Crystal Clear Beer

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Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby kstiglich » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:57 am

Hi Guys,
I would like to know what are your best techniques to obtain a final crystal clear beer (in the shortest time)..... I understand that if any beer is left in a freezer for a long time, it will become clear.... Is it true for every beer, it does not matter how much trub is on it, and it will always get clear with time???

Anyway, in order to obtain a clear beer in a short time, I have used the following procedures with no success.
1. I have a boiling at maximum, BM let us program it for 102ºC...so it is the maximum...
2. I have used Whirfloc for the last 15 minutes of boiling....it is supposed to join all suspended proteins and drop all of them to the bottom of the kettle..

BUT I have been using the pump for the wort-chilling, because I found that using an inmersion chiller, it cold the bottom part of the BM, but the higher part is still hot, so using the pump I mix the upper and lower part....BUT it was mixing everything, and maybe affecting the whirfloc functions....

I am planning to use Whirfloc, and use my inmesion chiller to cold the wort, no pumps, and do some whirlpool manually....finally, I will cover my BM, and will let it stand for 45 minutes to let all the suspended things fall to the bottom of the BM.... then I will transfer to my fermentor, and I hope will have a clear beer, and I hope not to use any gelatin/filtration, or wait a long to have a crystal clear beer....

Do you have any additional recommendations?
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby dinnerstick » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:34 am

choice of yeast is probably a bigger factor than anything you mention. use a highly flocculent yeast if possible for the style of beer you are making. pumping the cooling wort will not affect how the whirlfloc works. in my (and that of many others) experience, carrying over trub / particulate stuff from the kettle to the fermenter does not have an obvious impact on beer clarity. it will settle out quickly in the fermenter just as it would in the kettle. i think other than that, if you're not going to fine or filter, as you say, then getting the beer as cold as possible for as long as possible is your best bet. i have heard that some yeasts flocculate better under pressure, so carbonating in the bottle or keg first might help.
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby Elderberry » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:42 am

I use Irish moss, which more or less Whirlfloc. It works fine (haha). If my beer doesn't clear up perfectly, I just don't worry about it. Clear beer is overrated anyway.
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby swiggingpig » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:53 am

IMO other than patience waiting for the yeast to drop clear you're probably looking at using a fining of some form, I use Magicol Isinglass.

If I'm doing a really pale beer like a Pilsner I also pitch Clarity Ferm with the yeast to reduce chill haze.

:cheers:
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Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby Cervantes » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:55 am

I'd also suggest looking at your yeast. Try selecting a highly flocculent yeast and see how you go. If that doesn't give you the results that you want then you're probably going to have to start looking into using finings or filtering, or both.
Cheers :cheers:
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby Wobbly » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:49 am

Hi Kstiglich

Running your pump will undo all the good work that your kettle finings have done as all the break material that has coagulated will be smashed up by the pump impeller.

I have experienced this exact point - clear wort with lumps of break material floating in at the end of the boil but at the end of the chill with an immersion chiller and stirring the wort to improve chiller performance the wort becomes very cloudy with little evidence of any clumps of coagulated break material

From what I have read you need to treat the "Hot Break" as gentle as possible and whirlpool while the wort is still hot as detailed in this article:
04.1.pdf
Source: http://www.daltraining.eu/PDF/4wortclarificationandcoolingandaeration/04.1.pdf
(1.14 MiB) Downloaded 69 times

I like you have been seeking a "clearer" beer and less trub in the fermentation vessel and to this end I have sort comments/advise on another forum on ways to limit the transfer of hot and cold break from the BM to the fermentation vessel (I use a Williamswarn Personal Brewery)

From my research and comments on the other forum a significant factor that results in less kettle break transfer into the fermentation vessel is to get a good whirlpool and to achieve this it is best to whirlpool the wort "Hot" at the end of the boil as detailed above. All to do with the density of break material and viscosity of the hot wort the greater the difference the better the separation.

That may be well and good but what do you do with the "Clear Hot Wort" I guess you can rack it off/out of the BM after allowing a time for the Hot Whirlpool to settle either using a syphon or carefully draining from the BM tap into a separate container (spare fermenter) and the cool it or alternatively you could consider using an external pump and some sort of filter such as a Hop Rocket and in line chiller to cool the hot wort on the way to your fermenter.

