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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: narcout on March 08, 2010, 11:13:20 PM

Title: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: narcout on March 08, 2010, 11:13:20 PM
I find that during sparging, the very last of the runoff (maybe the last 1-2 quarts) get very cloudy and full of grain particulate. I think this is because the liquid level is now well below the level of the grainbed and therefore is not being well filtered.

At this point, I stop the flow into the kettle, prop one side of the tun up with a large book, and drain the last of the runoff through a fine mesh hop bag into a pitcher. The hop bag catches all of the little grain particules but there is some white fluffy stuff that it does not filter out. This stuff is very fine and looks a lot like cold break. It does eventually settle out to the bottom of the pitcher, but it takes a while.

My questions are (1) what is this stuff (protein?) and (2) is it a bad idea to add it to the boil kettle? It's nice to be able to drain pretty much all of the wort out of the tun and add it to the boil but if this stuff is detrimental to the beer I'll start discarding it. My guess is that it's harmless and probably settles out with the break material during chilling, but I want to know what you all think.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: babalu87 on March 09, 2010, 03:32:20 AM
Starter wort
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: tom on March 09, 2010, 03:53:21 AM
Discard.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: bluesman on March 09, 2010, 04:00:13 AM
Starter wort

+1

Good to the last drop.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: dean on March 09, 2010, 01:38:37 PM
Another +1 for starter wort if its high enough gravity, I don't like to boil starter wort for an hour since all I'm going to be doing with it is growing yeast. 

I've never had a problem with the last runnings being cloudy...    ???
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: tygo on March 09, 2010, 02:20:10 PM
I've never had a problem with the last runnings being cloudy...    ???

Me either, and I'm usually stretching the runoff to the point where it's just trickling out to hit my volume.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: denny on March 09, 2010, 04:22:42 PM
I've never had a problem with the last runnings being cloudy...    ???

Me either, and I'm usually stretching the runoff to the point where it's just trickling out to hit my volume.


Same here, and I've even taken to tilting my cooler to make sure I get it all out.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: redbeerman on March 09, 2010, 06:33:27 PM
I've never had a problem with the last runnings being cloudy...    ???

Me either, and I'm usually stretching the runoff to the point where it's just trickling out to hit my volume.


Same here, and I've even taken to tilting my cooler to make sure I get it all out.

Me too, must be the braid. ;)
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: narcout on March 09, 2010, 06:49:35 PM
Me too, must be the braid. ;)

Fine, I'm switching and will report back...
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: tygo on March 09, 2010, 07:25:29 PM
I'm using a bazooka screen in mine and it works fine.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: ndcube on March 09, 2010, 09:17:46 PM
I've never had a problem with the last runnings being cloudy...    ???

Me either, and I'm usually stretching the runoff to the point where it's just trickling out to hit my volume.


Same here, and I've even taken to tilting my cooler to make sure I get it all out.

Me too, must be the braid. ;)

I'll add another level to the quote.  No cloudiness for me either.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: CASK1 on March 11, 2010, 06:26:00 PM
You really shouldn't collect runnings once the gravity is below 1.010. Doing so greatly increases the extraction of tannins from the grain husks, potentially leading to astingency in the finished beer. If I'm too lazy to take a reading, I always stop collecting wort as soon as the first particles show up in the runoff.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: denny on March 11, 2010, 06:36:13 PM
I don't think my final runnings have ever been that low.  But, in general I agree with the theory.  That does assume, however, that the gravity of the final runnings is an indicator of a rising pH.  As long as the pH stays in range, it shouldn't matter what the gravity of the runnings is, should it?
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on March 11, 2010, 08:16:12 PM
You really shouldn't collect runnings once the gravity is below 1.010. Doing so greatly increases the extraction of tannins from the grain husks, potentially leading to astingency in the finished beer.

I wonder how much is a truth in this statement.
Is this just just like HSA issue?

After listening brewing network episode with Alaska Brewing Co. I am not sure.
They are using Mash press and they try to get as much sugars out of mash as possible.
They claimed that they brew side by side with Mash Press and with out with no difference in taste.

I guess I am more confused then I was a week ago  ???
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: narcout on April 02, 2010, 08:00:43 PM
Me too, must be the braid. ;)

Fine, I'm switching and will report back...

I just tried the braid for the first time. The wort cleared much more quickly, I was able to run it off faster than before (without chunks of grain coming through), and it stayed clear until the end.

I know other people have had great success with the bazooka tube, but, at least for my setup, the braid seems to work much better.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: denny on April 02, 2010, 08:05:30 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: a10t2 on April 02, 2010, 08:05:55 PM
I don't think my final runnings have ever been that low.  But, in general I agree with the theory.  That does assume, however, that the gravity of the final runnings is an indicator of a rising pH.  As long as the pH stays in range, it shouldn't matter what the gravity of the runnings is, should it?

That's my understanding, Denny. I also wonder how much tannin extraction is an issue with batch sparging. I just don't know how much flavor you can get into wort that's only in contact for 5-10 minutes. (Good or bad; no-sparge beers definitely have more malt flavors per gravity unit, IME.)
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: euge on April 06, 2010, 01:10:01 AM
Currently a piece of wood serves to tilt my tun towards the braid. Not an agressive tilt. Besides the Coleman Extreme has less than a cup of dead-space.  :)

Once the wort has cleared there isn't a problem with clarity or husks all the way to the end of the lauter.

Concerning what'll continue to dribble out afterwards, bound-up and seeping from the grain bed I no longer worry about. Best to plan one's volumes of wort accordingly and compensate with the sparge or mash water.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: Kaiser on April 06, 2010, 02:02:40 AM
The relation between gravity and pH is such that the alkalinity of the water plays a big role. It provides the counterweight to the acidity of the wort. The more extract you have in water (i.e. the more gravity) the more it will determine the pH. With alkalinine sparge water the bicarbonate of the water will aims at raising the pH. The more there is and the lower the extract content the higher the pH will rise. This also means that in the absence of alkalinity, or very low alkalinity, the pH will change only little as the wort gets more dilute. I have seen the pH rise as much as 0.4-0.5 points in batch sparging. But this only happened with alkaline sparge water and when I either did 2 sparge batches or made a small beer.

Kai
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: denny on April 06, 2010, 04:08:52 PM
I have seen the pH rise as much as 0.4-0.5 points in batch sparging. But this only happened with alkaline sparge water and when I either did 2 sparge batches or made a small beer.

Kai

Which likely explains why I haven't seen it rise.  I don't have alkaline sparge water, I almost never do more than one sparge addition, and I almost never make a beer below 1.055.  It's good to have data that contradicts my specific situation so that I know it's possible for the pH to rise.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: bluesman on April 06, 2010, 04:52:17 PM
I typically use the last of the runnings for starter wort, so tannin extraction is not an issue for me. Although I probably wouldn't experience that because most of my beers are >1.050. If tannin extraction is a concern for some then I suppose it would beneficial to monitor the wort by checking the sugar level and pH.
Title: Re: How do you handle the very last of the runnings?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on April 06, 2010, 07:43:45 PM
I just started to measure last runnings pH.
On my 4 SRM Blond Ale (1048) I added Lactic Acid and last running pH was the same as mash pH.
In two 18 SRM beers (1069 both) I did not add lactic acid and my pH went up 0.5 and 0.3 points.

I understand that this is relevant to my brewing water.
I will be watching last runnings but as of now I would say I should acidify my sparge water.
My Alkalinity (CaCO3 ppm) is 91.