Mast tun, er BIAB

So i will inquire, how many of you used a mash tun, THEN switched to a BIAB. Maybe even waffle back and forth betwixt the two. Or, just put yer mash tun in the closet and don’t use it? Sneezles61

I’ve switched to biab pretty much all the time now that I built a system to do 10 gallon biab. I may use the tun in the winter though since I brew outside it may be easier than dragging doing the insulation. But now I’m store stuff in it.

Thats a good idea, storage container! I haven’t gotten mine all up and running (BIAB), yet, seems the talk leans favorably towards it. I may get a test spin in this WE… Sneezles61

I have a cooler mash tun and have used it a few times but mostly use the brew bag now.

I tried BIAB but lost more temp than I felt comfortable with so went back to the mash tun. I don’t really see much difference between the two systems other than the mash tun holding temps better.

I did a few BIAB bathes, then went back to my cooler. I just found BIAB to be an unworkable PITA for me.

I mostly use the original Denny-style cooler mash tun with a braid that I started with 3 years ago. But, it’s a 5G and with grists of greater than 12 lbs or so, I have used a hybrid BIAB- 2 bags in a larger picnic cooler. Have only used it 3 times in the past year as my mash efficiency drops from 75-80% with my standard setup to 60-65% with my ‘larger grain bill’ setup.

With a 5 gal biab I can match my tuns efficiency. With my ten gallon it’s dropped off a bit. The only difference since go 5 gallons I use a paint strainer bag for 10 I use a viole mesh bag. I’m going to do some more batches ten gallon biab to see if I can increase that.

I use a round cooler as a mash tun, but I use a BIAB bag instead of a false bottom or braid.
I never did a “proper” mash, but I imagine my system is slightly easier to clean. Maybe, maybe not.

this is curious that, 5 gallon batches can match efficiency of a mash tun but not on a 10 gallon batch. I wonder then if thats due to the grain being captive in the center and not being able to sparge the sugars out very readily. So then maybe using a pump, you could inject into the center as you vorlauf? Sneezles61

I think you may be right. The 5 gallon paint strainer I could squeeze out all the wort the larger viole bag I can’t squeeze out so much so I have to experiment more.

I pump water into the grainbed to sparge. I get the same efficiency with 5 or 10 gallon batches.

Something is wrong I just did a biab Porter 5 gallon and my Gravity was short. I added 1 lb DME to get it where I wanted. But looking back my other porters were short. This was a biab. Should I be mashing longer for porters. Ph was 5.5

I don’t see why the style would matter. What’s the recipe?

This is what I got after I added the DME I figured 70% efficiency on the original which is what I usually get.

If I at some point pick up a paint strainer (I don’t even know if they are available where I live), I’ll give BIAB a try. But honestly, using Denny’s easy batch sparge method in a cooler has worked so well for me that it is hard to find motivation to change.

This is just speculation, but I could easily see some people getting lower efficiency with BIAB at higher volumes while others don’t. The key I think would be how thick the mash is, which is a function of the bag size. If the bag is big enough that the grain is loose and can be easily mixed around in the liquid you get high efficiency. If the bag keeps the grain compacted in a tight ball, you don’t.
And with the “modified” BIAB that I think most people use which includes a rinse step, it is even more important that the rinse water penetrates the mass of the grain to bring the efficiency up. That might be difficult to achieve.

It’s funny I woke up to this post because I was racking my brain and that’s kind of what I was thinking. In the 5 gallon strainer bag I used yesterday the bill was 15 lbs it was hard to stir and two much grain in that bag. The other day I did a ten gallon and I have a huge bag so I think the problem was not stirring the grains in good. I was worried about the temp so I said good enough. Next time I’m going to leave the heat on low while I dough in. I’m not worried about burning the bottom because I put 1 1/2 feet on the bottom of my strainer basket.

I generally mash in around 1.5qts/lb of grist. I shoot for half my preboil from first runnings just like I did with the cheap n easy. Then I sparge to get my preboil volume.

EDIT: I use “the Brew Bag”.
EDIT2: Just finished brewing my IPA. 11.5 gals post boil, 1.062, 89% brew house efficiency, 91% mash efficiency. I’ve been scaling my recipes to 80% but I hit these numbers consistently so I just target the abv I want and keep the grist as is. It’s not hard to get consistent high efficiency with BIAB w/sparge. It’s just another process but one that works for me.

So Danny, you have a HLT along with yer BK? I was trying to get BIAB down to one kettle,you know, setting up three vessels, then tear down and cleaning, then the space to store it all. My brew room is shared with the laundry room as thats where the big sink is……and all the clutter… I see brew cat using one in his picts, is that how it works fer you? I’m soooo close to getting a new set up burning… I just lack time… Ifn there was 48 hours in a day, I’d still be short a couple of hours… Sneezles61

I know you asked Danny but I’ll chime in if you don’t mind. I’m still expierimenting with the pour over . If you do full volume you only need one pot. I’ve heard people using an electric tea kettle for pour over.