Clear wort before boil - important?

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Jocky
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Jocky » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:25 pm

There's the elephant in the room here. Decoction.

I've done a double decoction beer, where I boiled a bit more than a third of the mash grain for 10+ minutes. Twice.

There is no way the resulting beer could be called astringent. It's smoother than Barry White covered in cling film.

It makes me wonder if the issue of boiling grain is more to do with pH at high temperatures than just the temperature.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:40 pm

High pH is a requirement for tannin extraction. Which is why you get tannin extraction at mash out temperatures, and no agitation, when your sparge increases the mash pH.

Quite a lot of people parroting the same false myths even in the presence of counter evidence like decoction and mash presses.

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Kev888 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:57 pm

Jocky wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:25 pm
There's the elephant in the room here. Decoction.
I've done a double decoction beer, where I boiled a bit more than a third of the mash grain for 10+ minutes. Twice.
There is no way the resulting beer could be called astringent. It's smoother than Barry White covered in cling film.
It makes me wonder if the issue of boiling grain is more to do with pH at high temperatures than just the temperature.
It certainly wouldn't surprise me if both pH and high gravity played a big part in the success of decoction. There are those who feel the process does contribute some flavour, but it certainly doesn't riddle the finished beer with huge quantities of tannin. Whilst even much cooler conditions at unsuitable pH and low gravities certainly can.

The subsequent boil is in some ways quite a different environment, and tannins are not the only flavour or substance of possible concern. So there needn't inherently be an Elephant! If grain in the boil is the thing in question, then the boil is really what would have to be tested to isolate it from other confounding differences. Using mash conditions as evidence seems rather shaky ground.

I did inadvertently test this for a few brews due to a dodgy false bottom seal. There was a lot of grain matter got into the kettle and I believe I could taste the effects - these went away after the issue was fixed, which further enforced my opinion. But it was not an intentional or scientific test, and even with the unusually large quantities involved the effects weren't very obtrusive, so IMO normal amounts aren't going to have much impact for most of us. I'm not going to be easily convinced it is best practice, though.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by orlando » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:19 pm

andyisavinit wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:46 pm
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.
Given the former why the concern for the latter?
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by andyisavinit » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:52 am

orlando wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:19 pm
andyisavinit wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:46 pm
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.
Given the former why the concern for the latter?
Because Ive been watching vids of people mashing and recirculating wort to obtain clear wort pre boil and because my preboil wort is SO unclear I want to see if there is any difference to the quality of the finished beer.

Image

It's the never ending search for better beer.

If i don't try - i'll never know. I've also suffered a couple of brews turning sour over time and I read something somewhere about stability.

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Eric » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:43 am

That looks more like soup than wort with a great many particles in suspension. During the boil some of those particles will be dissolved to pass into your FV and maybe your finished beer. While that beer might be clear it might not be as you intended.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by orlando » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:57 pm

Then unless you buy into the hazy beer is Craft at it's best philosophy you DO need to care about clear beer in the fermentor and clear beer in the glass.

At each stage of the process there are things you want and some things you don't want. Each stage needs some attention to detail and that usually means caring about clarity as a starting point. I am not claimng that it is impossible to make beer that is clear if you don't have clarity at all stages, of course not, but it is what is in that murk that counts. By ensuring clarity with appropriate techniques and choices, you increase the chances of making "better" beer and stability, as you mention, is another bonus of doing so. As a starting point, the benefit of recirculating the wort until it is clear helps to reduce proteins and polyphenols carrying over into the kettle. Have a read around the benefits of that and we can begin helping you to achieve better beer.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Kev888 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:03 pm

That does look very cloudy! Even my occasional BIAB brews have all been noticeably clearer than that, in fact probably so have my wheat BIABs. It looks to me like general matter in suspension rather than (say) unconverted starch, so probably just a crush/filtration type of issue.

The majority of particles will drop out in latter stages so your beer won't be the same kind of soup, but they will have made a contribution by then and may mean the finished beer is less bright. It may also affect flavour and possibly stability. Not, I would expect, to disastrous proportions but more suggesting some room for improvement.

When I (accidentally) gained wort of similar tubidity for a few brews, it coincided with being able to taste a difference in the finished beer. Whereas the difference between a little cloudy and completely clear makes no flavour difference that I can distinguish (in the British styles I mostly make, anyway).
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by andyisavinit » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:48 pm

I use fine crush grain from malt miller and a biab sack from brewinabag.co.uk

I mash full volume biab style, stir 1 or 2 times in a 90 mash and then lift the sack out quickly in one movement - and that picture is whats left (pre-boil). I hang the sack above a wide bucket to let the remaining wort drain, then i add that to the bk.

