Best method to clear beer

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Fletch

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I moved from bottles to corny kegs a few months ago, and I’ve noticed the beer clarity is worse in kegs than it was in bottles. So I wondered what routine my fellow all-grain brewers use to arrive at clear beer? All I do at present is throw in a Protofloc tablet 15 minutes before the end of the boil. I don’t rack the beer into a second FV, but transfer direct into the keg from the original. Also, I don’t currently use any finings.

So what’s the easiest method to get my beer clear? Rack off into a clean FV after a few days, or cold crash the beer, or add finings at some stage? I’d love to hear what others do.
 

Fletch

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Thanks for your suggestions. How long is it before you transfer to a secondary FV? I usually ferment for 14 days. At what stage do you reduce the temperature to 4 degrees? Do you then condition at a higher temperature for a period of time before reducing to serving temperature?
 

Jim Brewster

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I'm not concerned at all about clarity and don't add anything to assist it, but by the time fermentation has finished and the bottles have carbonated they have usually cleared pretty well by themselves. A bit of time in the fridge clears them even further. Some time 'lagering' for a few weeks at a cool temperature would be beneficial too I'd imagine but I can't do this. Always keep the bottles upright of course.
 

Hanglow

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Crystal clear runnings into boil kettle after proper conversion in mash
Good but not excessive boil for at least 45 minutes
adjust pH to 5.1 for protofloc
add gallotannins
wait a couple of mins, add protofloc/whirlfloc/irish moss
wait a couple of minutes, add pvpp
chill quickly, let hot break settle, rack off crystal clear wort
add brewers clarex for chill haze
use a flocculant yeast
Drink crystal clear, stable, conditioned ale in two weeks (usually)
 

labrewski

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I moved from bottles to corny kegs a few months ago, and I’ve noticed the beer clarity is worse in kegs than it was in bottles. So I wondered what routine my fellow all-grain brewers use to arrive at clear beer? All I do at present is throw in a Protofloc tablet 15 minutes before the end of the boil. I don’t rack the beer into a second FV, but transfer direct into the keg from the original. Also, I don’t currently use any finings.

So what’s the easiest method to get my beer clear? Rack off into a clean FV after a few days, or cold crash the beer, or add finings at some stage? I’d love to hear what others do.
My exact story also.
Precisely the exact same routine
my last 2 brews I changed to irish moss and tried one or two different filtering ideas
I.cant cold crash cos my fridge always has a keg init
But I definitely noticed it being clearer than with protofloc I wonder is protofloc crap ?
 

DCBC

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Crystal clear runnings into boil kettle after proper conversion in mash
Good but not excessive boil for at least 45 minutes
adjust pH to 5.1 for protofloc
add gallotannins
wait a couple of mins, add protofloc/whirlfloc/irish moss
wait a couple of minutes, add pvpp
chill quickly, let hot break settle, rack off crystal clear wort
add brewers clarex for chill haze
use a flocculant yeast
Drink crystal clear, stable, conditioned ale in two weeks (usually)

Interesting post, I have never tried brewer's clarex, is it easy to use and does it do anything else to the beer?

In reply to @Fletch, I think 15 mins for protafloc is too long.

The way it works, as I understand it (and I only understand it in really simple terms) is that the positively charged haze-forming particles in the wort are attracted together via the negatively charged particles in the protafloc. It's effective but the attractions are fairly weak and it's quite possible, with a vigourous enough boil, to subject them to enough force to bust them apart again. So essentially any time spend boiling once the protafloc has done its thing works against you. I have heard that you should use them no more than 10 mins before the end of the boil and that 5 might be enough. I use 10 myself but I have been meaning to try 5.
 
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marshbrewer

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You are not alone @Fletch . Producing consistently clear beer is something I have struggled with since moving over to cornies from bottles and king kegs.

It's a mystery to me, as the beer going into the cornies is clear as a bell. I do carb using suger rather than force carb, but then I used to do that in the bottle / king keg, so I'm at a loss as to what is going on. My kegerator is set to 13°C, so I don't think it is chill haze.

I use 1/4 of a protofloc tab in a 20L batch.

I don't move / disturb the kegs when they are in the kegerator; once they are in, they are in.

It's all a bit of a mystery. So, sorry to hijack your thread, but you aren't alone!
 
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Thanks for your suggestions. How long is it before you transfer to a secondary FV? I usually ferment for 14 days. At what stage do you reduce the temperature to 4 degrees? Do you then condition at a higher temperature for a period of time before reducing to serving temperature?
I usually ferment for 7 days transfer to 2FV and cold crash for 3 or 4 days. Leave for a day then bottle or keg. Leave the bottles for 14 days to carbonate and put 10 psi in corny and leave for a week.
 

labrewski

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Any one any idea what is best or easiest to use protofloc, moss,other products
 
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Well, adding powdered gelatine to the keg or FV is apparently pretty effective so long as you don't mind the non-vegetarian aspect.
Ideally it should be added halfway through cold crash when the finished beer has been chilled right down, but apparently a pinch it will work to an extent without cold crashing; and it's pretty quick.
Have a look at this thread: Gelatine
Of course it does mean that the first pint drawn off the Corny will be full of crud, so don't be alarmed.
 
