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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: gimmeales on March 03, 2011, 05:13:15 AM

Title: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: gimmeales on March 03, 2011, 05:13:15 AM
Fined an all Maris Otter Old Ale with gelatin last week (in primary) and sample drawn yesterday is still hazy as all get-out.  London III (1318) is the yeast and I've got a nice solid cake on the bottom, so wondering what's going on.  Can't fit the large carboy in my fridge to cool crash it, so wondering if I'll just be stuck with haze this time around?  I'll be bottling this beer, so it will eventually drop bright, just wanted to be admire it's dark ruby-brown color to the fullest

A SMaSH IPA brewed with the same base malt dropped bright as a new dime in the chilled keg in about a week (also fined with gelatin) - do I just need to wait longer with the current beer at ~63f?

Cheers,
- Ryan
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: skyler on March 03, 2011, 05:54:46 AM
Gelatin doesn't work at room temperature, only cold. You could try isinglass, which I think will work at room temperature.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: jeffy on March 03, 2011, 12:20:39 PM
Gelatin doesn't work at room temperature, only cold. You could try isinglass, which I think will work at room temperature.

I recently used isinglass to clear a melomel and was surprised at how well it worked.  It came in a two part application, both liquids in little plastic pouches.  Add one part by itself, wait 45 minutes and add the other part mixed in hot water.  I waited one day or so and got clear mead!  I was afraid of pectin haze from the key limes in it but I was worrying for no apparent reason.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: majorvices on March 03, 2011, 12:35:54 PM
Fined an all Maris Otter Old Ale with gelatin last week (in primary) and sample drawn yesterday is still hazy as all get-out.  London III (1318) is the yeast and I've got a nice solid cake on the bottom, so wondering what's going on.  Can't fit the large carboy in my fridge to cool crash it, so wondering if I'll just be stuck with haze this time around?  I'll be bottling this beer, so it will eventually drop bright, just wanted to be admire it's dark ruby-brown color to the fullest

A SMaSH IPA brewed with the same base malt dropped bright as a new dime in the chilled keg in about a week (also fined with gelatin) - do I just need to wait longer with the current beer at ~63f?

Cheers,
- Ryan

pH is more often than not the determiner of clear beer. Did you check the pH or make any adjustments to your water? If you pH was off no amount of fining agent will brighten your beer.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: tomsawyer on March 03, 2011, 01:12:02 PM
Gelatin doesn't work at room temperature, only cold. You could try isinglass, which I think will work at room temperature.

I recently used isinglass to clear a melomel and was surprised at how well it worked.  It came in a two part application, both liquids in little plastic pouches.  Add one part by itself, wait 45 minutes and add the other part mixed in hot water.  I waited one day or so and got clear mead!  I was afraid of pectin haze from the key limes in it but I was worrying for no apparent reason.

I've never heard of a two part isinglass, you sure it wasn't SuperKleer?  Isinglass is just fish bladder gelatin.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: jeffy on March 03, 2011, 02:51:15 PM
Gelatin doesn't work at room temperature, only cold. You could try isinglass, which I think will work at room temperature.

I recently used isinglass to clear a melomel and was surprised at how well it worked.  It came in a two part application, both liquids in little plastic pouches.  Add one part by itself, wait 45 minutes and add the other part mixed in hot water.  I waited one day or so and got clear mead!  I was afraid of pectin haze from the key limes in it but I was worrying for no apparent reason.

I've never heard of a two part isinglass, you sure it wasn't SuperKleer?  Isinglass is just fish bladder gelatin.

It was the first I'd seen it, too.  Here's what it looked like, but I bought it at my LHBS
http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shoppingcart/products/Isinglass-%252d-2oz.html
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: jeffy on March 03, 2011, 03:06:58 PM
Gelatin doesn't work at room temperature, only cold. You could try isinglass, which I think will work at room temperature.

I recently used isinglass to clear a melomel and was surprised at how well it worked.  It came in a two part application, both liquids in little plastic pouches.  Add one part by itself, wait 45 minutes and add the other part mixed in hot water.  I waited one day or so and got clear mead!  I was afraid of pectin haze from the key limes in it but I was worrying for no apparent reason.

I've never heard of a two part isinglass, you sure it wasn't SuperKleer?  Isinglass is just fish bladder gelatin.

It was the first I'd seen it, too.  Here's what it looked like, but I bought it at my LHBS
http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shoppingcart/products/Isinglass-%252d-2oz.html

Oops.  I stand corrected.  The stuff I bought and used was called Super Kleer KC.  It isn't Isinglass, but it did work really well.
"Liquor Quik Super-Kleer K.C. is a 2-stage Euro-fining which BlueStem Winery has come to recommend to its wine making customers in most circumstances.This fining contains two pouches, one of kieselsol and another of chitosan. This fining works by creating both strong positive and strong negative charges in the wine. This creates larger yeast clumping and faster clearing."
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: tomsawyer on March 03, 2011, 04:01:52 PM
I've used SuperKleer on my wines and it does work very well.  I used it on one beer so far, seems to have done a decent job.  I've read where it doesn't work so well at lower temps, so if your protein is in solution at room temp then I don't know that it would pull it out via charge interaction.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: gimmeales on March 03, 2011, 05:23:18 PM
ahh shoot, didn't realize that about gelatin not working warm. 

majorvices: I did make some small water adjustments (I have very soft clean water), but mash ph was good (~5.3 iirc).  Is this what you're referring to?

So if it's ph, I'm hosed, but at this point with a highly flocculant yeast and 6-wks in primary, I'm pretty sure it's protein rather that yeast making things cloudy.  Would that affect whether isinglass\super-kleer\etc is a better option?

Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: skyler on March 03, 2011, 07:03:34 PM
Do you keg? If so, you can get it clear in the keg this way:

1) Keg the beer
2) When the beer has gotten cold (after 24 hours or so in the keg), add gelatin solution to the keg
3) repressurize the keg and purge the oxygen
4) give keg a little shake
5) wait 48 hours and pour off the first pint or so of cloudy, mucky beer

After that, the beer will be pretty clear, but it will get completely clear after a week or so (sometimes more, sometimes less)
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: tomsawyer on March 03, 2011, 07:22:20 PM
SuperKleer has both a positive and a negative component so I think it helps drop stuff a little better than isinglass/gelatin which only sticks to negatively charged molecules.  Yeast typically has neagative charges on its cell surface, proteins do too but it depends on the isoelectric point of the protein whether it is charged or not.  I think any of the finings have a certain amount of utility just based on the fact that they cause some coagulation of small particles into larger particles that in turn drag stuff with them to the bottom of the container.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: spikedhelmet on March 03, 2011, 09:00:52 PM
My vote is for SuperKleer.  It has worked on both my wines and beer.  Good stuff and, usually, very quick clearing.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: gordonstrong on March 03, 2011, 09:40:04 PM
Super-Kleer is my fining of choice.  The positive/negative combo works on just about anything.  Started using it on meads, but use it on beers that need it.  Pricy, but it works wonders.  Chilling/time can still help, though, especially getting it to pack down to minimize racking loss.  It's gravity that's doing the work.

I'd be more concerned about Maris Otter not clearing.  You might want to switch maltsters or lots.  Crisp MO clears bright for me every time.   OTOH, I've had bags of Munton's MO that never clear.  Life's too short to use crappy grain.  You might also want to check your mash pH, calcium levels, and mash rests.  All those can impact clarity.  As can your breaks, and how you deal with them.  Plus your yeast selection.  Poor clarity can be caused by many things; not all fining agents will help, depending on the cause.

Gelatin is better suited to lagers due to temperature.  Not surprising it didn't help.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: tomsawyer on March 04, 2011, 12:26:46 AM
Glad to hear the SuperKleer option is preferred by experienced brewers.  It comes with most wine kits.

I bought a quart of each component (kieselsol and chitosan) of SuperKleer for my wine work.  Can't remember for sure but I think it was Northern Brewer.  Its a lot cheaper like this.

One of the major wine kit producers uses only a larger dose of chitosan.  They utilize the yeast as the negatively charged component.  It works just as well as the one-two combo, but I like the two part system.
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: gimmeales on March 04, 2011, 03:46:25 PM
Thanks for the input everyone.  Gordon, this is a sack of Crisp's so sounds like it's maybe an issue with a particular lot (as Kai was asking about in an earlier thread on Crisp's MO).

I will look into super-kleer from all the recommendations.  I normally keg so the gelatin probably would have done the trick except that I bottle my strong ales for long-term aging.

One thing I'm wondering is: with the current gelatin addition, will the bottles drop bright (with a little extra sediment) after refrigerating, or has all the added gelatin now sunk to the bottom of the fermenter?
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: gordonstrong on March 04, 2011, 04:16:15 PM
Did you get the expected extract from the grain?  Are there any other problems with it?  How old is it?  Like I said, I never did anything unusual to Crisp MO and it always drops bright.  Single infusion, no kettle finings, etc. 

Did you get a good break?  Did you add any calcium salts to the mash?  Did you check your mash pH?  (OK, I see it said 5.3, that's fine.)  How long did you mash?  I'm wondering if you have any unconverted starches in your beer that could be giving you a starch haze.

There are a lot of things that can cause haze.  It's hard to really fix the problem at the root without digging into the ingredients, process, and equipment to see what happened.  Everything we're talking about now is futzing with something that has already broken to try to make it better.  No problem with that, but I'm also concerned about you avoiding this next time.

Gelatin should work at cooler temperatures.  If you're concerned about it having precipitated out, just rouse the keg after you've kegged it and you're sure there's no oxygen in it.  Don't give it a ton of head pressure, just enough to keep the keg sealed.  Then chill it.

You can defer bottling until it's right.  If you have it in a keg, you can bottle using a beer gun after it's carbonated.  Or you can prime it and bottle condition it too.  Worse comes to worse, you can also filter it.

But the easiest thing right now is to hit it with some super-kleer and see what happens.  I've seen it give results in an hour or two; it's scary to watch it clear a mead before your eyes.  It works faster if it is also chilled but it can work at room temp.   
Title: Re: Fined Beer not bright
Post by: gimmeales on March 04, 2011, 09:20:32 PM
hmmm, thought I replied to this, but maybe forgot the 'post' button.

That sounds fascinating about the super-clear, Gordon will have to check it out just for experimentation's sake!  I DO have a free keg, I may just rack it to clear and bottle from there - was just trying to avoid an unnecessary transfer.

Clarity of my beers is usually what I expect based on yeast selection - my Bitters are bright, my Saisons are not.  Base malt usage for me is roughly 50\50 MO and Domestic 2-row, though this is my first sack of Maris Otter though.  The 100% MO IPA dropped bright, but that was after refrigeration and hitting it with gelatin - in primary it 'seemed' cloudier than even the use of US-05 would have produced, but can't be sure.  I'm thinking working my way through this sack will be the only way to really know.

Regarding this beer, extraction efficiency was 70%.  Single infusion at 156f for ~70 minutes.  Got good hot\cold break (same as a typical batch - maybe a little more protien clumps floating around).  I employed a small water adjustment with gypsum and baking soda based on the EZ Water Calculator, but even backed off those numbers a bit (don't have the spreadsheet in front of me).