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BIAB efficiency?

Hello I brew Northern Brewer 3gal BIAB Dead Ringer IPA recipe kit back on 3/11/19. So my problem is the recipe say the OG should be 1.064 but after I boil for 60min my OG was 1.050. The system that I brew this recipe on was my Brewer’s Edge Mash&Boil unit I put all this information into Brewer Friend’s calculate an it told me that my efficiency was 54% now what would i need to do to get my efficiency up to 65 to 69% instead of the 54%. Now this was my first brew using the Brewer’s Edge Mash&Boil unit so still a little leaning curve. Sorry forgot to say what Temperature I Mash at. the 3gal BIAB dead ringer IPA I mash @ 152f for 75min an then put up the grain basket to drain off the wort into the Mash&Boil unit.

What temperature did you mash at? Did you squeeze out the bag? Did you sparge?

I mash @ 152f for 60min but I did 75min. There was no bag the Mash&Boil use a stainless steel grain basket that what I use to separate the grain’s from the wort

oh right you said that. Did you sparge? I get 80% efficiency often and always 75% or above with a true BIAB so you did something sideways

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No I don’t I did I did do a no-sparge when I was brewing

what did you do to get all the sugars out of the grains after mash then?
what water or water additions did you use?

I use 5.4 gallon’s of Store bought spring water an no I did not add anything to the water. After I mash for 75min I lifted The grain basket out an let it drain For like 5 to 10 mins after it was all collected I took a hydrometer sample for my pre-boil gravity An it was 1.042.

Check your volume at post boil is very easy to be off especially on smaller batches. Is the kettle marked? You may not have boiled off as much as you normally did in your old pot. Sounds like you need to dial in your new system. I’m not familiar with the mash and boil but every system is a little different. Probably need to do a few more batches on it.

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Poor grain milling is the most common culprit in low efficiency. How was your grain crushed?

Many people do BIAB without a sparge and get much better efficiency than that.


I just looked at the Mash & Boil because I was curious. Looks like they do recommend a sparge. I do a sparge with my BIAB and get very high effeciency. Usually in the 90+% range even after opening my crush some. I have crushed as tight as .026 but currently crush at .034 to kep my efficiency more consistent across different size grain bills.

Still as I mentioned above there are lots of BIABers that do a full volume mash and get great efficiency. It all goes back to the crush.

For BIAB it’s recommended to crush your grain tighter than for a traditional mash because there’s no concern for a stuck sparge. So my original question regarding crush stands. Was this a 3 gal “BIAB kit” from NB? If so I’d suspect the grain wasn’t crushed well enough. Call NB and ask what the mill is set on. If you’re going to brew all grain one of your best investments is a grain mill. You control your crush and it’s more consistent.

Yeah dedicated BIAB’er here.
I get in the 75% or higher range; I do sparge(it probably varies per brewer, but my technique is to heat to 170* in a separate 5 gallon kettle appropriately treated water as per the calculated amount, generally 3-4 gallons of sparge water. When at mashout I slowly “ladle” this water over 2-3 bags of grain pulled from the wort at mashout.
During this time the wort in the 10 gallon brew kettle is approaching boiling, but adding the 170* sparged water knocks it back and delays the boil a bit.)

Primitive, low tech but it works. Even if that German guy can taste “Brew in a Bag” off flavors :joy:



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Just saw this post on the BrewBag FB page and thought it was appropriate to share on this thread.

"Understanding that exposing as much of the endosperm to water as possible enables conversion to occur at its maximum. That means crushing the grain as low as your mill will allow. A mill setting of .020 or lower will accomplish this. But you’ll make beer above this setting as well.

You need to optimize the grain crush to convert, and use enough water to flush the wort (sugar) from the tun without dilution or change in pH - caused by sparging with plain water - heated or not.

Allow molecular changes to occur without disruption in an optimal environment. pH - temperature - viscosity.
A water to grain ratio of 2.6 or greater was confirmed by Troester as a major contributor to kettle efficiency - not particularly conversion, as conversion will occur to the same degree given enough time no matter the WTGR - but, moving the most converted - non-diluted - wort to the boil kettle occurs when the WTGR is 2.6 quarts per pound or greater.

You’ll average 78.5% - depending on the size of the grain bill, large vs small, some will be high 60’s some will be high 80’s.

Don’t toss the baby with the bath water - capture 100% of available wort. If you toss wort with the grain in the tun - you’re lowering the total volume of available wort - that lowers kettle efficiency."

Yes here a pic of my recipe from Brewer Friend

We known recipe. We’ve all made this in some form. What we are saying is that you threw out your fermentabes as they were still in your grains.

There is also the possibility that you took a gravity reading at a super low temperature and did not adjust for temperature… because… well… you have to

Ok so should I of let the grain’s drain more an also I did take the OG at 75.5f an I look up the temperature correction for the 75.5 an the hydrometer that I was using was Northern Brewer Percision hydrometer.

temp was probably not a factor. You would have to get near freezing or something to mess that up that much

Recirc… You want to “rinse” as much sugars out… Maybe even squish it too… You’ll get more volume…
And now the question needs to be asked… Do you have an accurate handle on volumes of HL? With that grain bill, you definitely are missing out on the available potential… You have been taking notes… Yes? Record volumes, temps… Yes? Perhaps your rushing a process that needs some"nurturing"… Having a new fangled gizmo won’t make a better brew… Understanding… reading… recording all that you do as you brew… WILL… Keep after it… Sneezles61


Does the water move while it mashes. If not you might want to stir vigorously every 15 minutes.
Yes you need to drain more, completely, but you also need to sparge as everyone is suggesting

+1 to stirring. Not sure if it applies as much with your Mash and Boil unit, but as I’ve said on similar threads beware of the dreaded dough balls!

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