1 Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:06 PM

I'm posting my brew and comments for a beer I am drinking now. My question is around clarity in the glass. I use a 30ltr plastic carboy for primary fermenting in a totally temperature controlled process from ferment to cold crash; ales 19c ferment 2 weeks to bottle, Lagers 12c ferment 4 weeks to bottle, both times include cold crash.

Given my process is kits'n'bits or extract'n'bits, and then I bottle, not keg, I'm still looking for the best possible clarity. I read that ‘Christina’ syphons, and other people here use clarifyers like isinglass (fishguts) or gelatine. I read that long and cold crashing should maybe negate the above efforts to clarify the grog.

I bottle from my cold crashed (0-2c) carboy from a tap 1cm above the cake; still with good clarity result, but is it good enough? I'm looking for my best possible clarity potential.

My question is; Should I consider ‘syphoning’ from a few centimeters above the cake rather than use the tap? I would then waste, or quarantine the bottom couple of bottles? Really, I'm looking for all opinions around this.

Cheers,

My recipe and notes of my best and clearest batch;

Batch 40: Mid Cascade (APA) FV2
1.7kgAPA,1kg LLME, 300g Caramalt (CaraHell),20g/20g Chinook/Cascade Hop @ 10/5 mins, , Safale US-05 Yeast rehydrated. 20g Cascade Dry Hop in chux diffuser.
OG: Wed 28/2/18 1036 (1038 predicted)
FG: Mon 5/3 1012 Wed 7/3 1008 4.1% (1010 predicted)
IBU 31 EBC 7
Bottled: 15/3/18
Comments: Resanitise FV previously stored, with Sod Perc.
28/2/18: Rehydrated US-05. Cooled it to approx 22c with small amount of wort, for 10mins. Pitched into 19c wort. Placed in ETC Fridge to ferment at 19c.
1/3/18: 28hrs to good yeast activity at air-lock.
3/3/18: Raise ferment temp to 21c. Dry Hop 20g Cascade in “chux”Floating.
7/3/18: FG, Squeeze hop bag, CC.
15/3/18: Bottled up nice and clear. Taste excellent with the cascade hop pleasant and mild.










2 Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:58 PM

does it taste as good as you hoped/expected ?

3 Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 9:16 PM

Paddybrew:

does it taste as good as you hoped/expected ?

I took 3 different beers, including this one to a friends place down in Melbourne last week. He likes Beechworth Pale Ale, and said this beer was identical.
I live in Wangaratta and visit Beechworth Brewery often but would never say my batch was equivalent. I just know my hops additions are in the ball-park.
I think it was as good as I expected, and not far off, Paddy!
But it is better clarity I am looking for.

Cheers,

PS: they all pretty much bitter with Pride Of Ringwood hop, which is also in Coopers APA base.
I have it on good authority that Beechworth do to.

4 Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:04 PM

I predominantly brew American style pale ales. On that front, I could give a FFHCTBI (I'll let you decipher that), as long as the beer tastes as it should. For this style I DO NOT use clarifying agents at any point throughout the brewing process. I do however, minimize the amount of solids that end up in my fermenter pre-ferment & do cold crash/cold condition post ferment with every brew.

I have posted pictures on this forum displaying the clarity of my beers using these methods that prove their effectiveness.

There is literature that suggests the use of clarifying agents on particularly hoppy beers can be detrimental as they drop polyphenol & hazy components (often attributed to hops) out of suspension, thus minimizing their full impact on final beer flavour. I am a believer in this philosophy.

For more malt driven beers excluding beers that derive much of their flavour from the yeast (such as wheat beers), I have no problem with using clarifying agents as their impact seems to have little impact on malt derived character in the final beer.

Just my 2 cents.

Lusty.

5 Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 10:33 PM

Beerlust:

Just my 2 cents.
Lusty.

I Allus awaits and appreciates that penny's worth, Lusty!

6 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:13 AM

I've been using clarifying agents for some time now in all styles and in terms of hop flavors or aromas being diminished I can't say that I have had this issue. My pale ales still taste just as good as they ever did, they're just clearer.

