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Using Gelatin

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Geronimo

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Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:48 pm

Using Gelatin

Gelatin is an excellent clarifier for homebrewers. It's cheap, easy to get, removes tannins and chill haze... with no ill effects.

There's been some debate over how to use it. I talked to a VERY experienced pastry chef (my Grandma-in-law) and she said I've been doing it wrong. Here's what she said (for using granulated gelatin, not sheets);

Use a glass jar, and fill it with a cup or cup-and-a-half of tap water. Not hot or warm or cold.... just cool. About 70-80 degrees. Put 1-3 teaspoons of gelatin in there and let it sit for 20 minutes. Swirl it up good (it will be cloudy) and pop it into the microwave. Set it for about a minute, but you need to watch it and take it out as soon as it's clear. The glass will be warm.

She said if you try to dissolve it in hot water, it clumps up, and cold water won't soften it up like you want. Never boil it (unless that is in the recipe).

Well, there ya have it. I've tried it twice now and it works perfectly.
-- Jim
home brewing in Minnesota
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boxcar

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Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:05 pm

does that work better than just boiling water water and waiting for it to cool down to 150 before adding gelatin
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tom sawyer

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Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:13 pm

Yes if you add gelatin to hot water it clumps and may never completely dissolve. Best to add it to cool water and let it hydrate before any heating.

I've used it a lot as glue, just bought some to use as a clarifier. Glad to hear its effective.
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Weazletoe

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Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:15 pm

Thanks Geranimo. Grandma's rock!!
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Geronimo

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Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:52 pm

boxcar wrote:does that work better than just boiling water water and waiting for it to cool down to 150 before adding gelatin


Oh yeah, try it! It's much better!!
-- Jim
home brewing in Minnesota
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fawko

Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:13 pm

Is 1 minute in the micro enough to kill any contaminants? I tried it the boiling way on a pale ale and it cleared really nicely in about 2 days.
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STANKY55

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Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:45 pm

Using Gelation

When's the best time to pitch it to the fermenter?
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ponyboy

Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:33 pm

ok, so this might be a stupid question...

but do i necessarily have to use the gelatin sold on NB or my LHBS or can i use the gelatin that i see in my grocery store intended for canning or desert making?

i was on the cusp of trying it on my last kolsch that went horribly wrong somewhere...

pony
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ColoradoBrewer

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Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:03 am

Re: Using Gelatin

Geronimo wrote:Use a glass jar, and fill it with a cup or cup-and-a-half of tap water. Not hot or warm or cold.... just cool. About 70-80 degrees. Put 1-3 teaspoons of gelatin in there and let it sit for 20 minutes. Swirl it up good (it will be cloudy) and pop it into the microwave. Set it for about a minute, but you need to watch it and take it out as soon as it's clear. The glass will be warm.
That's basically the way I've been doing it. I learned to do it that way from the directions on the box (Kroger brand). The amounts are different, but the same procedure.

ponyboy, the stuff from the grocery store is fine.

STANKY55, if you're trying to clear chill haze the beer needs to be cold. The gelatin won't work if the haze isn't present.
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mr x

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Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:10 am

I love using my stirplate with gelatin. Too easy.
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tom sawyer

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Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:38 am

Kroger has their own store brand of gelatin thats much cheaper than Knox. They certainly look identical to the NB stuff, although I think NB's is maybe even cheaper.

Has anyone used Jello as a clearing/backsweetening/flavoring agent in beer? :twisted:
Lennie

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STANKY55

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Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:17 am

Using Gelatin

What's the best temp? Thanks for the help.
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crabber

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Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:07 am

Re: Using Gelatin

Geronimo wrote:Use a glass jar, and fill it with a cup or cup-and-a-half of tap water. Not hot or warm or cold.... just cool. About 70-80 degrees. Put 1-3 teaspoons of gelatin in there and let it sit for 20 minutes. Swirl it up good (it will be cloudy) and pop it into the microwave. Set it for about a minute, but you need to watch it and take it out as soon as it's clear. The glass will be warm.


Yep, that's basically the same instructions that come with the gelatin they sell at my LHBS.
On Tap: Imperial IPA
Fermenting: Amber Ale, Imperial Choklat Stout
Next Brew: Denny's RIPA
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Geronimo

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Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:15 am

Re: Using Gelatin

STANKY55 wrote:What's the best temp? Thanks for the help.


For the chill haze? Just above freezing is best, but anything below 40F will work.
-- Jim
home brewing in Minnesota
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wolfeye1975

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Post Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:28 pm

Grandma's are always right. I looked at the hard way of doing this in a book. It says let it sit in cool water for 30 minutes, and to raise to a temp. of 180 degrees - not letting it boil. If grandma's microwave was a high wattage model, a minute may actually be enough.
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