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Old 01-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
Skinner
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Happy new year!

I did a partial mash Alt on New Years Day and everything went pretty well except for the vorlauf. A little history:

I used to brew all-grain until I had to stop brewing 5 years or so ago. I'm back at it but now only have time and space for partial mash. I use a 3 gallon cooler with braided stainless tubing (from a sink supply line) for my mash tun. It's connected to a 3/8" ball valve through the cooler wall. This was my first partial mash and therefore my first time using this cooler. I doughed in with 5.5 pounds of grain at 1.25 qts/lb trying to hit 149F. I used calculations from iBrewmaster and missed my target temp. I ended up adding 2 more quarts of water to get up to 149F so it was a pretty loose mash (1.64 qts/lb) by the end. Anyhow, after the hour I recirculated the wort to clarify. I opened up my ball valve all the way to set the bed and drained a quart, carefully poured this back on top of the mash and drained another quart. I did this 7 times and the wort was still cloudy. No chunks, mind you, but not clear. So I said to heck with it and drained the first runnings into the kettle. I added my sparge water, stirred well and waited 10 minutes. I then tried to recirculate and clarify again, this time with 9 quarts. Same results, so I drained this into my kettle and proceeded with the boil.

I'm wondering why I couldn't clarify the wort. I've read where others clarify after 2 quarts. Is there anything in my method that could be the cause? Is there anything I should change? And most importantly what effect will this have on the beer?

I welcome all advice and questions. The rest of the brew went very well. The Alt is currently fermenting happily at 60F in my fridge.

Cheers!
Kevin

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Old 01-03-2011, 02:17 PM   #2
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you did fine, it wont get crystal clear, as long as all the little grain chunks were gone its good.

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Old 01-03-2011, 03:27 PM   #3
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Was there any wheat in your grain bill? I have found that with a significant portion of wheat it always stays cloudy. As long as it is cloudy and not full of particles it will be fine.

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Old 01-03-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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I agree with the other two responses... I don't think I've ever had a 'clear' wort after mashing, regardless of the grain bill... I usually only pull about 2 quarts off mine before collecting my first or second running, I just make sure there are no bits of grain coming out, after that I just let it drain.

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Old 01-03-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. Bottenbrew - no wheat at all.

The wort was cloudy, no chunks. After your replies I'm confident it was just fine.

Thanks!
K

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Old 01-03-2011, 05:41 PM   #6
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I don't vourlauf anymore, well not all the time. A good hot break is much more important. IMO a good hot break is not getting it to boil as fast as possible but letting the wort have some time in the 180 to boil range when you can see the proteins coagulating out of the wort.

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Old 01-03-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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You are just getting the grain particulates out. If you use a mesh bag in the fermenter to strain out your hops then you will get any pieces of grain you may have missed. No biggie.

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Old 01-08-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
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i too no longer vorlouf and I think the head retention on my beers have improved.

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Old 01-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilwaukeeBrewGuy View Post
i too no longer vorlouf and I think the head retention on my beers have improved.
I am sure your not vorloufing has absolutely nothing to do with head retention. I have a RIMS so I constantly recirculate and don't have head retention problems. There are a lot of things that can affect head retention but vorlaufing is not one of them.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:08 AM   #10
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Some believe the destruction of lipids can lead to reduced head retention. All I know is my beer has better head retention now. I have not introduced any new variables either so at this point I have to attribute it to no vorlouf.

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