Author Topic: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents  (Read 3460 times)

Offline gman23

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biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« on: November 18, 2015, 02:36:01 PM »
I fine all of my kegged beer with gelatin but have varying degrees of success. I follow the same basic procedure which has been outlined here many times so I won't detail it now. I think it is time to try something else in attempt to find something that provides consistent results for me.

I am curious how effective biofine clear is. Any suggestions on other clarifying products? Time does do the trick most of the time but can take over a month for me.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 02:39:09 PM by goschman »
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 02:42:33 PM »
It's pretty effective. Like with gelatin, chill the beer for a couple days first, then use ~ 1 tbsp in the bottom of the keg, rack on top. Clears beer well in a day or two. After a week the beer is brilliantly clear. Keith uses it at his brewery. I use it when I have some around, but I still have good luck with gelatin.
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Offline pete b

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 03:01:01 PM »
It's pretty effective. Like with gelatin, chill the beer for a couple days first, then use ~ 1 tbsp in the bottom of the keg, rack on top. Clears beer well in a day or two. After a week the beer is brilliantly clear. Keith uses it at his brewery. I use it when I have some around, but I still have good luck with gelatin.
Would biofine clear mess with bottle conditioning? I've been meaning to try it but am worried it would drop too much yeast. Would a bottling homebrewer use in the fermentation vessel or in a bottling bucket?
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Offline Ethan J

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 03:15:02 PM »
It's pretty effective. Like with gelatin, chill the beer for a couple days first, then use ~ 1 tbsp in the bottom of the keg, rack on top. Clears beer well in a day or two. After a week the beer is brilliantly clear. Keith uses it at his brewery. I use it when I have some around, but I still have good luck with gelatin.

+1. Never used gelatin (I have a vegetarian that regularly drinks my beer), but have had great success with Biofine Clear used in the same way as Hoosier.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 03:15:29 PM »
It's pretty effective. Like with gelatin, chill the beer for a couple days first, then use ~ 1 tbsp in the bottom of the keg, rack on top. Clears beer well in a day or two. After a week the beer is brilliantly clear. Keith uses it at his brewery. I use it when I have some around, but I still have good luck with gelatin.
Would biofine clear mess with bottle conditioning? I've been meaning to try it but am worried it would drop too much yeast. Would a bottling homebrewer use in the fermentation vessel or in a bottling bucket?

Being a kegger, I've never bottle conditioned with it, but I wouldn't worry about it on a standard OG beer any more than I would after using gelatin (done it, and it carbed fine) . These finings just drop the yeast below the threshold of being visible, but there's always yeast in the beer. I would crash your fermenter and add the fining there. Honestly, I can't say I think Biofine Clear works much better than gelatin (Keith may disagree) but it is definitely easier to use. More expensive is the tradeoff.
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Offline gman23

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2015, 03:26:31 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I will probably give biofine clear a shot soon.

I have been buying unflavored gelatin from the grocery store. Is there anything different about it versus something I would buy at the LHBS?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2015, 03:29:27 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I will probably give biofine clear a shot soon.

I have been buying unflavored gelatin from the grocery store. Is there anything different about it versus something I would buy at the LHBS?

Nope, same stuff. Do you use the Bertus method for gelatin out of curiosity ?  It's consistently good for me.

http://www.bertusbrewery.com/2012/06/how-to-clear-your-beer-with-gelatin.html
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Offline stpug

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2015, 04:34:46 PM »
I've used Baker/Crosby Gelatin, Knox Gelatin, Biofine Clear, and Super-Kleer.

Baker/Crosby vs Knox: The B/C is more fine than Knox. It's also MUCH less stinky than Knox. Otherwise, same stuff (animal source). Cost is negligible (a dime maybe per 5 gallons). Requires preparation and beers should be cold crashed, also requires more cold conditioning to work. 3-7 days for full effectiveness. After initial sedimentation, if roused, it will not settle back down as well. Works pretty good (assuming you're not dealing with too much starch or polyphenol haze).

Biofine Clear: Dosage is variable based on beer and amount of sediment needed to clear. Non-animal source. No smell. Technically, it should not be ingested but we "ASSuME" it all settles out. No preparation needed. Cost is at least $1/5gallons, more $ for more haze. Beers does not require prior cold crashing, and more cold conditioning is not absolutely necessary but is helpful. 2-4 days for full effectiveness. After intial sedimentation, if roused, it will settle back down very well. Works about as well as gelatin.

Super-Kleer: (Only used once due to cost) Two-stage fining agent for positive and negative charged particles. Chitosan is animal source (shellfish, allergy issues?), kieselsol is not. No smell. Some preparation needed. Cost is about $2.50/5gallons. No prior or after cold crashing needed. Use in fermenter/secondary; keg is not ideal. 1-7 days for effectiveness. After intial sedimentation, if roused, it will settle back down but slowish. Works very well but significant extra efforts are required.