If you are bottling, I wouldn't even bother trying to drop yeast out in the fermenter other than with a cold crash. It will drop out reasonably quickly on its own in the bottles anyway. If the beer becomes hazy when it is chilled in the fridge, what you are experiencing is chill haze, not yeast haze.

Gelatine/isinglass helps chill haze a bit but my preference for it is Polyclar. It works bloody brilliantly and as I already said, doesn't seem to affect the flavor at all. I've tried gelatine and just ended up with a fluffy, easily disturbed sediment. Pointless. I've used isinglass on its own and while it is very effective at dropping out yeast, it did little for the chill haze. It doesn't result in a fluffy sediment though, it's quite compacted.

My schedule now is to use both isinglass and Polyclar, one after the other. I drop the temp controller down to 0, and the next day add the isinglass. A day or two after that I add the Polyclar, then a few days later the beer is kegged. If I was bottling I wouldn't bother with isinglass, but I like to minimise the amount of crap in my kegs as much as possible, because it does take longer to drop out.

I've found this to work very well to achieve a decent clarity as good as or close to your commercial stuff. I can't remember what batch this was now, but they pretty well all turn out with that level of clarity.



Cheers

Kelsey

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7 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:26 AM

Are you getting yeast haze (where the beer is hazy both warm and cold), or chill haze (when it only becomes hazy when you chill the beer down)?

With kit beers, I personally don't find you need to do anything at all to get exceptionally bright beers (even with steeping grains and added hops) … except maybe give them a little time in the bottle. Whatever Coopers does in their kettles when they produce the extract works great. But it could be the yeast strains I like (US-05 is not really one of them as it doesn't flocculate as well as I would like). Or my local water could play a role.

With all-grain beers I like to use a kettle fining, Brewbrite. Have never seen the need for post-fermentation finings because if in my brewery the kits don't need them, why would all-grain? Well, only if Coopers was doing some mystical fining magic in their wort production, but Brewbrite seems to do a great job for me.

Cheers,

John

8 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 8:39 AM

Here is a pic I posted a couple of years ago.



I simply wrote “NO FININGS” on the computer screen, then placed a glass of my non-finings beer in front of it.
As I said at the time, if you want your beer any clearer than that then maybe finings are for you.

Cheers,

Lusty.

9 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:06 AM

Beerlust:

Here is a pic I posted a couple of years ago.



I simply wrote “NO FININGS” on the computer screen, then placed a glass of my non-finings beer in front of it.
As I said at the time, if you want your beer any clearer than that then maybe finings are for you.

Cheers,

Lusty.


Well I guess if you want even clearer then that fill the glass up with filtered water.

I jest, but picking bits of yeast from your teeth is never fun. I have done lusty's method and the beer has come out amazing compared to my previous attempts. I am doing it now to an amber mutt ale that I have put together

cheers, keep the advise coming

Gully

10 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:18 AM

Regarding Gelatine, I had the fluffy slightly mobile yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle when using a full teaspoon for a 23L batch the first time I tried it. Gave that up for a while then read about proper dosing, half a teaspoon works like a treat. Drops chill haze out with the CC, (and possibly even without - looking at Blacksands postulations on another thread). Yeast sediment (which is extremely minimal if CCed correctly, just a very light dusting on the bottom of the bottle) compacts nicely and sits there during the pour right through to the last drop leaving the bottle. Storing upright in the fridge is required for a pour like this.

What I have found using all grain, no chill and cubing, was that I had some nasty chill haze in the early days, that was before using gelatine, but I have noticed that the theory of a the chill haze removing benefits of a 56c protein rest when mashing is indeed not just a theory, it works a treat. (so does a 43c glucan rest to massively improve wort flow through the grain bed, such that my rice hulls are sitting there unused..) So quite possibly when coopers mash their grain, they don’t just dough in at mash temps, but do so at a lower temp then bring up to mash temps for this and other benefits.

I would not recommend doing these rests with a RIMS or element in kettle or gas fired, only with HERMS, to avoid scorching issues however.

Maybe adjusting water chemistry plays a part as well. Whatever the case, I am producing very clear beer using these approaches, water profiles to style, protein rest at 56c, gelatine and a cold crash for a few days for ales, and maybe 10 days for lagers.

