I have a confession to make. I can’t brew a clear beer to save my life. I probably shouldn’t care as long as it tastes good – but I do.
Ideally you want to fix haze problems before you get to the finished beer.
- Complete starch conversion. Check.
- Vigorous boil. Check.
- Whirlfloc (or Irish Moss). Check.
The only thing I could think to do differently is to chill the beer all the way down to 40ºF before racking to the fermenter and pitching yeast.
Usually it will clear up on it’s own after 1-2 months in the keg but that’s a long wait.
What’s the fix?
A 25 cent packet of Knox Unflavored Gelatin. Here’s how to use it.
- Rack the beer off of the yeast to a keg (or secondary fermenter if bottling).
- In a small saucepot bring 1 cup of water to a boil then remove from the heat.
- Wait a couple of minutes for it to cool slightly.
- Sprinkle your package of gelatin into the pot of water. Whisk to combine.
- Pour into keg or fermenter.
- Wait 3-5 days. The beer should clear up nicely.
Other notes and warnings
- Make sure you don’t boil the gelatin. It will turn into jello in your beer if you do.
- You might get a little sediment in the first pour from a keg.
- I usually keg and carbonate the beer first. If it hasn’t cleared up by the time carbonation is done then I add the finings. It wouldn’t hurt anything to use them earlier though.
- If you carbonate naturally – even in clear beer there will be enough yeast in suspension to get the job done.
If gelatin doesn’t work you could try stronger fining like Isinglass – or one that works on other types of haze like PVPP (Polyclar). Gelatin normally does a fine job for me though. It stores well for several years and is easy enough to find at almost any grocery store. Both real pluses when the homebrew shop is closed.
The beer in the picture was fined with gelatin and went from almost completely opaque to not-quite-brilliantly clear in just a couple of days. So give this quick fix a try the next time a case of haze has your homebrew looking not so nice.