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Kealia

Gelatin for clarity

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Guys,

For anybody interested I'm going to be using gelatin as a clarifier for the first time in about two weeks. I want my kolsch to be crystal clear and from what I've read on Wyeast 2565 this strain is a low flocculator.

The plan is to let it ferment for two weeks, then add the gelatin and cold crash for 3 days before kegging.

I'll update this thread with pics, details on the steps and my thoughts about using it as time progresses.

For those that don't want animal products in their beer, there are other options as well (BioFine is the one I've heard mention of).

The idea behind gelatin is simply a clarifier, nothing else. What I am really interested in seeing is what the trub layer on the bottom of the carboy comes out looking like.

Hopefully this thread can help others wanting to try this - or serve as a place for people who HAVE to chime in with their input.

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I've heard of this. I'm wondering how it will affect the viable yeast during the big chill? This is what they use to protect the yeast when guys want to freeze them for storage. Will it leave enough yeast to carb/condition the brew well? just thunk'n outloud


[attachment=10431]icon_couch_2013-01-14.gif[/attachment]

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I have done it to two 5 gallon batches. I'm at work and notes are at home. I'll post the link for HBT and procedure later. I did both of mine in the keg because I had not heard of using gelatin till afterwards.
One was a pumpkin and the other a IIPA. I'll post a picture of the IIPA and I wish I had taken on of the pumpkin, man was it clear. Even the last glass when the keg kicked was a beautiful copper/bronze/pumpkin color so clear that you could read through it.
I can say the stuff left in the bottom of the keg was a little more compact that normal.

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FIT - I've been thinking about this for a while, reading up on other forums, etc. so off the top of my head I can't remember what it does in terms of leaving enough yeast to bottle carb. I know that most people that talk about doing it (HBT) are keggers, though.

I just want to play around and see how it works. I'll see what I can dig up on carbing in the bottle but I'm willing to bet that you still can do it. It's not like filtering where you are going to get 100% of the yeast.

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Here is the thread I read through http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/gelatin-finings-53912/

I'll skim through it again, but no one was having problems carbing in the bottle after using it in the primary or secondary.
If I remember correctly,
I bloomed 1 pack of Knox Gelatin in 1 cup of water for 30 minutes.
Heated to 170 degrees while stirring to dissolve completly. DO NOT BOIL
Chilled to about 90* and added 1/2 cup to each of the room temp beers in 5 gallon kegs. Put beers in the kezzer to chill.

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"Inkleg" post=319387 said:

DO NOT BOIL
Chilled to about 90* and added 1/2 cup to each of the room temp beers in 5 gallon kegs. Put beers in the kezzer to chill.

Yep, this is key from all I have read, too. And you want to add it warm (about 90 as Inkleg said). Heat rises and this keeps the solution at the top of your beer at first. Then when you chill it it coagulates and pulls everything down with it.

I'll do my best to document with pics.

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I'm gonna go/read the link ink posted for sure. I'm liking the idea of adding it to the beer when kegged since I'm going to force carb. Keep us updated on your outcome for sure

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Here is a picture I had of the IIPA. 20 lbs of grain and 12oz of hops, cleared in the keg with gelatin.

[attachment=10436]Tits-Up_2013-01-14.jpg[/attachment]

I'll get a better picture, but at 9.3%, not happening tonight.

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"FedoraDave" post=319501 said:

Well, there's always room for Jell-O.

If you boil it that is what you will have. Beer Jell-O :banana:

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"Inkleg" post=319503 said:

"FedoraDave" post=319501 said:

Well, there's always room for Jell-O.

If you boil it that is what you will have. Beer Jell-O :banana:

Mmmmm...Jello!

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"FedoraDave" post=319501 said:

Well, there's always room for Jell-O.


Beat me to it.

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"Gymrat" post=319506 said:

"FedoraDave" post=319501 said:

Well, there's always room for Jell-O.


Beat me to it.

You gotta be fast to beat The Hat, Roger. I thought you knew that.

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I just got a plate filter from MoreBeer, and filtered a Kolsch. It came out crystal clear.

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I didn't forget about this. I'll be pulling a gravity sample on Saturday to see where things stand and with any luck hit it with gelatin this weekend. I'll post pics of the process, before and after for those interested.

It's only been fermenting for 9 days now so Saturday will be 13. It should be long since done by then but if not I'll let it sit another week. No rush since this is a March/April drinker at earliest.

