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Old 05-10-2009, 03:53 AM   #1
Stout Man
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Default Lager clarity

I am wondering if I can use bentonite in the secondary for my lager. I will have harvested the yeast from the primary to add back into the beer just prior to bottling so it carbonates.

I have use polyclar in the secondary twice, getting fair results, but I am out and wonder if bentonite is acceptable. I have used it before in some mead.

I already hit the kettle with irish moss so I'm just throwing the bentonite option out there. I'm just wondering if I can get my beer as clear as beer I buy at the store. If I can't using this fairly easy method then I don't care. I'm not about to spend the money on a force filtration system.

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Old 05-10-2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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From what I've read, you should consider gelatin. Search forum for gelatin, posts by Biermuncher. I've yet to use, but aparently works like a charm for clearing after fermentation.

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Old 05-10-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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Usually, lagers will clear up beautifully without any finings at all. The long period of cold conditioning means that any chill haze will be gone, and all the excess yeast suspended will also fall out. Before you fine it, maybe lager it for 10 weeks or so to see if it's going to need finings. I would bet you don't need it.

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Old 05-10-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoopernatrix View Post
Usually, lagers will clear up beautifully without any finings at all.
+1. I don't use any kettle or fermenter finings on my lagers, I lager for 6 weeks (on average and depending on OG), and my lagers come out very clear.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:09 PM   #5
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After reading most of Kai's Wiki <LINK> I found Steve Tolle's presentation on German Brewing which had some interesting info on clarifying. Mostly said Polyclar, Isinglas and all not used but Silica Gel is as well as some filtration (DE & Cellulose).

I'm still waiting on my first Lager to finish fermenting to see how well the lager only method will work. Gonna follow menschmachine's rule of thumb for 6 weeks. If still not very clear, MAYBE some gelatin...

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Old 05-10-2009, 11:02 PM   #6
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I lagered a Warsteiner Pils. Added gelatin when transferred to secondary. After 2 wks in secondary and about 8 days in bottle, it is remarkably clear. It is like the real thing. Really.

I suspect it will get better in a couple weeks, but I can never wait!

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Old 05-11-2009, 08:54 AM   #7
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My problem is I don't have a spare fridge to do the process of lagering. Right now I'm basically keeping my primary in a square plastic bucket that I occasionally add a gallon of ice to. I can keep the temp between 50-55 without much effort but when actually lagering the beer isn't the temp supposed to be around 40? That I can't do and may skip, instead keeping the secondary around 50 for a couple weeks.

I'd really like to get a mini fridge or some old fridge someone is dumping, but I haven't found anything on craigslist.

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Old 05-11-2009, 11:42 AM   #8
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I lager at 34 degrees, for 8-10 weeks depending on what I'm making. Without the lagering phase, it's not really a lager.

You could always bottle the beer, then allow it to carb up and lager it in the bottle in the fridge. It'd be really hard to have beer cold in the fridge for 8 weeks or so and not drink it though!

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Old 05-11-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
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My lagers are always brilliantly clear. The trick is to lager for at least six weeks and even longer if you have the patience for it. I lager very cold at 29 F and typically for eight weeks. I check the progress weekly. Lagering in glass allows you to watch it clear over time. There will normally be a distinct level above which the beer will be perfectly clear and below that it will be hazy. You can actually see the haze level drop as the lagering progresses. I like to shine a flashlight through the side of the carboy and look through from the opposite side. It's encouraging to see it drop day by day and from that you can estimate when the lagering will be complete. Sometimes I will drop the temp gradually until I see an ice layer begin to form on the surface, then back off a degree or two. Depending on the alcohol content, the freezing point will vary by a degree or so from beer to beer. Lagering is cool...that's both a pun and a fact!

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Old 05-14-2009, 06:47 AM   #10
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I was able to get a free 9.5 cu ft kenmore fridge off craigslist, hurray!

I have a much better shot at lagering now.

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