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Old 07-24-2011, 11:28 PM   #1
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Default Beer still not clear, added gelatin

My English Pale Ale was kegged 4 weeks ago and it still isn't clear. I added Irish Moss like usual, but it just won't clear. So, after reading some posts here regarding gelatin, I decided to add some to the keg. So, I used 1/2 tsp in 1 cup of water. I heated it until dissolved and then cooled it. I hope this was the right amount because there seems to be different amounts used in the posts. The keg is only 3/4 full at this point.

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Old 07-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by devils4ever View Post
My English Pale Ale was kegged 4 weeks ago and it still isn't clear. I added Irish Moss like usual, but it just won't clear. So, after reading some posts here regarding gelatin, I decided to add some to the keg. So, I used 1/2 tsp in 1 cup of water. I heated it until dissolved and then cooled it. I hope this was the right amount because there seems to be different amounts used in the posts. The keg is only 3/4 full at this point.
That's enough gelatin, what yeast?
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:21 PM   #3
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What yeast did you use and what temp are you storing at?

I presume this is a problem you normally don't have with your beer?

Lack of clarity could be due to yeast, or it could be due to haze-inducing proteins. Is the beer clear when warm then hazy when cold?

A complete description of the beer and your brew day, mash schedule, grains and yeast used, storing conditions, etc. will help us troubleshoot.

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:55 PM   #4
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You can add a protein rest to the beginning of your mash, though this is usually more useful in higher protein grains like wheat/rye/oats, etc. It can't hurt.

I have gotten into the habbit of cold crashing my beers for 1 week with gelatin added in there. It creates a thick paste of residue (well trub) in the bottom of the carboys. If you've got the room, that definitely helps.

You can also try polyclar. I always get the 2 mixed up - gelatin in secondary and polyclar in the keg or vice versa. I'm pretty sure it's gel in the 2nd, poly in the keg.

Another habit I've formed is filtration. I run it through a 5 micron and back through a 1 micron well filter. That clears pretty much all of the sediment out.

I'll also toss around 2 pints when transferring from the primary to the secondary and from the secondary to the keg because I try to keep my siphon above the trub.

I'll also whirlpool when I cool my wort by recirculating it. Creates a nice cone of hop and grain debris in the middle. I just did that for the first time on my last batch, and I think it will probably work pretty well.

As you can guess, I'm anal about the clarity of my beer. I still haven't perfected the process, but each batch is looking better and better. I have high hopes for my new castle clone and wee heavy...they both looked great going through the filter. I'll post pics sometime next week once they carb. Good luck

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Old 07-25-2011, 03:08 PM   #5
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Try SuperKleer or another 2-stage fining.

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Old 07-25-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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Quite honestly, I've stopped using gelatin. Whirfloc in the boil, cold crash for 1 week at 32 at the end of fermentation, and then another 2 weeks cold crash while it's carbonating (set-and-forget). First half-pint is cloudy, and it's crystal clear after that until the keg is blown. If I'm pushed for time I'll add gelatin to the primary after 24 hours at 32 degrees and will give it another 2 or 3 days, and it's usually clear by then, but I'm only saving a couple of days.

Best fining solution = cold crash and a little time in my (unqualified) opinion!

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Old 07-25-2011, 03:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jdlev View Post
You can add a protein rest to the beginning of your mash, though this is usually more useful in higher protein grains like wheat/rye/oats, etc. It can't hurt.
Palmer on protein rests in "How to Brew" 1st edition:

"The typical Protein Rest at 120 - 130°F is used to break up proteins which might otherwise cause chill haze and can improve the head retention. This rest should only be used when using moderately-modified malts, or when using fully modified malts with a large proportion (>25%) of unmalted grain, e.g. flaked barley, wheat, rye, or oatmeal. Using this rest in a mash consisting mainly of fully modified malts would break up the proteins responsible for body and head retention and result in a thin, watery beer. The standard time for a protein rest is 20 - 30 minutes."

Now, I do protein rests some of the time. I have been getting some chill haze, though I mash carefully and chill quickly. I am going to start filtering right away. Brewed a lager this past weekend and incorporated a protein rest, so we'll see how that goes. Personally I think any detrimental effects from a protein rest can be offset during the mash, but I know some people (as per Palmer, above) do think it's possible to harm your beer by doing a protein rest.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:34 PM   #8
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I am not a clear beer freak, especially with highly hopped IPA's. But it is nice when you pull a crystal clear pint for a friend .

I had a real problem with my last 2 batches, and IPA and an APA. Both were beyond hazy, they were murky. I have posted about it here, talked to my HBS, and I got some good suggestions, but no real answers as to why it was such an issue this time when it was not in the past. I added some gelatin, and it did clear the batches, but both were definitely off, and I ended up dumping them.

I am convinced it was either a yeast issue or more likely the higher fermentation temps that gave me trouble. The yeast was third generation washed. I usually ferment at ambient temps around 60F, but with the heat in June, July, August here in NJ I think it was closer to 70F ambeint in my basement which means I was fermenting closer to 75F I think.

Anyway, I picked up a new pack of yeast and brewed a tried and true IPA recipe this weekend. It's in a big cooler in 60F water and I will do my best to hold it at 60F through fermentation to see if that is the difference.

But honestly, when it all works out "right" I brew, ferment in primary for 2 weeks, rack to secondary for 10 days, keg, carb for 2 weeks, and after the first two pints the beer is pretty gosh darn clear. Generally by the last 1/3 of the keg it's as clear as I could hope for. It's the waiting that's the hard part .

Good luck!

Alan

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Old 07-26-2011, 12:46 AM   #9
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I used Wyeast Thames Valley Ale (#1275). I normally don't have issues with cloudiness in my beers. I did an hour mash at 154F. Grains used were: 11.5 lb Maris Otter, 1 lb 40L, 0.75 lb 60L. I did a 3-week single stage fermentation. After the boil, I used an IC to bring the wort down to 70F in about 20 minutes. Thanks for everyone's responses!

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Old 07-26-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osagedr View Post
Palmer on protein rests in "How to Brew" 1st edition:

"The typical Protein Rest at 120 - 130°F is used to break up proteins which might otherwise cause chill haze and can improve the head retention. This rest should only be used when using moderately-modified malts, or when using fully modified malts with a large proportion (>25%) of unmalted grain, e.g. flaked barley, wheat, rye, or oatmeal. Using this rest in a mash consisting mainly of fully modified malts would break up the proteins responsible for body and head retention and result in a thin, watery beer. The standard time for a protein rest is 20 - 30 minutes."

Now, I do protein rests some of the time. I have been getting some chill haze, though I mash carefully and chill quickly. I am going to start filtering right away. Brewed a lager this past weekend and incorporated a protein rest, so we'll see how that goes. Personally I think any detrimental effects from a protein rest can be offset during the mash, but I know some people (as per Palmer, above) do think it's possible to harm your beer by doing a protein rest.
I think the proof will be in the pudding. The one way to test if palmer is right is to filter the beer. I think a 1 micron filters out the majority of the yeast. If he's still getting a chill haze, it has to be from the protein, in which case a protein rest would be called for.
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