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Old 02-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #1
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Default pouring a clear lager question

I have 2 firsts coming up. One first is I have entered my first brew competition. All entries must be submitted by 2/28 (2 bottles per entry).

The other first is one of my entries is a Helles and it is my first attempt at a lager of any kind. My other 2 entries are a mild and a brown.

So I'm looking for a few tips. I have all three kegs in the garage kegerator where it's around 34F. The Helles is the only one not carbed and tapped. It has been "lagering" for 3 weeks. I'm trying to figure when to carb it.

Will a lager that has cleared become cloudy again when you force carb it? My process involves setting 3x the serving pressure for 36 hours, then backing it down to serving pressure. I am thinking to force carb a week or so before filling my bottles. My thought is it will give the lager some time to settle back down while it continues to condition?

I only have 2 taps so I'd need to take the mild off the gas to carb up the lager. Hopefully, the mild won't go flat while waiting off the gas. I don't want to bottle anything until I'm within a few days of the deadline.

Thanks

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Old 02-15-2014, 01:54 PM   #2
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If you're worried about it getting cloudy, use gelatin on it. I know many on here add it right into the corny. Your first couple of pours will be cloudy, but then should be fine after that.

HBT thread on using gelatin if not familiar.

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:21 PM   #3
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You know, I've discounted using gelatin because of the "lagering" process but may very well rethink it.

I actually add gelatin to all my kegged ales, but I didn't with the lager. I was thinking that folks don't add gelatin to a lager because a true lager becomes clear from the process that bears its name.

Maybe I'll just do that just before carbing.

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
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As long as you're not agitating it in any way, force carbonating it won't make it cloudy. It's also probably not a bad idea to transfer it to another keg to get it off the sediment that's collected during lagering. If you have an empty keg, you can very easily transfer it with a keg-to-keg jumper. (Just a length of beer line with liquid connections on both ends.)

I did this recently with my Oktoberfest: Fermented for 3 weeks, racked to keg, cold conditioned for 3 weeks. Then I starsanned an empty keg, and pushed the starsan out with CO2 (so the keg was purged of oxygen). I set my regulator to about 5 psi, used a picnic tap to pour out a few ounces of cloudy beer, then used co2 to push into the empty keg. There was a decent amount of sludge left in the bottom of the lagering keg.

Once you've gotten rid of the sediment, you can force carb by shaking if you like, since there's no sediment to worry about kicking up.

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Old 02-19-2014, 12:02 AM   #5
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So the lager is pretty clear but not crystal clear. There is a chill haze present. Does gelatin help clear chill haze?

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Old 02-19-2014, 12:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cider123 View Post
So the lager is pretty clear but not crystal clear. There is a chill haze present. Does gelatin help clear chill haze?
Usually.

I don't use gelatin or other finings, though, as I want a vegetarian-friendly beer.

Remember that in competition, "appearance" is 3 total points (out of 50), so even if your lager has a bit of chill haze, that will be one total point subtracted.

I wouldn't worry about adding finings or doing other things to the beer if it's excellent otherwise as 1 point out of 50 is nothing.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:46 PM   #7
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Thanks Yooper. I didn't realize that. In the end, I'm entering more for the judge's feedback than thinking I'm going to win anything.

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