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stquinto

Clearing beer after dry hopping

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G'day fellow brewers,

I recently posted a question on the topic of dry-hopping kits and thanks for all of your replies.

I dry-hoppped a 12 litre batch of IPA with a blend of hops - Cascade and C itra totalling 30gm, and another 12 l batch with Cascade, Citra and Chinook, also 30 gm.

They were both done on day 4 of a brew. I tasted them today, two weeks after dry-hopping them (in a muslin bag dumped into each batch) and they have a great taste but by Christ they don't half look like Ganges River water.

Deos anyone have any suggestions for clearing them - maybe putting in some finings for example, or will the gunk eventually drop out ? I'd rather avoid adding any more chemical, but I'm not mad keen on cloudy beer, reminds me of a couple of bad experiences in my mis-spent youth drinking home brew before it had finished fermenting....

Thanks in advance

ganges_water.jpg

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To confirm,

  • you pitched yeast
  • 4 days later added dry hop
  • 10 days after that you've drawn a sample from your fermenter.

Sometimes, when taking a sample, a buildup of yeast gets in the way and can cloud it up real nice.

I also notice a lack of carbonation, if you're bottling (I don't keg, so can't vouch) this should clear up during maturation for 2nd ferment / carbonation.

Assuming all of the above, I wouldn't worry. Just make 100% sure the SG has stabilised for the past 48hrs.

If you have access to temp control, I would suggest a cold crash (ramping down to 1C for a few days) before bottling to obtain maximum results for clearing naturally.

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BTW I never cold crash, most my samples pre bottling look like this and I get plenty clear dry hopped pale ales as a result.

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It's not clear where your beer is at. Is that the final sample before bottling? If so, pretty normal. Secondary ferment in the bottles will clear it up a lot.

I've taken to cold crashing for a couple of days to clear things up a bit before bottling, easy and requires no additions. I know other wait longer.

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I tried fish guts (issinglass) and Polyclar PVPP (plastic dust), but the healthiest and best way to clear your beer is Cold Crash for 1 week at 0c.

Bit of a fib; plastic dust is sensational but I like to harvest my yeast.

Cheers.

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Thanks for your replies fellers. The primary fermentation is over I think : I'll confiirm with a couple of OG readings.

This is the first time I've dry-hopped it.  The sequence is nearly correct Ellachlano: pitched yeast,  dry-hopped after 4 days, and  14 days after this (so the total brew time is 18 days), taken this sample. What I normally do is siphon it out to a new barrel after one week (or two consecutive stable OG readings), after one more week clearing, put it in a  new barrel then add the carbonating suger and bottle it. 

Otto recommended leaving out the second filtering, but  in any case, shouldn't it be clearer at this stage (brew days + 18 days) ?

Otherwise I'll leave it another week, put it in a new barrel, add the suger and bottle it. And hope is doesn't go through me like the proverbial through a goose...

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FG readings, not OG. OG is taken at the beginning. 

Anyway, I would just take the FG readings and if they're the same, bottle it. The cloudiness is yeast, and it will drop out in the bottles a hell of a lot quicker than it will in a fermenter. You'll also potentially do more harm by leaving it on the yeast cake for another week, even 18 days is getting up there for an ale. 

Finings can be used to drop more yeast out but I find these work best at cold temperatures. I use them pretty much every batch. Polyclar I use to remove chill haze, as I don't find a week chilled really does much for that on its own. When I was bottling I didn't use isinglass because the yeast quickly dropped out in the bottles but I use it now so I get as little yeast as possible in the kegs without filtering. 

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1 hour ago, stquinto said:

What I normally do is siphon it out to a new barrel after one week (or two consecutive stable OG readings), after one more week clearing, put it in a  new barrel then add the carbonating suger and bottle it. 

Otto recommended leaving out the second filtering, but  in any case, shouldn't it be clearer at this stage (brew days + 18 days) ?

Otherwise I'll leave it another week, put it in a new barrel, add the suger and bottle it. And hope is doesn't go through me like the proverbial through a goose...

