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-   -   Gelatin vs. Cold Conditioning (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/gelatin-vs-cold-conditioning-398003/)

lmarkis 03-15-2013 09:51 PM

Gelatin vs. Cold Conditioning
Afternoon everyone,

I wasn't sure where to post this question. What are your opinions on gelatin vs. cold conditioning. I know there are instances where cold conditioning for clarity is beneficial for some beers, but if I am only concerned with clarity am I better off using gelatin?

The gelatin seems cheaper and more convenient to clear the beer up rather than having to make the space in the fridge or to purchase an additional fridge to cold condition the beer.

One more thing, if I use the gelatin do I just add it to my secondary fermentor before I bottle it or do I add it to the bucket with the sugar solution just before adding the beer to bottle? Does gelatin really clear the beer up as much as they claim it does?

naiek 03-15-2013 10:08 PM

I use both. Gelatin works great, works better during a cold crash. Add it either to your primary after fermentation is done or to your secondary if you want to use a secondary. Do this a few days to a week before you plan on bottling so you only transfer bright beer to the bottling bucket

Calder 03-18-2013 12:54 AM

Posting because I am interested in what others have to say.

Generally: I primary for 2 weeks, and then secondary for 4 to 8 weeks (I have a decent pipeline). I add gelatin to the secondary when I rack the beer in. The beer is crystal clear going into the bottles (probably would be from that time in secondary anyway.

I still get chill haze, and am trying things to reduce it. Cold crashing with gelatin supposedly will get rid of it. I am not able to cold crash.

PseudoChef 03-18-2013 12:56 AM

Calder has it right - you kinda need to use both. Cold condition the beer to induce any chill haze that may be present, then add gelatin to settle it out.

lmarkis 03-18-2013 01:24 PM

Thanks for comments, Happy belated St. Patricks Day! I hope everyone had a great time with even better beer.

It seems everyone has a different technique/timeframe when cold conditioning so what is your process?

I have read to bring the beer down to 30F for about 1-2 weeks. This sound right?

DSmith 03-18-2013 01:52 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Cold conditioning seems to do very little for chill haze unless you're aging/lagering a long time.

Gelatin (both Knox brand or the bottle from the homebrewshop) has worked wonders for chill haze and I'm hooked on using it on almost everything, pre-dryhopping. I bottle everything too so I always use Lalvin EC-1118 or S04 for ensured carbonation. My procedures for both gelatin & re-yeast are below.

Gelatin Procedures (for 5 gallons):

Cold crash beer for 24 hours (38F or less)
Mix 5 gram (1 gram per gallon of finished beer) Knox unflavored gelatin in 4 fl oz of room temperature water
(Note: Measure by weighing full package and add gradually and keep weighing)
Rehydrate for at least 10 min.
Heat to 160F in microwave, do not boil!
Add to cold crashed beer.

Re-yeasting Procedures (for 5 gallons):

Yeasting dosing rate: 1 million cells/1 mL of finished beer.

20.0e9 yeast cells/gram of dry yeast.
5 gal = 18,927 mL
1.0e6 = 20.0e9*x/18,927, x = 0.95 grams of dry yeast

Boil 4 oz of spring water in 4 qt measuring cup in microwave, chill to 80F
Sprinkle 1.9g dry yeast on water surface and cover with plastic wrap, let sit for 15 min
(Note: Measure by weighing full package, tare scale and add gradually and keep weighing until scale reads -1.9g)
Swirl yeast/water mixture really wel and immediately pitch 50% of prepared yeast into bottling bucket during the transfer. Extra yeast is discarded or used as last minute adjustment if you over/under measured dry yeast.

Attachment 108676

bobbrews 03-18-2013 01:56 PM

I'll use a 1.070 IIPA for an example:

Fermentation: 7-10 days on average, at 64-66 F
Conditioning and refinement of off-flavors: An additional week, at 68-70 F
Dryhop Stage 1: In primary, toss in loose, 4 days at 68-70 F
Dryhop Stage 2: Rack to secondary on top of loose dryhops, 4 days at 68-70 F
Cold-Crash / Gelatin Preparation: Crash beer to 30-34 F before adding gelatin (it works better w/cold beer)
Cold-Crash / Gelatin Addition: When beer is 30-34 F, pitch gelatin solution (2/3 cup water + 1 tsp. gelatin)
Cold-Crash / Gelatin Process: It will take 2 more days at 30-34 F for the gelatin to clear beer in the cold crash.

Bottling Preparation: Carefully remove the secondary from the cold-crash location and set at counter height (to allow gravity to work for you when bottling). The movement of the secondary will stir things up a bit, so go about your day, and bottle later that night. Things should have settled and your beer will be roughly 60-70 degrees when bottling.

Bottling: Wrap a 5 gallon nylon mesh paint strainer bag (available from Home Depot or Lowes) around your auto-siphon. Position the siphon in the middle of the beer and rack to a bottling bucket with your priming solution. Avoid oxygenation at all costs.

Carbing: 2.5 to 3 weeks @ 64-68 F is fine.

Refrigerate before drinking: 1 day minimum, 4-5 days is better. You should have a very clear beer! Good luck!

WannabeBeerNerd 03-18-2013 02:15 PM

Pretty new here and was planning to gelatin my next brew in about a week. I've seen both opinions, but is it really necessary to add new yeast after gelatin if you plan to bottle?

bobbrews 03-18-2013 02:20 PM


Originally Posted by WannabeBeerNerd (Post 5017974)
is it really necessary to add new yeast after gelatin if you plan to bottle?


DSmith 03-18-2013 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by WannabeBeerNerd (Post 5017974)
Pretty new here and was planning to gelatin my next brew in about a week. I've seen both opinions, but is it really necessary to add new yeast after gelatin if you plan to bottle?

I had a batch of 11% beer that didn't carbonate for months of >75F storage (eventaully opening every bottle and adding a few grains of yeast) after a long primary/long secondary/gelatin/ without bottling yeast. That extreme experience, <$1/pack cost for Lalvin EC-1118 & limited storage space during the Winter >65F has lead me to adding yeast every time now.

I can't comment on how many batches would have carbonated on their own without yeast. I can say that every batch from 4-11% has carbonated with new yeast within 3 weeks at 70F.

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