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Old 12-31-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default Filtered beer woes

So I have been struggling to get my beers commercial quality clear. I've been cold crashing and using whirflock, and even have been filtering as of recent with a 5 micron cartridge style filter. Everytime my beer remains slightly cloudy, even when it warms up. I recently just switched to a 1 micron filter on a DIPA I brewed, hoping it would solve my problems. But same thing, still hazy. It's not hefeweizen cloudy but still hazy.

Anyone else have success making comercial clear beer? I just got some bio fine I'm contemplating tossing some in my kegs to see how they clear up (even though they have been filtered already).

And before anyone says who cares what your beer looks like, it's a night and day difference in a flitered beer like a DIPA in smoothness with no bitter harsh hop particles floating around. I think it tastes much much better. You do lose some hop aroma but not a ton. And most of the folks who will try my brews want to see a crystal clear beer, I know it's stupid but most of my buddies aren't brewers. The clear beer makes people less hesitant to try it.

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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Just out of curiosity, how much time passes from grain to glass at your place?

Cheers!

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:16 PM   #3
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I have been researching gelatin finings on HBT (after cold crashing)...seems like the next step if clarity is important to you. I want clear beer too, but not too hung up on it as I think the yeast is a beneficial nutrient.

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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Hmmm. I have crystal clear beer by about 14 days after brewday, and I don't filter or use finings (except for whirlfloc in the kettle).

I assume your wort is clear going into the fermenter? You get a good hot break and a good cold break? You always get complete conversion (no starch haze?). Clear wort will make clear beer.

You could have some chill haze, and one way to get rid of that is either to keep the beer cold for about two weeks after fermentation ends, or to filter the beer with a small filter size when the beer is cold.

Very very hoppy beers will sometimes have a slight hops haze, but even my IPAs don't have any haze.

Which yeast strains are you using? Maybe you're not using a flocculant yeast, and so still have a yeast haze that is bothering you?

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by day_trippr View Post
Just out of curiosity, how much time passes from grain to glass at your place?

Cheers!
Normally 4 weeks sometimes a week more or so depending on when I keg spot opens up. 3 weeks ferment, 1 week carbing/crashing. I do notice the closer I get to tapping a keg it gets clearer and clearer (as you would expect as you pull more particles that drop out).

Now I brewed the centennial blonde and that brew was the closest to commercial clear I have ever gotten. Most of my problems come from hoppy beers (which are some of my favorites of course).
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Hmmm. I have crystal clear beer by about 14 days after brewday, and I don't filter or use finings (except for whirlfloc in the kettle).

I assume your wort is clear going into the fermenter? You get a good hot break and a good cold break? You always get complete conversion (no starch haze?). Clear wort will make clear beer.

You could have some chill haze, and one way to get rid of that is either to keep the beer cold for about two weeks after fermentation ends, or to filter the beer with a small filter size when the beer is cold.

Very very hoppy beers will sometimes have a slight hops haze, but even my IPAs don't have any haze.

Which yeast strains are you using? Maybe you're not using a flocculant yeast, and so still have a yeast haze that is bothering you?
I'm hoping its not something with my process, I always get great effeciency and my beers typically finish on target for the style (with a few exceptions of course). I typically use us05 or 1056 for most of my ales, unless the recipe calls for something different of course.

But this kern river citra Dipa I just filtered we did have a problem controlling the mash temp because it was such a thick mash and spiked a few times, and I ended up finishing at 1.014 which is a tad high for what they typically get with this recipe (shooting for 1.010).
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:04 PM   #7
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I'm assuming I'm getting a good hot and cold break, sometimes I do get allot of break matter into the fermenter but it normally settles out to pretty clear beer when I siphon it into my kegs. And I always try to siphon as high as I can to avoid sucking up trub.

I'll post some pics of my recent filtered brews tonight when I get home from work.

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Old 12-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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My beers are crystal clear, and I don't do anything special other than being slow and lazy a lot of the time. I use Irish moss at the end of the boil when I remember it, which is only ~1/2 the time. For hoppy beers I typically primary for 2.5-8 weeks (sometimes I'm really lazy), transfer to a keg and add dry hops, let it dry hop for 7-10 days, and then throw the keg in the keezer (leaving the hops in there). I use the set and forget carbonation method, or sometimes burst carb by bumping up the initial pressure, but I never shake the keg. The only beers I've had any haze in were those that I rushed, and even then it was minor and went away after a week in the keg.

The only beers I use finings on are my mesquite pod beers. For those I cold crash and add bentonite after primary. I do this to remove potential aflatoxins, not for clarity.

FWIW I also only use leaf hops for dry hopping. Not sure if it makes a difference in clarity, but I know I prefer the flavor.

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Old 12-31-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr20steve View Post
I'm assuming I'm getting a good hot and cold break, sometimes I do get allot of break matter into the fermenter but it normally settles out to pretty clear beer when I siphon it into my kegs.
If you're getting a good hot break and cold break, the beer should look very clear with clumps of break material in it as you're transferring out of the kettle. Something like this-

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Old 12-31-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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That's definitely what I see when I chill^^^

I'd like to see some of your beers, maybe I'm not being realistic with my clarity expectations.

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