I did hear recently that Polyclar should be filtered from the beer as it is a plastic compound, on a recent brulosophy podcast. I used it once then gave up as it didn’t seem to do much for me but maybe I used it in the wrong way. ( I did put it on the stir plate for half an hour before tipping it in.)

All I can say is that half a teaspoon of gelatine mixed up in the right way in hot water works a treat. I don’t mind a bit of haze but pea soup chill haze is bloody ugly.

11 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:36 AM

Polyclar drops out into the trub quite quickly; it apparently does its job in about 10-15 minutes after throwing it into the beer and if you are packaging that quickly then yes it should be filtered out. If you are leaving the beer sit for days before packaging then there is no need to filter it out because by that time it has well and truly dropped out into the trub. I can't remember how much gelatine I used when I had those problems, I don't think it was a full teaspoon though. In any case I decided to try isinglass just to see how it went, it worked much better so I just stuck with it.

I think water chemistry plays a part in terms of yeast flocculation - apparently having at or above the minimum recommended amount of calcium in the brewing water helps the yeast flocculate better, although in saying that I never had any problems with yeast flocculation in those Czech pilsners and the water for them had hardly any calcium in it.

With kits, I had a different experience in terms of chill haze. Just about every one of them had it bar one, which was the old TC Australian Bitter. Perhaps it was something to do with the water, or maybe it was the late and dry hops I usually added to them. I don't know.

All in all though, there's no right or wrong preference when it comes to this stuff. There's nothing wrong with wanting crystal clear beer, and adding agents to achieve it. For some reason, just using Brewbrite and cold crashing doesn't give me the clarity I want. Maybe it's the brewing process, maybe it's no-chilling, I don't know, but it's easy to fix post fermentation so that's the method I've chosen. It works to give me the results I want. I can't do those low temp rests on my system without f*%%*g up the whole brew day so I have to use other means.

There's equally nothing wrong with not caring about it; I don't mind a little haze either and there usually is a bit of residual yeast haze in my beers if I put the keg on tap pretty soon after filling it, but if it starts looking like pea soup then that just reduces the enjoyment factor for me.

Cheers

Kelsey

12 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:37 PM

Very interesting thread guys. I will try this brewbrite in the future. Whirlfloc sometimes does a great job of clumping the kettle trub. Other times it is a huge, fluffy mess and it reduces the amount I get into the cube by 1 or 2L. Which gives me terrible brewhouse efficiency. Mash efficiency is fine so I know where I need to focus different additions/process.

13 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:40 PM

Trub being fluffy when using whirlfloc could be a sign of using too much of it, as that does have the effect of making the trub fluffy. I find Brewbrite to be very good at dropping out the trub in the kettle every time, you just have to mix it up in a little water before adding it. I've tried just throwing it in dry and it just clumps up and doesn't really do anything.

14 Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:36 PM

I confess I am very surprised that most AG'ers take to using chemicals to clarify their beers when simple inline filters seem safer, easier & quicker to use, likely more cost effective in the long run, & TBQH, more practical.

I couldn't afford a centrifuge process like Coopers use, but if I ever switch to full volume AG I think the inline filter system will be the go for me.

Cheers,

Lusty.

15 Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:04 AM

Beerlust:

I confess I am very surprised that most AG'ers take to using chemicals to clarify their beers when simple inline filters seem safer, easier & quicker to use, likely more cost effective in the long run, & TBQH, more practical.

I couldn't afford a centrifuge process like Coopers use, but if I ever switch to full volume AG I think the inline filter system will be the go for me.

Cheers,

Lusty.

Because the chemicals are safe, quick and easy to use . Kettle finings are a must as well. There's also the whole having to clean and sanitise the filter, do a double transfer i.e. empty the FV into one keg then go and transfer from that keg to another keg to filter it. More cleaning and sanitising, more faffing. To me it's a lot easier to simply dump a small amount of clarifying agent into the beer while it cold crashes and then bottle/keg it when it's ready. It adds no more time or really much effort at all to the process.

16 Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:05 AM

I don't keg so the filter idea is not for me, that would probably filter out my little yeast buddies who i rely on to carbonate my brew.

17 Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:35 AM

Hiya Kelsey.

I don't think we ever finished this conversation the first time around?

Otto Von Blotto:

Because the chemicals are safe,…

Your Isinglass is a natural product so no qualms there, but Polycar Brewbrite hmmm, I'm not so sure!
BTW, I've never heard of anyone being poisoned by a paper filter before either.
Otto Von Blotto:

There's also the whole having to clean and sanitise the filter,

Dunk the assembly in some sodium percarbonate & rinse does sound hard!
Otto Von Blotto:

…do a double transfer i.e. empty the FV into one keg then go and transfer from that keg to another keg to filter it. More cleaning and sanitising, more faffing.

A misnomer. You don't need to double transfer. You use the filter as a go-between the keg & what you pour into the glass. Fill your keg as normal & then hook it up to the filter mounted in your kegerator/keezer, then pour into the glass.

Cheers,

Lusty.

18 Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:08 PM

I think I'll stick with Polyclar over spending $270 on filters, given you'd need one for each keg/tap. Considering the only risk is irritation by inhalation, it's pretty safe… unless you go deliberately taking a big whiff of the contents or throw it around the room in a big cloud, you're not gonna inhale any. Certainly, there's none in the beer you drink at the end of the process. Just because something is natural doesn't make it automatically safe either.

At the end of the day there's more than one way to skin a cat and if I thought a filter set up would require less effort than throwing a bit of powder into the beer I would have bought one ages ago.

19 Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 9:35 AM

Beerlust:

A misnomer. You don't need to double transfer. You use the filter as a go-between the keg & what you pour into the glass. Fill your keg as normal & then hook it up to the filter mounted in your kegerator/keezer, then pour into the glass.



There is an alternate. I filter between the FV and the keg. I simply raise the FV and let gravity do the work. It takes about 45 minutes, but works well. You can also buy a filter housing with a couple of filters for around $30 on eBay, so it is fairly low cost. I have always used this method since I started kegging in an effort to reduce the active yeast in the final beer.

I used to fine with gelatin and had better success when I cut it down to half a teaspoon as Headmaster mentions above (and where I heard it from originally). I have now discarded the use of finings completely because I think the gelatin tends to clog the filter.

I do ensure I chill the FV and let is sit for at least a couple of days prior to kegging. I've tried a couple of different permutations, but this seems to be the easiest, most reliable method.

Lusty, you say you soak the filter in sodium percarbonate. I was under the impression that most of the cartridge filters are made of some sort of paper so thought it would destroy the filter. I only back wash the filter for several minutes in tap water after use to clean it. Seems to work for me.

John

20 Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 10:28 AM

Hi PXR-5.

PXR-5:

There is an alternate. I filter between the FV and the keg. I simply raise the FV and let gravity do the work. It takes about 45 minutes, but works well. You can also buy a filter housing with a couple of filters for around $30 on eBay, so it is fairly low cost. I have always used this method since I started kegging in an effort to reduce the active yeast in the final beer.

You certainly can pre-filter into the keg too. Personally I like to get the beer into the keg & purge with C02 asap to avoid any oxidation type issues.

PXR-5:

Lusty, you say you soak the filter in sodium percarbonate. I was under the impression that most of the cartridge filters are made of some sort of paper so thought it would destroy the filter. I only back wash the filter for several minutes in tap water after use to clean it. Seems to work for me.

From this page on the Craft Brewer website…

"Cleaning: After use, remove the filter & give the housing & fittings a flush with warm water. The lines can easily be disconnected to aid cleaning. Take the filter & rinse under a tap to remove the loose yeast/hop debris. Then fill the filter housing with hot tap water & 1 teaspoon of unscented Napisan (Sodium Percarbonate). Leave the filter in this solution for 24 hours, remove & rinse - If the filter still shows signs of debris, repeat the process. Air dry & store away for future use. Before use it’s recommended to wash in a non-rinse sanitiser as part of your sanitation regime."

Cheers & good brewing,

Lusty.