Why can i not make a clear beer?

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PhoenixCoyote

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Hi Brewers,
I have never had a clear beer yet. My last batch was an AHS Anniversary English Pale Ale. I fermented it for 10 days, secondary for 2 weeks. Bottled for 2 weeks today. Put in fridge 3 days ago. The mouthfeel is good, but has a harsh after taste. And, it is not clear! For the first time, i also ordered irish moss, hoping that would help my problem. But it did not. When i do a batch, i bottle 4 clear bottles also. When it is warm, the bottle looks clear, but after in the fridge, it comes out cloudy.

The beer still has a yeasty taste to it. I do have to admit though, it was fermented at a higher level than expected. 80-85F So am sure that may effect the taste. And conditioned at the same temp too. It has a fruity smell to it, but the after taste is yeasty. Is it still young? Or did i do something wrong? Thanks!
 

joetothemo

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First of all...you should bring that temp down! Yikes! It isn't hurting your clarity...but it is hurting your fermentation.

Second. There are a TON of chill haze threads you should read.

A good, fast cold break. Irish moss or whirlfloc. Gelatin. Cold crashing. All these things help.

But the best clarifier is time. Let the beer sit for 4-5 weeks at room temp and a week or 2 in the fridge and it will be far more clear than what you are seeing.

For me, I am dedicated to making "good" beer. Clear is a bonus.

I hope you get the beer you are shooting for!

Cheers:mug:
 

o4_srt

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Probably experiencing yeast bite. Leave the bottles in the fridge for a few weeks. Should clear up and mellow out.

Experienced the same thing with a cream ale I recently brewed. 2 weeks at 35 degrees and it's perfect (save for some procedural errors that resulted in a higher FG than intended)
 

northernlad

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The short answer to your question? You have no patience. 2 weeks is about 2 weeks too early to be drinking bottled conditioned beer. On top of that, 3 days in the fridge is not nearly enough time to clear it.
It sounds like you should be focusing on your process before you worry about clarity.
 

DeafSmith

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My beers have chill haze, even with rapid cooling after the boil and whirlfloc added 10 minutes before the end of the boil. But after 3 or 4 weeks in the refrigerator they are all cleared up. Just be patient. As for the fermentation temp., that's way too high. Someone, I think maybe it was Revvy, had a post about a batch he did that got way too hot during fermentation and tasted like bubblegum, but got to be a good beer after several months of aging.
 

Pilgarlic

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I don't think that time clears all beers. My experience with chill haze is that it, unlike other causes of a lack of clarity, doesn't settle with time. I have a dark strong Belgian that was brewed in March of last year that still has chill haze, though some of it has been stored at room to cellar temps and some in the fridge. While the beer is warm and the proteins are in solution the beer is clear, but the proteins remain in solution. When the beer is chilled and the proteins aggregate or otherwise change form (I don't pretend to know the science) they remain suspended and visible, clouding the beer. Lack of a cold break is the process deficiency most often cited for chill haze, it seems. Lack of a cold break comes from not cooling the wort quickly enough or cool enough.
 

Pappers_

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The beer still has a yeasty taste to it. I do have to admit though, it was fermented at a higher level than expected. 80-85F So am sure that may effect the taste. And conditioned at the same temp too. It has a fruity smell to it, but the after taste is yeasty.
Figuring this out will be the absolute best thing you can do for your beer. And almost nothing else you do will matter until you get this figured out.

For most ales (with some exceptions, Saison and some types of Belgian beers), you want to ferment ales at much lower temperatures, no higher than 68. I have a summer wheat ale, with nottingham yeast, that is currently fermenting at 60.

If you do a search, you'll find lots of good info on controlling your temperatures - look for swamp coolers. The simplest way is to put your carboy in a tub of water, put in your floating thermometer and a frozen water bottle or two. Swap the bottles out once or twice a day as needed.

Cheers!
 

