Author Topic: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...  (Read 2561 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2021, 07:16:49 PM »
Pilsner Urquell "boils" at a bare simmer I'm told.  They have pretty good clarity.
Do they filter their beer?  Could the beer be clearish and then finely polished with a filter which would get the remaining schputz out of the picture?

Most commercial breweries either filter or centrifuge ... the latter being probably the most common now due to less loss.  BioFine works really well if all the other stuff falls in line
I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the Biofine.  But it sounds like the clarifiers we use are not magic... other things need to fall in line first as you say and I think I have failed in that regard.  If I hit a batch with a gel solution twice and it still doesn't clear then it's obvious I have done something.  The boil rate is probably a spot where I'm not as tuned in... if it's "at a boil", fine.  I do remember coming out to the garage this past Saturday and the kettle was really cruising.  If I make 10 batches in a row with a more vigorous boil and I get more consistently clear beer then there is something to it.  If not, the search continues.  Thanks & cheers.
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline denny

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2021, 07:48:57 PM »
Pilsner Urquell "boils" at a bare simmer I'm told.  They have pretty good clarity.
Do they filter their beer?  Could the beer be clearish and then finely polished with a filter which would get the remaining schputz out of the picture?

AFAIK, they don't, but that's AFAIK
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2021, 07:56:18 PM »
Pilsner Urquell "boils" at a bare simmer I'm told.  They have pretty good clarity.
Do they filter their beer?  Could the beer be clearish and then finely polished with a filter which would get the remaining schputz out of the picture?

AFAIK, they don't, but that's AFAIK
Their beer is ultra clear so maybe soft water + long boils + "everything else being perfect" is enough.  I see a lot of crystal clear commercial beer and I don't lose much sleep over that because I assume they have some sorcery to get the beer looking like that.  Sometimes my beer looks like that and other times it does not.  But I see other homebrewers getting very clear beer so I wonder what the variables are.  Cheers.
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline denny

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2021, 08:03:11 PM »
Pilsner Urquell "boils" at a bare simmer I'm told.  They have pretty good clarity.
Do they filter their beer?  Could the beer be clearish and then finely polished with a filter which would get the remaining schputz out of the picture?

AFAIK, they don't, but that's AFAIK
Their beer is ultra clear so maybe soft water + long boils + "everything else being perfect" is enough.  I see a lot of crystal clear commercial beer and I don't lose much sleep over that because I assume they have some sorcery to get the beer looking like that.  Sometimes my beer looks like that and other times it does not.  But I see other homebrewers getting very clear beer so I wonder what the variables are.  Cheers.

All I can tell ya is that I don't do anything other than Whirlfloc and cold crashing and I get the same results you do.  Sometimes crystal, sometimes not.  So maybe it's not any of that stuff.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2021, 08:15:56 PM »
I think you will see that after a week or maybe more, your beer is going to be nice and clear. I just started using biofine too, 4-5 brews now and I haven't had one that did not clear to absolute crystal clarity. With that said, the batches were 4 lagers using OYL106 and one pale using Denny's 1450.

The first batch I used 5ml to a 5 gallon keg and that took maybe 12-14 days to fully clear. I was impatient and tapped the keg in a week and it was not clear enough. All other batches have cleared quickly after I upped the solution to 10 ml, about a week. Again, impatient and had to verify that 10 works for my beers. I might go to 15ml just to compare.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2021, 08:33:17 PM »
I think you will see that after a week or maybe more, your beer is going to be nice and clear. I just started using biofine too, 4-5 brews now and I haven't had one that did not clear to absolute crystal clarity. With that said, the batches were 4 lagers using OYL106 and one pale using Denny's 1450.

The first batch I used 5ml to a 5 gallon keg and that took maybe 12-14 days to fully clear. I was impatient and tapped the keg in a week and it was not clear enough. All other batches have cleared quickly after I upped the solution to 10 ml, about a week. Again, impatient and had to verify that 10 works for my beers. I might go to 15ml just to compare.
Interesting.  Another brewer suggested 30ml which is what I used.  I have to assume that more Biofine is not necessarily going to lead to clearer beer especially considering the variables discussed here already.  Thanks for the encouragement... I know some people are getting great results with it so good news all around. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2021, 08:37:16 PM »
Lately I have noticed how many commercial beers are not crystal clear...maybe it is due in small part to the Haze Craze, but I think tolerances for a little haze have increased. 