That's a lot of steps, and too long I think. You're not going to get any clearer by leaving it longer and doing transfers. Ales needn't take more than 14 days all up. For me, that's about 7 days to ferment, couple of days kicking the temp up a bit, and 2-3 days of crashing to help filter. All done in the one FV.

I've found good control over your temp, crashing, and even syphoning from the top of the FV instead of using the tap to bottle, all do a lot to clear the beer.

 

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Ale. 1 week ferment. 1 week Cold Crash. Bottle, adding sugar with doser, Cap! Simples. 😎

Cheers

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Posted (edited)

My ales usually take about 16-17 days. 3-4 days at preferred ferment temp, then up a few degrees for another 5-6 days (usually they reach FG in 5-6 days plus a few for cleanup), then crashed for a week and kegged. Finings added early during the cold crash so they can settle out properly. 

There's really no need for all this transferring and/or leaving it for ages. It doesn't help improve the beer. I understand transferring for bulk priming purposes as I used to do that myself, but that was the only reason I did it. 

Edited by Otto Von Blotto
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Agree, all that transferring and waiting is a waste and an infection risk too.

I squeeze the hop sock out into the brew, bulk prime in my primary (😧) and bottle after a gentle stir and 5mins rest.

Never use finings or cold crash. Min 2 weeks conditioning in bottle.

Clear beers for days. 😎

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Posted (edited)

I used to use gelatin finings at room temperature. Not as effective as adding it to a chilled beer but give it a few days and it still helps drop out the yeast a bit prior to bottling.   In fact I did have quite a few brews that were looking pretty clear on bottling day and after as little as one or two days in the bottle they were already crystal clear (at room temperautre).  Chill haze was still a persistent problem though.    Creating a clear bright beer at 'warm' temperatures, around 10ºC and above is easy.  Achieving crystal clarity at fridge temperature, around 4ºC is a little more challenging!

Edited by BlackSands

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Posted (edited)

For me, it's about taste first, second and third. I'm less bothered about how the beer looks, but a beer you can see through is a nice feeling, so long as the beer tastes good too.

The only reason I crash for a couple of days is to avoid floating sediment, which has happened with a few of my pales before I did this. One of them was like a snowdome - yuk. But when I crash too long and siphon, the beer takes 3-4 weeks to carb, up as I've filtered out too much yeast. It does get very clear though, but I hate waiting that long.

Edited by Lab Rat
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Never bothered me. I had other batches ready to drink while waiting for newer ones to carbonate. But I don't think it ever took more than a couple of weeks, even with lagers that had a 4-5 week cold crash. 

I like everyone else brews for taste above all else, but I do like a clear or clearish beer as well and when it's easily obtained without compromising the flavour, I'm happy to do it.

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3 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

I like everyone else brews for taste above all else, but I do like a clear or clearish beer as well and when it's easily obtained without compromising the flavour, I'm happy to do it.

That’s easy for you to say! You make lagers; there is no flavour to be compromised.

The Captain made me say it 😇

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6 hours ago, BlackSands said:

I used to use gelatin finings at room temperature. Not as effective as adding it to a chilled beer but give it a few days and it still helps drop out the yeast a bit prior to bottling.   In fact I did have quite a few brews that were looking pretty clear on bottling day and after as little as one or two days in the bottle they were already crystal clear (at room temperautre).  Chill haze was still a persistent problem though.    Creating a clear bright beer at 'warm' temperatures, around 10ºC and above is easy.  Achieving crystal clarity at fridge temperature, around 4ºC is a little more challenging!

Fast chill is by far the best way to kill chill haze in my experience. I never really care with ales but lagers i fast chill every one.

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13 hours ago, Greeny1525229549 said:

Fast chill is by far the best way to kill chill haze in my experience. I never really care with ales but lagers i fast chill every one.

