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How I use gelatin
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Gelatin is a clarifying agent that is frequently used in beer. it is the same gelatin used to make jello, so it is not vegan friendly.

    it causes lots of debate amongst brewers about how it is used.
    i generally use the LD Carlson brand of gelatin finings, although most people agree that the knox gelatin from the grocery store works the same.
    when i use it, i put 1 tablspoon into a cup of the hottest water from my tap, ~125, and stir to dissolve, the dump it in. you do not want to put the gelatin into boiling water or boil water with gelatin in it as this will turn into beer jello when you put it in your beer. once ferment is done, you mix this up, dump it in your secondary (or primary) wait three days and rack into a keg or bottle. done and done.

    i almost always put the gelatin into a keg as i tend to wait a week after kegging to see if i am happy with the clarity of the beer before using gelatin. this works fine, but you will need to dump off the first pint or two of beer 3 days after you gelatinize. (you don't have to dump those pints, but they are pretty gross looking)

    generally, more gelatin = less body in your beers, so that is something to consider. some use much less gelatin than i, some use much more. the amount i use doesn't seem to remove body, at least not an amount that i notice, but it does create sparkling clear beer.
    in this thread, please post the ways you use gelatin and the results you get. also, feel free to post any Q's you have about gelatin or other fining agents.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,410
    Fry, thanks for posting. I think i will start using gelatin in future beers. I wasn't completely clear (no pun intended, ok maybe it was intended just a bit) on how to use, when to use and how effective gelatin is in beer clarity.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,373
    I'll add something that i remember reading. Gelatin is supposed to work better on cold beer. It has something to do with the contrast in temps between the gelatin and the beer. I haven't done any experimenting, so i couldn't say whether this is true or not, but that's what i've aways heard.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    i have heard something similar. the reason, as explained to me, was that the warm gelatin/water sits on top of the cold beer, even if only for a second, and moves through the beer more completly as it sinks to the bottom.

    could also be that if the beer is cold, then it has been cold crashed, which will also aid in clarity.

    i have personally added it to beer that wsa 33 degrees and beer that was 60 degrees and saw no discernable difference. either way, my gelatin water was still at least 100 degrees, so warmer than the beer.
  • GryllEGryllE
    Posts: 10
    Are there styles of beer you would recommend not clarifying? For example, wheat or darker beers??
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,373
    GryllE said:

    Are there styles of beer you would recommend not clarifying? For example, wheat or darker beers??



    any kind of wit or hefe should be cloudy by design. you definitely wouldn't want to make those clear. most other styles benefit, aesthetically, from it.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    i really like super clear dark beers. i know this sounds odd (because how can you tell?)

    but really, a cloudy black IPA doesn't seem anywhere near as black one that has settled out.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,373

    i really like super clear dark beers. i know this sounds odd (because how can you tell?)

    but really, a cloudy black IPA doesn't seem anywhere near as black one that has settled out.



    it depends on what's settling out. yeasts sometimes have unpleasant flavors, whereas the 'haze' that some brewers have trouble with usually doesn't affect the flavor.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • very informative!
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,985
    I might try this. I've had a some cloudy beers lately.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,373
    C_dubbs said:

    I might try this. I've had a some cloudy beers lately.



    good hot and cold break are key to getting clear beers, gelatin just speeds things up.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,985

    C_dubbs said:

    I might try this. I've had a some cloudy beers lately.



    good hot and cold break are key to getting clear beers, gelatin just speeds things up.

    The hot break was definitely a problem on the last one. I think I chill pretty well. Not epic fast, but 10 gallons to under 100* in 8 to 10 minutes.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I have not researched this much but will more shortly. If you were bottle conditioning and carbing naturally, can you do this without adding yeast at bottling time? Doesn't the yeast settle out? Would you then add yeast back in when bottling?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,373
    Benvarine said:

    I have not researched this much but will more shortly. If you were bottle conditioning and carbing naturally, can you do this without adding yeast at bottling time? Doesn't the yeast settle out? Would you then add yeast back in when bottling?



    you *can*, but it's a bit of a gamble. it depends on how flocculant the yeast strain is. you would be better off adding yeast at bottling if you wanted to go that route.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,373
    and check this out:

    http://www.danstaryeast.com/products/cbc-1-cask-and-bottle-conditioned-beer-yeast

    they have a strain specifically developed just for bottle/cask carbing
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 101,780
    C_dubbs said:

    C_dubbs said:

    I might try this. I've had a some cloudy beers lately.



    good hot and cold break are key to getting clear beers, gelatin just speeds things up.

    The hot break was definitely a problem on the last one. I think I chill pretty well. Not epic fast, but 10 gallons to under 100* in 8 to 10 minutes.

    number one rule: dont disturb the break material or let it flow through a pump.


    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,985
    Lakewood said:

    C_dubbs said:

    C_dubbs said:

    I might try this. I've had a some cloudy beers lately.



    good hot and cold break are key to getting clear beers, gelatin just speeds things up.

    The hot break was definitely a problem on the last one. I think I chill pretty well. Not epic fast, but 10 gallons to under 100* in 8 to 10 minutes.

    number one rule: dont disturb the break material or let it flow through a pump.




    Yeah that's what i need to work on.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • morsmors
    Posts: 231
    Just tried gelatin for the first time in a classic american pilsner I had made that is cloudy... Not sure it will do anything...even the filter was a butt load of fail on it...but we'll see... Saw this post and realized I did have gelatin sitting around...might as well give it a go. Thanks.
    BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
    Cicerone Certified Beer Server
    AHA Member
    CRAFT Homebrew Club
    Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
    HBT "mors"
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 76,985
    mors said:

    Just tried gelatin for the first time in a classic american pilsner I had made that is cloudy... Not sure it will do anything...even the filter was a butt load of fail on it...but we'll see... Saw this post and realized I did have gelatin sitting around...might as well give it a go. Thanks.


    Let us know how it works.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 101,780
    mors said:

    Just tried gelatin for the first time in a classic american pilsner I had made that is cloudy... Not sure it will do anything...even the filter was a butt load of fail on it...but we'll see... Saw this post and realized I did have gelatin sitting around...might as well give it a go. Thanks.



    what kind of filter did you try on it?
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 73,692

    C_dubbs said:

    I might try this. I've had a some cloudy beers lately.



    good hot and cold break are key to getting clear beers, gelatin just speeds things up.


    That's why all my beer looks like mud... that and the mud.
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • morsmors
    Posts: 231
    Lakewood said:

    mors said:

    Just tried gelatin for the first time in a classic american pilsner I had made that is cloudy... Not sure it will do anything...even the filter was a butt load of fail on it...but we'll see... Saw this post and realized I did have gelatin sitting around...might as well give it a go. Thanks.



    what kind of filter did you try on it?


    I used one of those white plate filters you see everywhere... FYI the gelatin did absolutely nothing to the beer :D
    BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
    Cicerone Certified Beer Server
    AHA Member
    CRAFT Homebrew Club
    Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
    HBT "mors"
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    how much did you use and how did you use it? how old was it?
  • morsmors
    Posts: 231
    It was fairly fresh...maybe bought it a month ago. I used 1 tsp soaked in cold water for 1 hour...then simmered it....added hot directly to the cold keg.
    BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
    Cicerone Certified Beer Server
    AHA Member
    CRAFT Homebrew Club
    Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
    HBT "mors"
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 47,867
    I never use clarifiers myself ..... but gelatin sounds a whole lot better than some of the stuff used back in the old days ....... everything from crab eyes to shaved ivory ...... just .... nasty .....
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.