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vorlaufing - does it really matter?


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#1 pickle_rick

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 01:09 PM

My next mash tun setup seems like it won't really set up with out doing a lot of recirc (which I can't/don't want to do).  But does it actually matter?  I think of brewers doing decoctions and I have to think it shouldn't matter.  That would be like a worse case scenario for boiling grain husks.  in any event I guess I'll likely find out if it really causes clarity issues soon ;)


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#2 Bklmt2000

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 01:48 PM

Does it matter?  IMO, it's hard to pin down a single answer.

 

If you don't vorlauf and you enjoy how your beers turn out, then you have your answer.

 

Since you didn't ask, I do vorlauf, as I prefer to see relatively clear wort go into the kettle, and I like to ensure as few grain bits hit the kettle as possible.

 

If one didn't want to vorlauf, a fine nylon mesh grain bag to filter the runnings on the way to the kettle is what I'd use.


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#3 pickle_rick

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 01:51 PM

Does it matter?  IMO, it's hard to pin down a single answer.

 

If you don't vorlauf and you enjoy how your beers turn out, then you have your answer.

 

Since you didn't ask, I do vorlauf, as I prefer to see relatively clear wort go into the kettle, and I like to ensure as few grain bits hit the kettle as possible.

 

If one didn't want to vorlauf, a fine nylon mesh grain bag to filter the runnings on the way to the kettle is what I'd use.

 

well I've always been able to achieve pretty clear runnings in the past but this false bottom never really got there.  even after the mash tun had been draining for a while some bits were getting in there.  it wasn't cloudy but some chunks were still making their way in.

 

but I have to wonder if it actually matters.  decoction straight up boils a lot of husks - this doesn't seem to cause issues.


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#4 denny

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 02:12 PM

I think if you know for a fact that your kettle pH is OK, it probably doesn't matter a lot.  I do vorlauf, but I do it becasue it's fast and easy for me.  OTOH, when I use the Grainfather or Mash & Boil there's no way to vorlauf and it doesn't seem to matter.  FWIW, I have never found a relation between clear runnings and quality of the finished beer.


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#5 Bklmt2000

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 02:20 PM

well I've always been able to achieve pretty clear runnings in the past but this false bottom never really got there.  even after the mash tun had been draining for a while some bits were getting in there.  it wasn't cloudy but some chunks were still making their way in.

 

but I have to wonder if it actually matters.  decoction straight up boils a lot of husks - this doesn't seem to cause issues.

 

If the pH of the mash is dialed in, then boiling those few bits of grain should make little/no difference, since as you said, decoction involves boiling a lot more grain than just a few chunks.


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#6 pickle_rick

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 02:20 PM

I think if you know for a fact that your kettle pH is OK, it probably doesn't matter a lot. I do vorlauf, but I do it becasue it's fast and easy for me. OTOH, when I use the Grainfather or Mash & Boil there's no way to vorlauf and it doesn't seem to matter. FWIW, I have never found a relation between clear runnings and quality of the finished beer.


I was in the same boat. It was easy before but now it doesn't seem to clear up for me.
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#7 pickle_rick

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 05:48 AM

Another thing to note is that my pH will only go down during the boil since I'm doing no sparge. My mash pH is usually about 5.2 to 5.3.
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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 08:53 AM

Whether you're a fan of the Brulosophy exbeeriments or not, I believe they did something where they made two batches where one was recirculated well and the other was not only "not recirculated" but they took a plastic cup and scooped up a bunch of the spent grain from the MT and threw it into the boil on that batch. Not only was there no astringency or tannic flavor but the beer ended up clear as well.

#9 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:29 PM

Whether you're a fan of the Brulosophy exbeeriments or not, I believe they did something where they made two batches where one was recirculated well and the other was not only "not recirculated" but they took a plastic cup and scooped up a bunch of the spent grain from the MT and threw it into the boil on that batch. Not only was there no astringency or tannic flavor but the beer ended up clear as well.

 

I think it's just a matter of how careful you are at keeping the starches out should there be any left in the mash (for clear beer).

 

The only really good reason to do it is to set the grain bed carefully for sparging so you don't get a stuck mash or get tons of grain in the boil. Could affect boil over too by adding extra proteins. Also might make it easier to not get crap in a plate chiller by having less matter in the bottom of the kettle if you use a plate chiller.

 

But overall I don't think it affects the final product.


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#10 pickle_rick

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 02:55 AM

the foam at the start of boil didn't seem particularly different than any other time.  this was no sparge.  I don't use a plate chiller.


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#11 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:26 AM

the foam at the start of boil didn't seem particularly different than any other time. this was no sparge. I don't use a plate chiller.


In my experience the hot break is clumpier and more pronounced.
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#12 pickle_rick

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 06:13 AM

In my experience the hot break is clumpier and more pronounced.


Maybe I've always been getting more protein than I think in the boil.
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