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Old 04-29-2008, 02:09 AM   #1
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Default Nasty haze, and other brewing tragedies

Hey, everybody. I'm on batch number 3, and its gone horribly awry. I wouldn't be too worried, but this batch is for a special occasion, so I thought I'd check.

Anyway, my main concern is a very heavy haze. Its been in bottles for 5 days now, and there is a very thin layer of clear beer at the top with a nasty, opaque haze throughout the rest. Before I get too many "let it settle" responses, let me go on to say that after 4 days in the fermentor, I checked the gravity (which was near final), and noticed the same thing. I racked to a secondary before bottling, and again, noticed the same after 8 days.

Normally, I'd figure this was a normal clarity gradient, but a few things went wrong during fermentation. First, I used a dry yeast just because it came with the extract. Always used liquid yeast before, and those brews were terrific. Also, when I opened the secondary, I had my head directly over the brew. As I pried off the top, I took a breath and very nearly passed out! Is there any chance that this was due to something terrible, or could it have simply been CO2 exposure? Finally, whenever I handled the beer in the primary, secondary, or bottling bucket, if ever I agitated the brew, little white spots appeared on the surface. I examined some with a spoon, and they were droplet shaped (like little tadpoles), as though bubbles had brought something up from the bottom. Was it floating yeast, or do I have creepy crawlies in my beer?



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Old 04-29-2008, 02:14 AM   #2
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So, you bottled after 12 days? I'm sorry, but I'm going to give you the "let it settle" answer you didn't want to hear. If you want clear beer, you should give it at least a month. Try the 1-2-3 method:

1 week (to 10 days) for primary fermentation
2 weeks (minimum) for clearing in the secondary
3 weeks (minimum) in the bottle

CO2 is the reason you felt faint after opening your fermenter. Never poke your face into the bucket - it won't help your beer or your health.


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Old 04-29-2008, 02:25 AM   #3
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Have you tasted it yet? That's the best way I know to tell if the beer is any good.



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Old 04-29-2008, 02:37 AM   #4
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+1 to let it settle

Patience remains the hardest skill to acquire as a brewer....

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Old 04-29-2008, 02:42 AM   #5
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Default Well...

I am an impatient man... I was good with the others, but this batch is on a deadline. Has to be ready in two weeks. I'll say a prayer to the homebrew Gods for this impertinence.

I'm not particularly concerned with clarity, but I was concerned about whether or not this haze was normal. Why would it separate like that 3 separate times?
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:43 AM   #6
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The yeast isn't going to settle out very quickly at room temperature. After letting it sit in the bottle for at least a couple weeks you should leave it in the fridge for a few days, this will definitely settle most of the yeast out and make your beer a little clearer. The floaties were probably just small yeast colonies that got released from the bottom when CO2 started moving out of the solution. It's not just the clarity of the beer that is at stake, but the taste can be off if there is too much yeast in the beer (not to mention the ungodly smell of your own uh, offgassing, if the yeast has not settled)

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Old 04-29-2008, 02:43 AM   #7
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That's just what yeast does. It doesn't always settle uniformly; sometimes it forms stratified layers and weird optical illusions. RDWHAHB!
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:45 AM   #8
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Beer clears from the top down. So, when the yeast starts to flocculate, it gets clearer (and darker) from the top then eventually to the bottom. If it would have been allowed to clear the first time, it wouldn't have "separated" again.

It might be ready in two weeks. The beer seems to be about 17 days old- I usually don't recommend even trying one until they are 40 days old or so. It really depends on the recipe, though. Some beers aren't too bad young.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:28 AM   #9
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Made the recipe up myself based on user tastes. I'm calling it a "Pilsnereque Ale." Light malts, lots of Saaz, and ale yeast. Here's hoping.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:42 AM   #10
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Hi,
Here are a few suggestions for improving beer clarity.

If your beer is already carbonated, I might suggest lagering your beer in the fridge which will help it settle more rapidly.

Brad


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