I have recently purchased a Bilchmann Hop Back and intend to use this in a few ways
1) as an inline hop infuser/filter filled with hop flowers and some hop pellets and place either some SS pot scrubbies in the bottom (top) of the Hop Rocket or some Swiss-voile over the top filter plate to filter any hop pellet material before it passes through the HR and in this situation I would whirlpool the hot wort and then after allowing some time for the break material to settle in a cone then connect the Hop Rocket/Hop Back to the BM as follows BM>Hop back>chiller> Fermenter
2) as above but try using some Rice Hulls as the filter medium instead of the hop material
3) recirculate the cooling wort back into the BM as follows BM>pump/HR/chiller>BM etc until the contents of the BM has reached target temperature and then to direct the chiller discharge to the fermentation vessel as follows BM>HR>Chiller>Fermenter. I estimate that by doing this I could cycle the total contents of the BM 4 or 5 times through hop rocket/filter so should end up with minimum hot and cold break and very clear wort going into the fermentation vessel

I'm away on holidays for the next couple of months so it will be some time before I can comment on the success or failure of my trials

Hope this is of some assistance

Cheers

wayne
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby leosardinha » Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:36 pm

Follow this proccedure and I guarantee you will have crystal clear beer.

1) Drop fermenter vessel temp to 0C.
2) Prepare a solution with 12g of gelatin(unflavored) for 250ml of water @67C.
3) Open the fermenter, do a gentle whirpool and drop the solution on the middle of the whirlpool.
4) Close the fermenter and let it rest for at least 48 hours.
5) Keg it and force carb.

This is what you will achieve.

photo1.jpg


From my experience light beers get really really clear, the hoppy and stronger beers get clear also.

The one in the picture is only 4.5% abv
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby Dicko » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:46 pm

PH of mash and wort also can play a big part in beer clarity.

Here is an interesting read for those interested.
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby kstiglich » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:54 am

leosardinha wrote:Follow this proccedure and I guarantee you will have crystal clear beer.

1) Drop fermenter vessel temp to 0C.
2) Prepare a solution with 12g of gelatin(unflavored) for 250ml of water @67C.
3) Open the fermenter, do a gentle whirpool and drop the solution on the middle of the whirlpool.
4) Close the fermenter and let it rest for at least 48 hours.
5) Keg it and force carb.

This is what you will achieve.

photo1.jpg


From my experience light beers get really really clear, the hoppy and stronger beers get clear also.

The one in the picture is only 4.5% abv


Thanks for all responses...Dear Leosardinha...when do you recommend to drop fermenter temp to 0ºC?
For example, yesterday I brew a 5Gl Saison with ginger....Today it was fermenting perfectly at 20ºC...I think it would finish fermenting in 7 or 8 days....So do you recommend to cold crash as soon as it finishes its primary fermentation? It is an ALE, therefore I am not going to syphon to secondary...
Please confirm 12gr of gelation is for a 5Gl fermenter vessel.
How do you avoid oxidation during the whirlpool of the fermenter?

Regards,
Kenneth
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby kstiglich » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:09 am

Wobbly wrote:Hi Kstiglich

Running your pump will undo all the good work that your kettle finings have done as all the break material that has coagulated will be smashed up by the pump impeller.

I have experienced this exact point - clear wort with lumps of break material floating in at the end of the boil but at the end of the chill with an immersion chiller and stirring the wort to improve chiller performance the wort becomes very cloudy with little evidence of any clumps of coagulated break material

From what I have read you need to treat the "Hot Break" as gentle as possible and whirlpool while the wort is still hot as detailed in this article:
04.1.pdf

I like you have been seeking a "clearer" beer and less trub in the fermentation vessel and to this end I have sort comments/advise on another forum on ways to limit the transfer of hot and cold break from the BM to the fermentation vessel (I use a Williamswarn Personal Brewery)

From my research and comments on the other forum a significant factor that results in less kettle break transfer into the fermentation vessel is to get a good whirlpool and to achieve this it is best to whirlpool the wort "Hot" at the end of the boil as detailed above. All to do with the density of break material and viscosity of the hot wort the greater the difference the better the separation.

That may be well and good but what do you do with the "Clear Hot Wort" I guess you can rack it off/out of the BM after allowing a time for the Hot Whirlpool to settle either using a syphon or carefully draining from the BM tap into a separate container (spare fermenter) and the cool it or alternatively you could consider using an external pump and some sort of filter such as a Hop Rocket and in line chiller to cool the hot wort on the way to your fermenter.

I have recently purchased a Bilchmann Hop Back and intend to use this in a few ways
1) as an inline hop infuser/filter filled with hop flowers and some hop pellets and place either some SS pot scrubbies in the bottom (top) of the Hop Rocket or some Swiss-voile over the top filter plate to filter any hop pellet material before it passes through the HR and in this situation I would whirlpool the hot wort and then after allowing some time for the break material to settle in a cone then connect the Hop Rocket/Hop Back to the BM as follows BM>Hop back>chiller> Fermenter
2) as above but try using some Rice Hulls as the filter medium instead of the hop material
3) recirculate the cooling wort back into the BM as follows BM>pump/HR/chiller>BM etc until the contents of the BM has reached target temperature and then to direct the chiller discharge to the fermentation vessel as follows BM>HR>Chiller>Fermenter. I estimate that by doing this I could cycle the total contents of the BM 4 or 5 times through hop rocket/filter so should end up with minimum hot and cold break and very clear wort going into the fermentation vessel

I'm away on holidays for the next couple of months so it will be some time before I can comment on the success or failure of my trials

Hope this is of some assistance

Cheers

wayne



Hi Wayne, thanks for your response... I really like the article you linked....it is very clear and complete!
I just brew following some of the recommendations/instincts... and I am having a great result...