The wort that drains into the wide bucket is nice and clear - really clear. So this is obviously the grain acting as a filter.

What i'm going to try is – to slowly with a jug, scoop and pour the wort from the bk back through the grain bed in the hanging sack and into my wide bucket. (Just need to figure out how to hang it up with the opening wide enough to get a jug in)

Another guy on another thread (i posted it earlier) lifts his grain sack really slowly using a pulley system - if i remember correctly he said it takes him 1/2 hr to lift the sack out of the bk. He said he got clearer wort that way. Hence why i said i lift it quickly in one motion. I will try this too (lifting slowly).

A question - when you talk about "stability" what does that mean? Does it mean beer that is good to start with (first week or 2) then turns sour (or goes off). As I have suffered this. Beer was fantastic when green then turned more sour over a 2- 3 week period, until undrinkable. + plus very gassy.

Also just to note - my final beer is quite clear (not crystal crystal but very good) and the wort into my fv (despite the soupy preboil wort) is very clear too.

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by orlando » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:08 pm

Stability means just that, the beer remains stable over time i.e. no adverse changes, a low pH <4.4 similar for a Lager, will help the beer to be stable, at this level of acidity it is tough for bacteria to thrive. The sourness you mention is much more likely to be an infection rather than anything to do with process. The gassiness could be accounted for by a wild yeast infection continuing to ferment the beer in bottle/keg.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by wessexwyvern » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:11 pm

Below is an extract from a paper from the Journal of the Institute of Brewing. The content is far more indepth than what is covered in the extract however for brevity I believe this is representative of the overall conclusion.
It is generally accepted that lauter turbidity is of outstanding importance in terms of beer quality.
Particularly, the importance of a clear lauter wort has often been emphasized. Nielsen summarizes the undesired components of turbid worts as follows: lipids which are believed to contribute to beer staling and foam deterioration; anthocyanogens derived from malt which cause a decrease in the non-biological stability of the finished beer, with the content of anthocyanogens in wort depending on the contact time of wort with grist; flavour compounds which directly affect the flavour quality; and starch since it affects both the biological and non-biological stability adversely.

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by McMullan » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:08 pm

wessexwyvern wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:11 pm
Below is an extract from a paper from the Journal of the Institute of Brewing. The content is far more indepth than what is covered in the extract however for brevity I believe this is representative of the overall conclusion.
It is generally accepted that lauter turbidity is of outstanding importance in terms of beer quality.
Particularly, the importance of a clear lauter wort has often been emphasized. Nielsen summarizes the undesired components of turbid worts as follows: lipids which are believed to contribute to beer staling and foam deterioration; anthocyanogens derived from malt which cause a decrease in the non-biological stability of the finished beer, with the content of anthocyanogens in wort depending on the contact time of wort with grist; flavour compounds which directly affect the flavour quality; and starch since it affects both the biological and non-biological stability adversely.
Is this for lagers?

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by Eric » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:29 am

McMullan wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:08 pm
wessexwyvern wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:11 pm
Below is an extract from a paper from the Journal of the Institute of Brewing. The content is far more indepth than what is covered in the extract however for brevity I believe this is representative of the overall conclusion.
It is generally accepted that lauter turbidity is of outstanding importance in terms of beer quality.
Particularly, the importance of a clear lauter wort has often been emphasized. Nielsen summarizes the undesired components of turbid worts as follows: lipids which are believed to contribute to beer staling and foam deterioration; anthocyanogens derived from malt which cause a decrease in the non-biological stability of the finished beer, with the content of anthocyanogens in wort depending on the contact time of wort with grist; flavour compounds which directly affect the flavour quality; and starch since it affects both the biological and non-biological stability adversely.
Is this for lagers?
It was from a review of more than 100 works from across the world into wort compositions, so suppose it won't just apply to a specific style of beer.
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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by McMullan » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:10 pm

Thanks, Eric. Sounds like an interesting review. My thoughts were it does't take too much to bugger the flavour of a relatively bland lager :wall

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Re: Clear wort before boil - important?

Post by orlando » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:05 pm

McMullan wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:10 pm
Thanks, Eric. Sounds like an interesting review. My thoughts were it does't take too much to bugger the flavour of a relatively bland lager :wall
Doen't take much to improve it either, lime cordial anyone. :D
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: Summer Sunshine
Conditioning:
Drinking: From Russia With Love (RIS), Sweet Mild O'Mine (Reprise), All About That Bass

Up Next: Peaches, Reasons To Be Beerful
Planning: Summer drinking Beer.

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