1 Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 12:01 PM

I've been wondering about ways I can improve beer clarity, WITHOUT the option to CC and add finings.

Casual observation has led me to believe that my hazier brews are ones that have been dry-hopped. I also have a hunch that a post-boil steep might also contribute to increased haze in the chilled beer. Another casual observation seems to be that when I use medium to dark specialty malts the beer seems clearer, though these brews also tend not to be dry-hopped.

While looking into this I stumbled across a Bruslosophy trial where they were comparing a 20 min late addition vs 20 min stand

http://brulosophy.com/2016/05/02/hop-stand-vs-20-minute-boil-addition-exbeeriment-results/

While the main purpose of the test was to evaluate the taste difference, it was noted as a side issue that the whirlpool sample was hazier. As it happens it seems the two samples pretty much tasted the same, with a small majority of the few that actually identified a difference preferring the 20 min hop boil sample.

This seems to challenge the advantages that I understood stand/whirlpool additions offered, i.e by adding at sub-boil temps less of the volatile hop oils were lost, and hence enhanced aroma/flavour etc. I did notice though that they added the hop-stand wort immediately post-boil. I've been relying regularly on post-boil additions because of this reasoning, but if it doesn't actually contribute any detectable aroma/flavour improvements then perhaps all I've really been doing is unnecessarily increasing the level of chill haze in my beer.

I wouldn't mind hearing what others have found with regard to late boil additions vs whirlpool. I'd quite happily drop the practice in favour of clearer beer if I can be convinced that I'll still get the same level of hop influence from late additions.

2 Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 12:49 PM

Hi Blacksands.

If you boil a hop for any length of time you are adding bitterness. Whirlpooling & steeping at sub boiling temperatures came about through a want to increase hop flavour & aroma without adding bitterness.

If for instance you are making a high flavour/aroma Pale Ale using some of the high alpha hops out there today, you simply can't add too much of them in the boil phase or the beer ends up too bitter, so in a lot of cases your only way of increasing flavour (in particular) is via sub boil whirlpooling/steeping.

As far as dealing with improving “clarity, WITHOUT the option to CC and add finings”, filter your wort from the mash, filter your wort from the boil into the FV, & contain any dry hops in a tea bag or chux cloth.

The result…



…clear beer.

Cheers & good brewing,

Lusty.

3 Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:42 PM

Beerlust:

Hi Blacksands.

If you boil a hop for any length of time you are adding bitterness. Whirlpooling & steeping at sub boiling temperatures came about through a want to increase hop flavour & aroma without adding bitterness.

If for instance you are making a high flavour/aroma Pale Ale using some of the high alpha hops out there today, you simply can't add too much of them in the boil phase or the beer ends up too bitter, so in a lot of cases your only way of increasing flavour (in particular) is via sub boil whirlpooling/steeping.

Yeah… I'm aware of all that, and realise that late additions contribute to bittering also. But all that can be factored in to the IBU calculations. The specific questions is, after allowing for addition IBU's from late boil additions is, do they contribute aroma/flavour to a similar degree to a steep/whirlpool? The above trial seems to suggest they do and further reading has revealed some brewers that have in fact done away with a whirlpool/steep for this very reason, thus saving themselves 30 mins or so.

As far as dealing with improving “clarity, WITHOUT the option to CC and add finings”, filter your wort from the mash, filter your wort from the boil into the FV, & contain any dry hops in a tea bag or chux cloth.

The result…



…clear beer.




I mash in a bag, so I guess there's a certain level of filtering occurring there already. All my hop additions, both boiled and dry are bagged. I do kinda/sorta filter my whilfloc'd wort as I pour it into the FV, but this is not perfect and also problematic because the muslin I'm filtering through clogs quite quickly. But, perhaps you're talking about using one of those inline micron filters? I gather they also remove the yeast so presumably a priming yest is then needed for the purposes of bottle conditioning…

4 Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 8:53 PM

IN simple terms, a beer with a higher level of hopping is usually hazier than one with a lower level of hopping. Or it at least has the potential to be hazier. This isn't to do with visible hop matter floating around in the beer though, it's polyphenols from the hops forming bonds with proteins leading to visible haze. I would imagine the only way to prevent this happening without finings is either by filtering or keeping the bottles fridged for months (the haze eventually drops out on its own).

5 Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 10:10 PM

BlackSands:

Yeah… I'm aware of all that, and realise that late additions contribute to bittering also. But all that can be factored in to the IBU calculations. The specific questions is, after allowing for addition IBU's from late boil additions is, do they contribute aroma/flavour to a similar degree to a steep/whirlpool?

In many situations & with many hop varieties, a simple answer is yes. It is however NOT a one size fits all deal. Boiling hops for various time-frames also reveals other characteristics of the hop that depending on what you want from that hop can positively or negatively impact on your beer.

For example, depending on the hop variety some hops can throw strong herbal, earthy, spicy, piney, or resiny traits if boiled, but if steeped or dry hopped only throw a floral, tropical, or citrus flavour/aroma. When you isomerize alpha acids in the boil you change the composition of the oils on a chemical level.

An example of what I'm trying to convey…
HPA Website on Vic Secret:

Initial trial brewing was conducted with Vic Secretâ„¢ as a kettle addition late in the boil. Given the seductive aroma of the raw hops, the resulting pleasant earthy character was a little underwhelming. However, it was in the 2011 Bridge Road Harvest green hop beer that she revealed her true character with extraordinary clean passionfruit and pineapple flavours with a light background of herbs and piney resin. Put to the test in Australia and overseas, she has shown us that whirlpool and dry hop additions result in the best flavour pickup.

BlackSands:

The above trial seems to suggest they do and further reading has revealed some brewers that have in fact done away with a whirlpool/steep for this very reason, thus saving themselves 30 mins or so.

Again, not a one size fits all approach. With certain hops used at the right boil times it will work, with other varieties the results will be very underwhelming.

BlackSands:

…I do kinda/sorta filter my whilfloc'd wort as I pour it into the FV, but this is not perfect and also problematic because the muslin I'm filtering through clogs quite quickly…

Your filtering prior to this point is good & is helping. I know this sounds counter-productive, but the muslin is likely too tight & impractical to be filtering through. It's likely stopping everything & due to the tightness of the weave is clogging (as you say) & not allowing any liquid through. Ease back a little in this area.
Something like a fine weave metal strainer/colander is better suited at this point IMHO. It has enough space in the weave to catch the bulk of the solid matter while still allowing enough space for the liquid portion to pass through at a reasonable rate.

What solids do pass through the strainer are only small particles that a good flocculating yeast can help to remove when it drops out itself after fully fermenting out the wort.

I hope that helps.

Lusty.

6 Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 10:47 PM

Beerlust:

filter your wort from the mash, filter your wort from the boil into the FV, & contain any dry hops in a tea bag or chux cloth.


NEVER

7 Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 11:26 PM

Hiya Scottie.

Scottie:

Beerlust:

filter your wort from the mash, filter your wort from the boil into the FV, & contain any dry hops in a tea bag or chux cloth.


NEVER

What are you making Scottie? Porridge or beer?

Strange comment from you so wouldn't mind you elaborating on it.

Cheers,

Lusty.

8 Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 1:38 AM

Dry hopping adds aromatic oils, unless there are sufficient (actually excessive) bipolar solvents such as ethanol available to keep them in solution at the existing temperature you will have haze in your beer.

This is one of the reason why APAs tend to be high in ABV - just remember your alcohol may be busy with other things such as esters, phenols, proteins, etc.

9 Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 8:15 AM

I would imagine the only way to prevent this happening without finings is either by filtering or keeping the bottles fridged for months (the haze eventually drops out on its own).

That would require something commonly referred to as ‘patience’!
I guess if I could get my stocks up to a suitable level I could accommodate elongated conditioning/clarifying periods, but based on my usual consumption rate (occasionally aided by others) that might be hard to achieve.

Lusty:

I know this sounds counter-productive, but the muslin is likely too tight & impractical to be filtering through. It's likely stopping everything & due to the tightness of the weave is clogging (as you say) & not allowing any liquid through. Ease back a little in this area.
Something like a fine weave metal strainer/colander is better suited at this point IMHO. It has enough space in the weave to catch the bulk of the solid matter while still allowing enough space for the liquid portion to pass through at a reasonable rate.

I've been using a sieve AND muslin. Though it eventually clogs the amount of solid matter filtered by it doesn't actually seem all that great. But I have noticed that what solid matter does make it into the FV is very soon compacted down by the yeast cake.

Has anyone tried hop extracts?

Some benefits of using hop extract over other hop forms:

- reduced levels of tannins and polyphenols in the beer
- improvements in flavour stability
- improved physical aspects of beer quality such as haze formation and beer foam retention
- significant reduction in hop trub




Anyway, from all the above comments I think it's fair to say “It gets complicated”

10 Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 11:14 AM

BlackSands:

Has anyone tried hop extracts?


Not yet but I will be next time I order hops.
Brewman had some recently I think but appears to be out

11 Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 11:31 AM

BlackSands:

That would require something commonly referred to as ‘patience’!
I guess if I could get my stocks up to a suitable level I could accommodate elongated conditioning/clarifying periods, but based on my usual consumption rate (occasionally aided by others) that might be hard to achieve.

Exactly why I began using Polyclar in my beers. Of course in order for this stuff to work, the beer must be chilled first so if you can't cold crash the fermenter there's not much point using it. It certainly speeds up the process though, specifically by removing polyphenols.

12 Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 12:49 PM

Ben 10:

BlackSands:

Has anyone tried hop extracts?


Not yet but I will be next time I order hops.

I've been looking into it and am interested in giving it a shot. However there's no way I can make the numbers work in Beersmith even though “hopshots” are listed as a hop.

I've scoured the net looking for info, and there's plenty of talk, and plenty of proposed IBU formulae and calculations but also an equal number of conflicting advice none of which I tried makes sense when I adopt the suggestions in BS.

The general rule of thumb is 1ml = 10 IBU in a standard batch at SG=1.045
http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/hopshot.pdf

Looks like if I want to trial the CO2 hop extract (for boiling) then manual IBU calculations seems to be the only way. The economics are on a par with hop pellets.

BUT, what I'm actually more interested in hop oils for post-boil/dry-hop substitution. These however seem to be hard to come by.


Otto:

…if you can't cold crash

Nope! If I lived in the southern part of the country though I could of course just put the FV outside!

Last edited by BlackSands (Tuesday, June 20, 2017 12:49 PM)