I wish I knew what the magical clarity results were, so I could implement them, but frankly, I get some beers that just take a long while to clear and some just don't.  I use Brewtan B and Whirlfloc and I space out their additions by at least a few minutes toward the last 16 minutes in the boil, because it was mentioned as a best practice, but perhaps I have rushed them too close together on some occasions?  Who knows?

The clear ones do have more curb appeal, but I made a Landlord clone recently with Simpson's Golden Promise and it just has a touch of haze that doesn't seem to want to go away.  Malt issue, perhaps?  I had some issues with North Star Pils under pressure fermentation, so maybe it is due in part to that....a real tail chaser inquiry, for sure.
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Offline BrewBama

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Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2021, 08:57:55 PM »
Ever notice how clear the beer is right before it kicks?  I think time is the key.

If I need a quick turn on a keg I use gelatin. But lately, things have been working out that my beers have been conditioning longer. That extra time has made a nice clear pint for me without anything other than whirlflock kettle finings, Bry-97, and a floating dip tube.

I think hitting 5.2 mash pH the same every time is really helping as well. My wort is read-the-newspaper-through-it clear going into the boil kettle.

Using the induction cooktop I use the exact same setting each brewday so I get a predictable post boil volume and OG. Therefore the boil pattern is the same from brew to brew. If I remember correctly, the mellow boil is to reduce shear forces based on a HBC seminar Martin gave.

I also whirlpool while chilling or steeping to help with the hop cone but I still get a little trüb in the fermenter at the beginning and end of transfer.



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« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 09:04:46 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2021, 09:01:33 PM »
Lately I have noticed how many commercial beers are not crystal clear...maybe it is due in small part to the Haze Craze, but I think tolerances for a little haze have increased. 

I wish I knew what the magical clarity results were, so I could implement them, but frankly, I get some beers that just take a long while to clear and some just don't.  I use Brewtan B and Whirlfloc and I space out their additions by at least a few minutes toward the last 16 minutes in the boil, because it was mentioned as a best practice, but perhaps I have rushed them too close together on some occasions?  Who knows?

The clear ones do have more curb appeal, but I made a Landlord clone recently with Simpson's Golden Promise and it just has a touch of haze that doesn't seem to want to go away.  Malt issue, perhaps?  I had some issues with North Star Pils under pressure fermentation, so maybe it is due in part to that....a real tail chaser inquiry, for sure.
On the topic of "craft beer", I agree that there is haze and an acceptance of haze.  I see helles and pilsner, czech pils, kolsch, etc. all hazy.  But I have a condition known as CBS or "clear beer syndrome" and the beer will be clear, dammit!  :P  My BTB addition in the boil is at 15 minutes and my WF or Kick Carageenan addition is with 7 minutes left and I do that every time so I don't see that being the issue.  But there is an issue and I will find it eventually.  Cheers.
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2021, 09:06:14 PM »
If I need a quick turn on a keg I use gelatin. But lately, things have been working out that my beers have been conditioning longer. That extra time has made a nice clear pint for me without anything other than whirlflock kettle finings, Bry-97, and a floating dip tube.

I think hitting mash pH the same every time is really helping as well. My wort is read-the-newspaper clear going into the boil kettle.

Using the induction cooktop I use the exact same setting each brewday so I get a predictable post boil OG. Therefore the boil pattern is the same from brew to brew. If I remember correctly, the mellow boil is to reduce shear forces based on a HBC seminar Martin gave.

I also whirlpool while chilling or steeping to help with the hop cone but I still get a little trüb in the fermenter at the beginning and end of transfer.



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It's true that when everything else lines up a gel solution does work, no question.  It might be that when my variable issue (not sure what it is yet) is present in the beer, the Biofine and a gel solution will both whiff.  I remember reading about some things that will cement a permanent haze in place but I don't remember what they were.  But I do know that I had some very stubborn haze in some batches and some were gelled twice and one might have been gelled thrice!  Didn't work.  So whatever it is, it seems like nothing will fix it.  Maybe Martin will drop in here. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2021, 09:15:31 PM »
I think you will see that after a week or maybe more, your beer is going to be nice and clear. I just started using biofine too, 4-5 brews now and I haven't had one that did not clear to absolute crystal clarity. With that said, the batches were 4 lagers using OYL106 and one pale using Denny's 1450.

