Author Topic: To filter, or not to filter?  (Read 2382 times)

Offline Rattlesnake44

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
    • View Profile
To filter, or not to filter?
« on: March 03, 2015, 10:15:39 PM »
Just curious if, how, why anyone filters, or doesn't filter?
My last couple of batches have came out great in regards to taste and style profile. But my clarity is always a little off. Not like huge amounts of suspended sediment, but just cloudy enough to make me want to do better.
I have never used any finings such as gelatin or Irish Moss. So maybe that would be the next logical step?
So, what steps do you guys use to clear up your beers, if any?

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 10:22:33 PM »
I fine with gelatin from time to time, but mostly don't care too much about clarity. I use kettle finings on most every batch, exception being when I forget or run out.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 10:23:54 PM »
i just use gelatin in the keg -that with cold conditioning makes a brilliant beer for me.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1576
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 10:30:58 PM »
i just use gelatin in the keg -that with cold conditioning makes a brilliant beer for me.
+1, works great!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 10:39:23 PM »
i just use gelatin in the keg -that with cold conditioning makes a brilliant beer for me.
+1, works great!

+2.  I only use it on certain styles. I find it can strip a yeast oriented beer of some of its character (saison and other Belgians, hefe,etc.).
Jon H.

Offline Phil_M

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1703
  • Southern Maryland
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 10:43:02 PM »
Does "no finings" include kettle finings?

If you aren't using kettle finings I'd start there and see how well that works. I'm still trying to fix my clarity issues (suspect water chemistry) but using whirlflock in the boil has made a huge difference.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1576
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 10:48:12 PM »
Does "no finings" include kettle finings?

If you aren't using kettle finings I'd start there and see how well that works. I'm still trying to fix my clarity issues (suspect water chemistry) but using whirlflock in the boil has made a huge difference.
Agreed, whirfloc and Irish moss do a great job dropping the proteins in the boil and its a good place to start and its cheap and easy.

I only use the gelatin like Jon mentioned, certain styles only but damn, a crystal clear beer sure is putty:)
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2015, 10:52:19 PM »
Does "no finings" include kettle finings?

If you aren't using kettle finings I'd start there and see how well that works. I'm still trying to fix my clarity issues (suspect water chemistry) but using whirlflock in the boil has made a huge difference.

I use whirlfloc on all beers except hefe and wit. I like the proteins coagulating out of Belgians , just don't want the gelatin to strip all the yeast character away. It comes close IMO.
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 11:02:13 PM »
i just use gelatin in the keg -that with cold conditioning makes a brilliant beer for me.
+1, works great!

+2.  I only use it on certain styles. I find it can strip a yeast oriented beer of some of its character (saison and other Belgians, hefe,etc.).

same here..good point.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3195
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 11:07:48 PM »
I seem to think you said in the thread about yeast starters that you are using 001/1056. It's not the most flocculant strain but tends to clear up with cold crashing. I wouldn't make the leap to filtering beer without first trying cold crashing, kettle finings and gelatin.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline Rattlesnake44

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 11:08:01 PM »

Does "no finings" include kettle finings?

If you aren't using kettle finings I'd start there and see how well that works. I'm still trying to fix my clarity issues (suspect water chemistry) but using whirlflock in the boil has made a huge difference.

I use whirlfloc on all beers except hefe and wit. I like the proteins coagulating out of Belgians , just don't want the gelatin to strip all the yeast character away. It comes close IMO.
I've never used anything, in the kettle or otherwise. I'm a bit of a purist mentally and always imagined anything in the beer other than the big 4 taboo. As I get older and hopefully wiser I'm open to new things, I recently started eating Brussels sprouts and liking them. So maybe it's about time I tried clearing up my beers with a few additions here and there.
Would the consensus be whirlfloc over something like Irish Moss?
And the gelatin in the keg, please explain?

Offline Rattlesnake44

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 131
    • View Profile
To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 11:08:36 PM »
I do cold crash most beers. I've got a fermenteezer set up so that's relatively easy for me.

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1576
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 11:13:59 PM »

Does "no finings" include kettle finings?

If you aren't using kettle finings I'd start there and see how well that works. I'm still trying to fix my clarity issues (suspect water chemistry) but using whirlflock in the boil has made a huge difference.

I use whirlfloc on all beers except hefe and wit. I like the proteins coagulating out of Belgians , just don't want the gelatin to strip all the yeast character away. It comes close IMO.
I've never used anything, in the kettle or otherwise. I'm a bit of a purist mentally and always imagined anything in the beer other than the big 4 taboo. As I get older and hopefully wiser I'm open to new things, I recently started eating Brussels sprouts and liking them. So maybe it's about time I tried clearing up my beers with a few additions here and there.
Would the consensus be whirlfloc over something like Irish Moss?
And the gelatin in the keg, please explain?
Cold crashing helps drop all the yeast and stuff out of the beer.

I use Irish moss in the kettle, have no experience with whirfloc but I think they are pretty interchangeable.

For gelatin, you mix the prescribed amount in a cup of water and let it sit for an hour, then boil. You then can add it directly to a cold keg or even a cold crashed primary/secondary and in a day or so it drops everything out of suspension resulting in a crystal clear beer.

Your first pour from a keg may have some sediment but after that its clear
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 11:14:12 PM »
Whirlfloc has the active ingredient that's in Irish moss - carrageenan. I just use whirlfloc for simplicity as it's in tablet form. As for gelatin, this is a very good, simple explanation of how to use it  :

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


And here's another great option - Biofine Clear. Used by many breweries. You use it much like gelatin - chill the beer thoroughly, add Biofine to your keg, rack beer on top, and a day or two later you pump out a half pint of sediment and your beer is clear after. Except no mixing like gelatin. I usually use ~ a tbsp of Biofine.

http://www.morebeer.com/products/biofine-clear-clarifier-1-oz.html
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 11:38:45 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9685
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: To filter, or not to filter?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2015, 12:37:39 AM »
One of the most important steps in getting clear beer is nailing your ph and getting a good hot break. Also, though perhaps less important, chilling fast enough to get a good cold break. If your pH is off you may never see really clear beer unless you age it for a very long time.

I do not filter but I do use kettle finings (whirlflock or irish moss) and tank finings. I really like BioFine clear. It works really fast and leaves the beer very bright in about 48 hours. If you find your "sweet spot" it doesn't strip too much aroma out of your beers, though that said, I never fine dry hopped beers.

In my case I run a brewery and I can attest that usually I fine with about 500 mil per 30 bbls in the primary fermentor after a week of cold crashing and in about 48 hours I can rack clear beer to the BBT. Occasionally I may have to find again in the BBT but usually it is not necessary. The key is to be sure it is mixed with the beer needed fined thoroughly.