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Old 12-30-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
cjp4627
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Default Grain husks in boil, harsh bitterness in beer

Hey Guys,

I just built a two tier system that is something like a counter top Brutus 20. I am planning on recirculating during the mash but to date have not yet done that. My concern is vorlaufing. I am using a collapsible steamer as my false bottom and at times it seems like no matter how long I let it run off, I still get a small amount of particulate in the boil kettle after the mash.

I can't see this until after I drain the boil kettle though and I am wondering if this could be leading to my astringency in my beers. It doesn't appear to be a whole lot of volume of husks, maybe a couple tablespoons as most. Is this enough to cause a problem in a 2.5gallon batch?

My other suspect is my water. I have since tried a different water source but haven't had either analyzed for content. I think my next brew I will build the water but want to try and eliminate some variables from the equation before I started chasing my tail.

Thanks in advance for you help!

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Old 12-30-2011, 01:26 AM   #2
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i have bits of husk and other grain crap in my boil and i don't detect any problems at all. i wouldn't worry about a couple tablespoons of husks. early on i strained the wort coming out of my mash tun but i don't bother with that now.

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Old 12-30-2011, 05:52 AM   #3
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What's your mashing and sparging temp?

If you want be super careful about grains in your BK you can pick up a filter to see if it makes a difference:
filter bag | biodiesel supplies
I keep a couple handy just in case. Once my hop spider broke and so i used a bag in its place, another time i forgot to put in the false bottom on the MLT so i strained out all the grains as they came shooting out. That was a big Doh! day.

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Old 12-30-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
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I'd wager it's high/higher alkalinity in the OP's water.

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Old 12-30-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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High alkalinity water was my problem. I followed the water primer in the Brew Science forum. It made a world of difference in the quality of my beers.

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Old 12-30-2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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The OP does not indicate where they are from. If they are from an area with high alkalinity water supply, then the water could easily be the source of the problem. High alkalinity may lead to elevated mash pH in lighter colored beers and that can produce symptoms that the OP mentioned.

Find out about your water ASAP and do review the Water Primer to get a start on potential corrections that could be made. Reading the water knowledge section of Bru'n Water could be a next step to understanding the impacts of OP's water.

I don't think the particulates are likely cause to this problem, but keeping as much of that material out of the kettle will help. Another option for filtering the particulates could be to use one of those nylon grain bags and run the wort into the bag before putting it into the kettle.

Enjoy!

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