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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Recirculating mash
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:28 PM   #1
Ernie Diamond
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Default Recirculating mash

I have a basic AG setup using the old reliable 10gal cooler for my mash tun. The recipe that I am attempting (ESB) calls for the mash to be recirculated for 20 minutes prior to runoff.

1. What purpose does this serve?
2. Is it necessary?
3. How can I do it at home with my very basic rig (if, in fact, I do)?
4. Are there any alternative approaches to get the same result?

Thanks.

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Old 11-02-2007, 07:51 PM   #2
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I've read that recirculating is a good idea because the initial runnings tend to have grains in it, so recirculating removes particles.

When I mash, I end up dumping the initial 2-3 quarts back into the mash, but there's hot side aeration invovled and it disturbes the grain bed with my setup (10 gallon cooler as well).

I'm wondering if there's a better way to handle this issue than to dump the initial runnings back into the mash. Anyone have any thoughts?

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Old 11-02-2007, 08:12 PM   #3
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Isn't that called the "vorlauf?" I already do that before the runoff with the first 2 qts. or so.

I don't think that they are the same thing, are they?

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Old 11-02-2007, 08:14 PM   #4
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#2 is describing a vorlauf. Many people pour the runnings over a large spoon to avoid disturbing the grain bed at this point.

The original post refers to a recirculation 20 minutes prior to runoff, which is not really a vorlauf to me...not sure what that is.

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Old 11-02-2007, 08:19 PM   #5
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1. What purpose does this serve?
Recirculation helps to develop a good grain bed which acts as a natural filter for the wort going into the kettle.

2. Is it necessary?
It is not “necessary” but highly advised…to help you get a cleaner beer.

3. How can I do it at home with my very basic rig (if, in fact, I do)?
Doing a 20 minute recirculation is not necessary. I simply drain off three or four pots of the wort and pour back in to the mash tun…then begin the draining.

4. Are there any alternative approaches to get the same result?
See #3.

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Old 11-02-2007, 08:25 PM   #6
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Recirculation is something you commonly see when you've got a pump. For practicality, and with little equipment, you just need to vorlauf a few quarts, and you're good to go. Alternatively, you could place your outlet tube in a fine mesh bag. Or, you could do both. I do, and my beer is crystal clear (but I also use several other techniques, that only EAC'S know about ).

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