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Old 11-17-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
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Default How do I clear my beer?

How do I clear my beer?

I'm currently fermenting my second attempt at all-grain. Both my first and second attempts have resulted in cloudy beer.

The first attempt tasted fine, in fact, it tasted great, but I want to get it clear enough to appear presentable.

I am currently aware of several things I can do to help clear the beer.

1) Filter grains in lautering phase
2) Remove cold break/hot break
3) Add irish moss 15 mins before ending boil
4) Cold crash before bottling
5) Use gelatin before bottling

Number one, I cannot do because I do not have a lauter tan that allows me to (I mash my grains in a 5 litre pot)

Number two, I did already.

Number three, I could do if I just go and order some.

Number four, I haven't tried yet.

Number five, I did already.

So that leaves me "Filtering Grains during Lautering", "Adding Irish Moss", "Cold Crashing before Bottling" as the three things I could do to clear my beer.

Which one should I prioritize? Which contributes most to clearing the beer? I don't mind a small amount of chill haze, but I'm hoping to get my beer decently clear at room temperature.

Thank you in advance.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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Number 4 (cold crashing) is the only one I do and my beer comes out very clear. It only takes two days to do most of the clearing.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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#3 - Using Irish Moss will help a lot. However, I started using whirlfloc tablets, 1 tablet per 5 gallons. I think you will notice a big difference.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
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When you don't have the option to filter the grains in the lautering phase, try using a muslin cloth to keep your grains in check?

I have used a muslin cloth with great success and cold crash it for 48 hours. I dont use Irish Moss or whirlfloc but i still manage to get clear beer

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:43 AM   #5
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If it's chill haze then 1-3 weeks in the fridge will clear it up. Cold crashing with gelatin will help speed it up, but it will just need time in any case. Chill haze is proteins that coagulate (clump together) at low temperature. Once they clump together, they become heavy enough to start falling out of suspension. Gelatin binds to these clumps making them heavier still, so they fall out of suspension a little faster. This only happens at low temperature, so if you're in the habit of storing your beer at room temperature and chilling it just before drinking, you'll never get rid of it.

I have found that chilling your wort (post-boil) very rapidly to a temperature much lower than most people think of as "pitching temperature" seems to reduce chill haze and hasten it's dropping out. I generally try to get from boiling to <60F in about 20 minutes or less. You can pitch at that temperature - no, it won't hurt the yeast, and in fact a good argument can be made that it will help your beer.

White Labs Clarity Ferm is an enzyme that is said to virtually eliminate chill haze. I have not tried it yet.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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Thank you guys.

I used the muslin cloth once but my grains, which come pre-milled by an online supplier, contain a lot of grain powder which clog up the cloth easily.

I can't get Whirlfloc where I live (Japan), but I can get some Irish Moss so I will give that a try.

I also don't have a fridge I can throw my fermenter in, but I will use a combination of a cooler and ice to try to cold crash it.

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Old 11-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Damage View Post
If it's chill haze then 1-3 weeks in the fridge will clear it up. Cold crashing with gelatin will help speed it up, but it will just need time in any case. Chill haze is proteins that coagulate (clump together) at low temperature. Once they clump together, they become heavy enough to start falling out of suspension. Gelatin binds to these clumps making them heavier still, so they fall out of suspension a little faster. This only happens at low temperature, so if you're in the habit of storing your beer at room temperature and chilling it just before drinking, you'll never get rid of it.
^this...all of my beers, even with filtering the grain and using irish moss tend to have some chill haze. The only way to combat it is more time stored at cold temperatures. You can tell if it is chill haze because the haze will disappear as the beer warms up.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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I found with my partial mash that a fine grind leaves a lot of the floury stuff in suspension. After 3 weeks in primary,the yeast mostly setled out. But the floury stuff from the grains left it a bit misty. After 3 days in the bottles,it settled out clear. 12 bottles will be going in the fridge for thanksgiving this afternoon. We'll see about chill haze then.
But given time,it will settle out clear.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surume View Post
1) Filter grains in lautering phase
2) Remove cold break/hot break
3) Add irish moss 15 mins before ending boil
4) Cold crash before bottling
5) Use gelatin before bottling

Which one should I prioritize? Which contributes most to clearing the beer? I don't mind a small amount of chill haze, but I'm hoping to get my beer decently clear at room temperature.

Thank you in advance.
There are a couple of things that come to my mind. First, "removing hot break and cold break" is actually not necessary for a clear beer. It will fall out with the trub. BUT, here's what I'm thinking- are you getting a really good hot break and cold break to begin with? The reason I ask is if you are, you should have clear wort.

If the wort isn't clear going into the fermenter, the beer won't be clear. And that is more of a process issue and won't be fixed by your numbered list there.

First, ensure you have complete conversion (no starch left). You can do that with a few drops of Iodine.

Then, make sure your boil is rolling, so that you get a really good hot break. The wort should look like it has egg drop soup in it- and it's almost impossible to remove! Then, get a really good cold break. That should be particles of protein goobers. Irish moss and whirlfloc both help to coagulate those proteins, so that will help. But you still should get a lot of break material without it.

If the wort is clear, but the finished beer is not, that could be a problem that can be fixed by gelatin and/or cold crashing. Using a more flocculant yeast will help as well.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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What is the best time to add gelatin? When chilling is started, or a few days before, or at the end of cold crashing?

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