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Old 05-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #1
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Default Kölsch not clearing, what now?

OK, I am at a crossroads with my Kölsch that I brewed for competition. It has been hanging out in the lagering fridge for 11 days now @ about 36 degrees. I slowly stepped it down 5 degrees/day from a starting temp around 62. I used Irish Moss in the boil. The beer at this point looks very hazy, not crystal clear like I need it to be. I had planned to bottle it on 6/6, give it 2 weeks to carb - just in time for competition submission on June 20th. Should I bottle sooner than that? Should I try adding gelatin to it now? Does the clearing happen all at once at the end of the 4 weeks in the lagering fridge? Please set me on the path to clear beer!

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Old 05-20-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
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hmmm
can you tell us more about the brewing process and cooling the wort?

I've made several kolsch's and never even crash cool them to get em clear. just irish moss, and 2 weeks in a separate secondary.

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Old 05-20-2009, 10:36 PM   #3
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90 min mash @ 149º, Double batch sparge. 90 min boil. We hit and maintained all our temps throughout. Used an IC to cool down, but had difficulty getting the temps down fast. This was the first time using the IC and we did not stir with it, therefore it took about an hour to get it to 70º. It was in the primary for 2 weeks. Transfered to secondary and dropped temp 5º/day until it was at 35º. It has been at 35º for about a week and in the lagering fridge for 11 days. I am confused.

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Old 05-20-2009, 10:48 PM   #4
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WHen I lived on the coast my beers cleared really easy. Where I am now it takes forever unless I filter. In fact, it's why I started filtering at all. Our water is harder with a lot more bicarbonates here.

If you keep lagering that beer the chill haze should reduce over time (colder the better) but you probably won't hit your comp date.

You could try some kitosol/chitosan. You add one, then wait a while then add the other. Works better than gelatin.

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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He still has 1 month to go. So, basically he only has about 1 week until he has to begin the bottle conditioning process IMO. If you were kegging I would say you are fine; but, since you are going to bottle condition. I would go ahead and add gelatin to try to clear it up a good bit before bottle conditioning.

On the other hand, I didn't think BJCP judges counted off for chill haze, am I mistaken?

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nealf View Post
On the other hand, I didn't think BJCP judges counted off for chill haze, am I mistaken?
I am not sure about that. It would be awesome if they didn't count that against us, but on the other hand I have my own standards as well. Right now we are cranking the temp down to get as close to 32 as possible. Then we will try the gelatin this weekend, and hopefully see a difference within a couple days.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:37 PM   #7
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I believe I was mistaken... apparently some styles can have chill haze. I don't think Kolsch should have chill haze:

Kölsch - Home Brewing Wiki

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:05 PM   #8
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I suspect it might be the slow cooling that is the culprit. I bet you didn't get a good cold break. I'n not sure what the best approach at this point is. There is a current thread on using Polyclar to clear a beer - I have some but I've never used it. If it were me, I'd try that.

Polyclar comparison

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:12 PM   #9
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Go for the gelatin, it works WONDERS! I had the same problem with a Pale Ale but after adding the gelatin and waiting about 5 days it is now crystal clear. I wish I had a picture I could post for you but you'll just have to take my word for it. The gelatin didn't impart any flavors and nows its so clear that I can read a newspaper through it.

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Old 05-21-2009, 05:01 PM   #10
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Yeah, I am going to try what I have (gelatin) and if it doesnt work I will try polyclar. If that doesn't work... oh well. I have learned my lesson about chilling fast - my last beer was chilled to 70º from boiling in 15 minutes!

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