Lets clear it up

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Acrid, Mar 22, 2014.

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  1. Acrid

    Acrid Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2013 California

    So still new to brewing. im about to bottle my 4th batch. My question is how do I make clear beer? Ive always used Irish moss. I use a 2 vessel fermentation system. But last 3 batches have had lots hazyness when bottled. Any tips I can use for this batch. Or next. 3 vessel system?
     
  2. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    So other than irish moss or gelatin the keys to making clear beer are:

    Strong rolling boil
    Quick cooling
    Racking to Secondary (debatable)
    Cold Crashing prior to bottling
    Filtering

    Tertiary is never necessary, and not recommended.

    Also as a note, I've heard that another name for 'clear' beer is 'water'. The accepted vernacular is 'bright' I believe.
     
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  3. Paramecium

    Paramecium Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2010 California

    Cold crashing works for me. I use Irish moss as well but a good cold crash does wonders.
     
  4. Acrid

    Acrid Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2013 California

    Cold crash?? I'll look into that idk what that is.
     
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,966) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Society

    Cold crash: when fermentation is done, lower temp as rapidly as you can to just above freezing for several days before racking.

    There are also finings you can add to the fermenter that will attract certain haze forming compounds and settle out.

    When you rack to a bottle bucket be careful not to disturb the sediment in the fermenter.

    Store your bottles cold ( after they are carbonated!) for a second bout of cold crashing that shoul help compact yeast and other particulates.

    Decant your bottles carefully to avoid disturbing sediment. If you have hazy beer but are not seeing the particulates, it is probably chill haze which fades as the beer warms. The ways to get rid of that are by encouragingng the break I the kettle and with finings at the end of fermentation
    .
     
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  6. wspscott

    wspscott Savant (911) May 25, 2006 Kentucky

    What kind of beer did you brew? Recipes? Some beers are never going to be bright.
     
  7. MrShake

    MrShake Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2013 Illinois

    When are you noticing the haze? Is it only after being in the bottle? Or are you seeing it in the fermenter as well?

    Personally, I don't care about clarity, I cant see it once I drink it.
     
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,749) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    If you are willing to exercise patience, time & gravity will make any beer clear.

    Cheers!
     
  9. ryane

    ryane Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2007 Washington


    I'll debate the quick cooling point, I dont chill very fast and neither do big breweries

    A couple you forgot

    1 - Good brewing practices, eg no steeping grains that need to be mashed - starch causes lots of haze

    and the biggest one of all (esp for a new brewer)

    TIME! let it sit
     
  10. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (284) Dec 2, 2008 California

    Big breweries generally put their product through industrial sized filters, homebrewers don't usually have access to that.
    Its common knowledge that rapid cooling causes haze forming proteins to clump together and fall out of solution. You may have nice results without it, but it does help so I thought it was worth mentioning.
     
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,749) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    “Its common knowledge that rapid cooling causes haze forming proteins to clump together and fall out of solution.” As a point of clarification (no pun intended) but the process of cold crashing (dropping the temperature down quickly for a few days) is to get yeast to drop out (flocculate).

    The aspect of getting proteins and polyphenols (tannins) to ‘coagulate’ and precipitate out of solution is achieved via lagering (cold conditioning for several weeks/months).

    Cheers!
     
  12. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (891) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Call me silly, but I swear the whirfloc works better than irish moss, despite being the same thing.
     
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  13. ryane

    ryane Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2007 Washington

    I disagree with

    This just isnt true, lots of craft breweries use plate chillers and most of the wort sits in the kettle for an extended period while a small amount drains out and is chilled. Also I cant say Ive ever been to a craft brewery that filters their beer, not saying they dont, but Ive yet to see one.

    I get crystal clear beer and it takes me anywhere from 1hr-4hr to cool down my beers depending on the time of year, you also have people doing no chill brewing and they get nice clear beer as well

    IMO the best targets are ensuring no starch in the beer (steeping malts that need to be mashed), picking a flocculant yeast, and giving the beer time
     
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,749) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    @ssam, upon re-reading your post it would appear that by "rapid cooling" you seem to be referring to cooling down the wort (vs. cooling down the beer; cold crashing). My apologies for my not catching that on my first reading.

    Cheers!
     
  15. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (293) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    All else being equal...plain gelatin added at bottling (1 tsp / 5G) ==> clear beer

    Add 1 tsp gelatin to 100 ml 'cold' water.
    Stir well
    Nuke 20-30 seconds (no boiling!)
    Cool
    Pitch into bottling bucket
     
  16. Acrid

    Acrid Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2013 California

    Thanks . Will definitely try all those tactics.
     
  17. sweetcell

    sweetcell Initiate (86) Dec 6, 2013 Maryland

  18. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (293) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

     
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