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Old 11-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default Beer Clarity and Kegging

So I've brewed and Kegged my first AG batch. In the fermenting, I racked to a Primary, then to a secondary. I tried hard to leave as much Trub as possible in each stage of racking. Prior to racking to the Keg, I used Gelatin and let it sit for 4 days, and sure enough the beer was crystal clear. I then racked to a Sanke Keg, pressurized (no priming sugar) and forced carbonated it. Last night I pulled a small glass of the cold, carbonating beer, and sure enough it was as cloudy as a light gravy.

Is this because, no matter how hard I tried, there's a new layer of Trub on the bottom of the keg that fell out due to cooling? I was hoping the gelatin would have pulled out any trub that would have fell during cooling.

Or....is it Chill Haze, and there's still enough proteins that once it became cold (about 3C) it hazed up?

I know clarity doesn't affect taste, but the majority of people I'd serve this to don't know that. They equate haze with homebrew, then equate homebrew with poor quality (thanks to the same people at some point trying out a kit they picked up at Walmart). I'm trying to legitimize my new hobby, especially with my wife, but as silly as it sounds, I need clarity to do that.

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Old 11-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #2
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Every keg I tap always has a cloudy start. The yeast settle at the bottom and you get it on the first pour. It should clear up after a few pint if not let a glass warm up and see if it clears up. If it does then you have chill haze and need to boil more vigorously next time.

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Old 11-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. The strength of my boil is another issue, I'm doing 5 Gal batches (6.5 Gal Wort) but have only a 7.5 Gal boil kettle, which means I have to hold the boil down a bit to keep from having too many boil over's.

In a day or two I'll pull a few pints and see if it clears. Already investigating setting up a filter system though.

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Old 11-15-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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If you're forming a hot break and your hops are rolling around, your boil is vigorous enough. I always have fermcap-s ready at the start of a boil. Once break material starts foaming up, I add a few drops. It knocks out the foam but the material still coagulates on the bottom of the kettle.

Have you tried using Irish moss or whirfloc?

You don't need to rack to secondary. It isn't worth the effort.

Try serving the beer between 40 and 45 degrees.

I don't use kegs, but I have a friend who does. He does these things and produces commercially clear beer. Your mileage may vary. I hope this helps.

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Old 11-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #5
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All of my kegged beers also are cloudy at the start, no matter how clear they were in the fermentor. It just takes some time and they get perfectly clear. I typically keg and carb for 2 weeks before I pull my first pint. Any sooner and my beer is cloudy.

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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Unless you have a very fine filter or DE set-up, your first beer from the keg should be cloudy. Without that filtering process, you still have a bunch of yeast in suspension even after a lengthy secondary.

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Old 11-15-2012, 08:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. I figure I'll wait a while yet, pull a couple pints and hope it clears up (not that I won't drink the beer anyway, cloudy doesn't bother me any).

What about setting up something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDBEsi_FYY

I seems to me that it would be an easy set up, just requiring another CO2 tank, another coupler, another keg and a water filter. The only thing I can't figure out is how to clean it (hook it up in reverse and back-flush it?), and how to sanitize it (run some star-san through it first?).

Thoughts?

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Old 11-15-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauger View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I figure I'll wait a while yet, pull a couple pints and hope it clears up (not that I won't drink the beer anyway, cloudy doesn't bother me any).

What about setting up something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDBEsi_FYY

I seems to me that it would be an easy set up, just requiring another CO2 tank, another coupler, another keg and a water filter. The only thing I can't figure out is how to clean it (hook it up in reverse and back-flush it?), and how to sanitize it (run some star-san through it first?).

Thoughts?
I've done that but it does seem to be more work than its worth. If your not traveling with it, it will clear if you don't move it.

You don't need another tank. I split off of the CO2 tank line outside of my fridge and added an adapter with a ball lock at the end, for tasks like filtering.

Also, I made an adapter for my air compressor for cleaning. Put a couple gallons of water mixed with PBW or Oxyclean in a keg. Attach the compressor adapter with the ball lock and run it through the filter and into a bucket on the other end. Works well for keg cleaning in general. Then I purge with CO2. Helps to save on CO2 refills.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoundrel View Post
Also, I made an adapter for my air compressor for cleaning. Put a couple gallons of water mixed with PBW or Oxyclean in a keg. Attach the compressor adapter with the ball lock and run it through the filter and into a bucket on the other end. Works well for keg cleaning in general. Then I purge with CO2. Helps to save on CO2 refills.
Not going to lie, i REALLY like this idea for keg cleaning....can't believe it didn't occur to me. Can you describe the adapter and maybe post some pictures?? Again, great idea.

As for the filter....I get the not moving it bit, but this filter thing has grabbed my imagination and is stuck there. Might end up setting up a system just to try it out.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauger View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I figure I'll wait a while yet, pull a couple pints and hope it clears up (not that I won't drink the beer anyway, cloudy doesn't bother me any).

What about setting up something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJDBEsi_FYY

I seems to me that it would be an easy set up, just requiring another CO2 tank, another coupler, another keg and a water filter. The only thing I can't figure out is how to clean it (hook it up in reverse and back-flush it?), and how to sanitize it (run some star-san through it first?).

Thoughts?
So just one more story of mine. I made a irish red a few months back. The beer looked great in the fermentor and smelled great. I was rushing it for a party so it spent 3 weeks total in the fermentor and 2 weeks in the keg. I pulled 2 pints the night of the party and it was cloudy, tasted good, but was cloudy. I was disappointed.

Everyone liked the beer though, so we drank a few and we moved on to other beers I had in the fridge. After that I went on a trip for work and was gone for a week then had a lot of catch up work to do when I got back. So two weeks later I have some friends over and I pull a pint, it was crystal clear. I'm not sure if that was chill haze that just had to be worked out, but it has stayed clear (it's just about to kick). Even when I moved it out of the fridge so I could clean it.
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