Author Topic: Clarification paradox?  (Read 473 times)

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3824
Clarification paradox?
« on: June 09, 2019, 10:57:53 PM »
Recently BrewBama said:

Gelatin works to a point but there’s no substitute for time IMO. The beer seems to be brighter given time vs gelatin. 

I believe I'm observing the same thing, but interestingly, the unfined beer seems to achieve this greater clarity EVEN MORE QUICKLY than the fined beer.  So I've been thinking about what might be happening.

Here's the crux:  I swear I read somewhere once upon a time that yeast can be an effective adsorbent of chill haze.   But I can't for the life of me find the source.

It occurs to me that if this is so, then by dropping the yeast too quickly, we might be missing an opportunity to eliminate haze; but if we let chill haze evolve, and the yeast still in suspension binds it, then they will both together follow Stokes' Law to the bottom nice and quick.

Just an inchoate idea, but one that's pestering me.  Can anyone here offer any insight?  Is there really such an interaction between yeast and some haze active substance, or is my memory messing with me?  Of course it could also be something else, but I'm very curious.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 9336
  • Milford, MI
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 01:40:50 PM »
Rob, this from memory.

IIRC, the yeast and haze have different charges. They slowly attract, then drop out. The beer needs yeast in it, and it needs to be cold enough for the chill haze to form.
Jeff Rankert
AHA Governing Committee
AHA Lifetime Member
BJCP National
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3824
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 02:22:13 PM »
Rob, this from memory.

IIRC, the yeast and haze have different charges. They slowly attract, then drop out. The beer needs yeast in it, and it needs to be cold enough for the chill haze to form.

Thanks.  I was thinking it was something like this.  It follows that not fining could lead to more complete clarification, and without the risk of oxidation, depending on the brewer's overall procedure.  Fining has most notably been used either in cask ales where chill haze is not an issue, or in filtered beers where the fining removes biomass leaving the filter burdened only with the non biological haze.  It seems that those of us who cold condition and don't filter may do better avoiding fining.  And I feel better having a theoretical mechanism to explain the phenomenon.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline rburrelli

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 70
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 09:30:02 PM »
Rob, this from memory.

IIRC, the yeast and haze have different charges. They slowly attract, then drop out. The beer needs yeast in it, and it needs to be cold enough for the chill haze to form.

Thanks.  I was thinking it was something like this.  It follows that not fining could lead to more complete clarification, and without the risk of oxidation, depending on the brewer's overall procedure.  Fining has most notably been used either in cask ales where chill haze is not an issue, or in filtered beers where the fining removes biomass leaving the filter burdened only with the non biological haze.  It seems that those of us who cold condition and don't filter may do better avoiding fining.  And I feel better having a theoretical mechanism to explain the phenomenon.

Thanks you both for the lesson. Once again I have learned something new.
Just sitting here learning what I can....

Offline Silver_Is_Money

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 11:04:17 PM »
I just brewed a beer which received no fining, and which had a terrible case of chill haze which was obvious at ~40 degrees F.  I have had this bottled batch in my fermentation refrigerator at 33-34 degrees F. for roughly 2-1/2 weeks now, and at this juncture the chill haze is almost completely gone.  I'm now hopeful that with a few more days at 33-34 degrees of cold lagering treatment there will be 100% success and the beer will be completely clear in the glass at 40 degrees F.

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3824
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 12:02:37 AM »
In my immediate case:  Kegs get 3-4 weeks at 34°F before going into the keezer for ~2 weeks at 40°F to carbonate before tapping.  Lately I'd been fining at racking (but not the last two kegs in the pipeline,) and the fined batches retained a very slight, but to me infernally annoying, degree of haze, which lasted through the (short but happy) life of the keg.  Yesterday, mulling over BrewBama's observation quoted in my OP (which had initially prompted me to omit finings for these batches,) I drew a sample of the first unfined batch -- otherwise essentially identical -- which had just gone into the keezer.  Crystal clear.  I just now drew a sample from the next one that's had just 13 days at 34°F, and it's probably nearly as clear already, about as good as the fined batches have ever been getting.  Kegging the latest tomorrow. I'll still be on the regular schedule, but for now fining is no longer SOP.

