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Old 01-18-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
ArcLight
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Default Beer not clear

For Barley malt (not wheat which is hazy):

I use 1/2 tablet (crushed) of Whirlfloc in the last 5 minutes of the boil.
I chill the wort to pitching temperatures in 20 minutes.

I let the beer sit 3-4 weeks before bottling.
I have not cold crashed it.

I usually leave 10 ounces of beer in the fermentor when I rack to the bottling bucket. Is that too little? Leave 16 ounces? I keep the tip of the racking cane at mid level and gradually lower it as the liquid level falls, and make sure it doesn't stick into the trub.

My beer is never clear. While the taste is ok, its hazy, and maybe has a bit too much yeast.

Even if it sits (70F) for a month or two on a shelf before I drink it , its not clear.


Any suggestions?


Let it sit 5 weeks instead of 3?

Cold crashing? (I don't have a fridge, so I use a cooler and ice packs)

Try Isinglass?

Use more whirlfloc?


Maybe leave it longer in the fridge? I Keep it room temperature until drinking time, then I put it in the fridge for a few hours (or freezer for 20 minutes) .

I'm not looking for crystal clear, but I would be happy if I could get it a little clearer.

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Old 01-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #2
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Unless you filter you are going to get cold haze pretty much all the time. Best way to get rid of that is a good long time in the fridge after it conditions.

I found a bottle of beer that my wife wanted to save that had been in the fridge for months. I figured she forgot it so I poured it into a glass and was simply amazed at how clear it was. It looked like a lager it was so clear and tasty MMMM.

Now I hope she does not go looking for it

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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I am sure it would not take the months like I used in my comparison but at least a couple of weeks and it should be clear

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:09 PM   #4
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Gelatine. Cheap and easy, works great.

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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First of all,Chill the hot wort down to pitch temp in 20 minutes or less to elliminate chill haze at fridge time. Next,give the beer enough time in primary after FG is reached to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty,3-7 days. The beer should be crystal clear after a few days in the bottles. 3-4 weeks @ 70F or a little more to carb As well as condition the beers. Then at least one week fridge time,as any chill haze you do get can take up to 5 days to settle out on average. Also to compact the trub on the bottom of the bottle. This also has the effect of getting more co2 into solution,giving better head & carbonation. 2 weeks fridge time gives thicker head & longer lasting carbonation.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #6
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I've always had great luck with Irish moss in the boil. Are your mash temps and pH very controlled? Since you've enjoyed the taste of all your brews, this may be unlikely, but too much tannic extraction can lead to hazed beers as the tannins form large complexes with proteins in aqueous solutions. This is the major reason for chill haze, but higher tannin concentrations can result in a mroe permanent haze.

Other than that, I guess my only advice would be to start employing a secondary fermenter. Allow a week on primary, than secondary for a few more weeks. Getting ber off of dormant/dead yeast and trub will encourage more to fall out of solution.

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Old 01-18-2013, 03:23 PM   #7
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I use whirlfloc tabs, at 15-10 minutes left in the boil, depending on hop additions. I try to shoot for the 10 minute mark though. I have 3 beers on tap now, And Extract from NB - SS Minnow has been chilling for 6 weeks, An all-grain Amber for three weeks and a porter all-grain for one week, although all have been brewed at least 6 weeks ago. I think letting them cold crash for a bit before drinking is the key. The Porter is cloudy, but it's so dark, not sure I'll ever know if it's clear or not, the other two though, are as clear as any commercial beer I have ever seen. You can read small type through the amber, no problem. And I have done nothing special, other than Whirlfloc and giving them time to sit in the cold.

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Old 01-18-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
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I've gotten very clear beers with no clearing additions. Just time & a good process. See my gallery pics,particularly the PM cascade pale ale.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:56 PM   #9
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I think your issue is that you aren't able to let the beer sit long enough at serving temps in the bottles. It takes a good 2 weeks at fridge temps in the bottle for the proteins and yeast to settle into a firm yeast cake at the bottom of the bottle. Any less than that, or any shifting of the bottles during that time, and the yeast cake isn't going to be firm and it will get swirled up into suspension when your CO2 breaks the surface tension. You need a fridge!

I use practically the same process you use, and I have consistently clear beer, so I think you have the process right:

1) I use a whole tab of whirlfloc with 5 min left in the boil.
2) This time of year, I get to pitching temps in about 15 min. with my plate chiller.
3) I typically primary 3-4 weeks for average gravity ales.
4) I very carefully rack from primary to keg. I keep the tip of the autosiphon just under the surface enough to get a good siphon going. When I start to see proteins/trub from the bottom, I stop. I probably leave about a 1/2 pint of beer behind.
4) I set-and-forget force carb in the keg at 40F for 2 weeks.
5) The first 1/2 pint pull of each keg is settled trub, the rest of the keg is crystal clear!

Get a fridge! A second-hand mini-fridge that would hold a whole batch of bottles is $20-40 on Craigslist, and cost about $2-3 a month in electricity.

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Old 01-18-2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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Time in the fridge (post-conditioning) can be the answer in some cases. My beers tend to be completely turbid in the fermenter (even with 4+ week primaries) and stay that way during conditioning, but after a week or two in the fridge, they're nice and clear. Not to the level of a filtered beer, but certainly well within the range of commercial offerings. FWIW, I use BIAB, so may have a bit less clear wort than some people. I also use Whirlfloc, but no finings.

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