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Chunks in Czech Pilsner

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  • Chunks in Czech Pilsner

    Hello, I brewed a Czech Pilsner on 7/30/22 with 34/70 yeast. After Primary fermentation had finished my beer was hazing or cloudy for what I would consider should be a very clear beer. I dropped the temp to 35 F to begin my lagering phase. After almost 4 weeks it was not hazing anymore but had relatively large chunks (pin head size or larger) of "yeast" floating around in it. I added finings of Kieselsol followed by Chitosan the following day. That was two days ago and I still have the chunks floating in my beer. Its still in the unitank. Any ideas or suggestions on what to do next to help get the chunks to fall out and clear the beer? Or more importantly what to do or not do next time that may have caused the chunks? Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  • #2
    I have been using 34/70 for our lagers for about 6 years now. I have not really experienced the floating yeast you describe, though most of my lagers do remain cloudy/hazy even after extended cold conditioning, until I transfer from the FV to the serving tank and mix with biofine. It took some time to figure out the best way to get the yeast to floc, harvest, and get clear beer. We pitch and ferment in the low 50's, raise the temp to 60 when it is about 80% attenuated, leave it at TG for 4-5 days, then drop the temp 3 degrees per day until it hits 39 -- then we drop to 31. Used to drop to 34, but took it a bit further and that has helped the yeast harvest immensely. We leave at 31 for about 4-5 days before harvest. Counter pressure harvest at glacially slow speeds (2-3 hours to get 35-40#), and then rack the beer to a serving tank, mixing in biofine along the way. The first 3-4 generations clear up quickly. Within 24-36 hours, and usually end up crystal clear. Once we get to gens 5-6, it can take longer to clear, and we rarely take this yeast beyond 6 gens before starting over with a fresh pitch. Hope this is helpful.

    Not sure how you added the Kieselsol. I believe that is biofine clear? I am unfamiliar with chitosan.

    Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company
    Dave Cowie
    Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company
    Nevada City, CA


    • #3
      An anecdote I got from a friend using biofine was that he was getting small little beads when packaging. Never happened with me though


      • #4
        I can't speak with any confidence on the specific problem here. I can add some minor anecdotal observations though. With the last brewery I was at, we found two things helped in your regard. 1) was using gaskets in our transfer line that had mesh-screen filters in them. Nothing super fine, just fine enough to catch the kind of chunks you mentioned. The reason we started doing that is related to observation 2) We noticed that using phosphoric acid to acidulate our HLT water(we have very hard water here), ended up leaving precipitate in our beers. Not a ton, but enough that we noticed. It was worse in lagers for some reason. Possibly the longer contact time and/or temps? Not sure. I just know that both of those problems disappeared when we started using screened gaskets, and switched away from phosphoric acid in the HLT water.