Clarity Without Finings

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Steve SPF, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    So I'm really quite happy with the beers but would like a little less haze in some of them. I do use a Protofloc tablet fifteen minutes before the end of the boil but, in all honesty, I transfer so much debris into the fermenter I'm not sure if this achieves a great deal.

    I do cold crash for a week, at 8 degrees C, and if I can leave them in the keg long enough they do seem to drop bright but that's really not going to happen in the main.

    Any thoughts on achiving clarity without using fish guts? I'm looking at a product called Brausol and wondering about that. I think there's one called Cellarbrite as well.

    Any experiences?
     
  2. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Since you already cold crash, I would suggest gelatin. Works great!
     
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  3. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    The slightly more up the production line ones are healthy fermentation and a high flocculating yeast.
     
  4. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I have given up using any clarifying agents. And I dump EVERYTHING to the fermenter.

    After two weeks in the fermenter, most everything drops to the bottom. I rack off to the keg and naturally carbonate for another two weeks. I then chill to serving temperature. After the first glass, the beer is pretty clear. After another week in the chiller, it is perfectly clear.

    Are you bottling or kegging?
     
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  5. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I wrote this article a long time ago, but it still is valid today I think: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/clear-wort-clear-beer.html

    I don’t add any finings to my beer except for whirlfloc at 15 minutes (if I remember), so I wrote this about what I do to ensure clarity in my beers.
     
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  6. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Would really like to stay away from animal products, tempting as they are :)
     
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  7. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Kegging mostly, just bottling the odd couple of litres that are left. I'm pretty much the same as you there, usually a couple of weeks in the fermenter and carbing up for another couple.

    I've just finished drinking a batch brewed in November and that was great, really nice in the glass. My last two brews have been fairly sludgy though and that's why I'm looking for a little help.
     
  8. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting. I have cooled my last couple overnight rather than through a plate chiller, the waste water was breaking my heart. That may be a factor. I've also not looked at PH so far but my latest purchase is a PH tester so maybe something there as well.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've brewed many batches without keg finings but the last few I've used Biofine. "Biofine Clear is a purified colloidal solution of silicic acid (SiO2) in water that has been specially formulated for the rapid sedimentation of yeast and other haze forming particles in beer. (Vegan friendly - no animal products) Shelf life is 24 months from date of manufacture, unopened."
    When I've done without, I've allowed yeast/trub to settle well in the fermenter so I'm transferring as little particulate as possible. With American and English ale yeasts, it's usually very clean in a few days after kegging, held at low temps (BTW...your 8C is far less effective than near-freezing - at least as low as 3C should be your target). Lagers would take a week or two to run clear. If I wanted to move kegs, I'd transfer to a clean keg and leave all the goo at the bottom so that I could move and jostle with stirring up a mess.
    With the Biofine (1/4 oz per keg), I found that even stubborn lager yeast will drop within a couple of days. The first pint is very dirty and then it's nice and clean.
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you want to go completely without finings, time and cold temperatures will eventually clear the beer. Brausol is likely Kieselsol, German for silica gel. It clears some kinds of haze. Gelatin, collagen (isinglas, etc.) attract different haze particles and clear the beer differently. Profloc is another kind of carageenan (irish moss, etc.). Not familiar with Cellarbrite. So if you want to go fining-less, either select a highly flocculant yeast strain or rely on time.
     
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  11. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    @J A Biofine looks interesting, I will have a ferret and see if I can find a supply. Not sure it's readily available here.

    @Nosybear it's not finings per-se but the animal products that I'm really reluctant to introduce. I wish I could give them all three months having seen how well time does actually work but it's not practical.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting this thread, hope you don't mind if I get in on this, but I hope that my question and the answes are helpful to you and others as well.
    @Yooper , I read your article, and have a question about the hot break. It sounds like you need to at least initially boil vigorously to get a good hot break, but of course boil over needs to be avoided. I usually have a preboil volume around 13 gallons in a 15 gallon kettle. I use fermcap, but still need to monitor heat to prevent a boil over. It sounds like in my case I just can't wxpect to get that real good hot break. Or is a good vigorous boil after thing settle down going to give me that hot break I need?
     
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  13. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    @Craigerrr

    Actually one of the things I'm thinking as well, I do big full kettles so quite gentle boils. Definitely a rolling boil, but not a particularly vigorous one.
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I usually get good clarity with a month's lagering. I'll only add finings if I want to really polish a light lager. I'm trying to think of a vegetable source of collagen (the good stuff in isinglas and other animal-based finings) but coming up short. Time and high-flocculating yeast is about all I can come up with, maybe pvvp?
     
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  15. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    PVVP resolves as 'preventing violence against vulnerable people' when I Google it. I'm all in favour of that obviously but guessing that it's another item that isn't readily available in the UK :)

    I think the hot break / cold break from Yooper's article might be something and I will see if I can find a supply of Biofine (or equivalent) and see how I go. Plus get the storage temp down, that may help too.

    I hope I can carry on cooling to pitching temp overnight, I much prefer that to wasting water.
     
  16. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Update:

    My regular supplier carries a product called Brausol which is, apparently, the same technology as Biofine so I will give that a try and report back.

    Still interested in the whole hot break / cold break and any other thoughts though.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My bad: Should have been polyvinylpolypyrrolidine,” or PVPP
     
  18. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Ah, now that looks like an interesting product as well
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Um and then there is the humble micron filter:) no chemicals no animal products just co2 to purge sanitizer and to push the beer through the filtration membrane.o_O;)

    Disclaimer I don't filter my beer.

    And yes I've noticed since switching to electric my clarity has suffered slightly longer clearing times.
    Boil ain't as vigerous but then @BOB357 I'm sure boils but with a gentle roll and his beers are so beautifully bright on the beer pic thread.
    But a month on the lager will give a bright beer.
    Great thread btw
     
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  20. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I also boil 13 gallons in a 15 gallon pot, and it does threaten to boil over (and has, once or twice when I turned my back!) I adjust the heat up and down, and stir a bit, until the hot break and then I adjust the heat after that to maintain a boil but not much more than bubbles breaking the surface. I add my hops after the hot break, otherwise I end up with tons of hops debris just above the surface of the wort, and then start my timer. After the hot break, the wort will not boil over.

    I also have an electric system, making it easier to adjust the heat.
     

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