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Old 02-03-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
Davida
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Default Cloudy Beer

I am a new brewer. I have my second brew (an IPA) in my secondary fermenter. It was in the primary for 7 days, then transferred to the secondary and added the dry hops (pellets). I am approaching 7 days in the secondary (14 total) and the beer is very cloudy (hops in suspension?) and shows no signs of clearing. The kit recipe says to bottle after 14 days. Should I bottle or let sit longer to see if cloudiness from the dry hops settles out? The beer was clear before adding the dry hops. Final gravity is right on the money.

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Old 02-03-2011, 12:29 PM   #2
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It will clear up again eventually, whether you bottle now or later. It is a bit of a trade-off you are facing. If you bottle now, you'll get more sediment in your bottles and clearing might take longer. If you bottle later, you'll be extending your dry hop. You'll get a sense of your preferences more as time goes on.

Personally, I tend to not like dry hopping for much more than a week because it sometimes gets a bit grassy for my tastes. Other people dry hop for 2 weeks or more and don't report problems, though, so I suspect this is a preferences thing.

You could always cold crash the fermentor if you have the means, which will speed up clearing. Also, in the future you might want to leave it in primary for a bit longer. Especially for beginners and especially with slightly bigger beers like an IPA, I think you'll get better results with 3-4 weeks in bulk than 2. You still want to dry hop at the end of things, so adjust when you add those appropriately.

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Old 02-03-2011, 12:30 PM   #3
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Leave your beer in the secondary longer. When I dry hop, I usually leave it in 14 day, (5 in the primary).

You should always have at least 2-3 weeks minimum total for both (primary and secondary). Sometimes it will be longer, depending on what type of beer your brewing.

Did you rack to a carboy?

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Old 02-03-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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My IPA spent 2 weeks in the primary, and 1 week in the secondary (dry hopping). It then spent about 4 weeks in bottles at room temp. When I started putting them in the fridge I noticed that the first few were cloudy, then they started to clear the more time they had to chill. They aren't perfectly clear but much better than they were. I didn't use any type of clearing agent either.

One thing I did notice however. As the beer became less cloudy, it lost some of that sweet hop flavor

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Old 02-03-2011, 08:33 PM   #5
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My secondary is a glass 6.5 Gallon carboy.
Thinking ahead, I moved it this morning into a colder environment to help facilitate clearing.
My garage stays right around 40 degrees these days. Good lagering environment from what I've read .
I'll check it on day 14 (Saturday). If it needs longer, it can sit for another week.
Thanks all. I can't wait to try it!

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Old 02-03-2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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Yep, I was just going to tell you to put it out in the garage for a lower temp "cold crash". The colder you get it (without freezing), the more it will clear up.

Also, you might want to consider getting some Whirl-floc tablets (irish moss in tablet form). They are really cheap and all you have to do is drop a tablet in the boil around 10-15 minutes before you kill the flame. If you do use whirl-floc, be aware that you will get a LOT of cold-break material when you chill the brew kettle. Don't worry too much about transfering some (or all) of this sediment. It is hard to keep it out of the primary bucket, but after the fermentation is complete, you will have clear beer. Personally, I just try to keep the heavy sedimetn (mostly spent hops) out of the primary, but honestly, I have dumped EVERYTHING into the primary several times and it doesn't seem to matter at all.

Also, after you bottle, if you can put all the beer in an extra fridge for 2 weeks the bottles will clear nicely. If you can't do this, just keep the cases of bottles in the garage (you said it was 40F, that's pretty cold! you could drink them straight out of the garage IMO).

and mostly.. don't sweat it. Many beer styles are not intended to be clear anyway. A little haze won't bother anyone except the most picky, bitchy, ungrateful recipient. If they don't like it, don't let 'em have any of your tastey brew!!

Good luck in your new found addiction

marz

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Old 02-03-2011, 09:05 PM   #7
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I usually leave my beer in primary for 2-3 weeks, the dry hop in secondary for a week and then bottle. It usually comes out clear.

Bottom line = you have an IPA that probably tastes great. Just close your eyes and enjoy.

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Old 02-07-2011, 03:59 PM   #8
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The cold crash worked great. I racked, primed and bottled yesterday. I bit hazy but fine otherwise. I'll let you know how it is in a week when I crack the first one

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