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Shepstone

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Hi guys second post here, I have made quite a few batches of wine over the years and used to make beer at one of the brew your own places , recently got the urge to brew beer from home. A couple of questions, but first here in Canada in the fall, winter and spring I keep the house at 16 degrees C during the day when no ones home, and 18C at night when we are home, because unless I spend a thousand a month on propane it’s too expensive to heat otherwise. It’s a biggish house 2,300 sq ft.

First I have a Irish red that is bottle conditioning for 17 days now, I sampled a couple of bottles and one was fairly carbonated with lots of foam from the bottle and the other was less, almost flat with a little hiss when opened. However they both went flat in the glass very quickly, just a couple of minutes after pouring out, is this normal or does it need more time?

Second, I decided that because the house is kept cold in winter and spring that a 15 min lager and a kolsch might be a better choice, the kolsch is doing well clearing up nicely after 10 days in primary, but the lager is very cloudy, both are at 10 days and 1.006 I’m thinking of using a clearing agent that I use for wine such as kieselsol and chitosan in the lager, in a secondary for a few days. is this something that would work for beer?

All kits are from extract also the Instructions that came with the kits are extremely vague and seem “unfinished“
Thanks
 

cswis86

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Your temps are on the low end for most ale yeasts so I don't think you should worry about your beer. It just needs more time. 2-3 weeks is pretty normal for most beers to bottle condition.

The only thing I've added to beer for clarity is gelatin... I'm not familiar with kieselsol or chitosan. Honestly though your lager needs more time to finish. 10 days in primary isn't enough time for lager yeast to clean up fermentation byproducts. Just because you reach final gravity doesn't mean your beer is 'done'. I would let in sit for at least another week. I normally put my fermenter in the fridge to cool it down and drop the yeast out of suspension. That does a pretty good job of clearing things up after a couple days.
 
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Shepstone

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Thanks for the reply. I’ve now transferred it to the cold room in basement where it’s a temp of 11.3 C/ 52F now the Kolsch looks darker but in the glass it’s clearer than the Lager.
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Shepstone

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Because the temperatures are starting to warm up I’m thinking of doing another ale I have an Irish red bottle conditioning now, but your right it’s too cold when I started it. Any suggestions for an Ale that is close to a clean lager taste?
 

cswis86

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Good move. I'd leave them both in that cold room and in another week or 2 they'll be ready to bottle. I recently brewed an Altbier with Wyeast 1007. That yeast works well down to 55F (so like 13C) and will ferment really clean like a lager yeast.
 

Immocles

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Oh, 1007 is a good cooler weather ale yeast. It can take some time to clear up, though. But when it does, its crystal clear. Quickly becoming a candidate for my go-to.

Im in a similar temperature boat in Minnesota, so I tend to steer towards cooler temped ale yeasts as well. I've fermented many ales at 60F with Nottingham dry yeast.

If you're using an actual lager strain, the fermentation times will be much longer compared to an ale. Slow and steady, especially if you're fermenting cold. Ten days is really, really young. I leave mine in primary for three weeks, and they're generally clear at that point. Unless you used the Wyeast kolsch yeast. That stuff takes forever to settle.

Because the temperatures are starting to warm up I’m thinking of doing another ale I have an Irish red bottle conditioning now, but your right it’s too cold when I started it. Any suggestions for an Ale that is close to a clean lager taste?
Try a cream ale? Those go over the best with my lager friends. Or a lightly hopped blonde ale with notty is a hit, as well.

First I have a Irish red that is bottle conditioning for 17 days now, I sampled a couple of bottles and one was fairly carbonated with lots of foam from the bottle and the other was less, almost flat with a little hiss when opened. However they both went flat in the glass very quickly, just a couple of minutes after pouring out, is this normal or does it need more time?
Sometimes the sugar solution isn't mixed super great. That could be majority of the differences in carbonation.
I generally have decent carbonation after 2 weeks in the bottle, but there have been times where its taken a bit longer. One thing I started doing last fall and into the colder months ( it gets to about 45-50F ambient in the winter in our basement, and I ferment and carbonate down there) is to pick up the case thats holding the bottles, and gently swirl it around a circular motion a little bit in an effort to agitate the yeast and sugar. It seems to have helped, haven't had a flat bottle all year.
 
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Shepstone

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All great suggestions thanks . I picked up a cream ale kit and also an APA to try. The Lager does look like its starting to clear and there is more sediment on the bottom this morning so it looks like it’s on the right track, the kolsch doesn’t seem to have changed at all yet. We’ve had a cold snap here in last 3 days and the cold room temp is down to 10 C/ 50F.
 
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Shepstone

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Forgot to mention that I also picked up some gelatin, but I think I will give it some time before resorting to it and see how well it clears up first. So used to wine making from kits, and the beer so far seems more involved and dependent on temperatures, I like it!
 
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