Cloudy beer

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drjim
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Cloudy beer

Post by drjim » Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:08 pm

So I have now been doing all grain for 18 months, initially all went well, nice clear beer. I use corny kegs for fizzy stuff, which all clears nicely in the keg - usual lumps at the very bottom but that's just a sign the keg is empty when they appear!

My bitters go into 25L jerrycans and served via a hand pump. All seemed good initially, but the last few months even when left two weeks in the fermenter it stays very cloudy. I put it in the keg, even try chilling said keg, and it stays cloudy. Tastes OK, but not as good as it should.

I've been bottling a dozen or so per batch recently (30L fermenter, 40L boiler and 25L jerrycan = bottles needed!). Just tried one from the last two batches, both have thick layer of sediment at the bottom but crystal clear nice tasting beer. So it's something I need to settle out. I looked at the stuff in the jerrycan keg still from the second batch, it has a floating dip tube in, even the stuff at the top is still cloudy.

Only thing that's changed is I've been chucking a bit of gypsum in to the water each brew. I'm mainly using crossmyloof ale yeast, or their clipper yeast. Mash tun everything else is same, it clears in a keg, or in a bottle just not in the FV or handpump setup.

Might have to buy some expensive S-04 which I used when I first started to see of yeast makes a difference but I've got loads of CML yeast packs ready to go!

Any thoughts anyone? Do I just need to leave it for 3 weeks and cool it more??

guypettigrew
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:45 pm

If the only thing you've changed is the gypsum, then stop adding it!!

Guy

drjim
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by drjim » Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:55 pm

That was my main plan, just wondering why it affects the handpull keg but not the corny/bottles......

guypettigrew
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Aug 18, 2022 7:37 pm

In truth, it makes no sense!

There must be other changes in your brewing process which have caused this problem.

How does the cloudy beer taste? Does it have a yeasty flavour? Umami/bitter.

Guy

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MashBag
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by MashBag » Fri Aug 19, 2022 8:28 am

crossmyloof ale yeast is fluffy. I gave up on it and went to S-04 because it has much better flocculation.

I get sediment with S-04 but it glues itself to the bottom of the bottle, such that I can do a full invert.

Not saying that's the answer and in this extreme weather we are having are our practises challenged?

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PeeBee
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by PeeBee » Fri Aug 19, 2022 9:43 am

I'll have a crack at this, but it's repeating what I tell myself (also having problems clearing my hand-pumped beer of late); it's speculation and conjecture, not clear knowledge.

I presume the hand-pumped stuff (and FV) isn't strongly cooled (if at all).

Bottles are easy; there is not so far for the yeast to fall! But there is another mechanism to consider. Convection. In bottles there isn't much volume, they are stored in fairly temperature stable places, and the tall slim dimensions probable doesn't encourage convection. The same for Corny kegs (tall and slim) but to a lesser extent? Wide vessels and significant variation in ambient temperature will set up convection currents and possibly strong enough to keep yeast in suspension. (On a truly massive scale we have powerful ocean currents - but we don't drink seawater!).

The recent extreme weather maybe driving these yeast churning currents. But I'm finding given a bit more time (3 or 4 weeks) the yeast will settle. Finings (Isinglass or gelatine) also seem to struggle in fluctuating temperature but will speed things up if you're not averse to such materials. My views of "cold crashing" should be well known by now (it's boll*****), but if you do try it don't go below 4C where convection should be minimal (the convection flow reverses, goes the other way, below 4C). Stabilising the storage temperature should put an end to murky beer ... if my reasoning is correct!
Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... rDKRMjcO1g
Water report demystified (the "Defuddler"; removes the nonsense!): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

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MashBag
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by MashBag » Fri Aug 19, 2022 6:11 pm

I reckon your reasoning isn't far off 👍👍

clarets7
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by clarets7 » Sat Aug 20, 2022 2:44 pm

This sounds remarkably similar to my experience a while ago - cloudy in the barrel but cleared if decanted to a bottle. Temperature control for the barrel in the garage was (still is) a temporary Heath Robinson setup, so barrel could have fluctuated quite a bit even though I thought it was at 14C. That was with the Windsor/Notts yeast combo, last brew in the barrel was MJ Liberty Bell and I didn't have the same problem. I'll have to improve that setup before I do another brew. Good spot PeeBee!
"The paradise of the rich is made out of the hell of the poor" - Victor Hugo

drjim
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by drjim » Sun Aug 21, 2022 11:20 am

I am inclined to agree, my handpull keg sits in a mildly insulated cupboard in the bar shed, but at the front with sun shining on it. I have a cooled tiled surface under it (circulates cold water from a tank in the fridge at the back), but it was definitely not as cool as I would have liked. Warmth in the "cellar" was masked by the water cooler running into the pump itself so the beer comes out at about the right temp.

Think I'll set to work using up the yeast I have and maybe try some s-04 again.

Being in the UK we will soon be back to 10 degrees max outdoors providing a lovely cool environment for settling!

Great discussion and nice to know it's not just me. But I'll still have to try a back to back with and without gypsum!

guypettigrew
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by guypettigrew » Sun Aug 21, 2022 11:39 am

What was it made you try putting the gypsum in ? Have you had a water analysis which suggested it would be necessary?

Guy

drjim
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Re: Cloudy beer

Post by drjim » Mon Aug 22, 2022 10:50 am

I can't actually remember! I looked at the united utilities website for their official analysis, and must have decided more stuff was needed. I do sometimes overcomplicate matters for the sake of it.

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