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Old 10-25-2011, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Reinheitsgebot vs. irish moss/fermcap/gelatin

Since I make 5 gallon batches in a 7.5 gallon kettle, I have really come to like fermcap for how well it controls foaming over in the boil kettle. I put 6-12 drops in.

I also bought some Whirlfloc tablets just yesterday. I'm going to start using them because I'm not real happy with how clear my beers are. I heard Whirlfloc really helps the cold break if you add it to the last 15 minutes of the boil. Should I use 1 tablet or 1/2 tablet?

I have also heard that Gelatin/isinglass added to the secondary can help clear up beer. How much? When do you add it?

None of these additives are technically allowed under the Reinheitsgebot. How big of a deal is that? How many people strictly follow the Reinheitsgebot and only use barley, hops and yeast? The way I see it, even yeast has nutrients and stuff added. Is there an ethic to this? Should I tell people that my beer isn't "really" beer, and that I use simethecone and irish moss?

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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I would warn any vegetarians if you use gelatin/isinglass in your beer. My wife is one, so I do not use it.

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
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I just developed a good process for myself that gets clear beers without additives. Just seems more natural to me. Wouldn't want anything beneficial in the beers make up to be lost. In my mind,anyway.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
None of these additives are technically allowed under the Reinheitsgebot. How big of a deal is that? How many people strictly follow the Reinheitsgebot and only use barley, hops and yeast? The way I see it, even yeast has nutrients and stuff added. Is there an ethic to this? Should I tell people that my beer isn't "really" beer
The Reinheitsgebot is so antiquated it originally didn't include yeast because people weren't aware it existed. Personally, I see no reason to follow it. My understanding is it was created to help keep the cost of other grains such as wheat and rye low since they were illegal to brew with.

Do you prime your beers with corn sugar? That's not allowed either, you'd have to krausen your finished wort to carbonate it. I say screw the Reinheitsgebot, I'm keeping my whirlfloc, and anything else I want to put in my beer.

PS: There aren't many (if any) breweries in the US that follow the Reinheitsebot.
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
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Not a big deal to me. It's your beer and you do whatever you want it.

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
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That old purity law was mainly to keep brewers of the day from using all manner of weird things in their beers to make them cheaper to brew. Also to bitter them,that sort of thing. They would often make folks sick,or worse. So the purity law was passed in 1516 to save the brewers from themselves.
I just like the way my process gives me nice clear beer at least 95% clear or better without resorting to artificial means. Maybe it's the German in me?...
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Old 10-25-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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Okay, I will ask and hijack this thread -- what is your process Uniondr?

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:47 PM   #8
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there are things in your tap water that probably violate the reiheitsgabooty. I see no purpose in a homebrewer following this. Homebrewing is about expression, creativity and beer! Not rules.

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Old 10-25-2011, 04:55 PM   #9
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Well,I use half a 3lb bag of plain DME in the BK for hop additions. Then ad the remaining DME & LME,alowing them to steep for 15 mins or so while sanitizing the fermenter one more time. Get that all done,then put the BK in the sink for a couple cold water baths to lower the initial temps a bit. I put a floating thermometer in the BK during this process.
Then,drain the water out of the sink,fill the empty spots around the BK with ice,nearly to the top. Then top that off with cold water. I can get it down to pitch temp in 20 minutes. This gives a decent cold break to flocculate some proteins out. That gives less chill haze during the fridge stage that settles out quicker too.
Then,I put my fine mesh strainer on top of the fermenter,& pour the chilled wort through it to strain out the gunk. It aerates it pretty good,to where I get a few inches of foam on top of it. I pour the top off water through it too. Then grab my paddle & stir for 5 minutes solid. I get a better OG reading this way.
I also re-hydrate my yeast in 1.5-2C of boiled water with 2tsp dextrose added during the ice bath. By pitch time,some 25 minutes later,it's got some krausen & good to pitch. This def cuts lag time to 6-12 hours.
I let the beer ferment till I get a stable FG,whatever amount of time a particular brew needs. Then, give it 3-5 days more to let it clean up & settle out even more. I then rack onto the 2C priming solution in the bottling bucket. Making sure not to get any,or very little trub from the yeast cake in the racked brew.
Then bottle & let them carb/mature 3-5 weeks. They're crystal clear at that point. Then,into the fridge for 1-2 weeks. I've noticed at 2 weeks in the cold,that they're devoid of chill haze,& the settled yeast trub is more compacted on the bottom of the bottles. And long lasting carbonation,& thicker head vs only 3 weeks at room temp,& a couple days in the fridge.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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Irish moss + patience + cold crashing = crystal clear beers for me.

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