Thursday, September 25, 2008

Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard

Okay, so I was really just paging Dr. Fine (which is my strained attempt at saying that I added some finings to my Oktoberfest beer while also referencing the Three Stooges). Anyway, my Oktoberfest has cleaned up somewhat but still has a noticeable phenolic component. My understanding is that fining with gelatin not only clears the beer somewhat but also removes unwanted phenols so I decided to give it a whirl.

I used regular unflavored Knox gelatin, and in accordance with Greg Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beer, I used 1.25 tsp. for ten gallons. I drew four cups of beer from each keg and initially added a little beer to the gelatin to make a paste. I gradually added more and more beer until the gelatin was well mixed into all eight cups. At that point I slowly heated the gelatin-beer solution until it got warm enough that I couldn't comfortably dip my finger into the mix (you don't want to boil the gelatin!). I then added the beer back into the kegs and--after purging the kegs of CO2-mixed them up for about five minutes. I'll rack the beer to another keg just prior to my church's Oktoberfest, which is October 13 (Noonan recommends two weeks of clearing). I'll let you know how it turns out.


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