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Sparge/vorlauf help

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motobrewer

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I'm using a 5 gallon rubbermaid with a false bottom and valve setup i got from northern brewer. i batch sparge.

no matter how much or how slowly i vorlauf, I can never get my runnings completely free of grist. i always hear people say batch spargers can just go WFO and run off as fast as they can. if i do that, look out. grain city. are you guys getting perfectly grist-free runnings?
 

Brew-boy

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Is it a plastic false bottom? I heard they can float. Sorry can't help you more I use a manifold.
 

HoppyDaze

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I have the same set up....what I do is open the valve all the way so that you get a good suction to pack the grain bed. It usually takes me like three or four 2 gallon pitchers before it clears completely. Also, Ive never got runnings that are 100% free of grist. One thing you can do once you vorlauf a few times is to wrap your hose with a grain bag or cheese cloth to catch any remaining grains.
 

badhabit

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I don't have the same set up as you but, I run the vorlof at the same speed that I use for the first runnings and generaly have the wort clear up in less than a gal. I let the mash sit for about ten minutes after I add the first sparge water and stir up. That seems to let everything settle well. The I use a fine mesh hop bag over the end of the hose off the mash. Still get some fine grain but nothing that won't and doesn't settle out without a problem in the primary.
 

blackwaterbrewer

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what kind of false bottom do you use?
i use a copper manifold and get nice results but i still strain the wort between mashtun and kettle. it makes a huge difference. those grain husks give off tannins which taint you beer and make it taste like homebrew, not pro-brew.
 
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motobrewer

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it's a stainless false bottom with a copper manifold.

8 gallons, whew. i do about 3 liters then call it. it's pretty clear by then. i also drain into a bottling bucket, then go from bucket to kettle. that catches some grain that comes thru. i'll try the grain bag trick next time.
 

pkeeler

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The idea that the vorlauf will lead to crystal clear wort runnings is widespread and wrong. Not sure where the idea comes from. There are all kinds of proteins and small husk and flour materials that will not filter and are fine. The runnings should be devoid of large grains and husks and look like unfiltered apple cider.
 
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motobrewer

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i'm not talking about crystal clear, i still get grain material thru my false bottom.

good info tho, thanks.
 

mikeysab

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I had the same exact question but I use a copper manifold. I vorlaufed about a full gallon, then said screw it and tied a fine hop bag to the spigot and it worked out fine. I wasn't getting big husks, just specks. It wasn't a big deal to tie the bag on and let er rip
 

lpdb185

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what HoppyDaze said about opening the ball valve all the way for a few seconds works. i tried that today with my pump and it made a pretty big difference. i still get some fine prticulate from the grains (almost powdery), but i think the main idea is to get it free of husk material.
 

mikeysab

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I tried that too. First I trickled and it didn't even almost settle. Then I tried opening it all the way figuring it would pound the grain bed down and that didn't work either. I used a sawzall blade which I'm figuring made too thick of a cut. Oh well, the hop bag worked fine and I got 72 percent efficiency, so I'll take that every time
 

JacobS

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I don't think that 'clear' runnings are a necessity. I mean you add hops to the kettle right? and then there is hot break, and cold break, and the yeast floculate. So any grain bits should get dropped out by bottling or kegging anyway. So unless you are trying to make a 2-3srm beer....

Just an opinion....
 

WAdamC

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I crank it wide open, then drop back to about 1/3 after 10-15 seconds. My wort runs very clear as long as I keep it slow. 1/2 open or more and it's cloudy as all hell.
 

cheschire

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SS braid makes absolutely free of particles for me on the second 2L running. Its cloudy, but I thought that was normal. Cold break gets rid of that
 

Pubwilson

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SS braid makes absolutely free of particles for me on the second 2L running. Its cloudy, but I thought that was normal. Cold break gets rid of that
+1 on the braid! I recently started understanding the importance of a good vorlauf, and the braid helps me get my wort where I want it to be quickly.
 
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