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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Gelatin Mystery
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:22 PM   #1
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Default Gelatin Mystery

I crash cool my brews after they finish and recently have been using gelatin to assist in clearing. I add the gelatin after prepping at ferment temp and then drop the brew to about 35 degrees for several days prior to bottling.

The stuff works great but I've observed something which I haven't heard about concerning the use of gelatin. When I finish a bottle I notice little clear bumps covering the inside of the bottle. I hadn't noticed this prior to using gelatin so I'm assuming this is gelatin. It washes away with hot water and brushing but it's still a pain.

Has anyone else seen this?

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Old 01-14-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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Are you boiling the gelatin? If you are, that may be causing the problem. You need to heat it enough to sterilize but not boiled. The only time I have seen clumps was when I accidentally boiled the gelatin.

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Old 01-14-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
Are you boiling the gelatin? If you are, that may be causing the problem. You need to heat it enough to sterilize but not boiled. The only time I have seen clumps was when I accidentally boiled the gelatin.
Sterilize and also melt.

You may be heating it too much or too little. When you heat it get it hot, stirring all the while. you will see it go clear when it has all melted. I get it a little hotter, but DO NOT boil. I put a lid on it until I have about 1/3 of my beer racked into my keg (or secondary in your case), continue to rack, then into the cooler.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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Are you boiling the gelatin? If you are, that may be causing the problem. You need to heat it enough to sterilize but not boiled. The only time I have seen clumps was when I accidentally boiled the gelatin.
I never boil. Typically follow BierMuncher's process per the following...

"I use a tablespoon per five gallon batch. Mix it with hot tap water in a sauce pot, about 1 cup of water per tablespoon. Stir it up and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to hydrate and bloom. Put the pot on the stove and heat until it looks like it’s about to start boiling…don’t boil. Cool slightly (I put my pot in a cold water bath). Add it (gently) to the secondary (or keg) as you’re racking your beer."

I never rack from the bottom of the secondary to the bottling bucket so I can't imagine how these little blisters of gelatin are getting into the bottles. The beer looks great and taste fine.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:42 PM   #5
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I sometimes use Gelatin in the secondary. Leave it in for 3-4 days and then rack to keg. I know a lot of people do not believe in secondary fermentation but a LOT of stuff falls out in the secondary that would normally end up in the keg. As a matter of fact, I've pretty much stopped using gelatin because my brews are crystal clear after about a week in the keg anyway. Just use Irish moss in the kettle.

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Old 01-15-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
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I sometimes use Gelatin in the secondary. Leave it in for 3-4 days and then rack to keg. I know a lot of people do not believe in secondary fermentation but a LOT of stuff falls out in the secondary that would normally end up in the keg. As a matter of fact, I've pretty much stopped using gelatin because my brews are crystal clear after about a week in the keg anyway. Just use Irish moss in the kettle.
That's a bright tank. I do the same thing for anything that doesn't like to clear (Kolsch Yeast, Chico strain, etc).

Anyone have any pictures of what Gelatin should look like as it's blooming? I've also ended up with bubbles in the last 2 beers I used it in. (Had them sitting for several weeks trying to get them to drop clear in the secondary because they where the German Ale and Kolsch strains)
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sudz View Post
I crash cool my brews after they finish and recently have been using gelatin to assist in clearing. I add the gelatin after prepping at ferment temp and then drop the brew to about 35 degrees for several days prior to bottling.
I have always had good luck using the same method of prepping the gelatin, but adding it to an already cold carboy.

I will rack to a secondary carboy (brite tank) and immediatly chill it down to 35-36F. After 24 hours in the fridge, I add the gelatin to the cold carboy. After another 4-5 days everything has dropped and the beer is clear. No bumps in my bottles ever.
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