Clear wort before boil - important?

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andyisavinit

Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by andyisavinit » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:46 pm

I've been watching a few videos where people use mash tuns rather than mashing in the bk. Some recycle the first few runnings (if that's the right word) of wort that aren't clear back into the mash tun and only run clear wort into the bk.

Which got me thinking about biab. The wort I have pre boil after draining the grain sack is a million miles away from clear.

What's the thinking with clear wort preboil? Is this something that we biabaggers should be conscious of. Not that I can think of a way of making it clear without letting it settle and syphoning of the top, which would take ages and might as well do a mash in a separate tun.

Just to be clear. I'm not worried about clear wort into my fermenter or my final beer being clear. My question is all about preboil clear wort straight after the mash.

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:08 pm

In BIAB you have no way to use the grain bed as a filter, and have clear wort go into the boil.

BIAB Brewers with a good regime, don't seem to be impacted by this. They clarify and remove the turbidity in the Boil and get clear wort into the FV.

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by aamcle » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:40 am

They clarify and remove the turbidity in the Boil and get clear wort into the FV.
Err no mostly the wort is cloudy going into the FV but don't worry about it you should still get clear beer in the bottle, if you want all the discussion have a read around at Biabrewer.info

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Troutman47 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:08 am

I think the idea of recirculating the first runnings or ‘vorlaufing’ is to set the grainbed to make a filter and return any grain back into the mash tun so no grain gets into the boil kettle which apparently, can cause astringency.
My wort was never clear when I did this just free of grain. Now I have a HERMS the wort is clear going over to the BK as it’s been filtering through the grainbed for an hour or so!

andyisavinit

Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by andyisavinit » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:58 pm

Sorry i started this thread and haven't been here for a while. thx for the replies.

In the never ending search for the best beer possible - i was wondering if the clearest wort during the boil impacts on flavour?

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Fil » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:24 am

fwiw i must have recycled the whole mash volume back with jugs with some brews with the goal of replicating some of the crystal clear preboil liquors i have seen pictured in here and other places.. never managed to get it tho.. However after investing in a g/f i was very pleased to see the same grain i failed to clear run very clear after 30-40mins of recirculation in the machine..
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:32 pm

If you get rid of that protein in the mash tun, in the kettle, or leave it behind in the FV what does it matter ?

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by MTW » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:58 pm

Fil wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:24 am
fwiw i must have recycled the whole mash volume back with jugs with some brews with the goal of replicating some of the crystal clear preboil liquors i have seen pictured in here and other places.. never managed to get it tho.. However after investing in a g/f i was very pleased to see the same grain i failed to clear run very clear after 30-40mins of recirculation in the machine..
Glad it's not just me. I often recirculate (jug) maybe 10L through the coolbox before it's really clear. (~20L brew)
Last edited by MTW on Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by MTW » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:01 pm

I've hit the wrong button again :oops:
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Kev888 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:14 pm

It really depends on what and how much is causing the cloudiness. Cooking/boiling the grain isn't desirable, it extracts unwanted compounds and flavours, so it is best to avoid too much physical grain matter getting into the kettle. Milky starch running into the kettle would also be bad, it should have been fully converted in the mash beforehand.

But the need for 'absolute' clarity of run-off from the grain is contentious, different brewers (and nationalities) have differing views. Personally I like to hold back unwanted stuff from each subsequent stage, whether it be mash to kettle, kettle to FV or FV to keg. Some things are harder to deal with later, or damage may already have been done. But in practice miniscule quantities getting through is not unusual and won't have much effect on flavour or stability in a homebrew context. So I only do what is reasonably practicable and then don't obsess about minor imperfections that have no detectable effect.

It isn't always under your control, in any case. All brewing systems are a set of compromises, some draw different ones than others. A separate mash tun and recirculating pump make it easy to trap cloud-making particles of significant size before the kettle, so with such a system why wouldn't you? But (for example) a fine crush in a bag mashed directly in the kettle is always going to mean more particles and bits making it to the boil, it can't be avoided. It is not really ideal, but is normal and BIAB doesn't inherently produce unacceptable homebrew as a result, which may help put the consequences into context. Just be aware of it: recirculate to reduce it if you have the means (and willingness) to do so, and don't make it intentionally worse than it has to be -e.g. with choices of crush and bag etc.
Kev

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Jocky » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:35 am

Agree with Kev. First thing is to avoid chunks of grain ending up in the boil. I always expect a few particles of grain to come through, and the odd husk isn't going to matter. You just want to avoid running a sloppy load of grain into your kettle.

The other thing I've had issues with is flour from the mash burning onto kettle elements. In extreme cases you can end up with ashtray flavour beer. For me it seems to happen more often with high wheat beers, but has not been an issue since I started taking a little more care when vorlaufing to avoid flour and adding a decent amount of oat husks to high wheat beer to help filter.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:02 pm

In summary: crystal clear runnings to BK isn't inherently better for beer quality than hazy or cloudy runnings, unless the runnings contain undesirables like those mentioned above that can have flavour side effects in the BK or FV ie:
- milky starch
- husk material
- excess of flour burning on elements

The quality improvement comes from eliminating the above, not the haze per se.

But you can't tell good haze from bad haze: best to leave it behind as much as your process allows

andyisavinit

Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by andyisavinit » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:18 pm

I feel like trying to reduce the amount of cloudyness in my bk now. It looks soooo milky (maybe starch as someone mentioned).

Has anyone tried recirculating wort without a mash tun? Biab style. I was thinking about suspending the bag above a another pot and using the grain as a filter bed as per a mash tun and carefully recirculating.

This would be a full volume mash but without a mash tun. Anyone see any issues here? I would have to figure out a way of suspending the grain sack so that the opening is big enough for me to get a jug in.

The effort I go to with water treatment and pre boiling and ph testing - i reckon an extra 1/2 hr is worth a go.


After writing this I found this viewtopic.php?p=819585#p819585

Which is an interesting read and looks like i need a pulley system

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Fil » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:20 am

recirculating biab is pretty much what the grain-father, bulldog etc.... machines do with great success so yes.. however generally some sort of heat input is required if the re-circulation is carried out during the mash period herms or rims, the above machines being labeled 'kettle rims'.

However if you apply the re-circulation post mash when temp maintenance is less crucial you may not need any heat input tho you may want to up the sparge temp a tad to compensate for temp loss during the recirculation.

from my own limited experience with my grain-father the liquor is generally running clear after 15 minutes of re-circulation during the mash, SO? if you can achieve similar results within a similar time period i would suggest its a goer ;)
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:02 pm

I don't think a suspended bag is going to work very well as a filter.

Alternatively you could just use a proper filter. With a pump setup you could recirculate through a finer weave voile bag, or use an inline filter cartridge

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