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BIAB Beginner question

I am just starting some research on BIAB and am wondering how to convert all grain recipes into BIAB recipes without completely screwing them up.

I have the beersmith app and my equipment profile set up for my BIAB profile, but the mash out steps still involve fly sparging, or some other form of sparging when I attempt to scale the recipe. I don’t know. The volumes seem right but the method does not.

Does anyone have any advice on how to properly scale a BIAB recipe when looking at a traditional all grain recipe?

You only need to scale once you find the efficiency of your system…which means…get brewing :slight_smile:

When starting BIAB, the conventional advice is to start with an estimated efficiency of 70%. For the first couple of batches, have a plan in mind for what to do if you don’t get that efficiency.

  • if the actual efficiency is too low, will you add DME/LME? If so, how much?
  • if the actual efficiency is too high, will you add water? If so, how much?
  • if the actual efficiency is within a reasonable range, will you accept the variance?

I started biab several years ago. I used the all grain kits from NB with no assumptions of efficiency. I think they are based on 75% efficiency. My numbers always seem to be almost exactly what the kit predicts. I mash in my boil kettle(10 gal) and dunk sparge in a 5 gal kettle. So I just divide the mash and sparge water so that my sparge is never more than 3 gallons. Has always worked out great. So if I were going to make my own recipes, studying those kits and their proportions is where I’d begin.




You would have to adjust the recipe for any method of all grain based on efficiency. That’s the fun of all grain no matter what style of mash you do you will have to adjust your recipe to your efficiency. Kind of a problem with all grain kits since they send you a bag of grains and you need to adjust your process to match their efficiency which may be different depending where you get the kit. If you get a recipe online or whatever they generally will give you their efficiency if yours is the same just go with it if not use an online calculator to adjust it just keep the %s the same and brew. Of course like mentioned above just brew it as is and relax have brew doesn’t matter that much.

Thanks brew cat and everybody else. I will have to pu more attention to my efficiency.

Due to my biginners knowledge of the terminology and such, I may not be asking the question correctly. I was under the impression that with BIAB, you do not have to sparg (rinse the grains). I basically thought that you soak them, lift the bag out, and start your boil. So, I was a little confused when some people were referring to sparging, and my beersmith app was telling me to sparge when I was doing a BIAB.

So, I will do more research on the process. I am still a little confused on how much water to use if the whole point of BIAB is to mash, lift the bag out, and then go right into the boil without rinsing (sparging).

How big will your batches be? With 6-8 pounds of grain i typically lose around a half gallon of water…i just control how much i end up with by adjusting how vigorous the boil is.

You can sparge…pull bag and put it in strainer and pour water over it. Its up to you if you want to or not :grinning:

What you’re referring to is a full volume BIAB mash. All you need to do is just account for water loss during the mash and boil. That’s your mash volume.

Let’s say you want to begin your boil with 6 gals becuase you know you’ll boil off 1 gal in an hour long boil.

That means you need to account for grain absorption of water and adjust your mash volume to 6 gals plus what the grain will absorb. If it’s .10 gal per lb of grain then for an 8 lb mash you’d mash in with 6.8 gals. Make sense?

Some brewers like myself like to mash in the kettle but use more traditional mash ratios and sparge to get our preboil volume. I started out that way because my kettle was too small for a full volume mash and I’ve just carried over the process because it works well for me with high efficiency and I’ve built my system around the process. Many ways to skin a cat.

That makes a ton of sense. Thank you! I consistently make good beer. I am just trying to continue to improve my processes and make them as efficient as possible. My fear is releasing too many off flavors if I mess with the grain too much during mash out/sparging. Ultimately, I have learned that I need to do a better job at measuring my efficiency. I have all the equipment I would need to brew just about any way I would like. There are just so many techniques that I am trying to settle on one that works well for me.

Skin a cat? That makes me uncomfortable


I’m a little surprised that the beersmith 2 app doesn’t have a efficiency calculator.

It does. If you plug in the info it will calculate your mash as well as brewhouse efficiency.

I just have the mobile version. I don’t think it is on there.

Dog gone nasty, eh? Sneezles61

More comfortable with the dog gone

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I apologize if I offended with my talk of skinning cats…some of my best friends are cats. I even have a beer named after a cat.

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