Using finings and cold conditioning

The ins and outs of putting your beer into kegs.

Re: Using finings and cold conditioning

Postby gregb » Thursday Jan 17, 2008 7:54 pm

Kevnlis wrote:Gotta love megaswill technology ;)

Just not the product.

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Re: Using finings and cold conditioning

Postby Trough Lolly » Wednesday Jan 23, 2008 11:25 am

davelee123 wrote:Hi all
this is my first attempt at kegging and as instructed by a friend I've added finings. What temperture is best for the wort when the finingare in? (I keep the wort in the fridge with adjustable stat to control temp)

I've read a few pieces on cold conditioning on here and was wondering what exactly that was and how to do it, I only have the one wort and one keg at present (very amaterish!!)

Any help would be great. :)

Hi Dave,
Apologies for not finding this very interesting thread earlier, but are you making beer from kits or extract or grains? Having an understanding of your brewing process will help eliminate certain issues, eg protein rests if you don't mash...

FWIW, there are a number of different finings available - including kettle based finings such as the negatively charged Irish Moss (aka Carrageen), which helps knock positively charged proteins out of the wort during the boil that potentially provide chill haze in the beer. The thing to note, however, is that Irish Moss is less effective in low protein worts, such as those made from malt extract....hence my earlier question.

Many strains of yeast are poor flocculators (ie, they don't readily settle out and remain in suspension). The negatively charged yeast cells don't attract each other and remain in solution giving you a yeast based haze that filtering will remove, and as earlier posted, will also improve the flavour as well as appearance of the beer (assuming you don't want the yeast flavour to be a significant component of the beer's flavour profile). Adding some well mixed finings, such as gelatin and positively charged isinglass and will help attact the yeast in solution and as the combined finings and yeast clumps gather in size, they simply drop out of solution. Isinglass is most effective when it's used in secondary after the yeast has conditioned the beer and you are preparing the beer for serving - one suggestion from the American Brewers Guild in California is to mix Isinglass in cold water, chill the beer to just below serving temp, add isinglass, stir the brew well and let the temperature rise slightly. So, finings and filtering are good for clearing up the yeast in solution - but as I said before, this may be undesireable if the flavour of the yeast is an important component of the beers overall flavour profile. To fine with Gelatin, a teaspoon dissolved in a cup of warm water should take care of around 20L of beer that's been chilled beforehand.

Gelatin and Isinglass Finings are not effective at removing the positively charged chill haze in beer. In this instance, a negatively charged fining is needed and one such compound is silica gel. An alternative negatively charged fining is PVPP plastic which is sold under the name of Polyclar. Silica gel bonds to the proteins in the protein-tannin chill haze compound and Polyclar bonds to the polymerised polyphenols (aka tannins) of the same haze, so either does the job. Pro brewers argue that Polyclar is superior to Silica gel since Polyclar doesn't strip out the proteins in the beer which do make a positive contribution to the beer's foam whereas tannins aren't of such value in the beer.

As previous posts correctly assert, dropping the temperature of the wort will help the yeast to go dormant and flocculate out of solution - which is fine if all you want to do is remove yeast based haze caused by suspended yeast cells. No amount of temperature control, including pasteurisation, will remove the protein-tannin based chill haze that is a permanent haze in the beer (typically not noticeable at room temps), unless you add a negatively charged fining to remove the chill haze molecules and cold filter the beer.

Hope this helps...

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