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Old 09-22-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
rklene
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I am trying to get more clarity in my beer, but I don't want to start filtering. What are some techniques I can use to increase the clarity? What is cold crash?



 
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:28 PM   #2

A cold crash is when you drop the beer to around 35F for a few days before you bottle. This will help the yeast settle to the bottom and compact nicely so you can rack off of it without picking up sediment. This is a great method of clearing a beer.

Personally, I don't do anything to my beer and I get perfectly clear beers. I allow 3-4 weeks in the primary (unless it's a wheat or IPA) and then allow it to sit in the keg for at least 3 weeks before drinking. This gives me a great clarity.

You can add things like Irish Moss to your beer which will help settle some of your break material. A fast cool down period will also help.


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Old 09-22-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
TheMan
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Irish moss/whirlfloc will help. You could also use gelatin.

However, like Suthrncomfrt, I don't use any finings in my beer. Proper technique and sitting the bottles in the fridge a couple weeks will make everything drop clear. If you keg, like it sounds he and I both do, then your beer is cold crashing it's whole life and it will be crystal clear.

 
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
hiphopopotamus
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How quickly are you cooling your wort? That makes a HUGE difference in clarity (and taste). Try to get your wort from boil to < 80 in 30 minutes or less. You'll see the beer clear right up.

Also +1 for whirlfloc tablets. I use 1 in most of my beers depending on style.
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:23 PM   #5
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiphopopotamus View Post
How quickly are you cooling your wort? That makes a HUGE difference in clarity (and taste). Try to get your wort from boil to < 80 in 30 minutes or less. You'll see the beer clear right up.

Also +1 for whirlfloc tablets. I use 1 in most of my beers depending on style.
I noticed a HUGE difference in clarity once I started using whirlfloc, as in no more chill haze at all!

A couple of easy things you can do to increase the clarity is making sure you have a good hot break and a good cold break. Using whirlfloc, along with those good hot/cold breaks means that giant gobs of protein fall out readily, and you end up with a nice clear wort and nice clear beer in the end.

Another thing is to use more flocculant yeast. S04 will clear the beer well and form a tightly compacted yeast cake, as will nottingham. Some yeast strains don't flocculate as well and so don't result in a bright beer without cold crashing.

I don't do anything else- not filter, or cold crash (although with S05, sometimes I've had to!).
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
hiphopopotamus
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Yeah, wirlfloc is awesome. I swear you can read print through my beer (before you've had a couple). People always think I filter.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
rklene
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I use the Irish moss and I have a fast cold break. I think I am just being picky. It's not real hazy but it could be clearer.

 
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper

I noticed a HUGE difference in clarity once I started using whirlfloc, as in no more chill haze at all!

A couple of easy things you can do to increase the clarity is making sure you have a good hot break and a good cold break. Using whirlfloc, along with those good hot/cold breaks means that giant gobs of protein fall out readily, and you end up with a nice clear wort and nice clear beer in the end.

Another thing is to use more flocculant yeast. S04 will clear the beer well and form a tightly compacted yeast cake, as will nottingham. Some yeast strains don't flocculate as well and so don't result in a bright beer without cold crashing.

I don't do anything else- not filter, or cold crash (although with S05, sometimes I've had to!).
+1

Good cold break, plus whirfloc/Irish moss, and cold crash with less flocculent yeast should be all that is needed.

Here's a picture of a pint that uses whirlfoc, a good cold break, and a cold crash with a low flocculation yeast (meaning by nature it stays in suspension = cloudier)

Click image for larger version

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