pilsner clearing slowly... what to do
My pilsner has been fermenting for 4 weeks now. 2 weeks in the secondary. I was hoping that it would be ready to bottle soon. Unfortunately, it's still very cloudy.
I've added one pack of gelatin (last week) and I've got about 1/2" of clear at the top. Can I add more gelatin?
I don't keg so crash cooling is a bit difficult (though possible).
Any thoughts? Thanks.
Getting it as cold as you can is really the best way to clear it quickly.
I am assuming your fermentor is at something like 50 degrees. Lagers need to be lagered after fermentation, meaning stored at near freezing (something below 40 degrees--fridge temp).
Some people crash cool (putting it in a fridge at 33 degrees and letting the beer fall as fast as it will go) and find it works. I have done it and won a few awards with the result. There are down sides, particularly if you re-use your yeast (you will have made it unhappy). Others suggest gradually (a couple degrees per day) bringing your beer to lager temp.
So, if you have room in your fridge and no way of taking the intermediate steps, just put your carboy/fermentation bucket in the fridge and leave it there for at least two, probably four weeks.
At that time, the beer will be much, much clearer, and there will still be enough yeast in suspension for you to bottle.
Take it out of the fridge, rack it into your bottling pail with the sugar (leaving more solids behind in your fermentor) and bottle as normal.
Then leave it at room temp until carbonated (sample one per week until it's good) and put all the bottles back in the fridge.
Leave them alone as long as you can stand it (sampling one per week until it tastes fantastic).
Gelatin really only works if it's cold. I;d keg it and as it cools the gelatin that's in there should drop everything out. The gelatin/yeast slurry will be pretty stable so you won't have to worry about it clogging up your keg later. Or, you can do like I do and jump the gelatined beer over to a fresh keg and have perfectly clear beer that won't even cloud up if you shake it around.
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