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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Murky Beer
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:10 PM   #1
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Default Murky Beer

I did my first all grain a couple months ago and everything went perfectly. It was a great beer and I was so proud of it. Since then my beers have been murky/cloudy. On my last brew I even tried mashing longer in case I wasn't getting a full conversion, but it is still cloudy.

The only thing that has changed between the first beer and the subsequent beers is the vendor. The first beer was a kit (milled) from Northern Brewer and the other beers were grain purchased from my LHBS and milled there. Could the different mills be a factor in what I am seeing? If so, what steps should I take to try to remedy this issue?

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Old 08-09-2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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The crush could have a huge impact on the clarity. In my amateur opinion, I would start here. Does the mill at your LHBS adjust (some let you adjust, some don't)? If so, try to dial that in - you can find lots of info on what makes a good crush.

Are you getting any off flavors that seem to coincide (particularly, astringency) with the haze?

A few other simple things to try:
+ Check your false-bottom/braided line/bazooka-tube.

+ Be sure to adequately set your grain bed. Vourlouf for longer than you think you should.

+ Drain slowly (I don't know what 'normal' is, but it takes me a good 30-45 minutes to drain my 5G mash tun, not including sparge rounds).

+ More time in the fermenters will let more sediment pack into the trub.

+ Cold crash.

+ Use Whirlfloc or another fining agent.

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Old 08-09-2011, 07:00 PM   #3
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I am picking up an astringency to the beer. My wife thinks it is fine (and is generally pretty honest about my beer) so maybe I am just very sensitive to it.

Thanks for the suggestions.
-My manifold is alright. I did check that already.
-I did try Vorloufing more, but maybe I still didn't do enough.
-I am currently draining my 5G batch in about 20-25 min so there is room for improvement here
-The beer that we are trying now was in the fermenter for 3 weeks and in the keezer for a month before being served and it is still cloudy. Not sure what I can do there to improve.
-I don't currently use any finings. Definitely something to look in to.

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Old 08-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #4
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Gelatin that baby. I just did it for the first time. All my beers have been a little hazy except for lagers, especially dry-hopped ones. I added gelatin to my keg, and bam...crystal clear, read-through beer.

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Old 08-09-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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It really depends on what the cause is. A couple of easy fixes would be to ensure starch conversion (simply check with iodine) and make sure you get a good hot break. Once you chill, make sure you chill fast. Whirlfloc in the kettle with 10 minutes left in the boil helps coagulate the break material.

Sometimes the cause can be the grain, but not usually unless you're using wheat.

How do you mash and sparge, and at what temperatures?

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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I mash in a 10 gallon drink cooler with a copper manifold. I mash at around 154 degrees and batch sparge.

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I mash in a 10 gallon drink cooler with a copper manifold. I mash at around 154 degrees and batch sparge.
If you're batch sparging, you can drain it super quickly so it's not a sparge issue at all. You just crack the valve, vorlauf, then let 'er rip!
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:27 PM   #8
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So is the speed at which you sparge only a consideration for fly sparging?

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Old 08-09-2011, 11:15 PM   #9
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So is the speed at which you sparge only a consideration for fly sparging?
Yes. It has to do with the property of diffusion. With batch sparging, it's more important to stir well and then you can drain off as fast as the tun will drain.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:22 PM   #10
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I t could be the crush, if you're getting a lot of flour. Try throwing some rice hulls into the mash tun.

But like the others have said, a good hot break, a stronger boil, kettle finings and a good cold break help.

You can also cold crash with gelatin if all else fails.

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