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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: brulosopher on March 28, 2016, 07:18:54 am

Title: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: brulosopher on March 28, 2016, 07:18:54 am
Results from the first vorlauf xBmt showed us the method seemed to have little impact on distinguishability. Curious just what it would take to produce a difference, we designed an xBmt to test the limits, adding over 8x the amount of grain a typical vorlauf filters out to one boil and comparing it to the same beer made with a normal vorlauf. Results are in!

http://brulosophy.com/2016/03/28/the-vorlauf-effect-pt-2-testing-the-extreme-exbeeriment-results/
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: homoeccentricus on March 28, 2016, 07:53:34 am
Vorläufig I'm not going to drop this procedure. Is anybody?
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: brulosopher on March 28, 2016, 08:00:39 am
Vorläufig I'm not going to drop this procedure. Is anybody?

I've passed on it many times and haven't noticed a lick of difference. It's not every intentional, I just sometimes forget. When I'm using a BIAB bag in my MLT, I skip the vorlauf on purpose because the bag doesn't allow any grain through at all anyway.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: pete b on March 28, 2016, 08:05:23 am
Vorläufig I'm not going to drop this procedure. Is anybody?
Nope. Its easy and kinda fun. I just won't sweat it when I forget.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2016, 08:06:05 am
With a pump, it is pretty easy to do when you go to mash out temps. I will still do it.

Astringency is increased by decocting, but not enough to be objectionable.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: trentm on March 28, 2016, 08:07:41 am
What effect did you expect it to have with the pH in range?

It takes a lot of effort (or ignorance) to mess up a beer.  Try it sometime.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: majorvices on March 28, 2016, 08:11:29 am
On the homebrew level I do not think it is as important but on commercial systems it does become important or you will have a lot of grain and lipids from the mash pulled into boil kettle.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2016, 08:26:51 am
What effect did you expect it to have with the pH in range?

It takes a lot of effort (or ignorance) to mess up a beer.  Try it sometime.
Was that for me? I have messed up plenty of beer in many ways. That means the beer did not meet my standards. It was drinkable,yes, but outstanding, no. Making beer is a forgiving process, up to a point.

The comments on astringency while decocting are from reading a lot over the last many years, and going to a few talks on it at the NHC. As to decoctions, we do at least a couple a year, sometimes more.

Some pros and cons from AJ Delange, who pretty much only brews Czech Pilsners.
http://hbd.org/brewery/library/DecoctProCon.html
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 28, 2016, 08:34:32 am
I have messed up plenty of beer in many ways. That means the beer did not meet my standards. It was drinkable,yes, but outstanding, no. Making beer is a forgiving process, up to a point.


Totally agree.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: trentm on March 28, 2016, 08:41:21 am
Was that for me?

No.  I was replying to the OP, who checked his pH during the process and then expected different results by purposefully adding grain to the boil.  In range pH makes the whole tannin/astringency thing a lesser or non issue.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 28, 2016, 08:51:59 am
This is a really good example of why the results to any individual experiment have to be read narrowly within the confines of the experiment. Here the statistical analysis shows no discernible difference between the vorlauf and non-vorlauf batches, which suggests a vorlauf is not necessary but the author's own tastings show the beers were blatantly different until a new factor (lagering) was applied. Had the tasting panel been assembled when the author would have preferred to start drinking the beers it seems any tasting panel would have overwhelmingly identified the difference. So at a minimum those results have to be read within that context.

We should also read those results to suggest that without an effective vorlauf one must fine and lager the beer to clear the excess tannins and other grain matter, which may be undesirable for certain styles and perhaps unavailable to many homebrewers who bottle.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: pete b on March 28, 2016, 09:00:26 am
This is a really good example of why the results to any individual experiment have to be read narrowly within the confines of the experiment. Here the statistical analysis shows no discernible difference between the vorlauf and non-vorlauf batches, which suggests a vorlauf is not necessary but the author's own tastings show the beers were blatantly different until a new factor (lagering) was applied. Had the tasting panel been assembled when the author would have preferred to start drinking the beers it seems any tasting panel would have overwhelmingly identified the difference. So at a minimum those results have to be read within that context.

We should also read those results to suggest that without an effective vorlauf one must fine and lager the beer to clear the excess tannins and other grain matter, which may be undesirable for certain styles and perhaps unavailable to many homebrewers who bottle.
Yes, it might be different with an AIPA or a heff that gets consumed fresher and without the extra process.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2016, 09:27:11 am
Was that for me?

No.  I was replying to the OP, who checked his pH during the process and then expected different results by purposefully adding grain to the boil.  In range pH makes the whole tannin/astringency thing a lesser or non issue.

