Author Topic: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith  (Read 2915 times)

Offline cdm1969

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How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« on: March 18, 2018, 09:37:01 AM »
I use a BIAB system, and typically sparge the grains with 1 to 2 gallons of water after the MASH. I cannot seem to dial in the Beer Smith MASH setup to reflect this. Beer Smith seems to want to have a full boil volume BIAB only.

Has anybody found a good way to model this?

Offline Oginme

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2018, 12:49:13 PM »
Treat your process as a standard mash set up.  BeerSmith, as you already have discovered, assumes a full volume mash if you tell the program that you are doing a BIAB process.  To do this properly, you will need to reset the standard process grain absorption value in the settings to reflect what you measure from your process. 

Alternatively if you also use a standard mash tun, 3 vessel system and do not want to adjust the standard grain absorption, you can set your equipment profile to 'top off the boil kettle' with a standard amount that you want to use for your sparge and define the mash profile as a full volume BIAB.  The issue for this method is that you cannot rely on the calculated targets for gravity from the mash or the calculated mash efficiency from the program to help dial in your process.

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Offline Kevin58

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2018, 12:21:33 PM »
The Brulosophy guys have put out a few good Beersmith profile set up videos. I have set up mash profiles for both batch sparge and BIAB and just select the one I need for each brew session. It seems kind of a pain to set up so many profiles but worth it once it's done.

Batch Sparge set up: https://youtu.be/CZ0TFtMnzxs

BIAB set up: https://youtu.be/VKiEjhxo2oo
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Offline CascadesBrewer

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 02:08:10 PM »
I have been working to tune BeerSmith 3 to support BIAB with a sparge.  I am using the Mobile version, but I think the basic features are about the same.  The software seems to be lacking a feature or two to make this fairly common practice easier.

As mentioned by Oginme, I found I had to tweak my Grain Absorption default values.  At least in the Mobile version, there are values "Grain Absorption" and "BIAB Grain Absorb".  I changed these both to 0.4 fl oz/oz to match what I measured (which was 0.5 gal for 10 lbs of grain).  Before I did this change, I had an extra 0.5 gal of water in my kettle.  This likely varies based on your process and crush size.

With that change made, I then have had the best luck setting the process to look like I am doing a Fly Sparge (with BIAB unchecked and Batch Sparge unchecked).  I uncheck "Use Equal Batches", but that should not matter.  I have "Drain Tun Before Sparge" unchecked, but I don't know what impact that has.

I then note the total water volume (usually around 7.5 gal) and tweak the "Water/Grain Ratio" so that I have 2 to 3 gals of sparge water.

The suggestion from the Brulosophy video to uncheck "Adjust Temp for Equipment" seems like a good idea that I will play with.  I have been confused by that setting, as well as "Mash Tun Weight" and "Tun Specific Heat", but it it seems that these values do not matter if the "Adjust" option is unchecked.

Anybody else got tips or feedback?

Offline PeeBee

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 05:36:14 AM »
I've been messing with these settings too: "Adjust Temp for Equipment" is for estimating "strike" temperature. So to is "Mash Tun Weight" and "Tun Specific Heat" so it is hardly surprising turning off "Adjust Temp for Equipment" pretty much disables those other settings. Let Beersmith do its job and don't cripple its temperature estimating.

The "BIAB Grain Absorb" is entirely for the "BIAB" feature - i.e. for "full boil mash" and no sparge. I've criticised BS for having these split "grain absorption" variables as two "global" variables instead of one "equipment profile" variable (which could be changed per recipe too).

And "BIAB" is really a misnomer in Beersmith. It's all about "full boil mash" (which doesn't have to be BIAB). But also reconsider introducing a sparge over full-boil-mash, if you have the room: It doesn't effect efficiency enormously but does make the mashing process a whole lot simpler.

Expect some criticism now for waking up a year old thread!

Offline Oginme

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 08:08:03 AM »


The "BIAB Grain Absorb" is entirely for the "BIAB" feature - i.e. for "full boil mash" and no sparge. I've criticised BS for having these split "grain absorption" variables as two "global" variables instead of one "equipment profile" variable (which could be changed per recipe too).

And "BIAB" is really a misnomer in Beersmith. It's all about "full boil mash" (which doesn't have to be BIAB). But also reconsider introducing a sparge over full-boil-mash, if you have the room: It doesn't effect efficiency enormously but does make the mashing process a whole lot simpler.

Expect some criticism now for waking up a year old thread!

As I stated above, the BIAB setting in BeerSmith refers only to a full volume mash with no sparge step.  This really goes back to the original design and definition of BIAB method as developed by the Australians.  Over the years, people recognized the advantage of using a bag as the mash filter in conventional mashing and including the bag in a more traditional mash/sparge schedule.  For this to work in BeerSmith, you need to forget that you are using a bag to filter the grains and just consider your process as a standard mash set up.  This does mean that you need to change the standard grain absorption constant (which I agree with PeeBee and others that it should be more appropriately designated in the equipment profile) to match the values you calculate using your bag as a filter in your process.  For this application of a bag as the filter, I would promote the designation as MIAB (mash in a bag) to differentiate it from the full volume concept of the original. Mostly because words do give a certain connotation to people and the differentiation is somewhat significant.

Given this opportunity to clarify the definitions and again stick in a plug for the inclusion of the grain absorption coefficient in the equipment profile, I have no objection to the resurrection of a thread such as this.  It actually is relevant and keeps the information in one searchable thread instead of several threads with the same question asked and answered. 



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Offline PeeBee

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2019, 09:25:37 AM »
? As I stated above, the BIAB setting in BeerSmith refers only to a full volume mash with no sparge step.  This really goes back to the original design and definition of BIAB method as developed by the Australians.  ?
Thanks for the history lesson! :D

I didn't know it was an Aussie invention. Or that it began as a "Full Volume Mash" method (and that's a better term than the non-sensical "Full Boil Mash").

But I don't think it was entirely down to the Aussies, I remember doing a sort of "brew-in-a-bag" back in the 1970/80s. But the method was crude, always included a "sparge" (buckets were smaller back then?), required your Mum to have a good sewing machine to deal with the canvas in the bag and I'm sure they were the origin of "stuck mash" too.

Offline Oginme

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 09:51:21 AM »

But I don't think it was entirely down to the Aussies, I remember doing a sort of "brew-in-a-bag" back in the 1970/80s. But the method was crude, always included a "sparge" (buckets were smaller back then?), required your Mum to have a good sewing machine to deal with the canvas in the bag and I'm sure they were the origin of "stuck mash" too.

Could well have been. The Aussies reinvented or took it and certainly popularized the method.  The method certainly was looked down upon when it first came back over to the U.S. as a 'second rate' method of mashing.  Hence all the scare warnings of tannins from squeezing the bag, lack of clarity of beer in the final product, and lower efficiency when it started to become more popular in the States.  All of those claims can be proven to be demonstrably false or misleading.  I've certainly never had any comments about tannins from people or in competitions; I've won bronze (score of 39.5) in a large competition (~450 entries) with a 9-month old German pilsner with the appearance noted as 'brilliantly clear'; and I regularly achieve a mash/lauter efficiency of 86% to 89%. 
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Offline BlackIslandBrewer

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2019, 08:31:35 AM »
I came here looking for the answers to the same problem: how to set up BS for a dunk sparge. To me it seems the easiest fix to the software would be to allow BIAB numbers to be adjusted under the Mash Profile, so that when you want to dunk sparge, you could adjust the water to grist ratio from full-volume to whatever amount whou wanted. I don't want to change the Global grain absorption profile, because I also brew in a three-vessel system.

I've recently been doing a 5.5 gallon mash regardless of the grain bill, letting BS tell me the total volume, making my mineral additions to the whole volume, then drawing off the excess (down to 5.5 gallons) mashing and then dunk sparging in the remaining water. The problem is that my pH levels keep getting lower than expected, as I'm making the additions recommended, but not doing a full volume mash, which changes the mash pH.

Offline Oginme

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2019, 08:45:23 AM »
You can adjust the water volume you treat on the 'water' tab to reflect that amount you actually work with in your mash.  This should work out to better improve the predictability for your mash pH adjustment.
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Offline BlackIslandBrewer

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2019, 11:23:53 AM »
You can adjust the water volume you treat on the 'water' tab to reflect that amount you actually work with in your mash.  This should work out to better improve the predictability for your mash pH adjustment.

This looks like the best solution for now, until changes to BS get made. I will have to manually calculate strike water temps, because there is no way to set BIAB to anything except full volume, so the Brew Steps sheet still assumes full volume. I'll report back on how accurate the pH is compared to the predicted now that I'm treating just 5.5 gallons of mash water.

Offline Oginme

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2019, 12:05:57 PM »
If you are going to follow the calculated acid additions from BeerSmith, please note the sticky in 'all grain/advanced' on the buffering calculations of the model Brad used in the software.  Generally, the acid demand is stated at around 60% higher than actual results.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 04:39:46 PM by Oginme »
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Offline BlackIslandBrewer

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Re: How to setup BIAB with Sparge in Beer Smith
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2019, 04:10:03 PM »
 Thanks for the heads-up!

 

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