Gelatin Finings are used to ‘clear’ beer before kegging or bottling. Gelatin is the most powerful organic fining agent available in brewing.
Note: Gelatin is not vegetarian. If you plan to serve your beer to vegetarian friends, do not use Gelatin finings!
Across the Internet on the various brewing forums there is a massive amount of conflicting opinion on the correct way to use gelatin finings. One of the main things that people get wrong, is they boil the gelatin before adding it to the beer. Boiling gelatin will render it useless; do NOT boil the gelatin finings before adding them to the beer! I hope to clear things up here with a definitive method to using gelatin finings to clear a 5 gallon batch of beer. This is a tried and tested method which I have used for many brews with great success.
How To Use Gelatin Finings
1. Ferment your beer as usual. If you have dry hopped the beer with loose hops, rack the beer from under the hops into a sanitised fermentation vessel in order to remove any hop matter.
2. Boil a kettle.
3. Weigh out 1.5 grams of Gelatin for every 5 Gallons of beer.
4. Pour the hot boiled water into a heatproof measuring jug or other heatproof bowl. Add the gelatin powder and stir until dissolved.
5. Cover and cool until it reaches close to the same temperature as the beer.
6. Add to the beer, stirring SLOWLY so as not to introduce oxygen to the beer.
7. Leave for 5 days or until clear.
8. Rack to bottling bucket or keg as usual, being careful not to suck up the layer of yeast sediment.
I hope this helps you get a clearer beer.…
How To: Dry Hopping
What is Dry Hopping?
Dry Hopping is a technique used by brewers to increase the hop aroma in their beer. Usually hops are boiled with the wort to give it bitterness and aroma, however much of the aroma from the hops is lost by boiling them, so dry-hopping adds the aroma that cannot be extracted from the hops during the boil. Many inexperienced home-brewers come across recipes that call for ‘dry hopping’ and do not understand how the process works. Dry hopping is actually a very simple technique which can give your beer greater depth of flavour and aroma with very little work.
How do you ‘dry hop’ a beer?
To dry hop your beer, simply add the amount of hops specified in your recipe at the beginning of secondary fermentation.
1. Ferment the beer as usual until it has finished primary fermentation (take a hydrometer reading and ensure that the beer has reached its final gravity).
2. Using a racking cane and auto-syphon, transfer the beer to an empty, sanitised fermentation vessel being careful not to suck up any of the yeast sediment at the bottom of the beer.
3. Add your hops to the beer – either just chuck them in loose, or put them in a hop sock or muslin bag.
4. Leave for at least 3 days.
5. Using a racking cane and auto-syphon, transfer the beer to a sanitised fermentation vessel before bottling or kegging. Try not to suck up any of the hops during this step, as they will be present in the final beer if you do!
Do you have to boil the hops first?
No. Hops are a natural preservative and do not need to be boiled before being added to the fermenting beer. If you are using a hop sock or muslin bag, you may want to boil that to sanitise it first.
Which hops should you use for dry hopping?
Dry hopping does not add bitterness to the beer, but it does add the aromatic oils that are lost when the hops are boiled. Therefore the best hops for dry hopping are aroma hops with low Alpha Acid content. All of the noble hop varieties including Saaz, Hallertauer, Goldings, Fuggles, and Cascade are great for dry-hopping.