OK, thanks.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: dmtaylor on March 28, 2016, 10:33:18 am
I have gotten very different results from the xbmts when I've not strained the husk materials properly.  This has happened to me more than once.  Maybe it doesn't happen all the time, but when it does, it comes through as a sharp astringency.  Part of this could also be an alkalinity / mash pH problem.  In those past batches, I probably wasn't as anal about pH as I am today (and still am not terribly anal, but am more now than the past).

If you really want to prove or disprove the notion of vorlauf preventing astringency, try this with a stout sometime.  If you don't do that magical thing where the roasted malts are added only at the very end of the mash, and mash the whole grist together for an hour or whatever, and then don't bother to vorlauf at all....... you could very likely end up with astringency.  Black malt husks are not kind when boiled in my experience.  And you might think the opposite would be true, that a light color beer would have higher pH and end up with more astringency.  And you might be right, maybe.  But I do know I've had problems with doing a crappy vorlauf with black beers.  So, anyway.  I'm not convinced that this is never an issue.  Still pays to vorlauf IMHO.  I even do it for my BIAB beers.  I don't want all that crap in my boil.  I strain it out, whether it's necessary or not.  It's so easy and not worth the risk not to IMHO.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: charles1968 on March 28, 2016, 10:39:05 am
Vorlauf effect part 1 showed a massive difference in clarity. That's a good enough reason for me as I don't usually fine (no space for fridge).

However I like the sound of a grain bag inside the mash tun if it achieves the same result as tediously trickling wort back in over a spoon while worrying about disturbing the grain bed.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: denny on March 28, 2016, 10:45:45 am
Vorlauf effect part 1 showed a massive difference in clarity. That's a good enough reason for me as I don't usually fine (no space for fridge).

However I like the sound of a grain bag inside the mash tun if it achieves the same result as tediously trickling wort back in over a spoon while worrying about disturbing the grain bed.

Good reason to batch sparge.  Vorlauf takes me less than a minute.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: fmader on March 28, 2016, 11:12:29 am
I like my hot scotchies to be clear and grain free. I'll continue to vorlauf.  :P
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: stpug on March 28, 2016, 12:51:37 pm
Astringency is increased by decocting, but not enough to be objectionable.

My experience is that pre-lagering the astringency IS enough to be objectionable; post-lagering it is no longer objectionable (or even discernible for that matter).  One experience I had that illustrated how much astringency can be produced in decoction mashing was a traditional, triple-decocted bock I did - prior to this I would not have thought this was possible.

After kegging the bock and carbonating over a few days, I pulled a sample and was heart-broken at the astringent quality that kicked me in the face - so much so that I almost dumped the batch there and then because there was no way this one would ever clean up (or so I thought).  However, since I had plenty of empty kegs and batches that could precede this one, I decided to let it lager for many weeks (eight if I recall correctly) at ~38-40F.  After the lagering period, I pulled another sample and it was 180° turnaround! No astringency, and a classic traditional bock character.  After experiencing this turnaround it flashed me back to something Noonan wrote about in New Brewing Lager Beer which basically said exactly that: Lagering will precipitate the astringency in lagers as part of the process (or something like that).
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: denny on March 28, 2016, 01:05:56 pm
As I understand it, the polyphenols bond to proteins which drop out during lagering.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: charles1968 on March 28, 2016, 01:11:18 pm
Good reason to batch sparge.  Vorlauf takes me less than a minute.

It takes me a few minutes to pour back in gently but doesn't add any time as the tap is open anyway.

Yesterday I tried opening the tap fully after vorlaufing - sonething I've never tried before, having read somewhere that you need to drain a litre a minute - and got nice clear wort. That's a few more minutes shaved off the brew day.

Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: charles1968 on March 28, 2016, 01:15:43 pm
After kegging the bock and carbonating over a few days, I pulled a sample and was heart-broken at the astringent quality that kicked me in the face - so much so that I almost dumped the batch there and then because there was no way this one would ever clean up (or so I thought).  However, since I had plenty of empty kegs and batches that could precede this one, I decided to let it lager for many weeks (eight if I recall correctly) at ~38-40F.  After the lagering period, I pulled another sample and it was 180° turnaround! No astringency, and a classic traditional bock character. 

I had exactly this experience with a pale ale that tasted vile at first and then sat forgotten in the shed over winter. By March it was excellent.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2016, 01:23:26 pm
Astringency is increased by decocting, but not enough to be objectionable.

