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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Who's this vorlauf guy?
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:04 PM   #1
gkeusch
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Default Who's this vorlauf guy?

What a great site! I put up a post last week and got a generous and helpful response!

So now it's time to advertise even more of my ignorance. I though I had read a lot about AG brewing (Charlie P., Dave Miller) and have tried it several times but I never heard of the term "vorlauf" until I started reading some of the postings here. Obviously it has to do with the laughtering process, but what is it exactly?

FYI - I use a picnic cooler with slotted drain pipes in the bottom as a MLT and have a "sprinkler" system rigged over it for sparging.

Thank you in advance for educating me some more. I'm getting to be an old dog, but when it comes to home brewing I'm willing to learn some new tricks!


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Old 11-30-2007, 05:07 PM   #2
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Vorlaufing is recycling the sparge back through the grain bed, hopefully until it comes out clean.
I have 2 AG under my belt and I am 99% certain of this answer, but someone else will chime in here directly. Cheers!


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Old 11-30-2007, 05:08 PM   #3
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I have never read Papazian's book, but I know it is in Miller's, you could probably look it up in the index.

I dont know the history of it or anything, but what it is is the act of collecting your first runnings and adding them back to the grain bed. By doing this, you are removing the grain husks and creating a filter out of your grain bed.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:08 PM   #4
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Yup. Just catch the first couple of quarts or so and pour it gently back into the tun. It's to keep bits of grain and such out of your boil kettle.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:24 PM   #5
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I also vorlauf my first sparge as well. Not necessary, but pouring sparge water in tends to shake things up pretty good.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:25 PM   #6
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Yeah, I just pour it back in no problem. Your sprinkler sounds cool, but it may be just one more thing to clean. Then again it may get more sugars from all of the grain if it spreads the vorlauf more evenly.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #7
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"Vorlauf" means "forerun" or the first running of the sparge liquid. As others have covered, it is to recycle sparge run off until it is free of grain particles. A common practice in commerical brewing.

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Old 11-30-2007, 06:01 PM   #8
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As The Good Kaiser taught me as well, it's pronounced "Wor-lauf"
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:46 PM   #9
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someone correct me if I am wrong...but it sounds like he is fly sparging, not batch sparging, which means he should only vorlauf one time.

after that you can't vorlauf because you're continuously fly sparging for 30-45 minutes until you've collected your boil volume.

When batch sparging, you'll vorlauf at least twice...once before collecting first runnings, and again for the second runnings. if you had a small MLT and a big grain bill that needed a double sparge, that'd be 3 vorlauf's.

Right? (keep in mind, I only batch sparge)
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:11 PM   #10
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Yup. I vorlauf 3 times because I take runnings after the mash and then after each of two batch sparge infusions/stirrings. You basically vorlauf after anytime you disturb the grainbed.


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