Mash Recirculation

One of the easiest ways to get clear wort is to recirculate your mash. Recirculating your mash involves taking wort from the bottom and returning it to the top of the mash. Small grain particles and proteins will get filtered through your grain bed giving you clearer wort.

The easiest way to do this, which requires no additional equipment, is to drain the mash into a pitcher. You will see particles come out in the wort for the first few quarts. Once you fill up your container (I use a quart measuring cup), pour it back on the top of the mash. Do this until the wort runs clear. It is called vorlaufing. You will end up with a cleaner finished beer.

An even better method is to circulate your wort by pump. If you are using a HERMS or RIMS setup, you will see this in action, because both methods involve taking wort from the bottom of the mash and returning it to the top. Even if you are not brewing on a HERMS or RIMS setup, you can accomplish the same result with the use of a pump. Attach a hose from your mash outlet to your pump inlet, then a hose from your pump outlet to the top of the mashtun. Doing this for a few minutes at the end of your mash will keep your mash nice and clear of debris. One of the first things I noticed when moving to a HERMS setup was how clean my beers were coming out, and I attribute it mostly to this automatic recirculation of wort.

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