ArcaneXor

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Clarity Ferm added to the chilled wort will eat through those chill haze protein. It's cheap (like $2-3 per batch), and any homebrew store that carries White Labs should be able to add it to their next order for you. Note that I haven't tried it myself (although I have a couple of vials waiting in the fridge for an Ordinary Bitter and maybe a Koelsch), but from what I have heard, it does make a difference. Of course, if you have other clarity problems, Clarity Ferm won't help.
 

jetmac

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I don't think that time clears all beers. My experience with chill haze is that it, unlike other causes of a lack of clarity, doesn't settle with time. I have a dark strong Belgian that was brewed in March of last year that still has chill haze, though some of it has been stored at room to cellar temps and some in the fridge. While the beer is warm and the proteins are in solution the beer is clear, but the proteins remain in solution. When the beer is chilled and the proteins aggregate or otherwise change form (I don't pretend to know the science) they remain suspended and visible, clouding the beer. Lack of a cold break is the process deficiency most often cited for chill haze, it seems. Lack of a cold break comes from not cooling the wort quickly enough or cool enough.

Have you tried a brite tank?
 

jetmac

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Hi Brewers,
I do have to admit though, it was fermented at a higher level than expected. 80-85F So am sure that may effect the taste. And conditioned at the same temp too. It has a fruity smell to it, but the after taste is yeasty. Is it still young? Or did i do something wrong? Thanks!
I think fermenting and conditioning at 80F did have an effect on it. Next time keep a wet towel on your fermenter with a fan blowing across it in the coldest closet in your house. When fermentation has stopped, get it in a fridge or freezer at 34F with some gelatin added for a few days to clear it up.
Clean and sanitize your bottles properly and get them cold prior to bottling.
 

joetothemo

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jetmac said:
I think fermenting and conditioning at 80F did have an effect on it. Next time keep a wet towel on your fermenter with a fan blowing across it in the coldest closet in your house. When fermentation has stopped, get it in a fridge or freezer at 34F with some gelatin added for a few days to clear it up.
Clean and sanitize your bottles properly and get them cold prior to bottling.
Get the bottles cold for bottling? I've never heard this. Cold, like chilled? Or room temp? What is the reasoning here?
 

unionrdr

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That's a new on on me. But,at room temp,my bottles are a little cool,so? But,anyway,rein in those temps,& let the FG'd brew sit on the yeast for another week. It'll settle out more to a slight haze,then bottle it up. A minimum of 3 weeks at 70F +/-. Then 5-6 days in the fridge to get past the chill haze.
Now here's something from a little experiment of mine. The longer the remaining bottles sit at room temp,the clearer they get. But the settled yeast compacts more,& the proteins in suspension change somehow. I've been able to chill beers down for 2-3 hours,& pour a crystal clear glass of brew. I mean so clear you can see your fingerprints through it. Being able to chill for a shorter time has the added bonus of killing some of the carbonation that's over the top if it chills longer after,say 5-7 weeks at 70F. I guess it's not enough time for the CO2 in the head space to go into solution,according to what my lil experiment shows.:mug:
 

jetmac

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Get the bottles cold for bottling? I've never heard this. Cold, like chilled? Or room temp? What is the reasoning here?
Never mind. I was thinking about bottling from a keg. The beer in my keg is like 34-36F so I will chill my bottles when I bottle to help keep foaming down. I haven't done any clinical studies if it works or not but it can't hurt.
 

o4_srt

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jetmac said:
Never mind. I was thinking about bottling from a keg. The beer in my keg is like 34-36F so I will chill my bottles when I bottle to help keep foaming down. I haven't done any clinical studies if it works or not but it can't hurt.
The intent was cold conditioning, not actually chilling the bottles prior to filling.