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So.......I pulled a sample today because I was busy this weekend and I'll be damned if the damn thing isn't super clear after two weeks in primary.

20130128172931.jpg

20130128172931.jpg

I'm still going to go through with it for the practice of the process and will do it on another batch, too.

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Wow, looks ... wow, never seen one that clear!

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Here's some pics using my plate filter system for a Kolsch I did for a party. I used an iphone 3GS camera with a dirty lens which is not ideal. Most of the haze you see is from the dirty lens. I did no secondary, but did cold crash before transferring to the keg. There was still a lot of yeast that didn't completely settle before filtering.

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"losman26" post=327716 said:

Here's some pics using my plate filter system for a Kolsch I did for a party. I used an iphone 3GS camera with a dirty lens which is not ideal. Most of the haze you see is from the dirty lens. I did no secondary, but did cold crash before transferring to the keg. There was still a lot of yeast that didn't completely settle before filtering.

Man, those look nice! Don't think I've seen a plate filter, u have a link to what your using? Maybe since I'm starting to force carb, gettin rid of more of the solids and yeast is in order? Add it to the list....LOL

Clearing my beers has never been much of a priority for me, but I think I'm really going to try the gelatin trick. I've done some looking at some of the filters offered but have not really thought about trying them as I don't share much of my beer with anyone. Not from lack of willing, just no one around much that drinks in my neck of the woods.

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"FrozenInTime" post=327721 said:

"losman26" post=327716 said:

Here's some pics using my plate filter system for a Kolsch I did for a party. I used an iphone 3GS camera with a dirty lens which is not ideal. Most of the haze you see is from the dirty lens. I did no secondary, but did cold crash before transferring to the keg. There was still a lot of yeast that didn't completely settle before filtering.

Man, those look nice! Don't think I've seen a plate filter, u have a link to what your using? Maybe since I'm starting to force carb, gettin rid of more of the solids and yeast is in order? Add it to the list....LOL

Clearing my beers has never been much of a priority for me, but I think I'm really going to try the gelatin trick. I've done some looking at some of the filters offered but have not really thought about trying them as I don't share much of my beer with anyone. Not from lack of willing, just no one around much that drinks in my neck of the woods.

I got this a few weeks ago from MoreBeer.com.
http://morebeer.com/view_product/5759/103554/Beer_and_Wine_Plate_Filter_Kit_

The good thing about the morebeer filter is that it comes with all the fittings. I bought 10 packs of filters as well. Also the free shipping is awesome. It was tricky on the first use, but this thing is simply amazing.

I did a Kolsch, and a Cream Ale for a party using the "rough pads), and they both came out extremely clear. The Kolsch came out slightly clearer. I did not secondary these at all as I don't see a need to secondary with this thing. Also, I had a nice creamy head on both of these beers. This party had a bunch of "Coors Lt." drinkers, and we brought a couple of cases of Coors Lt to the party. Not one single person drank the coors light. They killed the Cream Ale keg fast, and the Kolsch was mostly gone by the end of the party.

As far as the flavor goes, I think that the plate filter almost makes it better. You don't have worry about a strong yeasty flavor that appears. Less conditioning time as well.

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"FrozenInTime" post=327721 said:


Clearing my beers has never been much of a priority for me, but I think I'm really going to try the gelatin trick.

Me either, really. I've been happy with the clarity of my beers to-date but it's time for me to try something new - just because. I won't lie - I do like a clear beer and since the Kolsch style calls for it I figured I'd go for it and give it a shot.

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OK, I'm making Jello! :laugh:

I was going to take pictures but it's really nothing to show.

I boiled about 5 ounces of water then let it cool to about 120. I then added a little over 1/2Tbsp (for my 3G batch) of Knox gelatin to the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. I then put it on low heat for 5 minutes to fully dissolve the gelatin.

Once down I let it cool back down to about 120 and then carefully poured it into carboy. Finally, the carboy was put in the mini fridge at 36 where it will stay until Friday when I get around to bottling it.

If thou are reading this then you've seen how clear the hydro sample was. I'll post pics of bottling day when it comes around as well as a final hydro sample pic. Because the carboy has hop residue and krausen marks on it I don't know how well it will photograph but we'll see.

Ilan on doing this with my Dead Guy Ale next Saturday, too.

