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Old 02-24-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
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Default Why the Heck won't my Beer Clear?!

I am at a loss. I feel like I've tried everything. Polyclar is the only thing that's worked for me so far, but I don't want to shell out money for clarity when I know it's possible without it.
Example, my batch of RIPA: 4 weeks in the primary, 5 days in secondary with dry hops, 4.5 weeks in tertiary (to get it off the hops), kegged and kept at 34 deg F for one week. And it's still murky as all heck.
I use Irish Moss in nearly every batch, and I'm still getting nothing.
Is it something in my technique I might b overlooking? Any help would be greatly appreciated since I do want to start submitting brews to competitions. And I just can't do that with murky beer.
Thanks.



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Old 02-24-2009, 01:45 PM   #2
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I've found that, with hoppy beers, you will be hard-pressed to get perfect clarity. It doesn't surprise me that it's not clearing after being dry-hopped. I have no idea what the science is behind it, but when I make big IIPA's, etc., they never clear completely.

If it's not a big hoppy beer, then all I can suggest is cold-crashing, and also paying attention to your yeast strains, because they all have different flocculation properties. Wyeast 1968, for instance, tends to produce crystal clear beer several days after fermentation is done. WLP570, on the other hand, takes months to clear completely.



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Old 02-24-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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For the RIPA I use Pacman. But I also have an Ordinary Bitter on tap, which I did use Poluclar on, and it's also murky. I left the polyclar in for 5 days instead of the recommended 10, but I also do crash all my brews once in the keg.

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Old 02-24-2009, 02:03 PM   #4
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The IPA that I have currently on tap that was dry-hopped with 3 oz of hops is crystal clear. In fact, it is the clearest beer I have ever made. Almost every time I pour a pint I marvel in the clarity. I don't really know what I did right, but something happened! It also cooincidently has the best "lace" of any beer that I have done. This is at least my 10th batch of this recipe too.

The one thing that I did that I did not do before was to dry hop in the keg. Then I racked to another keg before tapping. Perhaps the keg dry hopping made sure that not a speck of sunlight or air hit the beer and that made all the difference? I don't know but I am doing the exact same with this batch of IPA and I'll let you know when I tap it in a couple of weeks.

All the stars lined up on this one I guess!

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Old 02-24-2009, 04:10 PM   #5
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I had this problem too when I started AG. I used Irish moss, increased aging time, etc. to no avail. I have just one word for you...WHIRLFLOC! The first time I used a whirlfloc tablet instead of irish moss I got incredible clarity. It's been like that ever since and I'll never go back...plus it's cheap.

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Old 02-24-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illinibrew04 View Post
I had this problem too when I started AG. I used Irish moss, increased aging time, etc. to no avail. I have just one word for you...WHIRLFLOC! The first time I used a whirlfloc tablet instead of irish moss I got incredible clarity. It's been like that ever since and I'll never go back...plus it's cheap.
I'll second whirlfloc. I used to use irish moss and then switched to whirlfloc, mostly for ease of use (no need to measure or rehydrate).

When I switched I noticed my beers were clearing up a lot better.

I haven't had to try it, but you can always try gelatin in the keg
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:14 PM   #7
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I made a William's Triple Hop IPA and even dry hopped in the corny keg and it came out very clear - so I kinda question the idea hops cause clarity issues. Also - I just fermented in the primary for 3 weeks - not secondary. The yeast that came with it was Wyeast 1056 American Ale smack pack liquid yeast (not sure if that makes any difference).

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Old 02-24-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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I made a William's Triple Hop IPA and even dry hopped in the corny keg and it came out very clear - so I kinda question the idea hops cause clarity issues. Also - I just fermented in the primary for 3 weeks - not secondary. The yeast that came with it was Wyeast 1056 American Ale smack pack liquid yeast (not sure if that makes any difference).
I've often wondered the same thing. I speculate that the extra particles in the beer from the hops stick to yeast and other particles and make everything drop out quicker
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illinibrew04 View Post
I had this problem too when I started AG. I used Irish moss, increased aging time, etc. to no avail. I have just one word for you...WHIRLFLOC! The first time I used a whirlfloc tablet instead of irish moss I got incredible clarity. It's been like that ever since and I'll never go back...plus it's cheap.
Word

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Old 02-24-2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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I use Whirlfloc and gelatin. The cold break with Whirlfloc is sooo much better than with irish moss. As for the gelatin I just bought the plain gelatin at the grocery and used a tablespoon dissolved in boiled water that you let sit for a few minutes to cool down to carboy temps. I gently stir it in and give it 7-10 days and the beer looks great. For other ideas I went to 6 Tips for Crystal Clear Home Brewed Beer | Home Brewing Beer Blog by BeerSmith and Fining Agents - Improving Beer Clarity | Home Brewing Beer Blog by BeerSmith

BTW this is w/ bottling so I would think kegging would be even better.



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