Author Topic: recirculate mash?  (Read 1865 times)

Offline trapae

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 04:03:04 AM »
So we are really just talking about vorlaufing with a pump right? I recently went from vorlaufing with a false bottom to using a mesh bag inside SS Brewtech and using the false bottom as well.  I still Vorlauf with filling containers and pouring them back in. But I do have a pump and just realized I can Vorlauf by recirculating with the pump.   Currently, when I move wort to the kettle there are no particles but it is still cloudy.  I guess I should be vorlaufing much longer. I will start using my pump now.
How long are you guys recirculating before moving wort to the kettle to make it not cloudy?
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2018, 04:33:47 AM »
I vorlauf with my pump. For typical mash I start recirculation at about 45 min in. I recirculate a couple minutes just to ensure it's not terribly stratified and then I pull a small sample to verify I have reached expected °P. I only recirculate long enough to get clear runnings. Usually always have clear runnings by the time I read my refractometer  (couple minutes).

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 11:38:08 AM »
Continuous recirc with HERMS step mash here.  I used to use a sight glass to watch the wort clear.  Since it always ran gin clear, I gave up the sight glass as another thing to not have to clean.

The mash uses a basket that is perforated and my recirc is with a locline halo below the top of the liquid in the mash.  Brewtan B assures me of clear beer, too.
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Offline zman51

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2018, 11:45:12 AM »
Thanks for all the answers fellas. I am using a ss brewtech mashtun which has a real fine mesh false bottom. After reading, I think I will recirculate after mash time and I also use a fine mesh spider when pumping into brew kettle. Hopefully this will do a good job.

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Offline Robert

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2018, 11:56:28 AM »
So we are really just talking about vorlaufing with a pump right? I recently went from vorlaufing with a false bottom to using a mesh bag inside SS Brewtech and using the false bottom as well.  I still Vorlauf with filling containers and pouring them back in. But I do have a pump and just realized I can Vorlauf by recirculating with the pump.   Currently, when I move wort to the kettle there are no particles but it is still cloudy.  I guess I should be vorlaufing much longer. I will start using my pump now.
How long are you guys recirculating before moving wort to the kettle to make it not cloudy?
I don't use a pump, just fill a pitcher and gently retjrnnto the top.  You only need to recirculate (ok vorlauf if you like) until the wort runs perfectly clear.  I have virtually zero dead space under my false bottom, so it's only a few quarts.  Your tun design, your grist, and other things will affect it, so there's no magic number for time.  Just whenever it's clear.  (I think a pump might make this harder.  Too fast a flow will keep drawing material down through the bed.  Gravity will allow the flow to set its own optimum.)
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Offline Big Monk

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2018, 12:11:56 PM »
Just whenever it's clear.  (I think a pump might make this harder.  Too fast a flow will keep drawing material down through the bed.  Gravity will allow the flow to set its own optimum.)

It goes without saying that if you use a pump you need to throttle it on the output. A valve works as well as electrically controlling it.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2018, 01:23:34 PM »
Just whenever it's clear.  (I think a pump might make this harder.  Too fast a flow will keep drawing material down through the bed.  Gravity will allow the flow to set its own optimum.)

It goes without saying that if you use a pump you need to throttle it on the output. A valve works as well as electrically controlling it.
Yup. I bought a decent stainless head this winter and immediately started getting stuck. It is possible to suck the grain bed down and get stuck. Prime with gravity, then close the valve and turn pump on. I throttle open just enough to get a gentle stream.

Offline Iliff Ave Brewhouse

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2018, 01:27:33 PM »
Interesting. I used to use a false bottom and would vorlauf until I got clear runnings. Now I use a bag without vorlauf as others have mentioned and have had zero noticeable difference in the finished beer. Thanks for the information. Glad it doesn't perceptibly affect my beer.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2018, 01:46:27 PM »
I think if your wort is unclear it's important to know why. If it's because it's full of starch, that's maybe a problem. I'm not calling anyone out here, I could be totally misunderstanding something. Doesn't pH have to be above 6 to extract tannins from husks? If so, husks are not an issue at mash temp. If they are an issue at 212F then... I guess that is my excuse to not do decoction.

Usually my wort is clear. Usually not Crystal clear. I try not to transfer grain solids to the boil, but I don't inspect every drop. If it's fully converted, I'm happy. All I know is I never have a tannin astringent issue, or a final beer clarity issue, or a foam issue. And after boil i just pump gnarly unsettled wort to the fermentor. In the past I would let it settle and be all OCD about clear wort to the fermentor. I'm seeing no change in final quality between the two. I have become slightly more OCD about cold side O2. Maybe that's what makes the difference.