Col conditioning can be done in the bottle, keg or fermenter. It's used to help clarify the beer, as the cold temps encourage particles to fall out of suspension.
 

joetothemo

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Never mind. I was thinking about bottling from a keg. The beer in my keg is like 34-36F so I will chill my bottles when I bottle to help keep foaming down. I haven't done any clinical studies if it works or not but it can't hurt.
OK. Gotcha. I was about to stick 2 cases of sanitized bottles in my fridge. :drunk:
 

fixitoscar

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temp control is huge in brewing. The high temperatures you are seeing are effecting the yeast and keeping them from dropping out.
I think the first thing you should do is bring those fermentation temps down. The next thing to do is cold crash your carboy or bucket before bottling. Find something big enough to hold your carboy or bucket and fill that bad boy with ice for at least 24 hrs before bottling. This will help in a huge way with your cloudy issue and yeast taste.
 

scottland

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@PhoenixCoyote

I live in Phoenix too, and totally understand the difficulties of brewing beer, when the coldest spot in the house is around 80* F.

If you want to make good beer in Phoenix in the summer, you almost HAVE to buy a small fridge to ferment in. The other option is keep your fermenter in an ice bath, and replenish the ice every day or so, but that is a pain in the a**

If you search craigslist hard enough, you'll find a dorm fridge, mini fridge, full-size fridge, or chest freezer for like $25. Build a temp controller for $35, or buy one for $50-60, and then you'll have total control over your ferment temperatures.

I can honestly tell you, that accurate control over my ferment temps has improved my beer ten fold.

Now in terms of clarity, that may or may not be your issue. Chilling your beer quickly after the boil has a lot to do with clarity. If you don't get a good cold break, you'll get chill haze, which it sounds like you have. Just leave the bottles in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, and they should clear up quite a bit.
 

KevinW

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A lot of good points here, especially the post boil chill. I have battled the "haze" issue my self and in the process learned a lot about the science of brewing. Do some reading here and on the net. Several factors can attribute to haze and sometimes it is not necessarily "chill haze". Length and aggresiveness of boil, grains used like wheat which has a large amount of proteins, even some base grains have more or less proteins in them so look for lower protein base malts maybe.

Whatever you do keep on brewing and good luck in your quest!
 

ajf

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There is another way to get rid of chill haze, which works really well for English ales.
Don't chill the beer to the point where chill haze develops. English pale ales should ideally be chilled only to 55 - 57 F, and they taste completely different than if they were refrigerated (which would chill them about 20 F cooler). 55F is not cold enough to cause chill haze. I know that drinking warm beer is unAmerican, but so is EPA. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

-a.
 

unionrdr

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You're right about English style ale temps. I taste way more complexity at what I was guessing to be about 50F. Didn't have a thermometer to check it at the point where these aromas/flavors became more evident.
Now if I just had my own beer fridge...
 

BrewThruYou

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Clarity Ferm added to the chilled wort will eat through those chill haze protein. It's cheap (like $2-3 per batch), and any homebrew store that carries White Labs should be able to add it to their next order for you. Note that I haven't tried it myself (although I have a couple of vials waiting in the fridge for an Ordinary Bitter and maybe a Koelsch), but from what I have heard, it does make a difference. Of course, if you have other clarity problems, Clarity Ferm won't help.
I just bottled a batch with Clarity Ferm. I just opened a bottle a little early and it was the clearest beer I've ever made. Could read Jeopardy questions through it.

I'm going to open up another bottle tonight. The only thing is that I pride myself on cheap batches of beer...adding $2 on a $9 batch of beer is a big percentage increase. I might save this stuff for only certain beers. I still have 4 vials.

I also made a recent Irish Red with a 90 minute mash that has a lot less chill haze than my other beers. I've mashed for 90 minutes on my last two brews...going to see if that makes a difference in other beers.
 

jetmac

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Are you bottling from a keg with one of those gun things? Saw that on youtube once.
Actually I made one of these. A bottling wand on 6' of 5/16" hose. No spring in tip. Cut the pressure to about 3 or 4psi. Insert into bottle press to fill, release to stop

 

unionrdr

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Clean & simple. Shouldn't get too much if any foam with that. My bottling wand attaches to the spigot,& away I go.
 
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