Author Topic: Clear beer  (Read 5948 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Clear beer
« on: April 10, 2009, 09:59:33 PM »
We're going to do a red ale which should be fairly clear. Recipe calls for 1 wirfloc tablet --- I've only used wirfloc once and I'm not sure it made sense. We also use an immersion cooler.

So last time I popped the tablet in at 10 minutes to go (this was a fairly light ale) and during cooling you could see the clumping etc. So here is where I get confused -- you're making things clump and fall out of solution  -- but the wort is still in the brew pot -- so yuo need to pour it into the fermenter and then aerate a bit .... doesn't this just stir all that clumped up stuff again ? 

Are you supposed to let the junk settle in the wort and then leave the junk in the bottom of the brew pot ?

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Offline Wildrover

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Re: Clear beer
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2009, 08:44:50 AM »
I believe the recommended way, and the way that most prescribe to, is to let the cold break settle at the bottom of the brewpot.  When you move the wort over to the fermenter you do it gently being careful not to take that cold break that's settled at the bottom of the brew pot into the fermenter.  One of the ways to do this is to do a whirlpool in the brewpot.  A whirlpool is simply gently swirling the wort in the brewpot for a few minutes, being careful not to splash our overly agitate the wort in anyway.  This, in theory (the few times I've tried it, I couldn't get it to work) will take all that cold break and settle it in the middle.  When that happens you can then siphon the wort from the side of the brewpot, getting as much wort as possible but leaving that cold break behind. 

Now, having said all that, I don't do any of that, I move all the wort into the fermenter, cold break and all.  The cold break will still settle to the bottom of the primary.  I don't have much of a problem with clearing my beer.  I do move most of my beer over to a secondary before I keg it but again, most of my beer turns out clear.  I do have a wheat that I did not secondary that is a little cloudy but I designed it that way so no biggie.  I also use a tsp of irish moss.  I think whirlfloc is irish moss in capsule form?  Not sure though.

Hope this helps

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Clear beer
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 07:45:30 PM »
+1 wildrover...

I use a little irish moss.  I guess I inadvertantly swirl when moving wort through the IC by stiring.  Then I dump everything in the fermenter, pitch and wait.

I think if you rack very carefully to the bottling bucket, its no biggie.

I suspect whole hops not only lead to less sediment, but let gunk cling to them. 

My first AG APA was literally slopped together when we were drunk.  It is nice and clear and probably the best beer yet.  My lager is totally transparent copper colored.

I only care about mouthfeel, head, and flavor personally.
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Clear beer
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2009, 06:00:02 AM »
I've only used wirfloc once and I'm not sure it made sense. We also use an immersion cooler.  .... doesn't this just stir all that clumped up stuff again?  Are you supposed to let the junk settle in the wort and then leave the junk in the bottom of the brew pot?

Whirlflock is supposedly an advancement on irish moss in tablet form.  Any kettle fining is supposed to help coagulate more proteins out than you'd get on your own without it.  And I believe that is regardless of your transfer method to the fermenter.  So, if you crash cool the wort with an IC and then do a whirlpool and wait 30 minutes for it to settle, and then siphon, you can leave quite a bit of protein trub behind.  And even if you pour it all into the fermenter, it is still precipitated out and will fall quickly to the bottom.  I've started doing the whirlpool/wait/siphon recently, and with a fine mesh grain bag on the funnel, I capture most goop that gets siphoned up.  The amount of trub in the primary is noticeably less, but it's too early to tell if these beers are any "cleaner" tasting. 

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Clear beer
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2009, 08:45:19 AM »
So last time I popped the tablet in at 10 minutes to go (this was a fairly light ale) and during cooling you could see the clumping etc. So here is where I get confused -- you're making things clump and fall out of solution  -- but the wort is still in the brew pot -- so you need to pour it into the fermenter and then aerate a bit .... doesn't this just stir all that clumped up stuff again?
Yes, but because it is already clumped it falls out more easily than if you did not use any fining agent.
Quote
Are you supposed to let the junk settle in the wort and then leave the junk in the bottom of the brew pot?
+1 for whirlpool.
Whirlpooling will eliminate some of the trub from getting into the primary but not all. I personally pitch as much of the wort as I can get out of the kettle. I also use Knox Unflavored Gelatin in the secondary to catch any suspended yeast/etc as a final clearing method.

Cheers
Preston
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Clear beer
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2009, 12:31:22 PM »
I also use Knox Unflavored Gelatin in the secondary to catch any suspended yeast/etc as a final clearing method.
Cheers
Preston

So, same Knox has effectiveness as LHBS variety?

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Clear beer
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 12:45:37 PM »
So, same Knox has effectiveness as LHBS variety?
Yes! Gelatin is Gelatin until proven otherwise! Just like Oates, why pay inflated prices if you can get them elsewhere cheaper?

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!