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    how long should one volauf before transfering to the kettle? what are the repercussion(s) of volaufing too long?

  • #2
    Vorlauf

    The main goal of the vorlauf (German for recycle) is to set the husk filter bed on the mash tun screens, move the foundation liquor out from underneath the screens, and clarify the wort somewhat, or completely depending on your grain/crush/screen type, etc. I was taught by an older, more traditional brewer. After 20 mins., you aren't going to see anything better. Start your lauter, and if clarity was an issue it usually clears up in the first 10 mins. or so. The downside of a long vorlauf would be that until you start raising the temp. of the mash, you are still creating fermentable sugars. A longer vorlauf can affect the final gravity. A 1 1/2 hour conversion followed by a 20 min. vorlauf is about as long as you want to go for most worts.
    Paul Thomas
    Brewer
    Sockeye Brewing
    www.sockeyebrew.com

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    • #3
      by the end of about an hour most starch hydrolysizing enzymes are denatured...I wouldn't worry about creating a more fermentable carbohydrate mix by recircing too long...I would, however worry about sending junk into your kettle by not vorlauffing long enough. (lipids, phenols, big nasty proteins) go by clarity, not time.

      for a really good measurement, buy an imhoff cone, and use it to check your % solids. cheap, easy, and effective

      we start looking to send around 20 mins, with clarity being the go / no go
      Larry Horwitz

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      • #4
        Isn't it the conventional wisdom that a mash stand of 90 minutes with today's highly modified malts is a waste of (at least) 60 minutes? We rest for 15 in the high 140s (typically) vorlauf for about 30 (based on clarity) and lauter for just about 2 hours to fill our 30bbl kettle. The assumption here is that whatever conversion hasn't happened after 15 minutes will certainly be finished by the end of vorlauf, and our yields bear that out. Unless you like to go out to breakfast, 1.5 hour mash rest is unnecessary IMO.

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        • #5
          I mash in at 5.30 a clock, go home for breakfast, help the kids to school and start recirculating the vort 7.15. It would be interesting to hear Cargills opinon about shorter mashing times when using well modified malts, usually 35-38 degr. The kids grow up and can help themselves, so I can start lautering earlier.

          cheers,
          Bjorn Falkestrom

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pbutlert
            the vorlauf (German for recycle)
            Recycle? I've always understood it to mean advance, or before the first runnings. "Vor" before and "lauf" the verb to run. I could be wrong but it always made sense to me.

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            • #7
              Re Farmhouse comment - I would be very surprised if you got full starch conversion after only 30 minutes. You should be checking conversion is complete by using an iodine in stach iodide solution before you start to run off. If you sample from just under th etop layer of the mash, say half to an inch below the surface, then you should not have any black particles (starch) visible.

              20 minutes sounds a heck of a long time pre runoff recirc for a small mash tun / lauter tun. You should only recircuulate long enough to achieve clear wort - any longer and all you are doing is compacting the bed because of the high wort viscosity - but if 20 minutes is what it takes, then so be it.
              dick

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              • #8
                Re: Recycle

                Ah well, that was what I was told. I don't speak any german anyway, so I am probably wrong on the translation. But it always made sense to me, since that is what the vorlauf is doing-maybe it was recirc. I can't remember. I do a single- infusion mash, converting for 1 hour, followed by a 15-20 min. vorlauf. Clarity is never an issue. The first brewery I worked at, we did it that way for most beers, unless it was a yeast propagation batch in which case we held conversion temps at 150 F for 1 1/2 hours, the theory being that would create the most sugars for the new yeast as possible. On the other end our oatmeal stout had only a 15 min conversion! At any rate, the original post was about vorlaufing- It seems most everyone agrees the answer is 15-20 mins., or until wort has reached an acceptable level of clarity. Good Luck!
                Paul Thomas
                Brewer
                Sockeye Brewing
                www.sockeyebrew.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Interesting thread to hear comments about vorlaufing (and MTK programs).

                  I think 20 min. is a standard vorlauf time. Contrary to this I've had Huppmann Brewmasters tell me that they typically like to see a vorlauf time of 10 min. This seems to be the experience they have with their equipment (seperate MTK and LT) while seeing breweries all over the world. While this doesn't seem adequate to me I've always been curious how others can get away with this. Granted...lots of variables but if the wort clarity is questionable it seems worth the extra 10 min. of vorlauf is worth the wait.

