BIABacus Rudder Corrections for Mini-BIAB

Post #1 made 9 months ago
I am a small batch brewer (1 gallon/3.8L). I recently conducted my third mini-BIAB attempting to clone Bass Ale. I have found the BIABacus to be extremely helpful, but want to ensure that I am getting the most out of it. I was hoping that someone could take a look at my numbers and see if I am on track, or if there is something that i could do to improve my brewing process. My biggest concern after my most recent brew was the amount of trub in my fermenter after transfer. I am used to trub, but I have never had this much (approximately 16 oz / .5 L). Again, is it something to do with my process? Any thoughts...
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Re: BIABacus Rudder Corrections for Mini-BIAB

Post #2 made 9 months ago
Sorry for the slow response Jeep but the tiny batch size you brew probably makes you more of an expert than any of us in this tricky area :)

Firstly, can I say, "Wow!" That's amazingly small batches you are brewing. I've never seen anything that small and am totally impressed that you have been managing them. You'l have to document and pic one of your next runs so as we can put it up as a guide.

Before getting to your trub question, I'm just having a look at your BIABacus and I'm going to write a few notes for you as there's one error there that is important...

It's important, in Section B, if you are copying a recipe, to identify your source in the 'Recipe Credits' field. (If you are designing your own, leave that field blank.) In your attached file, it has the All Amarillo ale link but your recipe is for a Bass Pale Ale. Designing a recipe is totally different from scaling/copying an existing recipe. What I'm seeing in your BIABacus is a mixture of designing and scaling which, I can see, is making things complicated for you.

In fact, that's the first thing we need to sort out. For example, If you are designing your own recipe, on the left of Section C, you would think in percentages and just type in the percentage of each grain, e.g. 90.6 and 9.4 (You would not type in the weights.)

I am going to assume you are copying/scaling a recipe

I think you must be as in Section C you are substituting the malts. There will be no published Bass Pale Ale recipe that consists of 905 grams of malt. What I think you've done is tried to scale an existing recipe manually whereas the BIABacus does it for you automatically. I'll attach a Bass Pale Ale Recipe copy for you here for you to study.

In Section D, we have a bigger problem as you are giving the BIABacus two conflicting messages on the first two lines. In almost all circumstances, there should only be one of the first two fields completed. If you are copying/scaling a recipe, it should be the VAW field.

Also in Section D, you have no AA% for three of the four hop additions. This means that the right hand side of that section only shows you using one hop. This is a problem as it is the right hand side of Sections C and D that tell you the actual amounts you should be using. (The left hand side really just works out the ratios.)

The Trub Problem

I think we are going to need to see some pics of your fermenter and more explanation of your transfer process from fermenter to bottle to be able to answer that question. Remember, we are not used to tiny batches so pics will help us see what you are dealing with.

:peace:
PP
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Last edited by PistolPatch on 21 Mar 2018, 22:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BIABacus Rudder Corrections for Mini-BIAB

Post #3 made 8 months ago
PP,

I cannot thank you enough. The information that you provided has been extremely enlightening and helpful.

BIABacus Assist

First, you were correct. The original Bass Ale recipe that I used, I got out of a book. I have since modified my Section B to credit Tess and Mark Szamatulski and their book "Clone Beers" for the recipe.

Second, you were also correct, that I had to modify the recipe for scaling. Additionally, I modified the ingredients as the recipe called for ingredients that I was unable to attain from my LHBS. After receiving your response to my post, I feel like a bone head in that I did not recognize that BIABacus automatically scales the recipe based on my input. I do not know how I missed that before, but thank you for pointing out the obvious. I have already made adjustments to my Sections C and D, based on your input, and believe that I have a better recipe for when I try this again! :headhit: (attached is my BIABacus adjustments for any further guidance!)

Small Batch Brewing

Thanks for your encouraging words about small batch brewing, but I realize that i still have a long way to go. My goal with small batches is to perfect my brewing technique while providing me with the opportunity to create a lot of variety. However, with small batch brewing comes many challenges. My biggest problem has been temperature control. Whether it is the mash or my fermentation, being able to maintain a constant temperature with such a small volume has been challenging. For my mash, I have started using my oven (pre-heated) to hold my kettle to a constant temp. This has worked pretty good in my last two efforts as I have been able to maintain within two degrees of my target temp. As for fermentation, utilizing a dual stage temp control device in a fermentation chamber has made all the difference. I maintain about .5 to 1 degree difference to my desired fermentation temperature.

For those interested in small batch brewing, I have included my Brew Day Checklist. This is a simple modification of the BIABrewer Checklist. This Checklist is always a work in progress as I think I modify it after every brew. Hopefully, this can be of some help to a small batch brewer just getting started.

Trub

I attached a picture of my last brew right after I pitched my yeast and put my fermenter into the chamber. The trub seems excessive for such a small batch. I am not sure if this is normal, a result of cold break, or something else, but this is the most trub that I have ever had heading into fermentation. Anyone's thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Again, thanks for the help, and I am sure that I will have more in the future! :thumbs:

BrewJeep
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Re: BIABacus Rudder Corrections for Mini-BIAB

Post #4 made 8 months ago
That's great BrewJeep!

Lol on the bone head bit. You aren't a bone head at all! The problem is that there is so much info around the net, a fair bit is wrong and none of it is structured very well. (That's the mammoth task we're taking on behind the scenes here.) Personally I'm annoyed that it is taking so long for us to get the right info written and structured but we will get there :)

That's fantastic you are using the checklist. I wrote that years ago and found it very helpful as it made me focus. I haven't checked it for years but I'm hoping it does not have any glaring errors! Later, things will become innate and you'll need less of a check-list.

The trub in the pic does look excessive but I wouldn't get too hung up on it. Why?...

Sometimes things happen on a brew and you have no idea of the cause. I once did a brew day here, in the early days of BIAB, and had quite a few people around. It was the muddiest wort I have ever seen in my life. I never had it before or since. I felt embarrassed. I still have no idea what caused that :dunno:

So, take it easy and see how you go on the next brew.

And remember, these tiny batch sizes are the hardest you'll ever do. I am really impressed with you doing them and am hoping that you'll post how you go on every brew and I'd love to see as many pics as you can of your brews.

I'm fascinated with what you are doing :salute: :salute: :salute: ,
Pat

P.S. BIABacus looks tops.
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