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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Having problems with Pilsner malts
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:53 AM   #1
tschoolman
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Default Having problems with Pilsner malts

Just finished a doppelbock today that consisted of relatively equal parts pilsner malt and dark munich malt, with some caramunich III and a little accidulated malt per AJDeLange's recommendations (exact recipe is the Jamil's doppelbock in one of the last BYO issues).

My problem is that I am unable to get clear runnings from by mash tun (I batch sparge with a braided hose a la Denny Conn). With a high pilsner malt grist, I consistently get "a lot" of thick, creamy precipitate. I can seperate some of it by whirlpooling the wort and letting it sit for an hour, but still have a buch of wort that just won't clear.

Does the lower kilning temps with Pilsner malt (also Kolsch malt) result in more protein hot break? I've been crushing the malt relatively fine, is this just "flour" escaping the mash?

If Denny's lurking, I'd love your thoughts!

fyi, Minnesota water, but using 3:1 ratio of R.O. water and tap water. Adding CaCl2 per AJDeLange.


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Old 10-22-2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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I don't know the kilning science behind it, but your results are consistent with my findings. I get a lot of protein precipitate from Carapils, too.

I will state that they still flocculate out and the finished product is always sparkling.


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Old 10-22-2012, 04:39 AM   #3
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I have found I get awesome head retention with my pils batches. I can't say I've noticed too many differences otherwise as far as runnings go.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:51 AM   #4
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I suppose it depends on the malt.

I noticed the same thing with our local Croatian pils malt, but then I switched to Castle Pils (Belgium) and get crystal clear runoff after a very short recirculation, like 5 minutes. With the Croatian malt, I'd recirc for 20 minutes and would just NEVER get it totally clear. That said, the beer I made with the local malt was tasty, never noticed any problems, astringency etc from it. I still use the Belgian pils, though, as it's quicker and easier to clear it for runoff. Would be interesting to test the same recipe with the 2 malts, but that's for another time.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
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Ditto to Matt's results. I've been using Chinese malted Australian barley. I don't even bother vohrlaffing more than a liter anymore, because it takes nearly all of my first runnings to finally go clear. I just do enough to keep bits of husk out. The proteins all precipitate out without a problem later, and I still produce clear beer. I do have a sack of Castle Pils which I've only used in a 3 gallon batch of a dark ale. I didn't pay attention, but I will next time. Although I'm forcing myself to finish the Chinese malt first. I think I have about 20% of the 55kg sack remaining.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:21 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the feedback. I used Weyerman's Bohemian Pils - I'll try Castle Pils next batch and see if it makes a difference. I haven't noticed any taste issues, so I don't think there are problems with the protein precipitate>
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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Maybe back off on your crush some and try again?
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:02 PM   #8
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It's usually an unnecessary step, but I run my mash hose into a boil bag that's clipped to the side of the boil kettle to catch anything fine. The Vorluf usually takes care of this but there are times where the crush is fine or you deliberately fine crush dark grains and that bag catches some grain.

I've used Castle pilsner for Belgian beers and have not seem issues with runnings like you mentioned with the other pilsner. I've also consistently measured the pH of that malt in distilled water to be about 5.6 (room temperature). Be prepared to eliminate some of the acid malt if using Castle pils IMO.


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