The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Clarity Question

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-12-2007, 07:02 PM   #1
OblivionsGate
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Steel City, PA
Posts: 126
Default Clarity Question

Started drinking my first and second batch (brown ale from a kit and pumpkin ale) and happily they ended up being wonderful (getting a lot of praise for the pumpkin ale)!

I have one little question that is kind of nit-picky:

Why were both beers not very clear? Each beer had two weeks in primary, two weeks in secondary, and three to four in bottles. Tasted great, carbonated well, perfect head, but when looked at or held to light, was difficult to see through.

Its not a huge deal, but i'm a perfectionist

__________________
Pittsburgh, PA - A drinking town with a football problem

Primary - Mead
Secondary - Mead
Bottled - English Bitter, Mead, Dandelion Wine
OblivionsGate is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2007, 07:12 PM   #2
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 66 Times on 60 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

They'll never get to be as clear as commercial brew, for several reasons:

  1. Commercial breweries filter their beer, usually with plate filters, etc. Most homebrewers don't have that option.
  2. Commercial breweries mechanically carbonate their bottled beer, whereas most homebrewers naturally carbonate, facilitating the necessity of yeast still being in suspension, which results in "trub" at the bottom of each bottle, which gets roused when you pour and clouds it up.
  3. You probably don't have the ability to get rid of "chill haze". It's caused by proteins in the beer. It doesn't hurt anything but the look of the beer.

What you CAN do is add irish moss or whirfloc tablets 15 minutes before the end of the boil. That will help. So will finings such as gelatin or shellfish-based products. Lastly, if you have the ability, cold aging in carboy helps drop a lot of particulate out of suspension.

You say these are your first and second brews...and it's fine to be a perfectionist, but you've got a VERY long way to go from here, and clarity should really be one of the last concerns on a homebrewer's mind. I mean, adding irish moss is easy and I always do it, and I'll occasionally add a fining agent if a beer is particularly muddy, but usually, I just say "screw it" and worry about how my beer smells and tastes.
__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2007, 07:20 PM   #3
cubbies
Tastes like butterdirt
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
cubbies's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: St Louis MO
Posts: 1,923
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

Default

FWIW, I read somewhere that Irish Moss and Whirfloc begin to lose effectiveness after 5 minutes in the boil. I never put them in with more than 5 minutes to go. Some folks have used gelatin with great results, however, if you are bottling it may cause problems with lack of yeast to carbonate.

__________________
cubbies is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2007, 08:05 PM   #4
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 21,823
Liked 899 Times on 600 Posts
Likes Given: 26

Default

Already mentioned but worth repeating:

Finings in the boil.
Time in secondary.
Crash cool secondary for 2 days prior to bottling.
Gelatin in secondary.
Chill bottles undisturbed in fridge for a week before drinking, longer the better.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2007, 10:51 PM   #5
malkore
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 32 Times on 30 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

make sure your boil is rolling...not enough hot break means more proteins in the beer.

make sure you chill after the boil...cold break helps precipitate proteins.

and I've seen some of these guys' un-filtered home brew and its just as clear as any BMC out there.

__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10
malkore is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2007, 11:22 PM   #6
homebrewer_99
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,951
Liked 82 Times on 72 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Leaving it in the primary for 2-3 weeks and the secondary for 1 month or more will also help.

__________________
HB Bill
homebrewer_99 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2007, 11:58 PM   #7
loopmd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
loopmd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 665
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Leaving it in the primary for 2-3 weeks and the secondary for 1 month or more will also help.

Exactly! Patience Grasshopper. It's the one thing that most of us did not have in the beginning. I just bottled a wee heavy ale this past weekend that sat in the "secondary" for 2 months. It looks awesome and is probably the least cloudy ale I've bottled in 10 years of homebrewing.


loop
__________________
loopmd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2007, 12:16 AM   #8
JeanLucD
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 115
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I'd have to second what hb99 said, I've been so busy lately with exams and all that the last beer that I brewed (which just happened to be Cheesefoods Caramel Ale, which callled for some irish moss to be used), I ended up leaving it in the secondary for a good 2 and a bit months and it's turned out being the clearest beer I've made (however I haven't really made all that many beers over the year, lol).

I don't really worry bout the clarity either though, I mean at the end of the day it's really about what it tastes like right? And anyway, I like to think that a slightly cloudy beer might be better for you, by having a bit of nutritional value, hehe, but then again I like to lie to myself sometimes

__________________
Primary: Empty - awaiting a second go at Cheesefood's VCCA

Secondary #1:My wash for distilling, yum yum.

Secondary #2: Empty

Bottled:my Belgian-like Wit, Mac's Lager (nz kit), James Squire Amber Ale clone, Cheesefood's Vanilla Caramel Cream Ale, Munton's wheat and possibly some of my cider hidden somewhere - it seems to pop up somtimes, lol I guess I should have labelled them.
JeanLucD is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2007, 12:55 AM   #9
homebrewer_99
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,951
Liked 82 Times on 72 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

If you are REALLY concerned about serving cloudy beer just switch to ceramic mugs...

__________________
HB Bill
homebrewer_99 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-13-2007, 01:29 PM   #10
OblivionsGate
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Steel City, PA
Posts: 126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
If you are REALLY concerned about serving cloudy beer just switch to ceramic mugs...
Thanks for the help, although homebrewer99 was my favorite!

I was hoping for something magic though, since I already use irish moss but it still tastes great so I guess I'll have to live with great tasting cloudy beer
__________________
Pittsburgh, PA - A drinking town with a football problem

Primary - Mead
Secondary - Mead
Bottled - English Bitter, Mead, Dandelion Wine
OblivionsGate is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question on clarity Limited Visibility General Techniques 3 05-17-2008 11:53 AM
Question about clarity, filter it? BryanZ Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 38 04-04-2008 03:26 AM
Clarity Question andylegate Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 09-01-2006 09:31 PM
Question about whole hops and clarity Truble General Techniques 6 03-01-2006 01:14 PM
Hefe Weizen Clarity question fsinger Recipes/Ingredients 6 06-30-2005 07:16 PM