So it would seem though I know of some who also go to the extra trouble of filtering their beer as well.   😳

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44 minutes ago, BlackSands said:

So it would seem though I know of some who also go to the extra trouble of filtering their beer as well.   😳

Ive just started filtering my beers. (Keg to Keg) Its a fair bit of a pain at the moment but ill put up with it for a bit. (Just haven't quite worked out a system yet)

Im basically doing some experiments with it to see if I like it or ill be going down the chill for 8 more days route, which I don't want to do as thats like a full ferment and a waste of time. plus I'm a believer in getting it off the cake as soon as practicable. 

My last filtering day was two different size filters to see how they carb up and look. At this stage I think ill be sticking with the 1 micron filter.  

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, The Captain!! said:

My last filtering day was two different size filters to see how they carb up and look. At this stage I think ill be sticking with the 1 micron filter.  

Yeah, 1 micron seemed to be the preferred choice.  When I was looking after my LHBS I had a few customers who were using filtration and a 1 micron cartridge was their usual choice.  

Quote

or ill be going down the chill for 8 more days route

Is 8 days really necessary?  🤔    I've just been CC'ing 3 - 4 days...  

Edited by BlackSands

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I usually chill for a week minimum. But it's incorporated into the schedule so the total time for an ale is still less than 3 weeks from pitching to kegging. 

I thought about filtering but tipping some plastic dust in and giving it a few days to ensure it settles out is much easier to me.

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6 minutes ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

I usually chill for a week minimum.

I do wonder about extra slow bottle carbonation if CC'ing beyond just a few days?   I bottled a batch about a week ago...  and with just 3 or 4 days CC there's only a very light dusting of yeast on the bottom of the bottles but it's obvious that carbonation has still a fair way to go yet!   In my pre-CC days carbonation could be fully done in under a week with a few millimeters of yeast sediment.  No hurry I guess as long as it's done in time for consumption!   

I suppose it really just comes down to how much sediment you want sitting at the bottom of your bottles.  For me it's not ever been an issue really as I always pour into a serving jug first anyway.    😎

 

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50 minutes ago, BlackSands said:

Is 8 days really necessary?  🤔    I've just been CC'ing 3 - 4 days...  

It’s because of my fifo lifestyle. I work 8 days on 6 days off. So how I brew at the moment is put the cube into the FV on Monday, the following Wednesday it’s dry hopped then cold crashed, Monday kegged. 14 days all up.

If I want clearer beer I’ll filter or it’ll have to wait another 9 days before I get back to it. PITA. 

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I never had issues with slow carbonation from cold crashing. The beer was bottled cold and allowed to warm up in the bottles. I'd try one at a week and they'd usually be ⅔-¾ the way there, and by two weeks pretty much fully carbonated. Even when I used to cold condition lagers for 4-5 weeks before bottling they still carbed up in a couple of weeks or so. The one time I had problems was with an ale around this time of year, which wasn't crashed and was bottled warm, around 20-22 degrees or so. The bottles simply didn't stay warm enough overnight in the garage cupboard to properly carbonate. 

I never used a siphon, but the beer was transferred to a bottling bucket in order to leave the yeast cake behind. No doubt a little got through that would have collected in and around the tap itself but that teeny amount of yeast spread between 65-70 stubbies wouldn't make much difference. Most of it just dropped out in the bottling bucket anyway. 

The idea that cold crashing for more than a few days drops out enough yeast to significantly lengthen the carbonation process, at least in my own experience, is utter rubbish. Maybe by a day or two but definitely not multiple weeks. It's far more likely that the bottles simply weren't stored warm enough; even if they dropped too low only some of the time, this would be enough to disrupt things and cause it to take longer. 

It must be remembered that yeast cells are microscopic. Even if the beer looks clear, there's still millions of them floating around in it that can't be seen by the naked eye. You are simply not going to remove that much yeast by doing a week long cold crash. 

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I agree with Otto here.  I have been cold crashing most of my brews for ages and bottle them cold.  Carbonated ready to drink in two weeks 

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Yeah...   I'm sure it's no big deal.  I just got used to my non-CC'd brews carb'ing up in under a week...  in fact in Summer just a few days before PETs were nice and firm.  But I'm waiting a few weeks anyway before consuming so yeah... no worries!   Might CC the next batch for a full week and see what the impact is for myself... 

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