Author Topic: Silica Gel  (Read 731 times)

Offline Ellismr

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Silica Gel
« on: November 29, 2016, 08:04:22 PM »
I recently brewed and forgot to add whirfloc.  I was reading that silica gel to help the proteins drop out.  Looking in-line I see silica gel crystals used for drying flowers.  I was thinking of making a slurry and adding it to the fermenter and letting it settle for a couple days.  My question is can I use this in my beer or is there a special beer gel.  Thanks.


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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 08:16:59 PM »
Get just regular flavorless Gelatin at the grocery store.  Cheaper, more effective, and not silica.  All around win, and no it doesn't cause any issues when bottling.  Or skip it entirely, and just give it a really cold crash for a day or 2

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Offline Ellismr

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 08:19:53 PM »
I thought gelatin was used for yeast settling.  Not proteins.


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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 09:58:11 PM »
Gelatin will work for chill haze, which I believe is caused by suspended proteins.  However, you need to have cold beer with chill haze present when you add the gelatin in order for it to work.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2016, 10:44:24 PM »
+1. Gelatin works best at dropping out yeast but it will drop some proteins, too.
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Offline Ellismr

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2016, 11:04:03 PM »
Thank you very much


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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2016, 11:07:41 PM »
Thank you very much


Anytime. Remember, as Joe said, gelatin works much better if you get the beer thoroughly cold before adding, so that it can drop the chill haze proteins in suspension. This procedure is easy and foolproof:

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

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2016, 02:20:28 AM »
Anytime. Remember, as Joe said, gelatin works much better if you get the beer thoroughly cold before adding, so that it can drop the chill haze proteins in suspension. This procedure is easy and foolproof:

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

Hmm?? I see that this article is recommending that you not get the mixture over 155F. Does that really matter since we are pouring this liquid directly into the keg while its still hot?  What if you heat the water without any gelatin up to boiling and then allow it to cool a bit and then add the gelatin?

I only ask because I don't really worry about clarity in my beers and they typically drop pretty clear anyhow. I've only fined with gelatin once.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 02:39:13 AM »
I think if you heat the water without gelatin to boiling and let it cool, no worries.  Something happens if you boil the gelatin, though.  Likely it clumps into nasty glops of goo that you don't want in your beer.  It's been years since I boiled it though.

I agree that given time and cold temps you can get clear beer without gelatin.

Does chill haze eventually drop?  I don't know.  Seems likely.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2016, 02:59:50 AM »
Anytime. Remember, as Joe said, gelatin works much better if you get the beer thoroughly cold before adding, so that it can drop the chill haze proteins in suspension. This procedure is easy and foolproof:

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

Hmm?? I see that this article is recommending that you not get the mixture over 155F. Does that really matter since we are pouring this liquid directly into the keg while its still hot?  What if you heat the water without any gelatin up to boiling and then allow it to cool a bit and then add the gelatin?

I only ask because I don't really worry about clarity in my beers and they typically drop pretty clear anyhow. I've only fined with gelatin once.
I regularly take the mixture to 165-170* and have had no "jello" problems.  Although I use 1/2 tsp instead of 1 tsp. to 2/3 cup water.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Silica Gel
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2016, 01:04:59 PM »
Hmm?? I see that this article is recommending that you not get the mixture over 155F. Does that really matter since we are pouring this liquid directly into the keg while its still hot?  What if you heat the water without any gelatin up to boiling and then allow it to cool a bit and then add the gelatin?

I only ask because I don't really worry about clarity in my beers and they typically drop pretty clear anyhow. I've only fined with gelatin once.


Sure, you could the boil water then cool to the right temp before adding the gelatin. I don't know what the exact temp threshold is where the heated mixture when added to cold beer will congeal into jello floaties. I just know that 155F never causes that for me, yet works very well. So there's nothing gained by heating it higher and more risk, in other words. As posted, I don't use it on every beer since we know time/temp does the trick. But on some strains, like the powdery WY2565 I used in the spring, it definitely helps speed up the process.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 02:13:02 PM by HoosierBrew »
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