                  To DM-Re: high wort viscosity

                  Are you referring to worts ~ 18 plato as high wort viscosity? (First Worts)
                  Last edited by MikeJordan; 03-15-2006, 10:09 PM.
                  Mike Jordan
                  Brewmaster
                  Boxing Cat Brewery
                  Shanghai, P.R. China
                  michael@boxingcatbrewery.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am more used to first runnings being 90 + SG , say 23 P. Actually for a mash tun without initial recirc, it starts off somewhat lower than that, at about 85 SG (21 P approx), then rises to over 90 SG, and I have seen over 100 SG (25 P) This was when running traditional mash tuns with anything between a 36 inch and 72 inch bed depth, although typical figure was more like 50 inch immediately after mashing in.

                    The wort started thinning out once it dropped below about 70 SG, and was dropping rapidly at that stage, also accompanied by an increase in wort temperature due to the sparge liquor working its way through the bed.

                    Cheers
                    dick

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                    • #11
                      Vorlaufen lassen

                      "vorlaufen lassen" = (in this case) let the wort recirculate a little bit before it is run into the wort kettle

                      For some reason, American brewers have adopted this term specifically for this particular step of the process. Allowing anything to run initially before the main process is to "vorlaufen lassen", inside or outside the brewery.

                      Oh well, Germans use the English word "Handy" for cell phone, which is much worse...

                      Due to hot-side aeration, recirculate as little as possible - get it clear and go, is the best policy in my opinion. That's the reason Huppmann suggests 10 min max., however, they don't make mash/lauter tuns, so your experiences with a mash/lauter system may be different from theirs (i.e. using a separate lauter tun - filled from the bottom).
                      Last edited by crassbrauer; 03-16-2006, 06:10 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks Crassbrauer.

                        The Huppman suggestion is for a Huppman 5 vessel brewhouse. I'm not sure HSA is part of their reasoning as the LT is built with this in mind and vorlauf doesn't commence until sufficient contents are in LT. LT is filled from bottom and vorlauf contents are distributed mid-grain bed depth to avoid HSA. I also believe their new systems fill the line with water prior to vorlauf to avoid as much HSA contact as possible. I'm interested in saving time but the clarity is very hazy with some grain husks coming through the bed after 10 min so extra time is required. Maybe the practice in Europe is to run dirty worts to the WK at the beginning knowing it will clear up?

                        For Dick Murton:

                        The high viscosity worts of 23 plato during first worts; is this high gravity brewing? What type of brewhouse equipment is being used? My experience has been not been pleasant with first worts above 19 plato.

                        Thanks ,
                        MJ
                        Mike Jordan
                        Brewmaster
                        Boxing Cat Brewery
                        Shanghai, P.R. China
                        michael@boxingcatbrewery.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The German term for what´s being discussed here is "Trubwürze pumpen" or "trubwürze zirkulieren" i.e. recirculating the wort in the Läuterbottich till it´s clear and one can begin läutering. "Vorlauf" is used differently i.e. during filtration.

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                          • #14
                            Yes, the Huppmann lauter tuns are designed to treat the wort as gently as possible, in fact, in some larger breweries lautering is done under nitrogen. Recirculating is not kind to wort and is kept to a minimum for several reasons, one of them being hot-side aeration, which cannot be completely avoided when pumping around, even on a German system. Once again, hot-side aeration in a brewpub or a small brewery whose beer is drunk within a couple of months isn't that important as long as it's reasonably low (unless you're brewing a delicate pils). Also, hot-side aeration for a larger brewery which distributes nation-wide or exports to several continents is extremely important for shelf-life among other things.

                            I missed the reference to 23 Plato first runnings earlier. I guess the extreme beer movement is gaining in popularity in America or you're mashing in with too little water…

                            And yes, thanks Sulfur for filling out my incomplete response above…
                            Last edited by crassbrauer; 03-17-2006, 04:14 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sulfur
                              The German term for what´s being discussed here is "Trubwürze pumpen" or "trubwürze zirkulieren" i.e. recirculating the wort in the Läuterbottich till it´s clear and one can begin läutering. "Vorlauf" is used differently i.e. during filtration.
                              ...and since I don't speak German and don't like using words I don't actually understand, I've always referred to it as "recirculating". Now I'm glad for that!

                              Cheers, Tim

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