I brew a Saison as any other recipe....and 15 minutes before end of boiling, I put the wort chiller in the BM to let it sanitize...and I use whirfloc with 15 mins from end..
At the end of boil, I smoothly did a whirlpool and cover the top of the BM with aluminum foil and let it rest for an hour with the chiller on use....
It works! proteins, hops and almost everything drop into the bottom of the BM, and I transfer a very clear wort to the fermenter....
I hope it was the first good sign of a clear beer...it is fermenting right now so I will not have a clear idea in a week....
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby niels » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:44 am

kstiglich wrote:...when do you recommend to drop fermenter temp to 0ºC?

Which yeast did you use and what was the starting gravity? A lot depends on the yeast strain as some strains could be quick starters but slow finishers.

You can either leave the beer in the primary for about 10 days and expect it to be finished by then, but I recommend taking a sample to measure (and taste). If the gravity is close to the expected FG and doesn't lower in 3 days it should be good to either move to secondary or to cold crash.

I never used gelatine or any products to clear my beer. Simply lager it cold for a few weeks and you get crystal clear beer too. But it means you'll have to wait a bit longer, of course. Brewing is a patience game. :D

- Niels
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby kstiglich » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:48 am

niels wrote:
kstiglich wrote:...when do you recommend to drop fermenter temp to 0ºC?

Which yeast did you use and what was the starting gravity? A lot depends on the yeast strain as some strains could be quick starters but slow finishers.

You can either leave the beer in the primary for about 10 days and expect it to be finished by then, but I recommend taking a sample to measure (and taste). If the gravity is close to the expected FG and doesn't lower in 3 days it should be good to either move to secondary or to cold crash.

I never used gelatine or any products to clear my beer. Simply lager it cold for a few weeks and you get crystal clear beer too. But it means you'll have to wait a bit longer, of course. Brewing is a patience game. :D

- Niels


I am using Saison Belle Ale from Danstar. My SG is 1.058, and my estimated FG is 1.010. I will wait and measure gravity's during the last days to confirm fermentation has finished...then I will split wort in two kegs. cold both to 33ºF, and I will use gelatin only in one.... I will let you know if there is an important difference.
Obviously if I got a crystal clear beer in the one without gelatin, I do not expect any important changes in the keg with gelatin. BUT if the wort has chill haze, I would like to see if gelatin improves my beer clarity.
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby niels » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:12 pm

kstiglich wrote:I am using Saison Belle Ale from Danstar. My SG is 1.058, and my estimated FG is 1.010.

The Danstar Belle Saison yeast can probably go lower than 1.010 (down to 1.006 I suspect). After main fermentation you should raise the temperature up to about 27°C (80~81°F) and give it time to finish.

- Niels
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby kstiglich » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:27 pm

Niels,
But currently I am fermenting at 19°C...why do you recommend me to raise the temp to 27°C?
Regarding final gravity, you are right i remember I read that I would expect that low gravity, but beersmith was giving me a 1.010 FG.


Regards,
Kenneth
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Re: Crystal Clear Beer

Unread postby dinnerstick » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:52 pm

On the super clear wort -> super clear beer matter: I get why commercial breweries want to remove as much hot break and hop matter as possible before knocking out to the fermenter, but I don't believe that these reasons translate well to the homebrewer's 20-50L cause. A bit of hot break really doesn't affect the clarity of the final beer, as far as I have ever seen. Coagulated proteins that settle out in the kettle, when stirred back up, resettle. They do the same thing in the fermenter; they settle out! Many times I've had a bit of extra wort that won't fit in the fermenter, I dump everything into a jug, break and hop material and all, and ferment it alongside the main beer, and the resulting beer is just as clear as the main fermenter, every time. There was also an episode on basic brewing radio where many people tested this idea in parallel, by splitting a batch in half so that only one fermenter got clear wort and one got all the trub, and the results said that either there was no difference, or the trub half actually made clearer beer in some cases. Anyways I rant on about this not to create disagreement, nor to dissuade anyone from only transferring clear wort to the fermenter; I do it as much as possible but for matters of space rather than clarity. It's just that I think this isn't the variable to go after if clear beer is your goal. But if you do think so, then please argue back, it would be useful to hear opposite experiences.
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