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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: beerstache on July 17, 2010, 12:18:52 AM

Title: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: beerstache on July 17, 2010, 12:18:52 AM
Hello All,

I kegged an american IPA on July 5th, which I forced carbed at 30 psi for three days then turned down to 10 psi.
Carbonation is fine, but my beer is still cloudy. My first pours had hop particles, but that has stopped now.
Questions are:  Will this beer clear up over time?  How long?   Would using gelatin at kegging time have helped to clarify
this beer?  What clarifying agents have you used that work best and when is the best time to use them?
Thanks
Tom
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: euge on July 17, 2010, 12:25:14 AM
Time and cool temps. Gelatin? Some says it works but is it really worth the hassle?

Give it a few weeks at serving temp. Should help. Chill haze? Might as well drink it on up... ;)
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: IHBHS on July 17, 2010, 12:28:47 AM
Isinglass works really well, but if you have hop particles floating around, I'd let it set for a week at serving temp and then transfer it to a clean keg.
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: richardt on July 17, 2010, 03:14:02 AM
Force carbonation isn't as good as carbonation over time, in my experience.  I kegged my Citrus IPA on Monday.  I did a lot of screwchimping around with the screw on my regulator.  (Who knows what I really was doing/thinking during the week; something like a spike it to 20-25 psi, then taper to 5 over the week kind of thing).

If I over carbonate--i.e., psi over 10, then it looks like a nice Guinness commercial with all the foam and the slow-n-sexy transition from foam to beer.  And you have this big rocky head of foam on your beer for 10 minutes.  Cool for pics but not the best for consumption/serving.

Settled hops and yeast and trub are to be expected in the first few pours before clearing.  I recommend smaller pours for the first few taps and only after 24-48 plus hours have passed with an undisturbed and chilled keg.  it will get most of the cloudiness out and then the rest of the beers will be clear.

If you use clarifying agents, I'd use them in the secondary and then rack off the clear beer and leave the sediment and fining agents behind when you transfer to the keg.
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: The Professor on July 17, 2010, 05:27:53 AM
Just get it really cold and leave it alone for a bit and it will clear. 
I would disagree with previous post saying  that forced carbonation gives an inferior result to a slower method...my experiments  and experiences indicate exactly the opposite.
 
But I would agree that if the beer tastes the way you like, drink up.  The chill haze is just a visual aesthetic issue that has little or no bearing on flavor.  But with cold temps and some patience, the beer will clear up. 
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: majorvices on July 20, 2010, 12:55:15 PM
Co2 is Co2 - it has no flavor. Doesn't matter how you get it in there.

IPAs will tend to be a bit mroe hazy than other beers because of the hop tannins. In fact, I am a little suspicious of super clear IPAs. That said, if you use US-05 I have notices it takes a lot longer to drop than the other Chico strains (WLP001/WY1056) - at least on the first generation.

And, since no one else has mentioned it, I will point out that pH is essential to clarity. If you don't hit your pH you won't get a good hot break and you will end up with a stubborn protein haze.
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: denny on July 20, 2010, 02:30:03 PM
I would disagree with previous post saying  that forced carbonation gives an inferior result to a slower method...

+1 to this
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: richardt on July 20, 2010, 02:59:35 PM
Took me awhile to crawl out from all those "+1's" that fell on me.

Does anyone want to describe how they "force carbonate?"
I find that while it does work to quickly get CO2 into the beer (no arguement with the physics and Gas-is-Gas concepts), it is the getting the pressure to settle at an ideal serving pressure (around 5 psi--some say higher, some say lower) and without disappointing results (like flat beer if you didn't wait long enough, or a lot of foaming if you waited too long).  In my view, that is what makes the force carbonating process "inferior"--at least in my experience.

Any helpful links for force carbonation schedules to follow?
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: majorvices on July 20, 2010, 08:43:41 PM
Took me awhile to crawl out from all those "+1's" that fell on me.
;D I'm literally "loling"  :D

I have 3 methods of carbbing. The "shake and serve" method. The "set it and forget it" method. And the "prime and come back" method.

The first one I set the co2 up to 30, bubble C o2 up through the bottom and shake until carbonation is "about right". Granted, you can over shoot if you are  not careful. I usually undershoot carbonation to get a quick few pints and let the co2 balance out over the next few days once it is hooked up.

The second I either let sit at serving pressure for  a week or I set it at 30 psi for 2 days and then turn it down to serving pressure.

The third I add priming sugar and let sit in my kitchen where it is nice and warm.

Can't say I notice a flavor or bubble difference between any of the methods. The only difference is that you can over or under carbonate using #1 or #3.
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: beerstache on July 20, 2010, 09:27:28 PM
You guys are great!  thanks for all the info.  My recent pours are getting clearer now.  It's not too big a deal about cloudy beer as long as it taste great, which this one does.  My finest IPA yet!
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: mrdrysdale64 on July 20, 2010, 09:47:52 PM
I have used gelatin many times and I find it very easy to work with and a very good clarifying agent. I keg and force carbonate all of my beer so clarifying is easy. I chill the keg prior to carbonation. I boil a half cup of water and add 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin and mix well while boiling until completely dissolved. I take the gelatin mixture directly to the keg and pour in hot. I seal the keg and hit the liquid out post with CO2 to mix the beer and gelatin. Unhook the CO2 then release the pressure relief valve to push out any oxygen. I wait a day or so and hook the CO2 on the gas port and push a glass of beer out. It pushes out the sediment and I have crystal clear beer.

But as someones else said; who cares about clear beer?  :)
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: Malticulous on July 25, 2010, 07:48:58 PM
Gelatin has done wonders for ales I want to be brilliantly clear and it's so cheap and easy to do. It only takes a few grams.
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: alikocho on July 26, 2010, 07:10:47 PM
Gelatin does work, but it sadly isn't vegetarian. Neither is isinglass.  If this isn't a concern, then it's fine. Otherwise I would recommend bentonite (a sort of clay) or cold and time.
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: majorvices on July 27, 2010, 11:43:44 AM
Bacon is sadly not vegetarian either.  ;) Regardless, since all the gelatin drops out of suspension you can drink a beer that has been fined with gelatin and still not ever worry about eating an animal product - of that really concerns anyone. I'm going to point out right away that a lot of small breweries across the country do use gelatin in their bright tanks.
Title: Re: Clarifying a cloudy IPA
Post by: denny on July 27, 2010, 03:26:42 PM
I did a little research after reading this and the info I found indicates that most kosher gelatin is vegetarian.