Clarity Question - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Clarity Question

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-12-2007, 08:02 PM   #1
OblivionsGate
 
OblivionsGate's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Steel City, PA
Posts: 126


Started drinking my first and second batch (brown ale from a kit and pumpkin ale) and happily they ended up being wonderful (getting a lot of praise for the pumpkin ale)!

I have one little question that is kind of nit-picky:

Why were both beers not very clear? Each beer had two weeks in primary, two weeks in secondary, and three to four in bottles. Tasted great, carbonated well, perfect head, but when looked at or held to light, was difficult to see through.

Its not a huge deal, but i'm a perfectionist
__________________
Pittsburgh, PA - A drinking town with a football problem

Primary - Mead
Secondary - Mead
Bottled - English Bitter, Mead, Dandelion Wine

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 08:12 PM   #2
Evan!
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,863
Liked 87 Times on 72 Posts


They'll never get to be as clear as commercial brew, for several reasons:
  1. Commercial breweries filter their beer, usually with plate filters, etc. Most homebrewers don't have that option.
  2. Commercial breweries mechanically carbonate their bottled beer, whereas most homebrewers naturally carbonate, facilitating the necessity of yeast still being in suspension, which results in "trub" at the bottom of each bottle, which gets roused when you pour and clouds it up.
  3. You probably don't have the ability to get rid of "chill haze". It's caused by proteins in the beer. It doesn't hurt anything but the look of the beer.

What you CAN do is add irish moss or whirfloc tablets 15 minutes before the end of the boil. That will help. So will finings such as gelatin or shellfish-based products. Lastly, if you have the ability, cold aging in carboy helps drop a lot of particulate out of suspension.

You say these are your first and second brews...and it's fine to be a perfectionist, but you've got a VERY long way to go from here, and clarity should really be one of the last concerns on a homebrewer's mind. I mean, adding irish moss is easy and I always do it, and I'll occasionally add a fining agent if a beer is particularly muddy, but usually, I just say "screw it" and worry about how my beer smells and tastes.
__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 08:20 PM   #3
cubbies
Tastes like butterdirt
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
cubbies's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2006
St Louis MO
Posts: 1,928
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts


FWIW, I read somewhere that Irish Moss and Whirfloc begin to lose effectiveness after 5 minutes in the boil. I never put them in with more than 5 minutes to go. Some folks have used gelatin with great results, however, if you are bottling it may cause problems with lack of yeast to carbonate.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 09:05 PM   #4
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 23,245
Liked 1695 Times on 1089 Posts


Already mentioned but worth repeating:

Finings in the boil.
Time in secondary.
Crash cool secondary for 2 days prior to bottling.
Gelatin in secondary.
Chill bottles undisturbed in fridge for a week before drinking, longer the better.
__________________
Welcome to BrewHardware.com. I love you.
Corny Keg Dry Hop Canisters $26.50 for limited time
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2007, 11:51 PM   #5
malkore
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts


make sure your boil is rolling...not enough hot break means more proteins in the beer.

make sure you chill after the boil...cold break helps precipitate proteins.

and I've seen some of these guys' un-filtered home brew and its just as clear as any BMC out there.
__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2007, 12:22 AM   #6
homebrewer_99
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 132 Times on 99 Posts


Leaving it in the primary for 2-3 weeks and the secondary for 1 month or more will also help.
__________________
HB Bill

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2007, 12:58 AM   #7
loopmd
 
loopmd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2005
Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 657
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Leaving it in the primary for 2-3 weeks and the secondary for 1 month or more will also help.

Exactly! Patience Grasshopper. It's the one thing that most of us did not have in the beginning. I just bottled a wee heavy ale this past weekend that sat in the "secondary" for 2 months. It looks awesome and is probably the least cloudy ale I've bottled in 10 years of homebrewing.


loop

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2007, 01:16 AM   #8
JeanLucD
Recipes 
 
Sep 2006
Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 115
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


I'd have to second what hb99 said, I've been so busy lately with exams and all that the last beer that I brewed (which just happened to be Cheesefoods Caramel Ale, which callled for some irish moss to be used), I ended up leaving it in the secondary for a good 2 and a bit months and it's turned out being the clearest beer I've made (however I haven't really made all that many beers over the year, lol).

I don't really worry bout the clarity either though, I mean at the end of the day it's really about what it tastes like right? And anyway, I like to think that a slightly cloudy beer might be better for you, by having a bit of nutritional value, hehe, but then again I like to lie to myself sometimes
__________________
Primary: Empty - awaiting a second go at Cheesefood's VCCA

Secondary #1:My wash for distilling, yum yum.

Secondary #2: Empty

Bottled:my Belgian-like Wit, Mac's Lager (nz kit), James Squire Amber Ale clone, Cheesefood's Vanilla Caramel Cream Ale, Munton's wheat and possibly some of my cider hidden somewhere - it seems to pop up somtimes, lol I guess I should have labelled them.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2007, 01:55 AM   #9
homebrewer_99
 
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 132 Times on 99 Posts


If you are REALLY concerned about serving cloudy beer just switch to ceramic mugs...
__________________
HB Bill

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2007, 02:29 PM   #10
OblivionsGate
 
OblivionsGate's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Steel City, PA
Posts: 126

Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
If you are REALLY concerned about serving cloudy beer just switch to ceramic mugs...
Thanks for the help, although homebrewer99 was my favorite!

I was hoping for something magic though, since I already use irish moss but it still tastes great so I guess I'll have to live with great tasting cloudy beer
__________________
Pittsburgh, PA - A drinking town with a football problem

Primary - Mead
Secondary - Mead
Bottled - English Bitter, Mead, Dandelion Wine

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question on clarity Limited Visibility General Techniques 3 05-17-2008 11:53 AM
Question about clarity, filter it? BryanZ Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 38 04-04-2008 03:26 AM
Clarity Question andylegate Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 09-01-2006 09:31 PM
Question about whole hops and clarity Truble General Techniques 6 03-01-2006 02:14 PM
Hefe Weizen Clarity question fsinger Recipes/Ingredients 6 06-30-2005 07:16 PM


Forum Jump