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I bottled this morning and took a few pics to update this thread/process.

I've brewed some VERY clear beers over the past few years, but I've never brewed one that was BRILLIANTLY clear and that was my goal. I think I may have done it with the use of the gelatin.

I did batch prime and bottle these so it may not be as 100% clear in the end as if I had kegged it, but I don't think/expect the tiny priming sugar amount to really affect anything.

Coming out of the autosiphon it's pretty damn clear:

20130209105018.jpg

Going into the LBK (bottling bucket) it was so clear that when I looked away and then looked back I thought it had stopped flowing :)

20130209105008.jpg

And finally, what gelatin looks like in the bottom of the carboy along with the hops and trub:

20130209113533.jpg

It washed out just as easily as anything else so you don't have to worry about scraping Jello out of your fermenter. Just swirl it up, pour it out and clean as normal.

Granted, this Kolsch was pretty clear to start so I am going to do this again on my Dead Guy Ale next weekend which is a much darker (amber) beer. Based on everything I've read and from comments in this thread I don't expect any carbing issues on this one. It spent 5 days at 35 degrees after adding the gelatin and I have to say that I'm pretty happy with the results so far.

I will update on the Dead Guy Ale with pics, too.

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Let's see some more photos!

I just had a bad situation using my plate filter, doing a citra IPA. The instructions are rather vague, and I had a lot of residual co2 left in the keg after racking it, due to an extreme dry hop. I basically got these air bubbles near the liquid disconnect of the receiving keg which didn't allow the transfer of beer. Thinking that there was a problem with the filters, I took the thing apart, and lost about 1/2 of my beer which leaked all over the place. . I had to put in new filters which I soaked in star san. When I ran it again, it seemed liked a ton of star-san went into the beer. Normally I rinse with boiled water, but I was in panic mode trying to salvage the situation. What a disaster! I'll know a little more tomorrow to see if it wasn't a total disaster.

Lesson learned. Whenever using a new brewing device, proceed with caution. Unless documentation is very detailed, you will commit errors in the beginning seriously pissing you off!

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Wait! Did you lose half A beer of half of YOUR beer (meaning half the keg)??

Either way, it sounds terrible.

I have nothing else to show yet, sorry. The kolsch is in bottles carbing and I'm going to add gelatin to the Dead Guy Ale tomorrow and then crash it for 5 days. I should be able to post pics of the Dead Guy Ale when I transfer it into the keg on Monday/Tuesday.

I just haven't decided if I am going to gelatin in the primary or move it to secondary.

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Yeah, I probably lost half of it. It was a sad day in America. RIP for all those citra hop particles that lost their lives. I think that morebeer needs their instructions to be a little more detailed with some trouble shooting. It's almost like the instructions were written for people that have used the product before. I didn't know that it wasn't possible to filter beer that had some residual co2 in the solution. Why didn't the instructions say that? I probably should have just stopped the transfer and left it for the next day, but being new to the filtering process and in panic mode, I thought it was fixable. The same thing happened when I used their beer gun (not the blichmann, moorbeer's is a slight improvement). Instructions said that you want the PSI about 3-5 PSI higher inside of the bottle, but they neglect to tell you that you shouldn't go over 6 PSI. So the first time I use it, I'm shooting beer all over the room, and cannot figure out what the hell I'm doing wrong. The instructions should say "Keep it at 3 PSI, do not go over 6 PSI." I wasted 1/4 of a Pliny batch doing this.

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I just tasted the beer, and I should have never filtered this thing. I'm not sure if I'm tasting a lot of star-san or if it's lacking body. There was a more than to be desired amount of star-san which got in there after soaking the extra filters in emergency mode. I have a little bit left in the batch that is unfiltered from what I couldn't transfer, so I'll see how that is unfiltered. I got too used to drinking Firestone Walker's Double Jack which is filtered, thinking it would be good on this beer too. Plus, when you get a new toy, you wanna mess around with it more

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"losman26" post=335981 said:

I wasted 1/4 of a Pliny batch doing this.

catlol2.jpg

Seriously, sorry to hear about the issues with the new products/toys. Glad to hear that the carbonating keg lid worked well ,though.

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"Kealia" post=336123 said:

"losman26" post=335981 said:

I wasted 1/4 of a Pliny batch doing this.

catlol2.jpg

Seriously, sorry to hear about the issues with the new products/toys. Glad to hear that the carbonating keg lid worked well ,though.


