Author Topic: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?  (Read 1020 times)

TXFlyGuy

  • Guest
Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« on: March 21, 2020, 08:19:35 am »
After brewing up what looks to be a very nice Amber Czech Lager, we at Bel Air Brewing were all amazed at the clarity of the wort.

A three step infusion mash was employed, with a recirculation of the wort thru the mash tun. We noticed immediately the clarity of the run off, going from the mash tun directly to the boil kettle.

This carried forward to the brew kettle also. After cooling the boiled wort to about 68 degrees, with a very nice cold-break, we started running into the fermenter.

Again, the wort was a beautiful amber-ruby-red color. Brilliantly crystal clear. It helps that we only use whole leaf hops, and they are extremely effective at filtration of the cold break / trub from the run off. Looking inside the boil kettle after run off was complete, our eyes feasted on gray/brown mud, very thick, that was resting on top of 6 ounces of Saaz hops.

Does having a hyper-clear wort indicate the potential quality (good or bad) of the finished beer?

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 5148
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 08:29:05 am »
Some say it doesn’t matter. Some say it’s critical. I fall somewhere in between: I prefer clear wort into the kettle and into the FV but if I get a bit of trüb it’s not the end of the world.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 25400
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 09:05:03 am »
I haven't found clarity of wort to necessarily be an indicator of beer quality.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

TXFlyGuy

  • Guest
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 09:28:33 am »
I haven't found clarity of wort to necessarily be an indicator of beer quality.

Does cloudy wort equal cloudy beer?

Does crystal clear wort equal clear beer?

If clarity is not an issue, why do so many recommend recirculating the mash run off until clear?

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 5148
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 09:32:48 am »
A1. No.

A2. No.

A3. Brewing textbooks say it’s bad for long term storage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 25400
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2020, 10:07:35 am »
I haven't found clarity of wort to necessarily be an indicator of beer quality.

Does cloudy wort equal cloudy beer?

Does crystal clear wort equal clear beer?

If clarity is not an issue, why do so many recommend recirculating the mash run off until clear?

Cloudy wort does not equal cloudy beer.

Clear wort does not equal clear beer.

In terms of mash runoff, "clear" means free of chunks, not that you can read a newspaper through it.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

TXFlyGuy

  • Guest
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2020, 10:29:37 am »
I haven't found clarity of wort to necessarily be an indicator of beer quality.

Does cloudy wort equal cloudy beer?

Does crystal clear wort equal clear beer?

If clarity is not an issue, why do so many recommend recirculating the mash run off until clear?

Cloudy wort does not equal cloudy beer.

Clear wort does not equal clear beer.

In terms of mash runoff, "clear" means free of chunks, not that you can read a newspaper through it.

Ok...we could read a newspaper through our wort, during all of phases of brewing yesterday.

Time will tell on the other questions. Stand by for a full report on what we experience.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 25400
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2020, 10:41:04 am »
I haven't found clarity of wort to necessarily be an indicator of beer quality.

Does cloudy wort equal cloudy beer?

Does crystal clear wort equal clear beer?

If clarity is not an issue, why do so many recommend recirculating the mash run off until clear?

Cloudy wort does not equal cloudy beer.

Clear wort does not equal clear beer.

In terms of mash runoff, "clear" means free of chunks, not that you can read a newspaper through it.

Ok...we could read a newspaper through our wort, during all of phases of brewing yesterday.

Time will tell on the other questions. Stand by for a full report on what we experience.

Yeah, mine is usually that clear too, but I've found that it almost never matters if it isn't.  I don't go out of my way to make it clear.  If it so, it is.  It it's not, then carry on.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 626
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2020, 06:42:50 am »
A1. No.

A2. No.

A3. Brewing textbooks say it’s bad for long term storage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Define long-term storage please.  How many months are you referring to?

I have a boil kettle with a ball valve and I used to leave quite a bit of wort in the kettle to avoid picking up ANY of the sludge at the bottom for fear that it would negatively impact the brew.  After reading Denny's opinion in prior posts elsewhere on the forum that wort clarity doesn't matter, I no longer sweat it and still get IMO good beer.  It leaves me more time to sweat some other detail of the process. 

Thanks in advance for your answer.
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline goose

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1112
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2020, 07:31:24 am »
Correct me if I am wrong,  but I have read that a small amount of trub making it into the fermenter is good for yeast health (not a lot mind you, as Dave Houseman has told me in the past).   But I agree with Denny and Lazy Ant that if it is not totally clear, I don't sweat it.
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified
AHA Governing Committee Member

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 5148
Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2020, 07:44:07 am »
A1. No.

A2. No.

A3. Brewing textbooks say it’s bad for long term storage.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Define long-term storage please.  How many months are you referring to?

Sorry. I can’t. I am just repeating what I’ve read. Those texts (Kunze, Bamforth, et all) would need to be researched. http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/brewing-methods/trub-seperation-why-and-how/

Some Low Ox brewers are reporting beers six months + old taste the same as day one but I can’t testify to that because I am a ‘production brewer’.  (Edit:  of course, they’re doing more than just removing trüb)

For me, beer is made to drink not save. I produce beer for that purpose.

I have a constant rotation pipeline where I brew a beer, ferment it, move it to condition/lager/mature/carbonate, move it to the serving side, tap it and drink it. Once ready to drink and tapped, a keg might last three weeks around here (but more like two) @ ~30 ea 20 oz pints. .

See post #2 (above).

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 08:42:58 am by BrewBama »

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 25400
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Wort - Clear, or Cloudy?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2020, 08:07:00 am »
Correct me if I am wrong,  but I have read that a small amount of trub making it into the fermenter is good for yeast health (not a lot mind you, as Dave Houseman has told me in the past).   But I agree with Denny and Lazy Ant that if it is not totally clear, I don't sweat it.

You are correct.  It provides FAN.  And as I've said, informal tests have shown that beer fermented with trub was clearer and preferred in taste tests over beer that had the trub removed before fermentation.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell