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Clarity and fining

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  • Clarity and fining


    My first 'pro' batch (on a tiny 1.5BBL electric system) with my only experience being homebrewing I think I'm misunderstanding some basics and confused about my beer clarity if anyone has any advice that would be much appreciated!

    The brew and ferment went quite well, although coming from BIAB I had some issues with a slow sparge and managed to forget to vorlauf. The beer tastes great but there are a lot of particles floating in samples from the sample port half way up the cone (possibly yeast or trub that wasnt removed?. I've been dumping yeast from the bottom dump valve regularly.

    3 days ago I crash cooled and added 45g gelatin. Sample port samples are still full of particles, but most of them seem to settle quickly to the bottom of the glass. Today I took a sample from the top of the tank and it was almost crystal clear.

    My questions then are:

    - Is it common for yeast and trub to settle into the sample port, so the samples are not in fact a representation of most of the beer inside the tank?
    - Do I just need to wait longer?

    (I am hoping to be able to bottle/keg soon to free up the tank)

    Many thanks

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  • #2
    Yeast and trub will settle out in the sample port. You can try puling a small sample first to get rid of the stuff in the sample port and then take a second pull and see if that comes out clear. Then try again a half a day later and if you end up with more stuff that has settled out in the sample port then your beer isn't finished settling yet. The temperature of your cold crash and the type of yeast you use will make this process vary greatly (the closer to freezing the better). If you use a highly flocculant English ale yeast then all of that should have settled even before you got down to cold crashing temps. If you use some belgians or hefe strains then it will take longer (if ever) to get a clearer beer. It's also possible that your fining agent wasn't mixed well enough with the beer.


    • #3
      I definitely wouldn't trust what comes out of your sample port as a representation of the clarity of the rest of the beer. You'll see when you clean out your tank, there will be 1/2 inch or so of yeast/trub that settled in the sample port, so you're pretty much always going to pull some of that out with every sample.


      • #4

        We fine some of beers with gelatin and they come out crystal clear in 2 days. Our process is to crash to 32F and add 40 grams of gelatin to 4oz of 185F water per barrel. So for 1.5 bbl's, you'd use 60 grams in 6 oz. I use a egg beater I stole from my wife's kitchen in a drill to mix extremely well (very important). Pour it straight into the cold beer through the top port and in 2 days it will be crystal clear. We're doing 30 - 60 bbl batches like this and are very happy with the results.