1 Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 5:18 PM

I recently decided to test the commonly-held belief that cold-chilling and hence forcing the formation of chill-haze was the only way to achieve effective fining with gelatine. I wondered about this because of the way it works. It’s got a charge opposite to that of the proteins that cause chill haze resulting in cloudy beer. But surely if it's an ‘opposites attract’ thing then why should it matter if the haze-causing proteins are in suspension or otherwise? I figured they're going to attract and bond regardless?

I treated a recent APA with gelatine at ambient temperature (22ºC) a couple of days prior to bottling. After 24 hours in bottle it was super bright! I've NEVER EVER had a brew clear anywhere near as quick as that before! I was quite surprised. Ahhh… but, what about chill haze? Well, I put a bottle in the fridge today…. it's still green and not really ready for consumption but I was very curious. After 5 hours or so it poured crystal clear.

Could this just be a one-off occurrence though? Well… I repeated the process with a best bitter which I bottled today. Again gelatine was added a couple of days prior at ambient. Now, some nine hours after bottling it it's already quite obvious that this beer is going to be absolutely crystal clear by tomorrow morning as already the usual cloudiness has largely dissipated.

Needless to say I'm quite thrilled by this wee discovery after having for so long bought into the notion that cold-crashing was an essential part of the gelatine-fining process.


2 Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 5:27 PM

I never thought cold crashing was necessary for using gelatine although I did and still do think it probably works a little quicker when the beer is cold because that encourages things to drop out more. Gelatine drops yeast mainly, the proteins are probably more of a side effect.

With other agents like Polyclar though, chilling prior to adding it is necessary. Unsure about isinglass but I still chill it first mainly because I can.

3 Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 8:33 AM

That is good to know, as I usually do the method I read on Brulosophy for adding gelatine during the cold crash (when temp is around 10degC from memory).
Sometimes I don't time it right due to life getting in the way of my processes, but the beer is usually a lot clearer after a couple of days.
Good thing about the Coopers FV is you can actually see it clearing from top to bottom, though this is probably due to CC as well.
Noticed my missus doesn't complain about post consumption gas releases since I started with the gelatine!
Now way near as much residual yeast in suspension I suppose.
Might try and put the gelatine in when the temp is still at ambient, right at the start of CC, see how that goes.

Cheers

James

4 Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 7:24 AM

I am now noticing a bit of an issue with this method. Because I've used a hop tea in the last couple of brews (and dry hop in one) I now have more of a ‘floaty’ hop-based sediment. Prior to using gelatine I think these hop particles were most likely weighed down and buried under a firm nottingham yeast layer, but now that there isn't that much yeast - hmmmm…. Unfortunately the hop debris does find it's way into the glass even when care is taken with the pour. I'm wondering if changing the order in which the tea and gelatine are added would help?

5 Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 2:46 PM

Do you normally cold crash your brews?

And/or how long do have the bottles in the fridge for before consuming?

I noticed on some brews (even before I was using gelatine), the residue would kick up if they weren't chilled for at least a few days.

Cheers

James

6 Posted: Monday, April 16, 2018 6:11 AM

Any dry hops I use go in before any fining agents are used. Most of the time I use tea strainers anyway but on occasion I go commando and have no problems with them ending up in the kegs (blocking diptubes, posts etc.). I think a decent cold crash is the only real way to get them to drop out properly but I also think the finings should be added a few days after the dry hops.

7 Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:55 AM

James Lao:

Do you normally cold crash your brews?

And/or how long do have the bottles in the fridge for before consuming?

I noticed on some brews (even before I was using gelatine), the residue would kick up if they weren't chilled for at least a few days.

Cheers

James

Unfortunately I don't have the means to CC. The amount of time bottles spend refrigerated varies but yeah… could be part of the problem, as often it might only be a day or two. I don't get the feeling this ‘floaty’ kind of debris is really ever going to settle firmly though - just picking up a bottle sets it afloat. I might be wrong about that however…

Otto:

…but I also think the finings should be added a few days after the dry hops.

I'll definitely do that in a future brew. I just put down an Irish Red, but that has no hop tea or dry hop so I'll have to wait 'til the next batch!

Last edited by BlackSands (Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:55 AM)