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bschrodt 03-23-2012 11:47 AM

What am i doing wrong
 
My son got me into home brewing this past winter. I have made about 8 batches so far. The beer tastes great, however it's always very cloudy. I am using kits that include the malt in a can, dry malts, hops, and such. And then there is the stuff floating in the fermentation stage. Anyone care to share some basic pointers? My goal is to get to where i am making full grain instead of kits.

Backporchbrewery 03-23-2012 11:51 AM

To clear it up, use a whirlfloc tablet in the boil at 15min.
You can also use Nox unflavored gelatin (grocery store/walmart) to clear it up in the fermenter. Just boil a cup or two of water and add 1/3-1/2 pack of that gelatin, let it cool and pour it in your fermenter. Give it a swirl and usually a day later it's clear.

JLem 03-23-2012 11:54 AM

There are several things that can cause cloudy beer (yeast, suspended proteins, polyphenols), so there several things that may help:

1) use Irish moss (or Whirlfloc) in the boil
2) chill the wort quickly post-boil
3) give the beer sufficient time to settle before bottling
4) crash chill (or lager) the beer prior to bottling
5) after bottles have carbonated, chill for a sufficiently long time before drinking

What is your process? This may help diagnose where the haze is coming from.

You can use gelatin too, but I'd save that as a last resort.

homebrewdad 03-23-2012 02:10 PM

Floating junk during fermentation is perfectly normal. I find that if you give the beer long enough before bottling, it tends to clear up beautifully.

yancydc 03-23-2012 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JLem (Post 3921428)
There are several things that can cause cloudy beer (yeast, suspended proteins, polyphenols), so there several things that may help:

1) use Irish moss (or Whirlfloc) in the boil
2) chill the wort quickly post-boil
3) give the beer sufficient time to settle before bottling
4) crash chill (or lager) the beer prior to bottling
5) after bottles have carbonated, chill for a sufficiently long time before drinking

What is your process? This may help diagnose where the haze is coming from.

You can use gelatin too, but I'd save that as a last resort.

Another thing I've found is the bottling procedure. Mine have been clearer since I started racking to a bottling bucket with a spigot and letting it sit for a while before actually bottling, and using the spigot. Before that, I used a racking cane and picked up a lot of junk.

MimersMead 03-23-2012 03:48 PM

I only had one beer that was cloudy during bottling, but it cleared up in the bottle without an issue.

I generally let my beers sit long enough in the primary that all the cloudy settles out. My favorite brew uses Irish moss as well, so that really helps!

Hockeyhunter99 03-23-2012 04:02 PM

I will use Irish Moss in all of my beers that i can see through.

do you feel that the cloudyness is detracting from your beer experience? is the beer hazy or does it have actual particles of yeast and hops?

without actually seeing an example it is hard to fine tune the problem.

are you pouring slowly and leaving a small amount in the bottom of the bottle? it takes some practice to pour a homebrew without the sludge at the bottom coming out with the beer. about a half an inch should remain and that will have yeast and hop particles in it.

are you making any wheat beers? they are suppose to be cloudy and have a haze to them.

would love to help but need some more answers.

personally, if they taste good - don't worry about the haze.

H-ost 03-23-2012 04:06 PM

My question would be, how long are you keeping your beer in the fermenter?

cyclonite 03-23-2012 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by H-ost
My question would be, how long are you keeping your beer in the fermenter?

Ditto. Do yourself a favor and leave every beer in the fermenter for at least 3-4 weeks.

AdamPag 03-23-2012 08:37 PM

I get mixed results as far as clarity is concerned, however, I brew simply for the pleasure of brewing and not for competition (although I just finished a belgian pale that was technically awesome and potentially an award winner) so I honestly dont care much. If it has a slight chill haze etc so be it. However, IF you're looking for that ultra clear brew, DONT brew wheats lol. It highly depends on the style you're brewing, obv stouts dunkels, wheats are never going to be clear because they arent supposed to be.

Other wise, Whirlflock works great @ the last 15 mins of the boil and around the 2 week mark my grav samples have solid clarity. As mentioned, you can cold crash for 24 hours around 40* to drop the yeast out of suspension, then bring your fermentor into position an hour or so before racking to your bottling bucket in order to let it settle out (I usually just do this and dont cold crash), and what Ive found to really help it knowing how to properly use your auto siphon for a nice tight rack. I actually measured out exactly where my siphon starts grabbing air instead of beer and I rack just a centimeter below that mark, I get just about every drop off the yeast cake with minimal trud sucked up, practice makes perfect


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