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Old 03-03-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
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Default Problem with gelatin

I had an Alt and an amber lager conditioning in my fridge at 34F a few weeks back. Both were not clearing at all, despite being at that temp for about 4 weeks. I prepared some Knox gelatin by mixing in the powder and heating to 165F. I let the mixture cool for about half an hour then poured half into each carboy. I then went out of town for a few days and expected to see major clearing when I returned, but it didn't happen. The gelatin seemed to have coagulated at the top of both carboys, moreso in the lager. So I gave each carboy a stir to break things up and hopefully settle it out. I didn't stir so much as to stir up the floc'd yeast on the bottom, just enough to break up the gelatin.

Last night I decided to bottle the Alt. The gelatin had settled out nicely and the beer was clear. I checked on the lager and it was definitely not the same - large chunks of gelatin were suspended throughout the carboy. Obviously I can't bottle it like this.

Any suggestions? Did I do something wrong with the gelatin?


Primary 1 - "March in May Cream Ale"
Primary 2 - empty
Bottled - "Four Ones Alt"
Kegged - "666 - The Number of the Wheat"
Crying Over - "Triple K Lager" that went down the drain
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:59 PM   #2
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I don't use gelatin very often, but my best guess would just be to let it sit for a few more days and see if it settles out.

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Old 03-03-2011, 09:42 PM   #3
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I've only used the knox one time, and I think you can siphon around it. IIRC as the beer in the carboy gets lower as you siphon, the gelatin sticks to the sides of the carboy. I think, but it's been a while.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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I've had problems with the Knox brand actually, the two times I used it I got either chunkies or lots more gelatin sludge in the bottom of the keg than expected. I've since exclusively used the store brand from King Soopers (aka Kroger) and have never had a problem. I bring a pint of water to boil, boil 2 minutes, remove from heat and let all bubbles stop. Then I stir in 1 packet of the unflavored gelatin until disolved. I do not let it cool, I just pour it straight into the top of a carbonated keg (seems to work better if the keg is already carbed up). Let it sit completely undisturbed for 7 days then - presto - clear beer.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:04 AM   #5
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I haven't used it yet, but from what I've read I think 165 degrees was too hot. You want the water to be just warm enough that the gelatin can be dissolved, but not hot enough for it to set, around 150*.

If that was the problem you should be fine going around it, although it won't do the job in clarifying.

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:19 PM   #6
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I do a teaspoon of Knox, (not a whole pack) in a cup of water for 5 gallons.
Just warm it up for a few minutes, never check the temp just make sure it doesn't boil. And dump it in.
Works for me.

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