Thanks for the responses!
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck
1) Recirculate (vorlauf) more before sending to the boil kettle. You'll eventually get clear runnings and less break.
2) Put the tip of the hose BELOW the level of the liquid when sending to the kettle. This avoids 2 things: a) Loss of heat b) Hot side aeration (depends who you ask on that).
3) A LOT of open air activity... Open funnel, open bucket, open fermenter... Try to reduce that to avoid any potential for bacteria.
Canuck, while I appreciate any and all input, I feel I must respond with:
1) I've made 4 years of wheat beers, and beers in general. Clarity has never been an issue, unless I plan on it. The Kölsch is currently in secondary and is just about crystal clear as of today (cold crashing is a wonderful thing!)
2) 100,000 BTUs doesn't care about a few degrees loss. Also, experience, and not just mine has shown that A) hot side aeration is only a problem if you are intentionally trying to create it. Most average methods are sufficient enough to avoid it. B) has never been an issue in my beers.
3) Those open air environments you speak of are filled or sprayed with Star San solution. Bugs also, have never been an issue unless intentional.