Offline Robert

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2018, 02:16:22 PM »
I think if your wort is unclear it's important to know why. If it's because it's full of starch, that's maybe a problem. I'm not calling anyone out here, I could be totally misunderstanding something. Doesn't pH have to be above 6 to extract tannins from husks? If so, husks are not an issue at mash temp. If they are an issue at 212F then... I guess that is my excuse to not do decoction.

Usually my wort is clear. Usually not Crystal clear. I try not to transfer grain solids to the boil, but I don't inspect every drop. If it's fully converted, I'm happy. All I know is I never have a tannin astringent issue, or a final beer clarity issue, or a foam issue. And after boil i just pump gnarly unsettled wort to the fermentor. In the past I would let it settle and be all OCD about clear wort to the fermentor. I'm seeing no change in final quality between the two. I have become slightly more OCD about cold side O2. Maybe that's what makes the difference.

Tannins are extracted at a higher pH  in the mash, true, but if grain solids get into the boil, well at boiling temp they'll be extracted readily at any pH.* There is a  longstanding question of how clear is clear enough, both into the boil and into the fermenter.  The best consensus seems to be, pretty clear.  Crystal clear is probably not necessary, but the kind of clarity you and I probably get, Jim, is easily achieved and very beneficial.  (Like beer that hasn't quite fallen bright.  Looks crystal clear until closer inspection.)  It's a balance like HSA.  Don't be OCD, but don't gratuitously disregard sound practices when quality of beer can be significantly impacted. I guess we're striking the right balance if our results are good.

*(And then you bring up decoction.  I avoid invoking that as evidence for or against anything when talking modern processes like we use.  I think decoction has to be seen as part of a whole set of processes that evolved to mitigate each other's faults.  Like maybe X isn't a problem in decoction if it's offset by Y happening in six months lagering at 2°C.  And boiling the decoction eliminates HSA,  which may affect the equilibrium of the whole system.  It just may all be irrelevant to us.  Could read Noonan again, or I could just exercise reasonable care.)
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Offline Robert

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2018, 04:40:16 PM »
^^^^
"It's a balance like HSA."

I should just point out the obvious, that this actually all goes together.  To avoid staling and haze, you minimize substances susceptible to oxidation, and minimize opportunities for oxidation.   You address the whole complex of lipids & polyphenols + O2 both hot & cold side + time & temperature, and try to keep the whole system below the threshold where it becomes a problem. If you could totally eliminate two legs of the triangle, the last wouldn't matter, but in practice you do what you can for each.  Have clear wort, minimize O2, keep beer cold and drink beer fresh.  The less you can control one parameter, the more critical the others.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2018, 10:49:08 PM »
And so, I gotta ask the logical extension of the foregoing - do you skim break materials?  And do you use an immersion whirlpool chiller? 
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2018, 10:53:26 PM »
And so, I gotta ask the logical extension of the foregoing - do you skim break materials?  And do you use an immersion whirlpool chiller?
Me? No skim, yes immersion chiller.

Offline Robert

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2018, 11:24:38 PM »
And so, I gotta ask the logical extension of the foregoing - do you skim break materials?  And do you use an immersion whirlpool chiller?

Not sure what you mean by skim break material.  The foam on the boil is very clean, and anything there is sticks to the collar of the kettle.  Yes, immersion chiller, settle 20-30 min and rack off of all hot and cold break taking (practically) crystal clear wort to the fermenter. There is very, very little trub in the fermenter when I harvest yeast.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: recirculate mash?
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2018, 11:29:50 PM »
And so, I gotta ask the logical extension of the foregoing - do you skim break materials?  And do you use an immersion whirlpool chiller?

Not sure what you mean by skim break material.  The foam on the boil is very clean, and anything there is sticks to the collar of the kettle.  Yes, immersion chiller, settle 20-30 min and rack off of all hot and cold break taking (practically) crystal clear wort to the fermenter. There is very, very little trub in the fermenter when I harvest yeast.
Harvesting yeast! Main reason I can see for limiting boil kettle trub to the fermentor.

Another reason would be if I was brewing 10bbl at a time. If I could prevent a bbl of boil trub from getting through, I would. But at my 1/5th bbl size, I only end up with a thin line of boil trub in the bottom of my fermentor. For me... not a problem.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 11:34:03 PM by klickitat jim »