After using these four products, my personal choice is C/B gelatin. It's cost is negligible. It's effectiveness is on par with Biofine Clear (sometimes a little better or worse). I'm not vegetarian/vegan.  It's smell is very mild compared to knox. I have the abilities to cold crash prior to and after use. I don't jostle the sediment after use.

I liked biofine clear just fine. Sometimes it would create really clear beers and sometimes not. I just find that having gelatin on hand is more convenient than biofine. Plus I can only get it via online orders (williams has a 4 oz bottle)

In the end, starch and polyphenol haze seems to be the primary culprit in beers that remain hazy after fining and can only be alleviated with mechanical filtering, centrifuge, or process adjustments.

...at least that's my take on it.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 04:37:54 PM by stpug »

Offline gman23

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2015, 04:42:00 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I will probably give biofine clear a shot soon.

I have been buying unflavored gelatin from the grocery store. Is there anything different about it versus something I would buy at the LHBS?

Nope, same stuff. Do you use the Bertus method for gelatin out of curiosity ?  It's consistently good for me.

http://www.bertusbrewery.com/2012/06/how-to-clear-your-beer-with-gelatin.html

That is the process I follow. I used to add the gelatin at kegging without crashing. I have tried adding it after the keg has been in the fridge for 24 hours with no noticeable different.

As an example, I have a kolsch and an amber fermented with WY2565. Both were gelatin fined using the exact same process. The amber clarified nicely in about a week and is brilliantly clear now while the kolsch is at about a month and still has a touch of haze. That's the inconsistency that I don't understand unless it is related to the ingredients of the beer somehow.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 04:43:45 PM by goschman »
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2015, 04:47:28 PM »
FWIW, I always rack very cold beer onto the gelatin and stir gently. As for 2565, that strain is notoriously tough to get to drop clear quickly, even with gelatin.
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Offline gman23

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2015, 05:06:59 PM »
FWIW, I always rack very cold beer onto the gelatin and stir gently. As for 2565, that strain is notoriously tough to get to drop clear quickly, even with gelatin.

Right. I was extremely surprised to see the amber clear so quickly. I don't have the ability to cold crash so that's why I have been adding after 24 hours in the fridge at 38F. I can't really stir it so I just pour it on top.

It's not that big of a deal just kind of an annoyance. I use US05 a bunch so pesky yeasts like 2565 are not a regular problem for me.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 05:10:58 PM by goschman »
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Offline pete b

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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2015, 06:05:51 PM »
It's pretty effective. Like with gelatin, chill the beer for a couple days first, then use ~ 1 tbsp in the bottom of the keg, rack on top. Clears beer well in a day or two. After a week the beer is brilliantly clear. Keith uses it at his brewery. I use it when I have some around, but I still have good luck with gelatin.
Would biofine clear mess with bottle conditioning? I've been meaning to try it but am worried it would drop too much yeast. Would a bottling homebrewer use in the fermentation vessel or in a bottling bucket?

Being a kegger, I've never bottle conditioned with it, but I wouldn't worry about it on a standard OG beer any more than I would after using gelatin (done it, and it carbed fine) . These finings just drop the yeast below the threshold of being visible, but there's always yeast in the beer. I would crash your fermenter and add the fining there. Honestly, I can't say I think Biofine Clear works much better than gelatin (Keith may disagree) but it is definitely easier to use. More expensive is the tradeoff.
The price doesn't bother me because 9/10 beers I make I'm satisfied with how clear they get with time so I would only be using it here and there.
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Re: biofine clear vs gelatin and other fining agents
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2015, 06:32:17 PM »
I am curious how effective biofine clear is.

It's extremely effective. 50-100 mL/bbl, depending on level of haze (which essentially just means gravity in beers that aren't dry-hopped) and desired clarity, seems to be the sweet spot in my beers. As was mentioned, the cause of haze is also relevant - SiO2 is very effective against polyphenol (chill) haze but only minimally effective against yeast. I personally don't find that to be an issue following an effective cold crash, but strain selection comes into play there as well.

I posted a photo in another thread recently of a 13-day old APA (more to the point, 48 hours after kegging): https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24900.msg318812#msg318812 This was 50 mL/bbl (0.4 mL/L) BioFine A3 along with Whirfloc in the kettle.

I don't have the ability to cold crash so that's why I have been adding after 24 hours in the fridge at 38F. I can't really stir it so I just pour it on top.

FWIW, that's what "cold crashing" means to me, though I'd prefer to go 48 hours. With any finings getting them uniformly distributed is essential. Fortunately, for a 5 gal keg that just means shaking it.
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