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Will whirlfloc tabs work in secondary?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by clearbrew, Dec 7, 2012.

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  1. clearbrew

    clearbrew Nov 3, 2009 Louisiana

    I did not add a whirlfloc tab to my boil and the beer has been fermenting for about a week. If I boiled about a quart of water with a whirlfloc tab in it, then added it to the beer, would it help to clarify or would it hurt the beer?
  2. kjyost

    kjyost May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    Use gelatin instead. I am pretty sure Whirlfloc needs to be boiled with the wort for it to be useful...
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I think it would do nothing except add some more particulates to your beer.
  4. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    You culd give it a try. I think the particulates would settle out. There are other things you can use to help clear a beer. Gelatin, isinglass. I recently tried BiofineClear in a bitter in which I forgot whirlfloc. It was disappointing. I presumably should have used more. I believe the instructions are to use 1/4 tsp to 2 Tbs, and I went with 1 tsp. Next time, I'll try more. But you know what? The beer drinks fine, even though it is murky.
  5. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    The one time I forgot Whirfloc I used gelatin...I'm wondering if I should even bother with the Whirfloc anymore : )
    Crystal clear IPA in short order with great flavor and aroma.
    mikehartigan likes this.
  6. nuggetman

    nuggetman Jul 13, 2011 Massachusetts

    You will want to boil the whirfloc tab at least for sanitation reason, therefore I would say do not put it in the secondary. I agree with kjyost with using gelatin, since preparing it will involve boiling. Just don't tell your vegan friends you put it in there; what they don't know won't hurt them! Cheers!
    Hotmetal1 and kjyost like this.
  7. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Moderator Subscriber Beer Trader

    Or don't have vegan friends. ;)
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    An alternative is the non-fining method. Time and gravity will clear any beer. I have some Wit beers that I brewed in June that are crystal clear now (they were plenty cloudy during the summer time).

  9. Wolfsdenbrew

    Wolfsdenbrew Jun 16, 2004 New Mexico

    Don't bother now, just cold crash the beer for 2-3 days after fermentation is complete.
  10. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Yep. Pretty much. As an example, several months ago I made a Kolsch (w/ Wyeast 2565). I used whirfloc in the kettle, but otherwise no finings and I did not filter, despite BJCP guidelines which almost seem to require filtering for this style. I lagered for about 4 weeks, which was enough to clear the beer to the point that it got 'brilliantly clear' remarks in competition. And it was.
  11. GrahamWalters

    GrahamWalters Jan 15, 2009 Massachusetts

    Don't bother with whirlfloc in secondary, it is meant to be added during the boil. As mentioned above, use gelatin, biofine clear, or other fining agents if you want to clear post-boil.
  12. atomeyes

    atomeyes Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    yeah. whirfloc isn't mandatory.
  13. atomeyes

    atomeyes Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    so if you lagered, you crashed the temp close to freezing.

    that will also clear up a lot of beer. kill dem yeasties (if you aren't lagering)
  14. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    If you consider 40F close to freezing, I suppose so. The same thing happens in every keg or bottle in a fridge, whether "lagering" per se or not.
  15. atomeyes

    atomeyes Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    i'm selfish.
    i only think of my bare-bones operation at my house.

    i don't have a fridge/fermentation chamber. so everything ferments in my basement (65 F) or sometimes in my living room, near my heat vent (so 70ish F).

    i can't get close to freezing unless i leave it in my shed this time of year. which is what i'll be doing with my achel clone.
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    There is no absolute need to ‘cool’ your beer. Time and gravity still ‘works’ at room temperature.

  17. atomeyes

    atomeyes Jul 13, 2011 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    cooling will put the yeast to sleep. cause them to flocculate to the bottom.

    so yes, time and gravity do work. but colder temps may help speed up the yeasties to fall asleep.
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    There is absolutely no doubt that ‘cool crashing’ the beer will expedite the yeast to drop out. So, it is up to you:

    · Make an effort to cool your beer for a quicker clarification
    · Keep your beer at room temperature for a longer period of time and your beer will clarify

    Either way results in clear beer.

  19. clearbrew

    clearbrew Nov 3, 2009 Louisiana

    Thanks for the advice.
    I brewed the beer for a Christmas party scheduled for the weekend before Christmas. So I'll give it another week to finish fermenting then try cold crashing. Is a couple days usually long enough to crash? I'm kegging so I don't need very long to carb, but I like to let the kegs sit for a few days to carb. I have always noticed a difference between the beers that carb slowly and fully rather than the ones that I have used the "over-night" method. Its just if the cold crashing wont work fast enough, I would like to have enough time to gelatin.
  20. clearbrew

    clearbrew Nov 3, 2009 Louisiana

    All my vegan friends must have starved to death. :(
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