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Old 11-22-2012, 02:11 AM   #1
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Default How can I get clear beer in this situation

I have run into a predicament. In the past, I lived in a one floor apartment, and my beers all came out very clear and consistent because I never had to move my fermenter up stairs much. These beers either spent 4 weeks in primary or 1 week primary 3 weeks secondary.

However, now I am in a situation where my only option is to ferment downstairs (new place). The kitchen is on the second floor. I recently did an ESB and bottled after 3 weeks. The beer is STILL cloudy after about a month in the bottles and a couple weeks in the fridge. It tastes just fine, although it seems a bit watery, and the hops are not as strong as I thought they'd be.

I am about to do northern brewer's 90 shilling ale, and I need to figure out a fermenting schedule that will ensure I have clear beer this time. I know many recommend 4 weeks in primary, but I am concerned about whether this will be long enough for a slightly heavier beer (~7-7.5%). Any thoughts?

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Old 11-22-2012, 02:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arringtonbp
I have run into a predicament. In the past, I lived in a one floor apartment, and my beers all came out very clear and consistent because I never had to move my fermenter up stairs much. These beers either spent 4 weeks in primary or 1 week primary 3 weeks secondary.

However, now I am in a situation where my only option is to ferment downstairs (new place). The kitchen is on the second floor. I recently did an ESB and bottled after 3 weeks. The beer is STILL cloudy after about a month in the bottles and a couple weeks in the fridge. It tastes just fine, although it seems a bit watery, and the hops are not as strong as I thought they'd be.

I am about to do northern brewer's 90 shilling ale, and I need to figure out a fermenting schedule that will ensure I have clear beer this time. I know many recommend 4 weeks in primary, but I am concerned about whether this will be long enough for a slightly heavier beer (~7-7.5%). Any thoughts?
After you transfer it upstairs, let it sit a day or two before bottling. A cold crash also helps, but you need a cooling source
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:29 AM   #3
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The odd thing is that this is actually what I did with my ESB. The reason I have to keep the beer downstairs is because it's colder down there, but I suppose after 3 weeks I could let the beer sit upstairs in the kitchen for a week then bottle.

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Old 11-22-2012, 06:40 AM   #4
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Sure, fermentation is usually done in a week (for standard OG beers) so slightly higher temperature after that shouldn't make big change.

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Old 11-22-2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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I would cold crash in a fridge or cool chamber. I don't think basement temps will be cold enough to drop out the yeast. Unless your basement is severely cold. 35-40F

Have you tried using whirlfloc or Irish moss in the mash I hear gelatin works good but haven't tried that.

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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You can cold crash in a bucket/tub wit lots of ice. I use a large plastic tub I got from Walmart for $6. Ice is $2.50 for 15 lbs at my local supermarket (or you can use the old ice-cube-trays-in-the-freezer method).

Can you move your bottling operation downstairs, rather than bringing your fermenter upstairs?

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Old 11-22-2012, 12:52 PM   #7
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My beer is really clear at packaging, and I never cold crash.

Using a highly flocculant yeast helps, of course. I normally leave my beers in the fermenter for 10-14 days, and don't really do anything special. I don't use finings like gelatin or anything, either. I don't think you'll have any trouble.

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Old 11-22-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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Move your fermenting ops upstairs and use a swamp cooler for temps? Or just bottle downstairs? Why do you need to move the bucket back up to the second floor? Going up and down stairs with 5+ gallons sounds like an accident waiting to happen, and a lot of beer that could be wasted

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Old 11-22-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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I may be off base here but it seems that when I use gelatin the trub is more solid than without. It might help keep it at the bottom when moving it. ??

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Old 11-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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I prefer high flocculation yeasts myself. Easier to settle out in a couple weeks. But I have a room that's around 70F to ferment in. then the boxed bottles go upstairs to a warmer room to carb & condition. You need 70F+ to get them to carb up decent.
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