It's not a big deal. I brew enough where losing a little isn't a big deal. You live, you learn. I also make sure to order citra hops often in cases of situations like this, because I know that they'll be gone soon.

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Next update:

I kegged my Dead Guy Ale tonight after 5 days on gelatin and cold crashing at 36 degrees. It was a long day at work and I forgot to grab my good camera so you get a phone pic - not great quality to show off the clarity, sorry.

deadguy1.jpg

This is the third time I've brewed this and I've always gotten a clear beer but it was VERY clear this time around. Noticeably clearer. And the trub was ridiculously compact after I was done racking it.

In short, I'm happy so far. It will interesting to see in a few weeks if it's just a matter of being clearer going into the keg or if it makes a difference after being kegged and chilled, too. So far, so good.

I'll post pics of both the kolsch and this one once it comes time to drink them.

P.S. The beer is much darker than it appears in this picture.

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Would you ever be able to harvest the yeast if you use gelatin?

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"alb" post=338867 said:

Would you ever be able to harvest the yeast if you use gelatin?


I'm guessing that you would only use gelatin in the secondary, and do force carbing.

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"alb" post=338867 said:

Would you ever be able to harvest the yeast if you use gelatin?

That's a damn good question. Looking at the layer last night I'm guessing that I could have washed it and saved it. The funny thing is that I am now out of PacMan yeast and the thought never crossed my mind this time around. I was so focused on checking the clarity that I didn't even think about harvesting. D'oh!

I'm *guessing* that by using cold water it's not going to re-dissolve the gelatin and it would just sink back to the bottom once stirred up leaving the yeast in suspension to siphon off the top.

Mind you I obviously didn't do this so I'm talking theory here.

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"FrozenInTime" post=319354 said:

I've heard of this. I'm wondering how it will affect the viable yeast during the big chill? This is what they use to protect the yeast when guys want to freeze them for storage. Will it leave enough yeast to carb/condition the brew well? just thunk'n outloud

After 12 days in the bottle I can say without a doubt that there is plenty of yeast left to carb. I put one in a 16oz PET bottle to check on it and it's nice and firm, as expected. These are going to wait one more week as it's only about 66 where I have them carbing. After that they will sit at about 55 for a solid month before I crack into them - except for a taster/tester, of course ;)

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Kewl, glad to hear it left enough yeast to carb. I did some reading, they also say it leaves enouugh. Soooo... it's on my to do list. :banana:

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First pour pic after just 24 hours in the fridge. Hard to do it justice with a camera phone, but it is what it is....

Nice and light and crisp with a sublte fruity nose from the kolsch yeast. An easy drinker that I will let sit for a while until evenings warm up a bit.

Very good as it is now, though.

20130309171750.jpg

When I do the next pour I will use my good camera and focus on the beer itself and its clarity.

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Very nice, but the plate filtering system will go even clearer. Not that it matters at all. The only thing that should matter is the taste. Have you ever tried Clarity Ferm by White Labs? I've used it a couple of times, but like filtering much better. People rave about this Clarity Ferm, but I myself haven't been overly impressed. It was designed as a clarifier, but they found that it reduces the gluten to next to nothing. I'm so used to phony Gluten allergies around here that it is annoying. Usually people with these phony allergies also do Yoda, I mean "Yoga."

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"Kealia" post=348448 said:

First pour pic after just 24 hours in the fridge. Hard to do it justice with a camera phone, but it is what it is....

Nice and light and crisp with a sublte fruity nose from the kolsch yeast. An easy drinker that I will let sit for a while until evenings warm up a bit.

Very good as it is now, though.

20130309171750.jpg

When I do the next pour I will use my good camera and focus on the beer itself and its clarity.


If you're looking for clarity, next time filter out the evergreen trees, I hear they give piney taste.

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"RickBeer" post=348489 said:

I hear they give piney taste.


Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I love Simcoe. :)

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Looks pretty good. I've got an IIPA that has a poop load of commando hops in it, I might give it a go on this batch.

Boil water, take off heat, drop in 1 tsp, let disolve, chill to 90 degrees and gently pour on top, then cold crash carboy? I got that right? I know, don't boil the gelatin.

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Would 1/2 tablespoon be to much for a LBK size batch.

