Cold Crashing/Fining(Gelatin) or not for flavor and style

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ike8228

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This is not meant to be a debate of the direct effects of cold crashing as in LODO, or what works best in terms of clearing, but generally what everyone prefers to
do for certain styles of beers. I understand that ‘to each your own’, and some just do not believe in or wish to do either cold crash or use fining agents either in pre or post fermentation stages (whirfloc/Irish moss or gelatin respectively) or both or all of the above.

At some point I plan to do my own exbeerimeting to find what I prefer using my recipes, equipment and ability. But my question to you all for those who do use some form of clearing (not filtering), what do you prefer to do to what and why? For example you like to cold crash IPAs but not fine because you want to keep the goodies in suspension.

If you have experience doing so in numerous styles I would like to know. Specifically in stouts and porters as I have not seen much information about regarding this topic. I have a fairly decent idea of what is best for what, but would like to hear from those with more experience or those who have done some exbeerimenting with this themselves.

If there is a specific reason why you like to do this to that, or that to this, please mention it as it may intrigue me or others with similar preference to lean one way or the other. Example you like ales to be crisp so you do both methods, or you like more body in some style and don’t use either. Etc...

Prost!
 

Rob2010SS

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For me, I think the appearance of the beer is part of the appealing factor. The first impression you have of a beer is how it looks, right? If you have it in your head that a certain style is supposed to be clear, when you're served that beer, you're judging it already to see if it's meeting your "expectations". At least this is how I look at it.

For me, my personal preference is gelatin. I use the brulosophy method and I inject it into the keg with a big 100mL syringe through the gas in port. Gelatin works like a charm for me. After 3 or so days, crystal clear beer. However, I may give Biofine a try at some point. Seems like it might be more user friendly as it's a liquid ready to go into the beer.

I'll use it on anything that SHOULD be clear. Lagers, pale ales, IPAs, etc. I don't think it has a very noticeable effect on flavor so I'm not concerned about that with IPAs. I used it on my brown ale which was about a 20 SRM and I think that's where I'd stop. I would NOT use it on stouts and porters, simply because they're so dark anyway, you're not going to really notice it, UNLESS the beer comes out super murky for some reason. Also wouldn't use it on NEIPAs as those are supposed to be hazy. NEIPA's are made in a way where the gelatin SHOULDN'T clear it anyway, but I still choose not to use it on them as I think it would be a waste.

That's my 2 cents...
 

brewdude88

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My .02 cents, kettle fining and time. That's not to discredit cold crashing and fining along with it, I just enjoy my personal results better when packaging with a good amount of yeast in suspension and letting nature take it's course.

I came to this realization by always realizing the last bottle or pour from a keg was the best of the batch. I now work to keep a good pipeline of beer to keep from drinking it too young

Conclusion: I don't think there's a right or wrong answer. As you stated, experience/experiments will lead you to your personal answer.

Cheers!
 

danielthemaniel

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My two hundredths of a dollar... it's mainly style based for me. I don't do anything to wheat beers or hazy IPAs. I do like to cold crash and use geletin on lagers and low SRM beers. Everything else depends how much time and effort I feel like putting forth. I've also used whirfloc and irish moss many times but it seems to be hit or miss with them. Considering Biofine in the near future and see how that works.
 

Dr_Jeff

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I used to use gelatin, (usually would be clear in three days) before I had the ability to cold crash.
Now cold crash to about 33-34 degrees for several days, and all drops out that is supposed to.
I also ferment under pressure, so that the finished beer is carbonated.
When the beer is cold crashing, I also apply about 30 psi of CO2 to insure it is fully carbonated.
I also transfer the beer under pressure to fully purged kegs.
Occasionally, I'll still add gelatin, prior to cold crashing.
 

TR6

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I used to use gelatin to clear my IPAs, but my biggest challenge seems to be to keep the flavor of the hops as long as possible. I stopped using any clearing agents because I understand the gelatin might also cling to the hop particles and drag them to the bottom the same way as it does other protein particles. As others say, given time most beer clears anyway. Would never use clearing agents in a stout for obvious reasons.
 
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