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Question on gelatin

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Stevie_Janowski, Mar 31, 2012.

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  1. Stevie_Janowski

    Stevie_Janowski Mar 18, 2012 Illinois

    Hey everyone, I have an IPA sitting in primary right now and I'm going to rack to secondary within a couple days. We forgot to use Irish moss in the boil for this batch and are going to use gelatin in secondary. Our plan is to prepare the gelatin and rack the beer on top in secondary. If we plan on leaving the beer in secondary for minimum 7 days, is it ok to leave the gelatin in there the entire time (full seven days), or should we add it later during secondary and let it only sit for a few days. I've heard to only let it sit for 3-4 days or so. Will leaving it in for all of secondary harm the beer or possibly prevent the gelatin from working properly? Thanks,
  2. kjyost

    kjyost May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    I have left gelatine in my leg through the life of the keg (~1 month). No apparent issues.
  3. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Have also left gelatin in the keg. The one thing that kinda bugs me about your plan is the racking onto the gelatin. I would think that using the more common method of adding heated gelatin to very cold beer is the best way to make sure you achieve the desired effect.
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I could be wrong, and I have never used gelatin, but I would guess that it works like most finings, i.e. it clears the beer by contact with suspended particles, causing them to settle. If so, the gelatin would have to be mixed well with the beer, rather than being racked onto.
  5. billandsuz

    billandsuz Sep 1, 2004 New York

    i think this is a good time to experiment with no finings at all. just skip it. if you keep the beer cold you will likely find that it makes no difference. especially since of all clarifiers, gelatin seems like a big hassle.

    i don't use it, so i'm not going to suggest the best method.
  6. jokelahoma

    jokelahoma May 9, 2004 Missouri

    I'm with Bill. A bit of haze in an IPA is not a big deal. Gelatin, while it does work, is rumored to strip a bit of the hop aroma from your beer. I just don't think clarity is a big deal with an IPA.
  7. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Mar 22, 2011 California

    You are correct. Gelatin and other finings like Biofine (SiO2), PolyClar, isinglass, etc. all require gentile mixing after addition to the beer. I've heard too many bad things about Gelatin refusing to settle, not fining at all, etc. that I don't use it either. I've had great luck with Polyclar for chill haze (Before I got a better chilling setup) and Biofine for fining yeast out of solution if I need the buggers to drop in a hurry or if I'm using US-05 :) .

    To the OP gelatin as stated above, add the gelatin after you rack. Gelatin can work within 3-4 days, but typically requires a week or more, plus the colder your beer before gelatin addition, the better it works for pulling yeast and potentially any haze forming compounds out of solution.
  8. bpfishback

    bpfishback Mar 20, 2010 Maryland

    The key to getting gelatin to work is that after you add it to your beer you need to get the beer as close to freezing as possible for at least 24 hours. You can also add gelatin at bottling or kegging and get the same effect.
  9. vtbeerman

    vtbeerman Jul 24, 2007 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    I will crash cool my carboy in the fridge for 24 hours then add the gelatin. I think the crash cooling will help show the chill haze which the gelatin will take out along with the yeast settling out. I keep it in the fridge for another 48 hours and then rack to keg. I have never noticed a loss in hop aroma either.
  10. JrGtr

    JrGtr Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I've forgotten about the moss a couple times myself when brewing. I just didn't worry about it (one time didn't even remember until I was unpacking my stuff to bottle, another when i was pitching yeast.) and let things go.
    After conditioning and whatnot, I didn't notice any real difference in the beer after pouring into glass. THere may have been a touch more sediment at the bottom of the bottles, but it's hard to say for sure.
  11. Stevie_Janowski

    Stevie_Janowski Mar 18, 2012 Illinois

    Thanks for all of the great answers guys. I think I'm still going to try to use it. I'll definitely take the advice of not racking the beer on top of it, and instead gently mix it in. I'll consider cold crashing before adding as well. Hopefully it all works well! Thanks again...
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