does not equate to better beer. Lots of brewers report better beer with lower efficiency.
 

VoceWeiser

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I am only about a month into this, so be nice. How can you measure your efficiency? How can you tell if you are at 60, 70 or 80 percent?
 

brewfun

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VoceWeiser said:
I am only about a month into this, so be nice. How can you measure your efficiency? How can you tell if you are at 60, 70 or 80 percent?

Within brewing there are two types of efficiency. Both are related to sugar yield (extract) from grain. Various grains have varying yields, but BeerSmith calculates them individually and totals them to get an accurate efficiency number.

Mash Efficiency: This is the percentage of sugar pulled from grain, based on its total potential yield. It means the yield of one lb of grain mashed to make one gallon of wort. The measurements become "Points per Gallon" or ppg (sometimes pppg). To get that number, multiply the preboil starting gravity by the volume, then divide that by the grain weight in pounds.

The total potential is based on a lab procedure called "Congress Mash" which pulls everything solubol out of the grain. This is not a procedure a homebrewer needs to do. BeerSmith has the typical potential in each grain. It's just a reference point for comparing recipes and malts.

You don't actually want everything that's soluble from the grain. Tannins and gums, for instance, are best left behind. So, the brewer's mash efficiency will always be less than 100%. Homebrewers tend to get 70 to 80% of what's available. Pro brewers tend to get 90+%.

Brewhouse Efficiency: This is the number that BeerSmith uses. It takes the mash efficiency a few steps further by being an expression of how much sugar actually makes it into the fermenter. Within BeerSmith it's strongly effected by the "Loss to Trub and Chiller" number in the equipment profile. BE tallies up the mash efficiency PLUS all of your losses, post boil, so it's always lower than your mash efficiency number.

Unless you're pouring 100% of your kettle into the fermenter, there will always be some spent hops and protein break in the bottom of your kettle. Brewhouse Efficiency will figure that as a percentage of the total wort produced and a loss of sugar to the fermenter.

A half gallon of trub loss to a fermenter yield is 8.3% of the total. So, BE can't be any better than 91.6%. However, you then multiply that by your expected mash efficiency to get your actual BE. So, with an expected mash efficiency of 75%, you get: 0.916 x 0.75 = 0.687 or 68.7% Brewhouse Efficiency.

If you accurately measure volumes, losses and gravity, BeerSmith will calculate your BE. It'll be on the Fermentation page as "Measured Efficiency." You can just use that number in your equipment profile for better accuracy.
 

dionlima

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ChrisS said:
I use a turkey fryer basket to hold my grain bag. I do a double crush on the grain. I also reserve usually about 2 gallons from the mash water and do a "trickle sparge" through the raised basket after the mash to get to my full boil volume. This gets me about 80% efficiency every time. When I first started doing BIAB, I did a full volume mash with a single crush and no sparge and got around 65%. I know of some people that do a super fine crush and 85-90%. Since you don't have to worry about a stuck sparge with BIAB, you can crush REALLY fine.

Hello, Are you talking about Brewhouse eff or Mah eff? In BIAB I'm getting 85% in mash eff but only 62% in brewhouse eff. I'm wondering how I can improve the brewhouse eff since I have already minimized the losses....
 

Oginme

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The discussion is on Mash Efficiency.  If you are achieving 80% mash efficiency but only 65% brew house, you must have some fair amount of losses in your system.  Without seeing your process and/or equipment profile, it would be hard to judge if or where some grains might be made.
 

rletts3

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I brew on a HERMS/BIAB system and finally dialed in the water volumes needed for a 5.5 gallon batch. I did the 3rd batch with a efficiency of 80%.  I recirculate my wort with a brew pump through the HERMS coil and then fly sparge through the lid of the Mash tun/ boil kettle. I try to get the temp differential around 10 degrees between the HLT and Mash Tun. This accomplishes the recirculation to run at the maximum and I feel gets the efficiency up where you need it. My first 2 batches were under recipe OG but my water calculations were 1.25 gallons too much and dropped my OG. I literally thru out that extra wort at the end of cool down and transfer.

 
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