My experience is that pre-lagering the astringency IS enough to be objectionable; post-lagering it is no longer objectionable (or even discernible for that matter).  One experience I had that illustrated how much astringency can be produced in decoction mashing was a traditional, triple-decocted bock I did - prior to this I would not have thought this was possible.

After kegging the bock and carbonating over a few days, I pulled a sample and was heart-broken at the astringent quality that kicked me in the face - so much so that I almost dumped the batch there and then because there was no way this one would ever clean up (or so I thought).  However, since I had plenty of empty kegs and batches that could precede this one, I decided to let it lager for many weeks (eight if I recall correctly) at ~38-40F.  After the lagering period, I pulled another sample and it was 180° turnaround! No astringency, and a classic traditional bock character.  After experiencing this turnaround it flashed me back to something Noonan wrote about in New Brewing Lager Beer which basically said exactly that: Lagering will precipitate the astringency in lagers as part of the process (or something like that).
The tannins (polyphenols) dropping out was listed in the link I had above.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: dmtaylor on March 28, 2016, 02:46:37 pm
My experience is that pre-lagering the astringency IS enough to be objectionable; post-lagering it is no longer objectionable (or even discernible for that matter).  One experience I had that illustrated how much astringency can be produced in decoction mashing was a traditional, triple-decocted bock I did - prior to this I would not have thought this was possible.

After kegging the bock and carbonating over a few days, I pulled a sample and was heart-broken at the astringent quality that kicked me in the face - so much so that I almost dumped the batch there and then because there was no way this one would ever clean up (or so I thought).  However, since I had plenty of empty kegs and batches that could precede this one, I decided to let it lager for many weeks (eight if I recall correctly) at ~38-40F.  After the lagering period, I pulled another sample and it was 180° turnaround! No astringency, and a classic traditional bock character.  After experiencing this turnaround it flashed me back to something Noonan wrote about in New Brewing Lager Beer which basically said exactly that: Lagering will precipitate the astringency in lagers as part of the process (or something like that).

This is very interesting, and I've seen the same thing in a parallel universe.......

Recently I discovered that either the carbonation or the corn syrup, or both, in soda pop do not agree very well with my digestive system.  Therefore, I decided to change over to a new soft drink of choice: ICED TEA.  I drink a ton of this stuff at work everyday, instead of the old standby of Coke, for those times of day when I can't drink beer or cider, etc.  So anyway...

Of course I brew my own iced tea.  I make a gallon at a time usually, then bring the whole jug to work.  Anyway... I have noticed that the first day or two after making it, it's got some extra zing to it, no doubt the tannins that are still in suspension.  However this very quickly falls away over about 36-48 hours, after which it is a very smooth and easy drinking beverage.  And I actually kind of like the fresh taste as well.  But I definitely do notice a difference after the tea has sat in the refrigerator to "lager" for a couple days.  This was not on purpose but discovered by accident.

My point is, tea has a lot of tannins, as many of us have heard.  And yes, after brewing and drinking dozens of gallons of the stuff over recent months, I definitely can tell that the tannins do mellow after "lagering" for a few days.  Fascinating that this correlates against lagering of, well, lager beer.  Awesome.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: rob_f on March 28, 2016, 03:30:07 pm
I have a RIMS setup, so I pretty much vorluaf full-time. I still end up putting a nylon mesh bag over my tube filling the kettle since listening to Colin Kaminski at an AHA conference recommending "no grain husks in your kettle."  To me a brewday is a significant investment of time and effort. Doing little things like that to make sure it comes out right are fine with me, even if they are unnecesary.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: brewinhard on March 28, 2016, 05:11:28 pm
As I understand it, the polyphenols bond to proteins which drop out during lagering.

Not fully in some cases.  At least what I and others (BJCP judges) have observed and experienced in some of my brews. This was prior to me making some equipment changes that allowed zero grain particles to enter my kettle.
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: ynotbrusum on March 28, 2016, 08:20:21 pm
I vorlauf, then pour through a double strainer to catch any lingering husks or grain, risking the dreaded (non-issue to me) HSA - but according to that German website, the HSA doesn't cause oxidation issues, rather it creates SRM issues and darker beers than are acceptable.  If it ain't one thing, it's another.....
Title: Re: The Vorlauf Effect - Pt. 2: Testing The Extreme | exBEERiment Results!
Post by: denny on March 29, 2016, 09:19:15 am
I vorlauf, then pour through a double strainer to catch any lingering husks or grain, risking the dreaded (non-issue to me) HSA - but according to that German website, the HSA doesn't cause oxidation issues, rather it creates SRM issues and darker beers than are acceptable.  If it ain't one thing, it's another.....

Yes, oxidation will darken beer color.