Also you don't stir right? Just pour it in and put in fridge for cold crash?

Thanks

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Damn, I never thought about what effect those damn trees would have ;)

This pic really doesn't do it justice but needless to say that I'm happy with the results.

losman26, I'm glad that the filter works for you. I just can't see myself spending a lot of money on fining when I've been happy with my clarity to-date. This really was for fun and to experiment a bit. If I ever decide to submit anything into competition I'd use this technique but I'l likely just use up the rest of the gelatin I have on hand now and then not do this again for a while.

That being said, I do have enough for the next 4 or 5 batches so I will keep doing it 'just because'.

JohnDubya - after boiling the water let it cool to about 100 or so before putting the gelatin in. Let it 'bloom' for 10-15 minutes and then heat to about 170 for a few minutes to make sure you get everything dissolved. Let cool to about 90 and then pour in.

I didn't stir it because I did this in primary. If I were racking to a secondary at the same time I would pour this in first and then rack on top of it.

From what I understand, the gelatin will start at/near the top of your wort either way because it's warmer than the rest of the wort. Heat rises, so this makes sense but keep in mind that I am parrotting what I have read in this regard. Somebody with a better understanding of thermal dynamcis can chime in.

In any case, as the temp drops and the gelatin coagulates it grabs the proteins and larger particles and they drop out with it as it settles to the bottom.

A lot of guys on HBT use gelatin in their serving keg, too. Just FYI in case anybody is thinking of going that route.

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And....a better pic of how clear this one came out. I grabbed the first thing I could find with writing on it to use :cheer:

20130325191123.jpg

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That's purty darn clear! I'm bout to keg an IPA batch I did this on. I went commando with 10 oz of hops, looked like green soup but looks crystal clear now.

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LOL, it took me a minute to figure out what that pic was of! My first thought was "Inkleg has the same little fridge magnet that I have!" :laugh:

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I didn't think this could get any clearer, but here is a look at my burger on the grill through my Kolsch. Wow.

20130412170119.jpg

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I bought a box of Knox gelatin. I want to use it in my kegs. Haven't tried it yet. Only used in a secondary. I'm wondering if I will need to cut the dip tube for the outlet to keep it from plugging. Anyone have experience with adding gelatin to a corny? It sounds like inkleg did this. Maybe he can chime in.

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"Kealia" post=362275 said:

I didn't think this could get any clearer, but here is a look at my burger on the grill through my Kolsch. Wow.

20130412170119.jpg

Wow!!!

What is the magic behind gelatin?


Rick

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"Knightmare" post=362309 said:

I bought a box of Knox gelatin. I want to use it in my kegs. Haven't tried it yet. Anyone have experience with adding gelatin to a corny? It sounds like inkleg did this. Maybe he can chime in.

Sorry, late to respond missed this till now.

Yes I put the gelatin in the room temperture keg just before putting it in the keezer. Some of my dip tubes are cut about 3/4 inch, others not. No problem with plugging while pouring. Like all kegged poured beers the first one or two were couldy then clear, clearer and WOW.

[attachment=12799]Gelatin2.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=12800]Gelatin.jpg[/attachment]

Rick, the gelatin grabs some of the floating proteins as it's congeling and drags it to the bottom.
Gelatin Thread

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Nice. A lot of people use it in their kegs so you shouldn't have an issue. I decided to do mine in my primary just to keep it out of the keg. Your choice. I have read that some people cut their dip tubes, and of course others just deal with it.

Interesting that Inkleg poured the gelatin into a room temp keg. What I've read is that most people chill the keg first - but not ALL. Obviously this works for him this way so I'm not sure it makes a difference either way on that front.

Nice looking beer, Inkleg.

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is cold crashing a necessary step in the process?? i don't have a refrigerator big enough or a kegging system yet.
but would like to try this process out.

i did get the green light for a refrigerator/ kegging system. now i just need to be patient and find a deal on craigslist

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I think I've read a few accounts of it working at room temp but it's not the norm. If you think about how gelatin works it only really gets solid when it gets cold.

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Here's my latest filtered brew- Mexican Lager- 7.5% ABV. Due to my laziness, I cold crashed it for almost 2 weeks before filtering. This is the clearest beer I've done yet.

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Yeah this filter, if used properly is amazing. The key is, to do a nice long, cold-crash before hand.

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