Normally I don’t care too much about the clarity of the beer I am drinking. However, when presenting homebrewed beer to family and friends that are only used to drinking super clear beer, sometimes a clearer beer might make it easier to swallow.
I use Whirfloc in the kettle to assist with break formation and protein co-aggulation during the chill. But there is a further level of fining to be tried post the kettle. A common fining agent to use would be gelatin.
Gelatin fining beer post fermentation helps to remove some of the other haze forming molecules. Specifically, gelatin can remove some of the yeast, but also poly phenols that can come from the grain and the hops. These things all contribute to haze, especially in chilled beer.
Here’s the general process for trying gelatin fining:
Straight up plain gelatin from the grocery store that is non-dyed and non flavored is just fine to use.
Heat a cup of clean water to 180F, sprinkle in 1-2tbs/5gallon to be fined, into the water.
Let the gelatin sit for 15 minutes or more to get it to “bloom”.
Then slowly stir the gelatin solution until it dissolves. Reheating may be needed to get dissolution, but avoid boiling the solution or you’ll lose the fining potential of the gelatin.
Add the gelatin solution to the top of a carboy or keg of finished beer that is uncarbonated and chilled to serving temps.
Let the gelatin solution sit for 2-3 days in the beer.
Rack the beer to a new keg or to a bottling bucket. (If you are going to bottle a small amount of dry yeast added back may be necessary, but that might negate the point of doing this. Obviously, the technique would work best in the kegging environment.)
So that’s what I have read about the process. I am going to gelatin fine my Falconers flight IPA and then my Irish Red Ale as well.
I’ll be sure to mention the results in future posts and tasting vids.