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Old 07-21-2008, 02:32 PM   #1
illinibrew04
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Default What's the secret to clearer beer?

I have 6 AG batches under my belt now, and I am happy to say that they all actually turned out to be "good beer". There's always room for improvement though, and I was wondering what the most important factors for getting clearer beer are. Since my last batch I have added an immersion chiller to try to get more of a cold break. I use a keggle to boil in and try to secondary for two weeks. What are the best things I can do to make clearer beer? Is it bad to let the hot/cold break go into the primary? I use one of the pvc collar/hopfilters which filters my hops pretty well, but the hot and cold break still gets into the primary. I would assume this will fall to the bottom eventually, but I'm really just a noob so I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks for your help! Oh, also of note, I've been able to decrease my fermentation temp. to around 67-68 now as well. I don't know if this aids in clarity but I'm expecting a difference in taste.

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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What I have done that has made the biggest improvement in the clarity of my beer has been cold crashing. About 2-3 days before I keg, I put the carboy into my chest freezer at set the temp at 34 degrees. This makes my Blonde Ale crystal clear.

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:38 PM   #3
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Do you use any additives like Irish moss? Another good option is gelatin, it will do an amazing job clearing up a beer.

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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I do currently use irish moss last 15 min. of the boil. I haven't tried gelatin yet. I wish I could cold crash my beer, but I just don't have enough room right now in my apartment. Someday I hope to be able to get a good chest freezer.

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:50 PM   #5
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I swear by whilfloc, one tablet per 5 gallons, in the last 10 minutes of the boil. I have never used any clarifiers and have crystal clear beer. Another thing of course is a good cold break. Not just a little, but get your wort from boiling to under 90 degrees ASAP (like in 10 minutes) and tons of proteins will just congeal and fall right out, in the form of cold break, especially with the whirlfloc. It really doesn't matter if the hot break or cold break make it into the fermenter or are filtered out- it'll just settle in the trub anyway. Here's some better explanations of that: http://www.beer-brewing.com/apex/wor..._formation.htm

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illinibrew04 View Post
I do currently use irish moss last 15 min. of the boil. I haven't tried gelatin yet. I wish I could cold crash my beer, but I just don't have enough room right now in my apartment. Someday I hope to be able to get a good chest freezer.
You don't need a chest freezer. Just get one of those big rubbermaid containers from Lowes, put your carboy/bucket in it, fill it with enough water that it rises at least halfway up the level of the beer, then cycle in frozen plastic bottles of water. My basement is 70F right now, but with my chiller, I can easily keep a batch at 50F using this technique.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I swear by whilfloc
+ 1 Whirlfloc is MUCH better than standard Irish Moss. I was amazed at the difference in my beers. Yes - it is more expensive but once my bottle of Irish Moss is gone I will never use it again.

+ 1 on the cold crashing but use isinglass before that. No additive (in my minimal experience) will do a great job getting chill haze out of beer unless you get it to form by chilling the beer first.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:58 PM   #8
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Awesome, Thanks for all the great ideas guys. I'm definitely gonna try the whirlfloc tablets and the big container filled with water. I actually thought about getting one of these for fermentation purposes. Keeping the carboy in the container of course...not fermenting the beer in the container.

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Old 07-21-2008, 03:04 PM   #9
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isinglass and gelatin work well but you should keep in mind that they are not vegetarian, and if you use them you should tell people that animal products went into the beer. good alternatives are polyclar - I used it in my last kolsch and its crystal clear. and sparkolloid which I havent tried in any beers yet but its amazing in mead, its instructions say to add it and let it settle for 2 weeks but most things are crystal in around three days.

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Old 07-21-2008, 03:20 PM   #10
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+1 on putting the carboy in a rubbermaid tub with ice two or more days before racking out. Even better, get it up high so that you can rack without moving the carboy afterwards.

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