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Hello everybody,

kids will be gone, jobs are ticked off-ish, so a free weekend :D. My question for you brewers is, when it comes to mash out time & 76-78*C is reached, is it best to remove the bag o grains straight away or hold off for X amount of minutes. The reading I've done can be conflicting, some don't say while others suggest up to 15min?. Whats the general consensus, cheers.

started by David Wild.    

 

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Gday David

 

The whole idea behind the 'mash out' stage in BIAB is that you are making the sugars more soluble in the wort so that you're leaving less behind in the bag when you pull it out. But you have to be careful that the mash doesn't get too hot (80*c) or you can start extracting some nasty stuff like tannins along with the sugary goodness.

 

Personally, I BIAB and skip the mash out step altogether, I find that by pulling the bag out after mashing, and adding a sparge step I can achieve more consistent results.

 

Have fun :o)

Hey Reviled, thanks for your reply :), with the sparge, would you be using just enough HL through the bag to bring it up to pre boil volume or is there a set litreage?, & disregard the pre boil volume, cheers.

"would you be using just enough HL through the bag to bring it up to pre boil volume"

 

That's pretty much it mate, I have a mark on my kettle which is my pre-boil mark (don't ask me how many litres it is exactly, but I usually sparge with between 4-8 litres of water from the kitchen jug at 78*c - It can be a bit of a pain waiting for jug after jug to get up to volume, but as stated for me its a bit more consistent.

 

Before I sparged I was getting massive efficiency fluctuations, like 10-15% difference some times!

Interested in how much you are sparging with as well. I assume you calculate how much wort you want to end up with, how much water the grain will absorb, how much will boil off and use that as a total amount, and then set some aside at the start to use as your sparge?

"I assume you calculate"

 

lol, I wish as it would make it easier to explain ;o) haha

 

No calculations, I've just got to know my system quite well, so I know if my preboil volume starts at the 'scum line' (the line you cant scrub off no matter how hard you try) and I boil for 90 mins, I get roughly 20-23 litres of the good stuff. I sparge more or less depending on the grain bill - for example 4kg ill sparge with say 4 litres and ill up it for a 6 or 7kg grist. Grain will absorb roughly 0.75 - 1 litre per kilo if you're not squeezing the bag.

 

But - Were probably confusing David a little now ;o) So my advice really, is to take the plunge, figure out what works for you and get to know your system. That way youll iron out the variables!

No worries. Thanks for that info. Knowing that you use approx a litre for every kg of grain is helpful.

 

I notice most BIAB talk about letting the bag drain etc, but I have not seen comments about squeezing or pressing. Do you start to get bad things into your wort if you are squeezing the bag?

Ralph I used to squeeze, and I didn't adjust the mash PH and my beers looked like milk, or apple juice despite months in the keg and finings and sh*t like that... I could never get it even remotely clear.

 

So, I stopped squeezing the bag (it was widely referred to years ago on AHB), and started acidifying the mash down as close to 5.2 as I could get it - just using citric acid or tartaric or whatever. And I was pouring bright (still a bit hazy but come on) beer after only a week or two in the keg, and no post fermentation finings (I do use kettle finings). The other thing I noticed, was there was fu*k all difference in my efficiency, so squeezing was really doing me no favours.

 

 

Out of interest, can you ever taste the acid you add to get the pH correct? The amount you are adding might be under the taste threshold, but I am curious.

the most i've added is two teaspoons of citric acid to 26 odd litres of mash - it was a pale ale, and I personally didn't taste the acid in the slightest..

 

It says on the packaging of citric acid - 'Used to enhance fruit flavours in cooking' - so perhaps it simply enhanced all those delicious fruity flavours of the hops, but not in a way that I noticed..

 

Some people say you can taste it, but I think youd be hardpressed

Each of the food acids have their own particular taste, and the tastes are often associated with fruit, as that is where you will most often find the food acid in concentration. I know what citric tastes like in solution and I think I would be hard pressed to taste it at 2 teaspoons per 26 litres in plain water, let alone in beer.

 

Hmm maybe I will look at getting a pH meter somewhere down the line too.

My advice, is if you can 'borrow' a PH meter for a while, eventually you wont 'really' need it.

 

Once youve acidified a few times, you get a feel for how much acid you need - I find I dont ever bust out the PH meter any more, as im not trying to hit 5.2 bang on, just get somewhere between 5.2 and 5.7 which works well for me. If I was going to go any more hardout id look into water chemistry... A teaspoon or two - depending on how much specialty malt I have - does the trick for me :)

Actually come to think of it, strips should give you a feel for the PH band as well, at a cheaper price!!

 

Note - People are probably reading this thinking im giving really bad advice - but its simply what I do, and has served me fine so far! Personally ive found throwing away the calculator and brewing on 'feel' can be great!! Whilst a little more variable ;o) haha

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