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Beer rather cloudy/hazy after 6 weeks in fermenters

I am a novice brewer having a problem. I was due to bottle a IIPA today, but postponed it because the fermentor is still rather hazy/cloudy. It was in the primary for 2 weeks. The beer seemed to be clearing pretty well at that point. I transfered to a secondary. I did first dry hop addition in a sanitized strainer bag about 2 weeks after transfer and removed the bag from my carboy 5 days later. It was such a pain to pull the bag out that the second dry hop addition was poured directly into the fermenter. Five days later I am scheduled to bottle. I put about a teaspoon of biofine clear in two nights ago and the fermenter is still cloudy. I still see small bubbles rising and other sediment floating. Most of the hops dropped, but there is a layer of sludge on top. I used WLP001 and kept my temp at 68F. I have brewed this IIPA before and it cleared nicely before bottling in 6 weeks. The only thing i did differently was pouring hops, unbagged, into the 2ndary. The beer doesn’t smell tainted, but I don’t like the way it looks. I don’t have a place to cold crash. I am making this batch for a friend’s wedding in May so timing is important.

  1. Does it sound like something is wrong?
  2. Do I just need more time to let it settle?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

could you get your fermenter in a cooler with some ice? if not you can let it sit until the last minute

I’ve been going through something similar lately, although mine was just hazy. I’m a little concerned for this sludge you described.

If you have another carboy, maybe try and rack it off the sediment and sludge. Taste it and look for any off flavors or sourness. Are you adding some yeast to the bottling? I think biofine strips the yeast out as well.

I’m sure you want crystal clear beer for your friend’s wedding. But if it doesn’t happen to be perfectly clear, remember there are some great beers that are cloudy. Yesterday, I was enjoying a Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA that is very cloudy.

[quote=“moose”]I’ve been going through something similar lately, although mine was just hazy. I’m a little concerned for this sludge you described.

If you have another carboy, maybe try and rack it off the sediment and sludge. Taste it and look for any off flavors or sourness. Are you adding some yeast to the bottling? I think biofine strips the yeast out as well.

I’m sure you want crystal clear beer for your friend’s wedding. But if it doesn’t happen to be perfectly clear, remember there are some great beers that are cloudy. Yesterday, I was enjoying a Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA that is very cloudy.[/quote]

A pic of my fermenters. Most of the hops settled but this green sludge won’t drop. I don’t know if this is typical because I usually dry hop in a strainer. I take all precautions with sanitation so I don’t know where that could have come into play. You can kind of see the beer itself is not clear containing small floating particles.
I will rack to clean carboys tonight and see what that does.

That looks perfectly normal to me. I zoomed in and it appears to be hop material. I would rack it and prep for bottling, but I doubt anything but time will clear it up and even then it won’t be super clear without filtering.

You already used the biofine?

[quote=“moose”]That looks perfectly normal to me. I zoomed in and it appears to be hop material. I would rack it and prep for bottling, but I doubt anything but time will clear it up and even then it won’t be super clear without filtering.

You already used the biofine?[/quote]

I have already used the biofine. Someone in my home brew club told me to use a boiled/sanitized knee high panty hose on the fermenter side of the auto siphon to help filter out the sediment. I was considering trying this technique.
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Panty hose works fine although it can be a PITA at times, depending on how much hops you have to wrestle with. I’ve used them before and actually put it on the output side of the racking tube but your autosiphon will want to clog up no matter which end you use it on.

Good luck, hope it’s tasty!

Thanks for the advice and suggestions. It is greatly appreciated.

Smell it, taste it, make sure it’s not funky… and if you get a chance report back with the end results. A recipe might help someone out in the future too, maybe there’s something in your bill or process that caused it and it could be useful to us. Like I said before, I just went through this myself and ended up bottling a hazy beer.

Will do. The recipe is an extract based Pliny recipe sold by a big home brew shop out of California. The beer was clearing appropriately until the dry hopping. I was very conscious of sanitation during the whole process. The only thing I did differently was this time I split the dry hopping equally into 2 separate additions and one of the additions was not bagged. The first time I made this it came out rather clear.

That “sludge” is just hops, mixed in with yeast and various other trub. Perfectly normal. Sometimes a gentle swirl or stir will encourage them to absorb enough water that they settle out. Filtering over your autosiphon input can work, but it can also clog up and be a pain in the ass. I personally would just try to rack from underneath it. Then cold crash, and after that it will be as clear as its going to get anytime soon. Time and cold eventually conquers all, but you only have so much time if you’re trying to get it ready for an upcoming event.

Anyway, hoppy beers are can be a little hazy, its not the end of the world. Your end result may not look as pretty as you like, but I bet you it tastes fine.

Cold crashing should help drop that sludge.
Can be as simple as putting the carboy in a bucket or cooler and adding cold water plus some frozen water bottles or use icewater as sputman suggested. That plus a little more time should do the job.

I brewed a Pliny kit last month and had the exact same problem. The dry hop additions just would not settle. I boiled a paint strainer/nylon mesh bag and put it in my bottling bucket. I used my auto siphon to transfer the beer from the carboy under the raft of floating hops. After the transfer was complete, I removed the paint strainer bag carefully which removed almost all the hop matter that made it through my siphon. The beer turned out just fine.

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So based on the comments here and from my fellow home brew club members I decided to bottle last night. The beer actually looked much better than it did two nights ago. It smelled great and tasted good. I think I may be able to clear it if I refrigerate the cases after carbonation for about two weeks before the wedding. I guess since I am still a beginner (only 5 batches under my belt), I am easily freaked out by something that I haven’t seen before that looks off. Much thanks to Moose and everyone else whose advice helped me figure out what I had in front of me and put me at ease. I will update the post when the beer is ready to drink. :cheers:

So after bottling and carbonating, I stored the bottles in the refrigerator for two weeks before the wedding. The result was a nice clear and delicious IIPA. The beer was a success at the wedding. The groom was very happy and many of the attendees drank several throughout the night. Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions. Cheers.

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