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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through May 30, 2008 * Clearing beer with gelatin...please help me with the process < Previous Next >

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jeff wright
Member
Username: Barly

Post Number: 211
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 24.131.110.190
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 02:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have never cleared a beer. Period. As of late my brews are really hazy even after a month or more in the keg (in serving fridge). I'd like to get them to clear and have read about using gelatin but can't come up with the proceedure using the search function on the board.

Could somebody help guide me through the process?

I have an ale (in secondary, in the lagering fridge) for a week. I plan to keg this beer soon.
OK, how would I go about using gelatin to clear???
Will the gelatin work with the beer at close to 35 deg F. or do I have to let it warm up?

Thanks in advance,
Brew on,
jeff
 

Steve Jones
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 494
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 199.190.8.12
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 03:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff,
I just did this last week with great results - my first time using Gelatin in a few years.

the instructions that I used:
1. add 1/2 tsp gelatin per gallon (2.5 tsp for 5 gal) to a small amount of cold water.
2. let sit for an hour
3. bring to a boil to fully dissolve it (I used a pyrex cup in a microwave for a minute or so)
4. Add to beer.

I had an ordinary bitter in primary for 12 days and it was very cloudy. I added the gelatin last Wednesday; in 24 hours it was quite clear, in 48 hours I kegged it.

It should work fine at 35F
 

Tony Legge
Intermediate Member
Username: Boo_boo

Post Number: 339
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 72.139.4.145
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 03:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You bring it up to about 170f but don't let it boil.
 

ChriSto
Intermediate Member
Username: Christo

Post Number: 357
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 216.176.226.154
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, if you boil it will get too jello-ish. Also, not a bad idea to cool some if adding to a cold glass carboy - heard of somebody cracking the throat of the carboy when they added it too hot. It's good to be warmer than the beer so it sits on top, though.
 

Steve Jones
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 495
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 199.190.8.12
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 04:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The directions I listed were on the package of gelatin sold as beer finings by a homebrew supply store.

I boiled it and it was as clear and thin as water. It was nowhere near 'jello-ish'.

I also added it directly to a glass carboy after it sat on the counter with a folded paper towel over it for about 10 minutes. It was only about 1 cup of liquid, and I poured it in slowly - maybe 10-15 seconds.

I racked after 48 hours - it was clear with no evidence of any 'thickening'.
 

jeff wright
Member
Username: Barly

Post Number: 212
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 24.131.110.190
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 04:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks guys,
Just added 3 tsp to the beer. We'll see how it turns out. It's back in the fridge.

Brew on,
jeff
 

Nephalist
Junior Member
Username: Nephi

Post Number: 76
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 162.116.29.69
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Most gelatin users I've seen just add the gelatin powder to the fermenter. Does anyone else boil it and add to the fermenter before it "sets" into jello as Steve has done? I imagine the dilution involved in adding boiled gelatin to the fermenter would prevent it from congealing. Just curious if both methods work well.
 

Connie
Senior Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 1203
Registered: 10-2000
Posted From: 76.17.52.96
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 12:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The New Complete Joy Of Home Brewing, page 102 says to not boil...heat until dissolved one tablespoon to one pint of cold water. It goes on to say boiling will break it down to uselessness.....
all according to Charlie Papazian.
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1927
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 92.233.31.3
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 02:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is my method.

Allow beer to warm to room temp if chilled.

Pour boiling water into a glass beaker

Add gelatin and stir until dissolved (takes a while)

Draw off about 2 pints of beer and stir the gelatin into this.

place this at the bottom of a bottling bucketcarboy/keg and rack onto it then rack into it.

Place the beer back in the fridge or cold out building and wait until it is clear (about 1-2 days)

Bottle with added yeast or keg.
 

Colby Enck
Advanced Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 528
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 24.229.200.120
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 02:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I boil a cup of water in the microwave, then add (carefully! The hot water can splatter) one packet of Knox gelatine and stir for a while til it's mostly dissolved. Then I pour it into the keg and rack the beer on top and proceed with chilling and carbonation as normal. Seems to work fine.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2765
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 05:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Funny, never used gelatin, and there seems to be many ways to try it... Hmmm...

"3 my lord, 3!"

I may try it next time, mixing gelatin with some hot water and adding when moving from primary to secondary.
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 226
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 12.165.82.136
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 06:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"There's always room for jello!"
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5404
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 07:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good point, Kevin....for all you wheat beer brewers, seems like if you use cherry jello, you can clone that Sam Adams cherry wheat AND have clear beer, all in one operation!

Jolly, why do you warm the beer up?

I had not used gelatin for many years, but last year I did this to a keg of cream ale I served at the office open house. Unlike most here, I added the gelatin to the keg, not a carboy. I found I had to siphon the beer into a fresh keg, as the dip tube was down in the gelatinous goo. Other than that it worked fine....would work even better in a keg, if I would saw a couple of inches off the dip tube.
 

Colby Enck
Advanced Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 530
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 24.229.200.120
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 08:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I never noticed 'gelatinous goo' in my kegs, but then I always discard the first pint or so anyways.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8816
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 09:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley, that's sheer brilliance! I have to say that Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat is an almost total abomination, one of the very few beers in my life I have refused to have more than one sip after making the terrible mistake of ordering (I don't know what came over me to think it would be drinkable). But what you have described (cherry jello) is almost precisely the flavor of that beer.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2766
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You, sir, have obviously never ordered their cranberry lambic!!! YUK.
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1930
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 92.233.31.3
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - 12:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Jolly, why do you warm the beer up? "

Because gelatin seems to work better as the beer cools. I could be wrong but it is the way I've always done it.
 

Steve Jones
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 497
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 199.190.8.13
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - 12:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

... It goes on to say boiling will break it down to uselessness ... all according to Charlie Papazian.

I now have clear beer, but it couldn't have been the gelatin because I boiled it and made it useless. I guess Charlie's 1980s advice is as good today as it was back then.

[Edited to add ...]

So Jeff - its been 2 days - how does your beer look now?

(Message edited by stevej on April 30, 2008)
 

jeff wright
Member
Username: Barly

Post Number: 213
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 24.131.110.190
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - 03:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well,
Funny you should ask...(I was just getting ready to respond to all.)

I just kegged the beer, and it was very clear going into the keg. I am now force carbing and I did draw a short glass and the beer seems to be pretty clear (I can see through it ((something I never had with freshly kegged beer))).

As a data point for everyone: My bucket had gelatin strands sticking to the sides (about 6 or 8) and the bottom of the bucket had long stands of something (I'm going to assume that it was strands of protein pulled out of suspension).

It looks like I will be using gelatin to clear my beers from now on.

One question for the science minded on the board...how does the gelatin actually cause the beer to clear?? I do believe I read somewhere where it had something to do with positively and negatively charged ions...just a quick "Cliff Notes" reply would be appreciated.

Thanks again to all.
and to all....
Brew on,
jeff
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5406
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - 03:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would have to agree with HH...cranberry lambic is worse than cherry wheat....but not by much.

I remember years ago buying an assorted case of Sam Adam's beers....there were several varieties that were undrinkable, one sip and they were poured down the drain....I think one of them was a lime wit. Truly a wretched beer
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8820
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 02:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff, I don't agree 100 percent with everything they say in this reference, but it's a reasonably accurate short summary of how gelatin and other finings work: http://www.oxbowbrewing.com/Clarifiers.do
 

jeff wright
Member
Username: Barly

Post Number: 214
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 24.131.110.190
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 03:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks so much, Bill.

Brew on,
jeff
 

FlatWaterBrewer
New Member
Username: Flatwaterbrewer

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2007
Posted From: 66.168.130.213
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 09:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's a good method that has worked best for me. Pour your gelatin in 1/3 cup cool water and let it bloom for awhile. Then add 2/3 cup boiling water and stir. It will dissolve much easier without boiling and denaturing the gelatin.
 

The Gimp
Member
Username: Gimp

Post Number: 157
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 208.5.44.21
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I tried it for the first time last night. This is a trippel made with the culture from Straffe Hendrik and it has not dropped clear in three weeks.

I only had 4 oz of space in the top of the carboy, so I didn't follow the usual instructions to use a pint of water. I used 4 oz of water, microwaved it, added the gelatin to 1 oz of cold water and stirred it, then added 3 oz of boiling water and stirred it again. I Poured this in the carboy (liquid came up to the bottom of the stopper when I put it back in).

This morning it is clear within 4" of the bottom of the carboy. Man it works fast!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 8829
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.225.170
Posted on Friday, May 02, 2008 - 05:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have to point out that clarity is hardly a priority in Belgian styles. I had a Westmalle tripel, pretty much the definitive example of the style, just last Sunday, and while it is not as cloudy as a wit, it's far from crystal clear. I don't see the point of fining Belgian beers.