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Old 03-08-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default The Vorlauf, how to

After having created some ugly beer, and my friend doing the same I had to find out why. We used the same tun, mine, so I figured that was the issue. I thought my SS braid was not filtering properly and was considering a change to a manifold but wanted to give it one more go. Efficiency was great (consistently about 84%) , but clarity sucked. I tried to solve the issue Friday night...

So I did the runnings extermely slow and actually recirculated about 6 times. It never cleared as I was told it should. You should be able to read through it. Finally I gave up and was just going to collect the runnings and begin my boil. It dawned on me suddenly that I was probably not collecting enough of the runnings to allow the grain bed to set.

I ran off 2 gallons and voila, crystal clear runnings!!!

So I wanted to share this information that is probably well known to everyone else. I had read thoroughly how to do all grain and most readings stated to run off a couple gallons to set the grain bed and it would filter properly...however I do not recall anything saying that you must run this 2 gallons off all at once. Here I was, using a 1/2 gallon pitcher to collect runnings (1/2*6 equal 3 gallons run off in my mind!)and it was never letting the bed set.

I probably just misinterpretted things when reading, but in case there are others out there that have cloudy, unclear beer. It makes perfect sense to me at this point why my beer wasn't clear. Perhaps this can be an issue associated with your clarity, and maybe I can save you some frustration.

Cheers! Hope this helps someone!

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Old 03-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #2
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It's a LOT easier when you can just turn on the pump.

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:37 PM   #3
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that may be some day in the future...until now i have to make do lol.

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Old 03-08-2010, 07:17 PM   #4
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So you ran off all 2 gallons at once for the vorlauf?
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:31 PM   #5
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At first I only ran off 1/2 gallon at a time, 6 times...which is a total runoff of 3 gallons. Essentially the grain was still floating and not "set". When you run off the 2 gallons or more at once, it will actually "set" the grainbed. So yes, I ranoff 2 gallons at once for success.

This can be different depending on your equpment, my friend does 1 gallon vorlauf and his grainbed sets because his tun is larger (i.e. more shallow). Mine is a 7.5 gallon cooler, so I will need to runoff more at once to let the grainbed set.

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Old 03-08-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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It's totally dependent on your setup. I had to run a lot through my cooler/manifold, a gallon. With my new setup and a false bottom, crystal clear after a quart and a half!

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Old 03-08-2010, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
It's totally dependent on your setup. I had to run a lot through my cooler/manifold, a gallon. With my new setup and a false bottom, crystal clear after a quart and a half!
I can't get crystal clear runnings from mine. (10gal water cooler + false bottom). I think that one side of the false bottom lifts up. Any suggestions on keeping it snug to the bottom all the way around?
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan View Post
You should be able to read through it.
What? Sez who? Free of chunks is fine.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
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What? Sez who? Free of chunks is fine.
I'm only talking about reading through the 3/8 inch tube or whatever you use to drain your tun while wort is running through it. Not through the whole 5 gallons.

This is what i was told by a friend while I was trying to fix my problem...in the end I was able to read through the tube, which was a HUGE improvement on what I thought was clear runnings and yielding me cloudy beer.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:33 PM   #10
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I never run off more than 3/4 of a gallon before I'm sufficiently 'clear' in my runnings.

SS braid, 5 gallon cooler.

I do not, however, open my ball valve 100%. more like 75-80% gets me a nice fast run off and minimal grain bits.

Try that. You shouldn't have to run off 3 gallons to set the bed when batch sparging.

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