Author Topic: Double check my fining technique  (Read 1495 times)

Offline erockrph

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Double check my fining technique
« on: June 03, 2014, 09:55:24 PM »
I've never messed with fining my beers before, but now that I have some kegs I have a problematic barleywine that I plan on transferring to a keg, fining, force carbonating, then bottling. I've never done any of this before, so I was hoping the experts on the forum could spot-check my plans to make sure I'm not missing anything important.

I have 2.8-ish gallons of barleywine that has been crash-cooling at 25F for 2 days now. I'm going to sanitize and purge a 2.5-gallon keg, then add my dissolved gelatin and rack my beer on top. After that I'll force carbonate for a week or two, then blow off the sediment and bottle the rest.

Do I have it right? Any suggestions on how much gelatin I would need for 2.5 gallons? Should I just use a whole pack, or will half be sufficient?

Thanks in advance.
Eric B.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2014, 10:04:34 PM »
Sounds like a solid plan.  This guy's blog has a good, concise process that works well (my process too).  You can also substitute BioFine Clear for the gelatin in the same process. I've bought some BioFine and plan to use it on the next batch - I hear good things about its quality. That gelatin procedure works great though.

http://www.bertusbrewery.com/search/?q=gelatin
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 10:10:32 PM »
I use the same steps as that blog post. One item I do differently is I allow the jello to "bloom" for 15 minutes before heating. I find it dissolves easier this way.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 10:17:34 PM »
I've done that too, but using this method (where you heat and stir every 20 or 30 seconds), I find that it's dissolved completely by the time I hit the target temp. One other thing Eric (and I'm sure you probably know) - gelatin and other keg finings will reduce your hop flavor/aroma a slight amount. Not a lot, but perceptible. I compensate by upping my late hops by maybe 10% when I plan to use gelatin. And gelatin is very effective at dropping the yeast out, so a yeast driven style (Belgians, etc.) isn't the best candidate for gelatin IMO.

EDIT - I increase my DRY hops a bit, not the whole late hop schedule, when using gelatin.  Sorry for the confusion.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 10:38:13 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 11:35:52 PM »
Are you planning on using a beer gun or counter pressure filler after the beer is carbonated in the keg to fill your bottles?

The best method I have found for gelatin is as follows (this is for a 5 gallon batch so adjust accordingly)

1.  Boil 300 mL of good water (spring water or distilled) for 5 min in a small saucepan.  Place the lid on the saucepan the last 2 minutes to sanitize the lid as well.

2.  Allow the water to cool to around 150F using sanitized thermometer to check temps.

3.  Add 1 tsp of gelatin to surface of water without mixing or stirring and place lid back on saucepan.

4.  Allow to bloom for 10 minutes.

5.  Add to sanitized and emptied keg, purge keg again with CO2, then rack cold beer on top. 

I have found it best to give the keg a little shake to avoid the gelatin from creating a layer on top of the beer which can happen, albeit rarely, and not allow the keg to properly carbonate. Allow the gelatin to work for 2-3 days or even a week to properly clear the beer. 

Offline jeffy

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 01:46:14 AM »
Why are you not adding the warm gelatin to the cold beer before transfer?  I would think you'd want to transfer clear beer to the other vessel rather than clearing the beer in the other vessel.
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Offline brewsumore

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 02:06:43 AM »
I've never used gelatin before, so can't help there.  I always add whirfloc at 5 min left in the boil, and still haven't had a beer that didn't clear after awhile in the keg.  Just mentioning a different approach in case it appeals to you for future brews.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 02:36:59 AM »
Why are you not adding the warm gelatin to the cold beer before transfer?  I would think you'd want to transfer clear beer to the other vessel rather than clearing the beer in the other vessel.

I'm basically clearing it twice. I'm cold-crashing it now, then racking the (mostly) clear beer into a keg and fining it there to get the rest to drop out.

Honestly, I probably don't really need to fine it -just crashing and racking once or twice should be sufficient. The issue is that this is a super flocculant yeast, but I let too much hop trub through to the fermenter. The flocs are sticking to the hop trub and are kicking up very easily, instead of packing into a tight cake like it usually does. I just figure that I might as well use some gelatin, since I'm taking the extra step to clear it anyways.

I've never used gelatin before, so can't help there.  I always add whirfloc at 5 min left in the boil, and still haven't had a beer that didn't clear after awhile in the keg.  Just mentioning a different approach in case it appeals to you for future brews.

Same here, usually. This just seems to be a problem beer.

Are you planning on using a beer gun or counter pressure filler after the beer is carbonated in the keg to fill your bottles?

Going to try the "racking cane with stopper stuffed in a picnic tap" method. Thanks for the gelatin tips
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline goschman

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 03:17:13 PM »
I fine with gelatin regularly similarly to the methods above and get very good resuts.

I cold crashed a kolsch for the first time and was amazed with the results. Beer being transferred into the keg was crystal clear. Last time I brewed this it took about 4 weeks in the keg with gelatin to become this clear. I will continue to use gelatin but will also be cold crashing more often as well...
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Double check my fining technique
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 03:46:29 PM »
If you're confident its yeast haze, gelatin works okay, but I've had better results w/ Isinglass. If you've got high-floc yeast to start, they don't need much prodding.

Since you carried over a lot of trub, I would guess the haze is tannin/polyphenol-based. In that case, PVPP is much more effective, and it doesn't smell like a stable when you dissolve it in boiling water. Its also vegan/vegetarian friendly, whereas gelatin is not.

How to Brew contains great info on which fining agent is best for a particular haze, along with dosing information (IIRC gelatin is 60-90 mg/L, but don't quote me).
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