Kolsch that will not clear, Biofine Clear and gelatin used

I have a WY 2565 Kolsch in the fridge that has been laggering at 34F for 6.5 weeks. It has been subjected to Biofine Clear and two applications of gelatin–all three charges were dispensed at 34F in the serving keg. The SOB still refuses to clear.

The Biofine went in while kegging and the gelatin went in at the four and five week waypoints. It should be quite clear, if it was playing ball.

My water is low in Ca, so I’ve learned to deal with that floccing obstacle by treating even my lightest beers with a nudge of Ca in the form of gypsum. Under this regimine, my beers faithfully and reliably clear before they carbonate. This SOB has been carbonated for a good long while!

To be clear, it’s not a bit hazy, it’s hefeweizen cloudy. In my twenty-five years of brewing, I’ve never seen such a stubborn beer. I’d roll with it, if it was just cloudy, but I can taste the yeast getting in the way of what tastes like a very nice beer. There’s no reason to suspect contamination, it’s a nice beer hidden under a dogpile of yeast.

I’m stumped. Research on the issue suggests that White Lab’s kolsch strain tends toward prolonged cloudiness, but this is getting silly! Given the sheer number of finings I’ve thrown at it, I should’ve prevailed by now.

Biochemistry is a complex subject that likes to throw spitballs. I’ve been at this for a while now, and I’m pretty good at problem solving. This really has me stumped. The most reasonable explanation is to call this an anomaly and move on. Before I do, I’d like to know what you guys think.

Thanks for your time :slight_smile:

Have you tried shouting expletives at it yet? It doesn’t really help it clear, but it makes me feel better. Sometimes all it needs is time. Lots and lots of it. You can also get it below freezing, and that might help, like 28-30°F.


I agree, freeze that SOB. I froze a beer by accident once and it ended up super clear.

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Any chance you’ve got a bad batch of gelatin? Only reason I can think of for gelatin not working in that situation is if it is somehow bad.

Agreed. Same thing happened to last year’s Bock. It bottled wicked clear and has stayed wicked.

Ah yes, this calls fer a ceramic mug! You can’t see what yer drinkin’ Sneezles61

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First of all, I’d like to apologize for my very tardy return to the thread. I was sent out of town. Ech.

Thanks for the input, gents. I like the idea of going ice beer on this sucker. I’ve never made one, never had the notion, but this a nice candidate. There’s definitely a good beer hiding under that nasty yeast flavor.

Rebuiltcellars, thanks for the suggestion about the duff gelatin. That hadn’t crossed my mind. I’ve used multiple packets from the same box, but not a different box. I’ll give that a shake and see what happens. Good thinking, sir. I’ll whack it with another shot of gelatin this weekend.

Update on where we stand: So we’re now just past two months of lagering and the beer looks like a typically cloudy WY1056 fermentation coming out of a one-week primary. It’s not thick and sludgy anymore, but it still has way, way too much yeast flavor. It has a great, sharp clean finish. I tell you, there’s a great beer there, if I could just get the beasties to floc.

Mr. Porkchop, sir, I’ve exhausted my stock of Anglo Saxon, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian oaths on this beer. Who knows Japanese? Hebrew? Any Finns in the house? I’m not proud, I just need dirty words. :wink:

Thanks again, folks! Cheers!


Wow, I wish I’d known about the freezing trick a few months ago. Late last year I had a kolsch of my own that refused to clear. I used WLP029 and for some reason I decided to ferment on the warmer side, then on top of that unfortunate idea, it got even warmer than I intended.

So in the end it never cleared even after gelling, and similar to what cangrejo describes, it was not just a visual thing, but it was never anywhere near as clean as a kolsch should be. Not sure if freezing would have solved the flavor issues, but if I ever run into anything like this again, I’m definitely going to try it.