[EDIT added "at racking" near top to clarify procedure. ]
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 03:41:38 AM by Robert »
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline goose

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 12:43:54 PM »
In my immediate case:  Kegs get 3-4 weeks at 34°F before going into the keezer for ~2 weeks at 40°F to carbonate before tapping.  Lately I'd been fining at racking (but not the last two kegs in the pipeline,) and the fined batches retained a very slight, but to me infernally annoying, degree of haze, which lasted through the (short but happy) life of the keg.  Yesterday, mulling over BrewBama's observation quoted in my OP (which had initially prompted me to omit finings for these batches,) I drew a sample of the first unfined batch -- otherwise essentially identical -- which had just gone into the keezer.  Crystal clear.  I just now drew a sample from the next one that's had just 13 days at 34°F, and it's probably nearly as clear already, about as good as the fined batches have ever been getting.  Kegging the latest tomorrow. I'll still be on the regular schedule, but for now fining is no longer SOP.

[EDIT added "at racking" near top to clarify procedure. ]

Rob, what is your rationale about cold conditioning "before" carbonating?  My SOP is to cold condition and carbonate around 34 degrees F at the same time.  After getting the first glass or two from the keg which has some yeast sediment in it, mine normally become crystal clear, some IPA's take a couple more glasses to clear).  Just curious if your process might be better.  I normally don't cold condition as long as you do (maybe 1-2 weeks unless I am doing a lager) since I get a bit anxious to taste the brew and if my wife is out of IPA things can get a bit testy here  ;D.
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified
AHA Governing Committee Member

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3824
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2019, 01:50:25 PM »
Purely practical determined by circumstances,  Goose.  I have one small freezer to lager in, no room for a gas cylinder with a couple of kegs.  So they carbonate once they move into the keezer.  I don't know if it makes a difference otherwise.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3824
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2019, 04:17:33 PM »
^^^^
BTW that 34°F is a pragmatic thing too.  I used to lager at a perhaps more ideal 29°-30°F (-1°C) but often had annoying icing problems in the freezer.  So I bumped it above freezing and now the DampRid keeps it dry and ice free.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline BrewBama

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2583
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2019, 06:33:33 PM »
Another handy gadget is a floating dip tube. On the two kegs I have them installed in, I drink from the top of the keg which clears sooner as the clarity gradually moves down.

I’ve been threatening myself to drill a hole in the wall between my side by side (left side freezer temp controlled to 31-33*F for cold condition/right side for serving) so I can carb and condition at the same time but I’ve not done it yet. I keep telling myself the transition from fermentation temps to condition temps will help pull CO2 from the tank vs oxygen bypassing the race track o-ring as well as probably save me a week in my timeline but I keep procrastinating.  My idea would include a splitter to turn two lines into three (I generally have one keg on the way out and one newly tapped in rotation).


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.” — St. Arnold

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3824
Re: Clarification paradox?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2019, 07:47:22 PM »
^^^^
That's nice that you've got a proper freezer/side by side for cold conditioning, makes it easy to hold low temps without worrying about icing up!  I'd thought of trying to rig something for air circulation in my lagering chest freezer to avoid icing, but raising the temperature a bit was the simplest solution.  I'm liking simple.  Which makes me averse to floating dip tubes too (I do have mine trimmed.)  I just have to brew enough beer often enough that I can wait for it in its own time.  And if NOT doing something, like fining, actually helps, well....  (It has taken me a long time to get to this kind of zen-like simplicity in my brewing, which normal people probably wouldn't recognize as simple at all! )

And wouldn't you need a dual regulator as well as a splitter, to run proper pressure for each temperature zone?
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.