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Thread: Troubleshooting Biofine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    7

    Troubleshooting Biofine

    Our brewery just started using Biofine and I'm trying different things, I wanted to hear some opinions. To give a quick overview of my process, I take cold water from the CLT and blend it with a drill and paint stirrer as I slowly add Biofine powder. I blend it for another 20 minutes until its nice and milky. I transfer it to a corny and co2 push it in-line with the beer as I recirculate the beer from the FV through the pump and back to the FV. I'm using a ratio of 2g/Hl once added to the beer.

    This process worked GREAT on an Amber Ale. But I recently tried to add Biofine to a Brown Ale. Instead of using the pump, I transferred the Brown to another tank with co2 pressure. It was a much gentler process and I'm aware the Biofine probably didn't 'blend' as well. Now, 5 days later, the Brown is still very cloudy. Is there something I can do? Could I re-mix the finings if I recirculated the brown ale like I did the Amber? Opinions?

    Thanks,
    -Ian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    144
    Did you use the same yeast and were fermentation conditions the same? Are the two beers about the same in process, ingredients, and gravity, except for the specialty grains used? If not, there are a lot of variables here, and it will be difficult to diagnose.

    But if the only major factor you changed is the blending method, that would be the prime suspect. Most likely, the fining was not adequately dispersed in the brown. I do appreciate the desire to be as gentle as possible, but perhaps the first method is best for you.

    Less likely but possible, there is a "feature" in the brown not addressed by Biofine, which I understand is isinglass (correct me if I'm wrong there). You might need to use a negative-charge fining like colloidal silica in addition to isinglass for that beer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    33
    We have always transferred via head pressure. We dose right when we start the transfer, so the remaining incoming beer gives you a good even mix without having to recirculate. Afterwards, seven days at zero degrees has always worked just peachy. Temperature is key with the finings.

    As to the situation at hand, you could try to recirculate again as described, or simply wait it out. Get that beer as close to freezing as you dare and everything should work just fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    97
    vangundy

    so you are recirculating in the fermenter? letting it settle out and then purging all that drops out of suspension, then transfering to serving vessel?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1
    Though not really familiar with Biofine, there's something in your process that you may want to reconsider. If your process is anything like ours, you would never want to use cold liquor directly from the tank to mix with your Biofine. We send our city water through a filter to strip chlorine on its way to the cold liquor tank. This renders it pretty biologically unstable and unsuitable for any post process use other than as reclaimed hot liquor during knockout. It's possible that mixing cold liquor with the Biofine resulted in a biological haze in the finished product. You may consider mixing your Biofine with finished beer, then reintroducing that beer to the fermentor for fining.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5
    I mix in a corny and add to fv via the zwickle a day or 2 before I need the beer. I add it at 36 degrees, let rise to 40...bright beer 100% of the time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    7
    Ok, it's been a while. Sorry I never replied, I forgot my password (none of my memorized pw's were suitable for probrewer) and eventually gave up on it. I've taken the advice and will be doing more experiments with all the batches I'm brewing this month. Thanks for the feedback!

    Quote Originally Posted by wiredgourmet
    Did you use the same yeast and were fermentation conditions the same? Are the two beers about the same in process, ingredients, and gravity, except for the specialty grains used? If not, there are a lot of variables here, and it will be difficult to diagnose.

    But if the only major factor you changed is the blending method, that would be the prime suspect. Most likely, the fining was not adequately dispersed in the brown. I do appreciate the desire to be as gentle as possible, but perhaps the first method is best for you.

    Less likely but possible, there is a "feature" in the brown not addressed by Biofine, which I understand is isinglass (correct me if I'm wrong there). You might need to use a negative-charge fining like colloidal silica in addition to isinglass for that beer.
    There were several factors different with the brown. I'm taking that experience as a learning lesson and will see how things change in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by brewingnewbie
    so you are recirculating in the fermenter? letting it settle out and then purging all that drops out of suspension, then transfering to serving vessel?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by brewslave
    Though not really familiar with Biofine, there's something in your process that you may want to reconsider. If your process is anything like ours, you would never want to use cold liquor directly from the tank to mix with your Biofine. We send our city water through a filter to strip chlorine on its way to the cold liquor tank. This renders it pretty biologically unstable and unsuitable for any post process use other than as reclaimed hot liquor during knockout. It's possible that mixing cold liquor with the Biofine resulted in a biological haze in the finished product. You may consider mixing your Biofine with finished beer, then reintroducing that beer to the fermentor for fining.
    Good Call, although there was no biological haze in the brown. Years of working in homebrew shops and doing all the Siebel off-flavors tastings has gotten my pallet very sensitive to contamination issues. The brown has been around for a couple months and is now clean and clear. From now on I will be taking 180*+ water from the HLT into a corny and then refrigerating it overnight before blending in the Biofine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Klamath Falls, OR
    Posts
    14

    Biofine

    VanGundy,

    I've recently begun using Biofine Clear A3 as it is called, which is already a liquid solution, no mixing necessary before dosing.

    To dose the biofine (this idea came from my supplier who was a brewer for many years), he suggested I inject it through the racking arm (turned upside down to inject the biofine up in the tank) and then inject CO2 through a carbonating stone in the tank bottom (after removing yeast). This worked quite well to mix the biofine in the tank.

    Cheers,

    Corey

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