Author Topic: Super Clear Beer  (Read 7627 times)

Offline gmac

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Super Clear Beer
« on: February 15, 2012, 09:48:36 AM »
Any advice getting really bright clear beer?  I usually add Irish moss at 15 mins and I have fined many of my beer with gelatin and although it helps, I'm not getting the clarity I'm looking for.  Is it necessary?  No, but I am trying to get the process down to get more clear beer.  I know some styles are tough (kolsch for example) but even my APA's with WLP001 can have some haze.  Is there a better product than gelatin that I should look for?  Something to compliment gelatin for differently charged particles?  I'm not going to filter because I don't want the hassle and cost.  I know more aging time will help but I can't always do that because I get very thirsty.
Thanks

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 09:58:06 AM »
Yeast flocculation is a big factor for this. WLP002 for example will generally clear very quickly. You can also cold crash primary fermentation after its complete to help things along. For example after 2 weeks put the carboy outside for overnight(if its cold where you live) or in a fridge and that should help things drop out.  Hops can also cause hazing so APA's can be difficult, although Ive found WLP060 clears them better than WLP001.  You can also secondary beers, or if youre an all grain brewer adding a short(10-15 min) mash rest at 131 helps improve clarity.

As for products to use I havent had much experience with them outside of SuperMoss HB which I use as my kettle finings.
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Offline tom

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 12:08:35 PM »
extract or all-grain?  If so, what brand of extract and what is your typical mashing, boiling, and chilling regimen?
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 12:11:14 PM »
extract or all-grain?  If so, what brand of extract and what is your typical mashing, boiling, and chilling regimen?

Do you see the haze all the time or only when chilled below a certain temp?  Lots of different things can cause haze.  More details will help isolate the likely cause.

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Offline euge

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 01:47:42 PM »
A filter might help you. Oscarvan has done some experimenting with this.  It might be a way to get a good start on really bright beer.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 02:12:30 PM »
When are you using your gelatin?  Fining agents work better when the beer is cold.  Whatever you use, chill it down to almost freezing or you'll be less successful in precipitating chill haze particles.
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Thanks
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 02:47:14 PM »
A good hot break and cold break helps. Fining agents like Irish Moss or Whirlfloc also help out. Keeping the wort pH below 6 is paramount for keeping tannin extraction (permanent haze) in check. The yeast stain can make a difference in the short term. If you want very clear beer fast...use WLP002.

As mentioned gelatin finings and isinglass work well.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 03:21:21 PM »
It's possible to brew extremely bright beer without kettle coagulants, finings, or filtration. Make sure the mash and beer pH stay in range, that you achieve a strong rolling boil, chill rapidly, and select highly flocculent yeast strains. After that, a few days of cold conditioning in a bright tank is all you need to get beer you can read through.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 03:30:20 PM »
It's possible to brew extremely bright beer without kettle coagulants, finings, or filtration. Make sure the mash and beer pH stay in range, that you achieve a strong rolling boil, chill rapidly, and select highly flocculent yeast strains. After that, a few days of cold conditioning in a bright tank is all you need to get beer you can read through.

+1

I agree that this can be done if the water chemistry (pH) is right...and even more so with a yeast that flocculates well.
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Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 04:23:34 PM »
The commercial breweries get star bright clarity by crash-cooling and filtering.

If you do decide to filter, be careful. It can be a major hassle, a possible oxidation and/or infection point, and it can strip too much flavor out of your beer.

Assuming that you aren't getting a haze due to ingredients or process problems, you should be able to get at least bright clarity just using crash cooling or cold-conditioning.

Offline narvin

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 05:57:25 PM »


This was my Saison (WLP566) after 3 months in the keg!  It even had raw spelt in it.  I did do a quick protein rest, but there were no clarifiers other than irish moss.  So lagering will clear most any beer, even a Belgian.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 07:21:47 PM »


This was my Saison (WLP566) after 3 months in the keg!  It even had raw spelt in it.  I did do a quick protein rest, but there were no clarifiers other than irish moss.  So lagering will clear most any beer, even a Belgian.

Yes, three months in the keg will clear any beer out!  Good advice!  I had a brown ale that sat for a while for some reason, towards the end you could finally see through it.  Cold conditioning really helps clarity.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 07:24:42 PM by liquidbrewing »
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Offline Malticulous

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 07:28:11 PM »
It's about yeast, proteins, tannins/phenols, and starch. Start with a mash suited to the malts and with a complete conversion. Sparge at the right pH and temp. Get good hot and cold breaks in the kettle. Kettle finings can help with the cold break. Break just means making proteins insoluble.  Some more proteins will broken from solution after beer is cooled as chill haze and will slowly fall to the bottom. They will hit the bottom faster in a shallow container (like a bottle.) Gelatin or isinglass have a ionic charge that binds to yeast and some proteins adding mass so they will fall faster to the bottom. Polyclar has the opposite charge and can get other proteins and tannins. As long as you don't have starch in time all beers will clear. Fining or filtering just speeds up the process.

Extract brewers have a lot less of these problems to worry about. The extract manufacturer took care of most of them. Most steeping grains do have some starch though.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 07:53:34 PM by Malticulous »

Offline bluesman

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2012, 07:32:04 PM »
Fining or filtering just speeds up the process.

+1

Beer will clear given enough time but there are things we can do to expedite the process.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Super Clear Beer
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 11:48:23 AM »
Fining or filtering just speeds up the process.

 there are things we can do to expedite the process.
That's what I'm looking to do. 
I'm brewing all grain, my mash temps depend on my brew but they are in line with normal temps (149-155 depending).  I monitor my pH with a hand-held pH meter that is calibrated fairly frequently and I try to mash at about pH 5.4.  I cool with an immersion chiller and I think my hot/cold break is ok.
In short, my beer will clear just fine with time and usually the last glass is crystal clear but I want to get the rest of the keg clearer.  I fine with gelatin dissolved in water and added to cold beer (fridge temp or colder).  I just find that although it helps, it isn't as clear as I'd like. 

Is there any reason to fine a second time with the same fining? 

Mostly this applies to beer I want to clear quickly to take somewhere or enter into competition.