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Home-brew – Simple Clarifiers

So, I got the German pils bottled up a few days ago. I am super anxious about this batch. This is the first batch where I used gelatin to clear things up in the bottle. According to the available literature, gelatin has a positive charge that will attract the negatively charged yeast particles and assist in the settling out of those particles. Thus, leaving you a much clearer end product. It has been several days since I bottled this batch and I have to say it is significantly clearer than previous batches. Time will tell and I will keep you posted.

Clarifying my homebrew has not been a top priority in the past, Mainly because I was the only one enjoying the fruits of my labors. Well, me and a few friends. Since I have re-energized my homebrewing equipment I have refocused my efforts on creating a blend of barley and hops that would be pleasing to the most discriminatory beer aficionados.

There are other clarifying aids that can be used at various stages of the brewing process. The most common is probably Irish Moss. This is added to the wort during the last 10-15 minutes of the boil. It it negatively charged and will attract the positively charged proteins created during the boiling process. This settles particles out before it gets to the fermentor.

I have not mastered the process of clarifying my beer yet. I will be learning this at the same time you are. If you find a method or helpful hint in your journey please pass it along.

As always, enjoy yourself and don’t be afraid to step off the beaten path. Happy brewing.


Update (Sept. 15, 2010):
It’s been about 14 days since I bottled this batch of pils using gelatin as a clarifier. I have started to pop tops and I have to say that I am very happy with the results. It tastes great and is beautifully clear. The process is simple and well worth the results. All you have to do is dissolve 1 tbsp. of gelatin in about 3/4 cup of water. DO NOT BOIL! Add this (along with your priming sugar or malt solution) to your beer just before bottling. I used this technique on a brown ale I just bottled. I’m sure the results will be less dramatic but it should clear up the cloudiness a bit.

Please feel free to comment or send questions. Happy Brewing.

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