The first batch I used 5ml to a 5 gallon keg and that took maybe 12-14 days to fully clear. I was impatient and tapped the keg in a week and it was not clear enough. All other batches have cleared quickly after I upped the solution to 10 ml, about a week. Again, impatient and had to verify that 10 works for my beers. I might go to 15ml just to compare.
Interesting.  Another brewer suggested 30ml which is what I used.  I have to assume that more Biofine is not necessarily going to lead to clearer beer especially considering the variables discussed here already.  Thanks for the encouragement... I know some people are getting great results with it so good news all around.

I always like to error on the side of caution, so to me, the less is more mentality is the rule of the day until I find the addition that is acceptable to my beer styles. Biofine recommends a dosage rate of 200-2000 ppm. 30ml in 5 gallons would give you 1585ppm. 40ml would give you 2113ppm. I'm not certain I would want to go above those dosage recommendations for lack of known ramifications. I don't know exactly what the health risks are with silicic acid but again, less is more.

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2021, 09:19:21 PM »
Have you ever checked your boil ph? Kettle finings and the break reactions work better at a lower ph, an acid adjustment with 10 min left in the boil to get you to ~5.0-5.2 has been said to help and I have noticed a difference for me. Maybe that could be a variable since it all depends on recipe.

Also higher calcium levels seemed to have helped my beers as well. I used to always target at least 50ppm Calcium Injave been driving that up closer to 100 lately.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2021, 09:47:29 PM »
Have you ever checked your boil ph? Kettle finings and the break reactions work better at a lower ph, an acid adjustment with 10 min left in the boil to get you to ~5.0-5.2 has been said to help and I have noticed a difference for me. Maybe that could be a variable since it all depends on recipe.

Also higher calcium levels seemed to have helped my beers as well. I used to always target at least 50ppm Calcium Injave been driving that up closer to 100 lately.
Thanks for mentioning that.  When my transfer to the fermenter is done I have been grabbing a bit of the wort in a cup and checking the pH.  The last 4-5 beers have been between 5.3 and 5.4.  I am checking at that point just to see where I am in case I should start doing a boil addition.  I am slightly high so it seems like I should be doing this.  I have no way of knowing how much lactic acid (my pH-lowerer of choice) I would need to drop it down to 5.0 but it seems like I should start doing this.  If I had 5.75-6 gallons of wort in the kettle and check my pH and found it to be 5.3-5.4, what's the best way to know how much I need to drop it .3 or .4?  Also, I always use some CaSO4 or CaCl or a combination in my beers.  My source water has 34ppm and after my additions I am around 60ppm so I hope that's sufficient.
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A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2021, 09:48:40 PM »
I think you will see that after a week or maybe more, your beer is going to be nice and clear. I just started using biofine too, 4-5 brews now and I haven't had one that did not clear to absolute crystal clarity. With that said, the batches were 4 lagers using OYL106 and one pale using Denny's 1450.

The first batch I used 5ml to a 5 gallon keg and that took maybe 12-14 days to fully clear. I was impatient and tapped the keg in a week and it was not clear enough. All other batches have cleared quickly after I upped the solution to 10 ml, about a week. Again, impatient and had to verify that 10 works for my beers. I might go to 15ml just to compare.
Interesting.  Another brewer suggested 30ml which is what I used.  I have to assume that more Biofine is not necessarily going to lead to clearer beer especially considering the variables discussed here already.  Thanks for the encouragement... I know some people are getting great results with it so good news all around.

I always like to error on the side of caution, so to me, the less is more mentality is the rule of the day until I find the addition that is acceptable to my beer styles. Biofine recommends a dosage rate of 200-2000 ppm. 30ml in 5 gallons would give you 1585ppm. 40ml would give you 2113ppm. I'm not certain I would want to go above those dosage recommendations for lack of known ramifications. I don't know exactly what the health risks are with silicic acid but again, less is more.
Based on what I see on this first one, maybe I'll try 20ml and see what happens.  I agree... I don't want anymore of this stuff in there than is necessary.
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Reasons for why a beer wouldn't clear...
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2021, 09:51:02 PM »
Ever notice how clear the beer is right before it kicks?  I think time is the key.
I hear this but sometimes my beers lager for a good 10-12 weeks and I might not have CLEAR beer.  I definitely think time is one of the components but if I mess something up earlier in the process then I feel like the beer could age until Haley's Comet comes back and it would still be cloudy.  :P
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.