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Remember the crap settles to the bottom. With bottles you pour the clearest beer from the top and leave the gunk at the bottom in the bottle. With a corny you are drawing beer from the bottom.

I can’t say this is the best method, but below is my method.

For a 21 litre batch

  • Remove hot break material at the start of the boil
  • 1/4 protofloc for the last 10 minutes
  • chill then leave for at least 30 minutes to settle
  • draw off only clear wort into FV
  • after fermentation is finished do this: The Gelatin Effect | exBEERiment Results!
It works for me. I even make clear NEIPAs with this method 😳
 

hoppyscotty

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Benfleet beat me to it..I'm new to Corny kegs and going through a hazy beers phase so not too concerned about crystal clear beers, but did produce them in the bottle, but strikes me in the keg you probably want to use a floating dip tube in the keg rather than the metal tube dip tube.
 
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Benfleet beat me to it..I'm new to Corny kegs and going through a hazy beers phase so not too concerned about crystal clear beers, but did produce them in the bottle, but strikes me in the keg you probably want to use a floating dip tube in the keg rather than the metal tube dip tube.
Never had any trouble getting clear ales in my cornies: get the mash pH right; skim off the hot break; half a teaspoon of Irish moss in the last 15mins of the boil; keg after 10-14 days in primary and then… wait… :-)

It is true of course that with a corny you’re drawing off from the bottom, but once you have had a couple of ‘samples’ it should run clear - and the beauty of the metal dip tube is that you can drink down to the Final Drop :-)
 
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Benfleet beat me to it..I'm new to Corny kegs and going through a hazy beers phase so not too concerned about crystal clear beers, but did produce them in the bottle, but strikes me in the keg you probably want to use a floating dip tube in the keg rather than the metal tube dip tube.

The way I do it the first pint is still a bit hazy but it’s fine after that.
 

trueblue

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Remember the crap settles to the bottom. With bottles you pour the clearest beer from the top and leave the gunk at the bottom in the bottle. With a corny you are drawing beer from the bottom.

I can’t say this is the best method, but below is my method.

For a 21 litre batch

  • Remove hot break material at the start of the boil
  • 1/4 protofloc for the last 10 minutes
  • chill then leave for at least 30 minutes to settle
  • draw off only clear wort into FV
  • after fermentation is finished do this: The Gelatin Effect | exBEERiment Results!
It works for me. I even make clear NEIPAs with this method 😳

The hot break is not the start of the boil. The hot break occurs when proteins clump together normally between 30 mins to the end of the boil. The yeast choice will help with clarity WLP002 always drops bright.
 

RoomWithABrew

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I use irish moss or whirlfloc in the boil. Clarity ferm in the fermenter. Make sure ferment is finished and drop the yeast off. Then cool and closed transfer.
Occasionally I have used Super F which worked well added to the fermenter after yeast drop and during cooling phase then transfer and wait.

Most of my kegs have a floating dip tube. But time is the best clearer.
Your water profile can also contribute to haze / cloudy.

I don't bother with anything other than kettle finings for dark beers.
 

Binkei Huckaback

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I've only kegged two beers; a Batham's Best clone and a hefeweizen. Obviously the hefeweizen was supposed to be cloudy, but I honestly can't remember about the Best.

I served it at a barbecue and I don't really remember having to apologise and explain about haze. Though I do remember there not being a lot of trub at the bottom of the kegs.

As someone's already mentioned, cornelius-type kegs take fro. The bottom of the keg, so you could try a floating dip tube, or if to you clarity is worth losing a couple of pints of beer for (you could always use it for slug traps in the garden), shorten the dip tube.

If you do shorten yhe dip tube, make sure you read up about cutting stainless steel first, or you could end up with a rusty dip tube.
 

Keruso

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I moved from bottles to corny kegs a few months ago, and I’ve noticed the beer clarity is worse in kegs than it was in bottles. So I wondered what routine my fellow all-grain brewers use to arrive at clear beer? All I do at present is throw in a Protofloc tablet 15 minutes before the end of the boil. I don’t rack the beer into a second FV, but transfer direct into the keg from the original. Also, I don’t currently use any finings.

So what’s the easiest method to get my beer clear? Rack off into a clean FV after a few days, or cold crash the beer, or add finings at some stage? I’d love to hear what others do.
Gelatin works incredibly well, as clear as commercial beer, but I suspect it's dropping flavour too so I stopped using it, after a few pints my Ales pour quite clear from my kegs.
 
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Just about to try gelatine for the first time: I’m kegging a very cloudy brew where I forgot to add the Irish Moss during the boil…
One teaspoon added to boiled filtered water cooled to about 75°c then stirred in well.
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CD1B6043-1E9D-473B-A3A3-E8D1B6C0D7B5.jpeg
 

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