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Clarity in bopils

Recently brewed a couple of pils’, and had clarity issues with them, despite lagering for about three months.

Was thinking water chemistry this morning. In my Bopils recipe the water is very soft. Calcium is one of the factors in beer clarity.

If Bopils water chem calls for such low amounts of salts, how come they are so clear (except for mine), when they use very little calcium in their water?

Thanks

Commercial breweries filter their beer. Homebrewers might achieve improved clarity through use of gelatin, Irish moss, isinglass, etc. or they might purposely add calcium for the reasons you stated. Also, of course, age is your friend. Your beer will clarify with time. It might take 6 months or more, but it will eventually clear on its own with enough time.

Taylor: I used to think beer would clear with time, but no longer believe it. The truth is, I brewed these two pils’ back in November '13. Fermented, then kegged in late December (lagered in keg for two months). After drawing off a few pints from each keg (to get rid of any sediment) I allowed temp to raise to serving temp (but continued to keep “cold conditioning.”

So, they have been “in cold” for total of almost five months, but still not to the “very clear” level.

I believe I will fine with Gelatin next time, as you suggest.

I find that my beer clears faster when I pay particular attention to the transfer of the wort to my fermentation vessel. Leaving hop debris and break behind also produces a cleaner yeast cake. Also the transfer from fermentation vessel to keg is huge. I use a large binder clip to hold the siphon and inch or two away from the cake. I also tilt my bucket when kegging with a 2x4. I recently kicked a CAP that was crystal clear in 4 weeks. I did not use any clearing agent either. Just wirfloc at 10 minutes.

[quote=“beermebeavis”]Recently brewed a couple of pils’, and had clarity issues with them, despite lagering for about three months.

Was thinking water chemistry this morning. In my Bopils recipe the water is very soft. Calcium is one of the factors in beer clarity.

If Bopils water chem calls for such low amounts of salts, how come they are so clear (except for mine), when they use very little calcium in their water?

Thanks[/quote]

I’d look at pH first. What was the mash and kettle pH of these beers? In a lager, you rally only need about 20 ppm of Ca according to new studies by Martin Brungard and Chris White.

I may be wrong but it kind of sounds like chill haze or permanent haze. let one sit out for 2 hours and see if it clears. just a guess.

Why don’t you add gelatin to the keg now? What could it hurt?

I’ve seen the same thing with clarity in pils. I’ve adjusted water and had a decent mash pH, great hot/cold breaks and still get a little chill haze. Gelatin or better yet isinglass will take care of the issue. It is annoying though.

Last BoPils I brewed had a similar issue, but it did eventually go crystal clear with time - in my case over 6 months. My Ca was at 21 ppm, and I got to pH using an acid rest. It was my attempt at going really old school on the process. Made a great beer, but next time I’ll bump the Ca and adjust the pH with salts and acid malt.

Proper pH FTW. Gelatine treatment during lagering and it’s as clear as commercial.

I forget the details but apparently you must use undermodified malt in order to develop the acid for the rest. Modern technique is acid malt or just acid. I also tend to think that if the pH is optimized then lagering time is reduced as well. I’d aim at the lower end of the range for a pils. 5.2-5.3. I am typically a NGP guy but recently had some fresh draft Staropramen and it was sublime.

[quote=“zwiller”]Proper pH FTW. Gelatine treatment during lagering and it’s as clear as commercial.

[/quote]

Great minds, buddy!

I know pH helps conversion and break, but I swear I’ve had fantastically clear wort from monster breaks (and it seems pils malt is higher in protein than most malts) and yet I still see some chill haze. Gelatin does do the trick although it still takes awhile to drop clear and I sometimes think I can detect a little gelatin character in the head and mouthfeel.

Then again this isn’t my favorite style to drink, I like the challenge of making it though and lots of people do like it.

I think you are right with all this. I had to special order the under modified pils malt, but I wanted to give the old-time method a try. Not sure I’d do it again though - it was a good beer, but I honestly can’t say all that extra work made it better than others I’ve made.

I think you are right with all this. I had to special order the under modified pils malt, but I wanted to give the old-time method a try. Not sure I’d do it again though - it was a good beer, but I honestly can’t say all that extra work made it better than others I’ve made.[/quote]

Same thing here. I always think using some kind of old school technique is gonna work magic. I still need to try spunding someday…

I get brilliantly clear wort during lautering when getting the pH down lower. I then have much less break than my typical ales. To me, the effect is quite obvious that pH affects clarity. I should also mention I use a half tab of whirfloc in the boil. If gelatine is not for you then maybe keep it old school and use polyclar. Its is RHG. These days I assume most us brewing this style are using distilled or RO water with no alkalinity, but if not, be sure to acidify sparge liquor.

I don’t fool myself that it will work magic, but it’s fun to try. I recently tried turbid mashing (with a Berliner Weiss). About the closest I’ve come to an old technique working magic on a beer. Or maybe it was the no-boil that did it. So many different techniques with that brew that I can’t pick out what made it so good.

For years I’ve been wanting to use hot rocks to heat the mash and boil. Just need to get a big enough wooden tub for it…

Sorry OP, way off topic. :blah:

Thanks, all, for the wisdom. My pH was in range but it was on the higher end of said range. I always recirculate well, use moss or Whirlfloc, and siphon carefully to fermenter.

I will try “aiming for the lower end of the pH range,” and “use gelatin during lagering.”

To me, Pils is one of the hardest, most time-intensive brews, but also one of the most-rewarding if done well.

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