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Vorlauf in BIAB brewing - help required

Started by BovinionBrewing, November 01, 2023, 08:52:41 PM

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Hi everyone

I'm a total beginner and I've just completed my first BIAB brew, a red ale. I watched videos and read a good few methods and guides on this method and as far as I saw nobody recirculated or vorlaufed (if that's a word) their wort.
I noted my wort was quite opaque when I transferred to the fermenter. Traditional I know you recirculated the worst after mashing to clarify it so should I do this even if I'm doing BIAB?
Appreciate any advice on this.


Hi Bovinion and welcome,

congrats on your first biab brew.

for BIAB - theres no hard and fastend rules in regard to recirculationg , or sparging , or letting sit. alot depends on your set up, your space,  your love of process, your patience etc.
but ...
I can only speak for myself (I too use BIAB method). I find that the wort after mashing tends to be more  "opaque" with BIAB. Unlike using a mash tun or an inner basket (eg Grainfather , ) where the grain bed settles and will act as a filter somewhat, the BIAB method disturbs that grain bed, and gets all those sugars , enygmes  and protien strings mixing around and into the wort.
Many do recirc, (with pumps, or simply drawing from a bottom valve and pouring back in. ) But this is more to help reduce temperature statification . Personnaly, I've gone away from doing these, and just give a good stir). Also, some folk, will hold back some volume of the total to sparge, or rinse the grain in the baig once lifted out of the mash.
The great convience of BIAB, is that it can be as simple or complex as you want. If it works for you, go with it.   
I use whirlfloc or irish moss to help clump some of that protein, and let the wort sit in the kettle for about 30 mins before transfering to the fermenter (this allows some settling and clearing) . However, all settles in the fermenter. ( if you want , use of geletin can further clear things up at the end of fermenting). But for now, I wouldn't worry about any opaqness, or couldiness . and resist the tempation to take samples until its all good and fermented .


I have been BIAB brewing for a few years now and I never sparge or vorlauf. Both are time consuming, awkward and require more effort than they are probably worth, in my opinion. Instead, I Let the bag drain over the boiler as I get the wort up to the boil. I have found that this method means I only lose about 2 litres of volume for approx a 5kg grain bill. Once you dial in these sort of things, you will find better consistency with gravity points etc.



Thanks for the replies both of you. Definitely confirming what I assumed as any BIAB instructions or guides I've read so far have not mentioned recirculation or vorlauf.